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First Show Jitters

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soapmage

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Welp, my first show of the season is tomorrow morning and I'm so very nervous! My hubby can't be with me for support other than to help me set up, then he'll leave to babysit our son. I'll be on my own with no help (ugh). So I hope nothing goes wrong. I understand though, our son is only 7 and autistic, so can't be expected to sit around with nothing to entertain him for several hours on a hot day.

Good news is that the local Chamber (where the show is being held) called me the other day and asked for a nice basket of several of my soaps and sundries for an advertising display that they were doing on the local news. It was good advertising for me so I hope the turnout will be good and I definitely hope I sell something. There's a huge ball game going on across the road, so they're expecting at least 800 people just from that, so we'll see.

I just hope I remember to bring everything, and that I'm not forgetting anything. I have a list and am sticking to it. All that's left is for me to buy a small cooler to keep some bottled water in since I don't want to spend my far-few-funds on the food vendors lol. I'll take some pics of my setup tomorrow and I'll post them when I get home from the show tomorrow night sometime. I would love you seasoned craft showers to give me your honest opinions on how it looks and what I could do to improve and gather more customer attention. :) Wish me luck!
 

KristaY

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Best of luck, soapmage! I really enjoy doing craft shows, talking with the people and seeing all the other crafts. Be prepared for interesting questions about your soap - do you use animal byproducts, what do you use as a "binder", why does it list sodium lactate and what is it, will your soap cure my ____ medical condition, etc. You may get people that look at you in horror when they hear "sodium hydroxide" or "lye", then quickly walk away without listening to the explanation of it. I just keep smiling and tell them to have a great day!

Definitely post pics of your display!
 

nsmar4211

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Just stopping by to wish you luck! Never sold soap, but did sell plants at two different markets.

Some advice: Try not to be the "sitting in a corner looking bored" vendor, nor the "overagressive YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS" vendor :). My advice is to say hello to everyone, a smile on your face. Try to stay standing off to one side (or use a high directors chair/stool), because I noticed when I used a lower chair and stood up it seemed to scare people off. Bring something to do-it'll help with your nervousness. I was either trimming a tree or crocheting something (ran out of trees to trim), seems to make you more approachable.

Watch out for the "good exposure" trap, everyone wants you to give them something for free! If you use any glass in your display, get rid of that ASAP-pretty good chance of it getting broken. Encourage people to smell your soaps (if that's one of the things you do, scents)...once you get them to stop and sniff you have a better chance of selling (based on what I saw with soapers at the market). Don't forget to put a business card/flier in each order. Def. bring your own water, might want to pop two bottles in the freezer now, it'll melt quick in the heat :). Bring a snack you can eat easily (PBJ, protein bars, etc). Wear sunscreen! Get there early to setup, see if you can figure out the ettiquette (i.e. mine you unloaded fast and then parked and came back to setup). If you struggle with your tent, a smile in someone's direction usually leads to help. And if you see someone else struggling, go help em LOL.

Ok I'll stop dispensing advice now LOL. I gave up on markets for my hobbies, but selling a consumable seems to be the way to go. Repeat customers for the win!!
 

navigator9

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Oh, best of luck to you! Your first craft fair is a great learning experience, whether you do well or not, you will gain a lot of experience for you following ones. Take notes, because you will be excited, and if like me, will not remember later. I've always had great experiences with fellow vendors, and made some great friends. One word of caution, when you're setting up, be sure to stay within the bounds of your space. Some vendors can get picky about every inch of space that they paid for. Get there early so you can set up, tweak things and then have time to relax before things get going. Smile big and have a great time!
 

galaxyMLP

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I beive that soapmage has done a craft show beofre and is just nervous about this particular one becasue it is the begining of a new season and her husband wont be there. Either way, all of the tips provided here are very good. I dont have alot of craft show experience but the little I do have has taught me that all of this is true.

Soap mage, I'm sure that all will go well. Youd be surprised how much you can handle when youre alone at a craft show. Remember to ask other vendors if you need a break. The only 2 craft shows I've done, Ive been alone at for almost all of them! I've made some nice friends because of this!
 

soapmage

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I've only done one and it was really small and I had help. It was also under my former biz name which I hated. This is literally me starting all over again, with a bigger crowd, being all alone, a new brand, etc... and it is my first one of this season so yes, I'm all jitters lol! Thank you for all the advice ladies and gents. I'll let you all know how I did and take pics to share later on this weekend. :)
 

SplendorSoaps

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Best of luck to you, soapmage! One thing I love about selling in person is getting to geek out about soap making. People like to ask lots of questions! I hope that it will be really busy for you, so that you won't have time to be nervous about doing it alone this time. :)
 

cmzaha

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Nsmar gave some good advice. Do take enough product to make a nice table display that does not look to empty, I see so many that do not even fill one table with product, and they wonder why they do not make money. Have fun and hopefully the people at the game will filter over. They should if the market is still open after the game is over. Sell a lot :)
 

shunt2011

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Good luck. You'll do fine. I do all my markets and shows alone and it always works out. You've been given sone excellent advice. I have my first market of the season tomorrow and looking forward to it.
 

doriettefarm

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Knock 'em dead soapmage! I'm pinging my soap buddy in Robertsdale to tell her you're doing a booth tomorrow. Maybe she will stop for a visit and buy some of your soap . . . you know for R&D purposes ;)
 

Dorymae

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One thing that helped me in the beginning is set up your entire display at home. Exactly as you want it. This will help you see if you need anything. ( clips for banners, rope or twine for hanging art, are you using lights? A fan?).

Anyway it is a good idea to see how long you will need to set up and it will help you feel more confident in your display.
 
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