How much to bring?

Discussion in 'Craft Fairs & Shows' started by SunRiseArts, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. Sep 20, 2017 #1

    SunRiseArts

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    So I decided to join a craft fair which is on December 1st. It will be the whole weekend.

    A have a few bars made. Probably around 20, that I have available on eBay, but I think I want to make some for the fair. Perhaps something appealing to everyone like lavender?

    I was wondering how many loaf should I make? How many soaps to bring? What do you all recommend?

    Is a one time thing, that most likely I do not plan on doing again. If things go well, I may join on 2018. But that is it.

    So what do you all experience gals and guys recommend. How full should my table be? What types of soap sell better?

    I just want to bring soap, so no lip balm, or lotions. Specially no bath bombs. From what I see people play with them, and break them at the mall.

    Any help is much appreciated.
     
  2. Sep 20, 2017 #2

    dibbles

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    I used to make and sell M&P. I think you should make more, although I can't really tell you how much. You want your table to look full. As a customer strolling through, especially if the craft sale/market is large, I'm not as likely to stop at a table that is half empty. If your sales are good the first day, you need to be able to stock your table for the remaining day(s). I know craft fair managers frown on packing up early, or not showing up for the second day. But, if you aren't planning on being there again you might not care.

    Then again, you run the risk of low sales and having the investment of too much inventory. Is there anyone you can talk to to find out how well attended this sale is, or how many other soap makers will be there? That might help you decide.

    Another thought would be to buy a gallon of premade lotion or cream base and scent it. The bottles and jars would fill up some room and you could have testers of your different fragrances for people to play with.
     
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  3. Sep 20, 2017 #3

    SunRiseArts

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    Thank you so much dibbles!

    I could sign for just one day, but if things go good ... is why I sign for the weekend. The vendor is providing chairs, a 6 x 30 table ( I guess is 6 feet by 30 inches?), 2 chairs, electricity, coffee, water. I think is a really good deal. 50 dollars for the weekend. I have a number of the person, and I will call tomorrow, and clarify about how busy it gets. They plan to have 200 vendors. Hopefully nobody else will bring soap! I know a lady that sells in the farmers market, but she only sells laundry soap.

    I was planning on just having cold or hot process. And only a few MP, maybe more kid oriented. My son promised to come with me, so if I was selling a lot (am I positive or what?) I could come home earlier, and make some MP for the next day.

    The lotion idea is great. Actually. I buy my favorite lotion, and scented with the favorite fragrances! lol.

    The only problem I have is that I do not want to be stuck with a bunch of soap if it does not sell. I have a small family, and my extended family is over 3000 miles away. :(
     
  4. Sep 20, 2017 #4

    Kittish

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    Donate whatever doesn't sell to whatever disaster relief effort is going on at the time or some local cause that you like that can make good use of it. Gives you a tax write-off on what you donate plus helping people who need it.
     
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  5. Sep 20, 2017 #5

    SunRiseArts

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    Great idea Kittish!

    I actually take soap during thanksgiving ad Christmas to the Samaritan inn.
     
  6. Sep 20, 2017 #6

    Susie

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    If you are trying to fill a 6' x 30" table with nothing but soap, you are going to need at least 288 bars. That is a lot of soap, especially when I would bring enough to fill it twice.

    Lip balm is super easy to make (melt oils together, add flavor oil and pour into tubes), and is easily given away as stocking stuffers should they not sell. Lotion comes as unscented (already has a preservative in it), and is easily scented and bottled. Be sure to pour while it is warm and thinned out. I would go buy some of the plastic soap holders that have lots of prongs to keep soap out of wet places from the dollar store and sell them at a modest mark up along side of my soap. I might also make some small gift bags or baskets with a bar of soap, a bottle of lotion, a tube of lip balm, and a soap holder in a cellophane bag to have available. All of these things draw interest to the table with different sections for different items. A table of nothing but soap will not be nearly so intriguing.

    Easy display pieces are found at Hobby Lobby, Wal Mart, and Michaels. I love the wooden crates that can double as bar storage when not in use. Or you can use the plastic tubs you carry the soap to the location in under a table cloth to give some height to certain sections.
     
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  7. Sep 20, 2017 #7

    The Efficacious Gentleman

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    The usual adage is plan what you need and then take a whole lot more! Soap doesn't go off and we are looking down the hill to Christmas and so on, so other chances to sell them will come. Better to have some stock for other times than to run dry when the customers are trying to buy
     
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  8. Sep 20, 2017 #8

    navigator9

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    Yes, I'd advise to bring as much as you can. You never know how things will go, and it would be very frustrating to be selling like crazy and run out. Better to have more than not enough. There are a lot of great threads in this section on doing your first craft fair, tips about setting up, how to prepare, lists of things to bring, lots of valuable info. Don't miss them, and best of luck to you!
     
