Products for the older generation

Discussion in 'Craft Fairs & Shows' started by lenarenee, Apr 15, 2019.

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  1. Apr 15, 2019 #1

    lenarenee

    lenarenee

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    I’ve been asked if I would be the only soap vendor for a small show at a retirement community. Having tried to sell at a Senior Center show where no non members attended, I doubt they would have any interest in buying soap.

    Is there something else they might be interested in that would be fun to make.....like body butter, lotion bars, small molded soaps (found in every bathroom at Grandma’s house), body powder....etc?
     
  2. Apr 15, 2019 #2

    shunt2011

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    I'm going to follow this. I've done a couple at senior centers and if it wasn't for the employees I wouldn't have made any money. Fortunately they didn't charge a table fee. I had soap, sugar scrub, lotion bars, bath bombs and lip balm.
     
  3. Apr 15, 2019 #3

    earlene

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    I would suggest you try and find out personal products what that particular elderly population really likes. Maybe a short survey?

    I do know many older men who would always find beer soap to be quite interesting. Perhaps the elderly grandma's may have grandchildren or great-grandchildren they want to buy gifts for. My MIL still does and she lives in a nursing home. So a few novelty items geared toward the young may sell, especially if you market it as 'For those special loved one's in your life' or some such.

    Many elderly women in some areas, still wear make-up, lip stick, lip gloss, nail polish, etc. Many use lotions daily for dry and crepe-like skin, so I think lotions would go over pretty well. Lotion bars may be too 'new age' for some elderly ladies, but I could be wrong. As the skin gets more fragile, I don't think a hard product to produce a softening effect seems logical.

    Many elderly ladies I know did use body powders in their youth, but I think the mess of powder on the floor (it happens) would be a problem the housekeeping staff would have some issue with, as would the ambulatory folks who could slip if they walk on powdery floors. So I would forego body powders.

    My MIL prefers liquid soap for handwashing, so I believe there is probably a market amongst the elderly for LS as well.
     
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  4. Apr 15, 2019 #4

    Obsidian

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    I know my grandmother uses a lot of foot balm and lip balm. She would not use bathbombs or sugar scrub.

    I say go with smaller cheaper soap in pretty shapes and not too much crazy colors and skin products. The elderly have thin dry skin.

    Make sure some is unscented or lightly scented. Maybe mild florals and sweet citrus, vanilla is good too.
     
  5. Apr 15, 2019 #5

    dibbles

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    I think it might also depend on the ages of the 'seniors' there. I am technically a senior, being in my sixties, and I would use most things (well, not powder). I might buy a bath bomb or melt/bubble bar, but probably as a gift for my daughter/DIL. I don't take many baths. The 80 year olds I give to like the soap, but I don't think they would buy it - unless they already knew what handmade soap was like and found it to be worth the price. So I agree with Obsidian, smaller and less expensive soaps would sell better. They would maybe buy guest soaps though. They all like liquid soap - especially in the foamer bottles. I use a base for that as I'm not a LS maker - yet. My MIL likes lotion bars - but for travel. They might have some interest in lip balms, but I'd try to keep the price as close to what is available at Target, etc. None of them seemed to like body butter, scrubs, bath bombs - I'm not sure they even really understand the purpose of those products. My friends that are my age would be more likely to want some of those things.

    Everyone likes cream/lotion. Keep in mind, these 80-somethings are just my family members and a few others, so it isn't a good cross section. And they are all pretty thrifty.

    I will add, though, that my husband's aunt takes a bath every day (she prefers it to a shower) and does like those bath treats. Her husband draws her bath for her - which is so sweet. So there are some out there that would enjoy the bombs, etc.
     
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  6. Apr 17, 2019 at 4:24 AM #6

    Zany_in_CO

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    From my experience with geezers and old biddies (LOL):
    body butter - no
    lotion bars - no
    small molded aka "guest" soaps - no
    body powder -no

    Lotion - yes
    Arthritis cream - yes
    Eczema cream - yes
    Old fashioned lard soap - yes (reminds my geezer pal of the soap he used growing up)
    Balm for muscle/joint aches & pain - yes
    Chocolate lip balm - yes (just sub chocolate for some of the cocoa butter in your recipe)
    Men's Aftershave Gel - yes (Essentials by Catalina's Rosemary Mint EO blend)
    Hair & Body Liquid Shampoo - Essentials by Catalina makes a Tear Free Shampoo base that's quite good; easy to color & fragrance. Best to attach a bath pouf for copious lather. It doesn't sting the eyes and it's gentle for delicate mature skin.
    Both men & women seem to prefer fragranced soap.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 4:39 AM
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  7. Apr 17, 2019 at 2:55 PM #7

    Obsidian

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    I don't quite see selling products with medical claims going over well at a senior center.
    As a care giver of my 90+ grandmother, I would be upset to see her spend money on a drug that isn't any more then a herbal cream. Especially since she would expect it to perform like a real medicine.

