Preparing for the Holidays

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by I_like_melts, Aug 20, 2018.

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  1. Aug 20, 2018 #1

    I_like_melts

    I_like_melts

    I_like_melts

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    I'm just curious as to how the holidays fare for other businesses. How soon do you start preparing?

    This is my first year in business, so I am not sure what to expect. I started working on my fall stock, but sales have been "ok" so far (BUT it is only august). I'm steering away from soaps and focusing almost entirely on wax, so I'm thinking I need to buy my holiday supplies mid-late September and get them out mid-October?

    I'm also expecting to only sell online, I was planning on doing events this summer but anxiety :rolleyes: So, I have to put that off a bit longer.
     
  2. Aug 21, 2018 #2

    jcandleattic

    jcandleattic

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    I start making my product for the "busy" holiday season, January. That way, candles, or soap, they have a nice long cure going on. I feel if I am not stocked or finished making for the holiday's by mid August, to early September that it's just not going to get made for that holiday season.

    Most suppliers start getting super busy end of september, so processing and shipping times are longer, so you may want to start ordering now to avoid the rush. Even though I have a website, and I get hits on it, I rarely get orders, even during the busy season, mainly because of my own laziness and not keeping it up, but the events I sell at by the end of the last event I do, I am nearly if not completely, sold out of all my stock and always have to start over anyway.
     
  3. Aug 21, 2018 #3

    I_like_melts

    I_like_melts

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    Thank you. I'm hoping my Halloween stuff sells well. I still need to plan some more original scent blends over the season, as that's whats going to set me apart from the other wax makers out there.
     
  4. Aug 21, 2018 #4

    cmzaha

    cmzaha

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    I really do nothing different anymore for the holiday season. My Holiday customers do not buy decorative soaps so all I do is up inventory. I will mention I would not depend on online selling unless you are doing a lot of promoting or depend on one type of item. When my daughter was doing her products we would get slammed from all her promoting. Especially for her surprise Santa bags
     
  5. Aug 21, 2018 #5

    I_like_melts

    I_like_melts

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    Right now, I get most of my traffic from social media, so it comes and goes. I understand what you mean about being slammed - some items will sit and sit and then one day just sell out.

    I want to start selling more, but I have a few obstacles. The biggest is a social anxiety disorder, which has intensified within the past few months. The other is expanding beyond wax, as I live in Florida, where we have super strict cosmetic laws (there is a fine line between soap and cosmetic - I constantly try to "one up" myself in terms of designs and offerings, so I am more paranoid of crossing this line). I think once I have more free time (student) and my anxiety is back under control, its definitely within the realm of possibilities. In the meantime, online selling is a good way to wet my feet a bit more and get used to talking to people.
     
  6. Aug 22, 2018 #6

    penelopejane

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    Best wishes for getting your anxiety under control.
    Have you thought of pitching to just one bricks and mortar store near you? This is a good way to get your product recognised without personally interacting with the public. It could lead to online sales. But you’d have to have your prices on line the same as the stores prices.
     
  7. Aug 22, 2018 #7

    NsMar42111

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    To piggyback off what penelopejane said, if you had a small spa, massage (legit) place, tourist trap, etc they might be interested in a small display of your stuff. I got started selling when a friend opened up a store and asked if I wanted a spot-so make sure your friends know what you make! I'm in Florida too, I do "just" soap and I hear you on the crossing the line part-tempting when you see everyone else doing it but I resist LOL. Oh, if you go into a place and there's already a person selling what you have there, don't go telling the owner yours are better and try to steal their spot..not cool... :). Ask around, a friend may know a friend who is a store owner and that would help with the whole "talking to strangers" anxiety too!
     
  8. Aug 22, 2018 #8

    I_like_melts

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    I am near many a tourist trap lol

    One huge advantage I do have is that I am very artsy with my wax - what I do is about 75% art, 25% wax - my stuff smells good, throws, and is very detailed :) But no, I wouldnt want to steal someone elses spot by any means.
     
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  9. Aug 22, 2018 #9

    NsMar42111

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    To answer the "how do you get ready" part...I'm starting next month. It's just too hot in my soaping area (garage) to do my HP restock batches, so I've been doing small experiments/molds inside to keep the "itch" down. After last year, I realized this would happen so I had made plenty of stock in the sprint before the hot hot hot times had hit-next year I'll plan it even better because I did run out of one (lemongrass!?) scent because I didn't track how many I had...my fault.
     
  10. Aug 23, 2018 #10

    I_like_melts

    I_like_melts

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    It sounds like I need to start ordering stuff now lol I don't mind running out of product, I can make more if I had to and it shows there is a demand, but I don't want to get overwhelmed! (I don't do preorders - I do planned restocks) I have no idea how much I will need to make though.
     
  11. Aug 23, 2018 #11

    Lin19687

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    Since this is my 1st year selling (June) as well I am in the same boat. I popped out 16-20 batches since end of July for oct/nov supply. 2 of these are re-stocking of scents that sold out already.
    But trying to figure out what will sell is always hard.

    I should have done all this in the beginning of July for the Autumn season but I was still playing with scents ... Fo ho here
     
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  12. Aug 23, 2018 #12

    jcandleattic

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    If not impossible. For me what sells at one show, sits on the table at the next, and so on and vice verse. Sometimes, what I think will sell, and what actually sells is sometimes so off that it can be frustrating.
    You just seriously never now what will sell and what won't. Not until you truly truly know your clientele and market base.

    So for me, and my markets, which I have been doing the same 4 for the last 10 years or so, I make what *I* like and that works for me. I think as long as you know your market, show a passion for your work, and engage yourself at your markets, that will help much more than the actual merchandise. That's been my experience anyway.
     
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  13. Aug 25, 2018 #13

    I_like_melts

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    My market is a bit of everything to be honest. My target audience is generally "younger," but that relates more to style than anything. I attract a very wide range of people, but my volume is still low overall, so its hard to see how things will go long-term.

    I won't make anything that I myself won't melt (small house so fragrance fills it when I'm making things, plus lower volume as a new company). I LOVE making things because it calms me down and await the day when I can get someone else to handle the budgeting/tax/basic business side of things. I'd rather be picking out fragrances, pouring, and doing crafty things to make everything look nice :)
     

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