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My First Craft Fair

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mandolyn

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Was very small. I made a few sales, got lots of good feed-back about my products & made a contact who works at my favorite health food store.They're expanding, & she told me to call 'cause they're looking for natural products made by local people.

Wooohooo!!!!

pics:






Need a Banner!!!
 

Tabitha

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It's not about the asles, it's about the contacts & it sounds like you made a really great one! Good for you!
 

digit

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Woo-Hoo!!!!!! :lol: Good for you! Never know where or when a contact will lead to big things.

Digit
 

mandolyn

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My DH's co-worker has a sister who has a shop in a neighboring town where she does permanent cosmetics. She invited me to set up in her shop on the 4th of July. It was great!!!! I made several sales, passed out cards again & & & !!!!! She wants me to have a permanent display in her shop!!! &&&&!!!! She has a friend in another state who owns a spa. She said my products were just right for her friend's spa!!! OMG!!!!!

It's all soooooo exciting, but realllllly scarey, too!! :lol:
 
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first craft fair

I love the packaging for the heart-shaped soaps...are those boxes? Or did you wrap those???
 

mandolyn

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Re: first craft fair

oceanmember said:
I love the packaging for the heart-shaped soaps...are those boxes? Or did you wrap those???
Thanks! They're origami boxes. I made them. It's a bit of work, but they do look nice, & I tell my customers to ask for a box without a label for gift-giving. I like the re-use-ability.
 

digit

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mandolyn said:
She wants me to have a permanent display in her shop!!! &&&&!!!! She has a friend in another state who owns a spa. She said my products were just right for her friend's spa!!! OMG!!!!!

It's all soooooo exciting, but realllllly scarey, too!! :lol:
Woo-hoo!!! You go girl!! After you get all famous, can we say we knew you when...? :lol:

Digit
 

mandolyn

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digit said:
mandolyn said:
She wants me to have a permanent display in her shop!!! &&&&!!!! She has a friend in another state who owns a spa. She said my products were just right for her friend's spa!!! OMG!!!!!

It's all soooooo exciting, but realllllly scarey, too!! :lol:
Woo-hoo!!! You go girl!! After you get all famous, can we say we knew you when...? :lol:

Digit
Aaaaaaaw <blushing>, I'll be saying I knew you all when, because I've learned so much from people on this forum!!!

Thanks for all the compliments!!
 

IanT

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awesome! :)

nice set up in the tent :)
 

pink-north

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Congratulations!!! :D Your booth is very quaint. I like it. Do you have any advice for a fellow craft show newbie? I just signed up for one yesterday. I'm very nervous.
 

mandolyn

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pink-north said:
Congratulations!!! :D Your booth is very quaint. I like it. Do you have any advice for a fellow craft show newbie? I just signed up for one yesterday. I'm very nervous.
Thanks! :D I still get nervous, but that turns into excitement once my tent is set up & the first customer enters.

Be prepared for changing weather. Wind can wreak havoc! I found a 2 wheel cart to be really handy for making trips back & forth to the car for boxes of soap, etc. A first aid kit is a good thing to have on hand & extra tape, pens, bottled water, etc. If you have a tent, milk bottles filled with water to anchor the poles.

Do you have a theme for your booth.? Mine is Cottage Chic. The theme pulls all your different displays together. For my first fair, I set my displays up at home before going to the show, so I knew exactly how I wanted them. That saved time once I got there. It took about an hour & a half to set up the tent, unload everything from the car & set up. I was surprised that it took so long.

Show customers how proud you are of your products, be friendly & outgoing. I have tables that are height-adjustable, so all my items are at or near eye-level. Use covered boxes or anything you can to lift things up off the table. Those were the items people really took notice of.

Use LOTS of signs that describe the items you're selling. People actually take the time to read them. Hand out lots of business cards.

If your first show isn't a great success, don't be discouraged. If you passed out lots of business cards, you did lots of pr & you got your name out there. I considered my first craft show as an advertising expense. :lol: I didn't quite make my rental fee & definitely didn't pay for gas there & back. It was a great experience, though!

Every show is different.

Remember, you've probably been a shopper at lots of craft fairs, so you have knowledge you can use from your own shopping experiences. Maybe go to a craft fair before yours comes up & take a pad of paper. If someone's booth attractes you to it, what was the attraction? If a display jumps out at you, why? Do you like strolling around the tables inside the tent, or from outside the tent?

Set up your tables so there's a logical route into & out of your tent. I put my chair at the end of one table with the cash table there. So, logically, customers started at the other table & walked around to me to pay & exit.

The best advice I can give is, "Have fun!" If you're having fun, your customers will be happy to be in your booth.

HTH!
 

pink-north

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Thank you so much for the advice. I really do appreciate it. The show is not until November, but I will keep you (and everyone else) posted.
 

mandolyn

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pink-north said:
Thank you so much for the advice. I really do appreciate it. The show is not until November, but I will keep you (and everyone else) posted.
8) Cool & I hope you'll post pics of your displays for us.
 

SoapyScrubs

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thanks for the helpful tips they were really good and I know alot of people can use them now or i the future.

The set-up was BEAUTIFUL! I loved the display. Very well organized :wink:
 

mandolyn

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SoapyScrubs said:
thanks for the helpful tips they were really good and I know alot of people can use them now or i the future.

The set-up was BEAUTIFUL! I loved the display. Very well organized :wink:
Thanks SoapyScrubs. It's been a while since I first posted & my displays have changed some. I've discontinued things that didn't sell, like milk baths & added a line of lotions.

My first year of craft fairs was a success, so I'll do it all again next year. My first fair for 2009 is in Jan. It's been so much fun, becsause so many people have never used handmade soaps. I'm not a very people person, but explaining the benefits of handmade soaps really got me out of my shell. I surprised myself at how outgoing I could be. I didn't know I had it in me!! :lol:
 

starduster

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fantastic

I just found this post.
What a wonderful display.
How is it all going now.
It's not easy is it.You really need your heart to be in there to get it all so right.
 

mandolyn

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Re: fantastic

starduster said:
I just found this post.
What a wonderful display.
How is it all going now.
It's not easy is it.You really need your heart to be in there to get it all so right.
Thanks! It gets to be a lot of work at times, but I LOVE doing it. I'm fine-tuning as I go. The price of shipping glass bottles & jars got too high, so I've switched to plastic. That also relieved me of worrying about a potential lawsuit if someone gets cut after breaking one of my jars or bottles.

I'm working on improving my labels, & this year I want to come up with a logo for my business. My basic premise was to keep it simple, & I often have to remind myself to do that! It's easy to get caught up in acquiring FO's & EO's, but I've pulled in the reins & only stock what I know will sell. If it doesn't sell, I don't order it again. I've learned the value of cutting production time, too.

My family has been sooooooo supportive. It's hard to get them to understand that a Thanksgiving get-together is NOT a time for me to do a mini spa.
A. I'm not Beauty Control &
B. I NEED time off!!! (I work a regular 8 hr a day job.) :lol: Everyone but me seems to think I'm in business 24/7 365!!!!

Doing craft fairs is a fun time. I don't plan on making a living doing this, but I was making waaaaaaaaaaay too much soap to use in a lifetime & I needed to have a way to pay for all my supplies, so that's why I decided to do craft fairs. It's working!!
 
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