  9. Sep 20, 2017 #9

    shunt2011

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    I do shows. You need to have as much as possible with you. I personally take 300+ bars per show. I have enough to have 4 of each scent on display plus a lot extra to restock. I'm a FO HO so I have 30+ fragrances. Been working on getting it down to about 20....my display shelves hold 4 bars of 15 scents currently. I have two displays my husband made me.

    You want your display to look full but not cluttered.
     
  10. Sep 20, 2017 #10

    jcandleattic

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    I do 4 shows a year, and I bring everything I have made during the year, and by the end of the 4th show, I'm usually pretty much sold out and only have a few left for gifts or stocking stuffers.

    Now granted, I only soap about 8-10lbs a week (nothing like some on here), but even on the low side, that's still over 400lbs of soap bars...

    I would take more if I had more, and probably sell even more.
     
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  11. Sep 20, 2017 #11

    Viore

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    I would recommend a lavender soap, a citrus soap, and several more unisex scents. Those are very popular during the holiday season. At one show I ran out of my citrus soap, and had several customers express disappointment. I use the Crafter's Choice 8 bar mold, and 7-8 bars is usually enough of each scent that I don't run out. This year I made two loaves of Frankincense & Myrrh soap because it was a hit last year.

    Good luck with your craft fair!
     
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  12. Sep 21, 2017 #12

    SunRiseArts

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    Thank you all. I already feel a little overwhelmed.

    Thanks Viore for the hint!

    Decided to do only Saturday .... will see how it goes!
     
  13. Sep 21, 2017 #13

    Millie

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    Good luck SunRise!
     
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  14. Sep 21, 2017 #14

    cmzaha

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    It is going to be very tough to guarantee you will not have soap left over. From a little to possibly a lot. When you do not know the market it is impossible to guess what the public is going to buy. During my weekly markets I take approx 40 different scents and 6 of each soap. This fills to tables, one elevated behind the other with four boards adding levels. During the holidays I figure I need approx 1k lbs of soap, but then maybe not this year since I am behind. Do make sure you have enough product to pay your fees and make some money. You would be amazed how many times I see a B&B booth with no where near enough product.

    Wish I could tell you how much to take but that just is not possible. Good luck to you and I hope your craft fair goes well.
     
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  15. Sep 21, 2017 #15

    SunRiseArts

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    Thanks everyone! I don't want to make a huge investment, so at the end I signed up for only 1 day to see how it goes.

    Is not as much I want to get into selling, as much as I want to make more soap and show my art! (But the money is good too, as I really need it right now!). To really make money making soap, I calculated you would have to sell at least 30 bars daily, and that is keeping your cost as a minimum. Very unlikely, at least where I live.

    I have another question....
    I wanted to use lard in my recipe. Do people snob their noses at lard, or they do not pay much attention to ingredients?
     
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  16. Sep 21, 2017 #16

    jcandleattic

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    That depends on the area and market where you are selling - 3 of the areas I do fairs in, wouldn't blink an eye, as it's rural, farm, ranch area where people raise animals for food, and market always.

    However, there are areas around here that are mostly vegetarian/vegan who would turn their noses up at a soap with lard or goats milk in it.

    Sorry, that may not be very helpful
     
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  17. Sep 21, 2017 #17

    Zany_in_CO

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    $50 for the weekend is a super deal! Opportunities like that don't come along all that often. You need a plan. Do take a helper along. Don't worry about money -- it paralyzes creativity. Focus on making a great product. And remember, above all else, fragrance sells! So, maybe start a thread asking for everyone's "Best Sellers" to get an idea of what to go for.

    I like this set up for interest and a variety of products, but not overwhelming. The crates can be used to carry product, then turned on their sides to show off contents. Everything is color coordinated in bright colors that attract attention. (The ferns I could do without. LOL) Note the gift boxes sized for mailing. Think USPS Regional Rate B box. I imagine, at that date, a lot of customers will be looking for Christmas presents, easy to mail.
    Biggs & Featherbell.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017
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  18. Sep 21, 2017 #18

    Steve85569

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    Enjoy!
    Go for the whole week end!!!
     
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  19. Sep 21, 2017 #19

    Zany_in_CO

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    Ditto! It's a lot of work for just one day! Might as well go for it.You can do it!
     
  20. Sep 21, 2017 #20

    Viore

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    In Southern California, at least where im selling, people turn their noses up at seeing lard on the ingredient label. I can explain the wonderful properties of lard in soap until I'm blue in the face, and they won't get it. So I point them to my M&P soaps, which are coconut oil based, and usually they will pick up a bar or two.

    Now if I can just get around the FO vs EO conversation....
     

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