    When I hear guest soap, I think of those tiny hotel soap and those are too small. I'd go for something around the size of a standard bar that has been cut in half.

    Those flower mold I see around the forum are a nice size, under filled a little would be perfect. The same size in more basic shapes for the guys.

    I think the other are right about liquid soap. If my mom or grama have a choice between a liquid or one of my bars, they go for liquid. Its easier and not as messy.
    I can't make a good liquid soap to save my life so they still get bar soap.
     
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  8. Apr 18, 2019 at 2:25 PM #8

    dibbles

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    @Obsidian has a good point about the guest soap size for use in the shower. I think of 'guest soap' to be small soaps by the sink for hand washing.
    I've used some of Essentials by Catalina bases before, and the ones I've tried are nice. My favorite body cream base is the Head to Toe from MMS. You are closer to them, so shipping might not be too bad for you.
     
  9. Apr 18, 2019 at 2:40 PM #9

    dixiedragon

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    I would say in general, the elderly probably don't need to be using scrubs. I would try to think in terms of products easy for arthritic hands to use. So maybe a big lip balm vs a little stick?
     
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  10. Apr 20, 2019 at 12:06 PM #10

    bohunk

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    My mom, who's in her eighties, always wants lotion from me, the "thicker the better" as she puts it. She doesn't like lotion bars for herself because she has grip strength issues and bars just squirt out of her hands. I'm going to follow this thread also; it's interesting to see what "oldsters" want.
     
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  11. Apr 20, 2019 at 12:57 PM #11

    Rune

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    Perhaps gifts for their grandchildren, since they don't have the health to run around in shops all day. Just label it like "To my beloved grandson" or something. And something labeled just like normal, for the staff.
     
  12. Apr 20, 2019 at 2:11 PM #12

    cthylla

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    I used to do the craft shows at my mom's church.... (very elderly and low income area) and I sold next to nothing at first. Here's all I can offer: (and I apologize if this is stereotypical.... this was my actual experience!)
    • Low pricing
    • "Deals" like buy 3, get 1....
    • Small "gift sets" themed for young girls, young boys, young women, young men. For example, no one bought a lip balm, soap, and bath bomb separately.... but boxed with a pink theme and cute presentation- they sold out!
    As others have mentioned, gearing your presentation towards "gift sets" is probably your best bet. Grandchildren, neighbors, friends, etc.
     
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  13. Apr 20, 2019 at 3:07 PM #13

    snappyllama

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    I don't sell, but these are the things that my mom and her friends at a retirement home really liked:

    lotion - ones that aren't too greasy and sink in fast
    herbal satchels
    lip balm
    Mini Soap Cupcakes - these were going to be gifted to grandkids - also those plastic fish in melt and pour were a huge hit

    For scents: lavender, vanilla, and apple - go pretty strong on the scents
     
  14. Apr 20, 2019 at 4:05 PM #14

    Nanette

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    Old folks are "old school" for the most part, and like what was around when they were young, or younger...tho my mom did love to have a small bath bomb in her foot soak..she couldnt get in a bathtub, shower only but she did soak her feet before seeing her podiatrist. BUT--she had no clue what a bath bomb was, exactly, so it was my coaxing her to try it that had her using in the first place. Overall I dont know if the older set would try them without being introduced.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2019 at 7:22 AM
  15. Apr 20, 2019 at 5:11 PM #15

    earlene

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    Yes, herbal sachets! I forgot about that. I still love them myself & have used them most of my life because that's what my mom did. Since my MIL's stroke, I was the one sorting, folding, putting away the things in her dresser drawers & sachets are definitely a 'thing' for ladies of a certain age, as the saying goes. (An aside: what age is that 'certain age' anyway?)
     
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  16. Apr 20, 2019 at 7:37 PM #16

    Nanette

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    Pre 60's?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2019 at 7:23 AM
  17. Apr 20, 2019 at 11:32 PM #17

    Zany_in_CO

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    Older than us, Earlene! :thumbs:
     
  18. Apr 20, 2019 at 11:44 PM #18

    SideDoorSoaps

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    I sell lotion like mad to the older ladies and the more Lavender smelling, the better! And same with the lavender soap. It is my number one seller to a more mature crowd.
     
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  19. Apr 21, 2019 at 3:02 PM #19

    earlene

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    Yes! I like that. Older than us!
     
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  20. Apr 21, 2019 at 3:03 PM #20

    earlene

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    That explains it! I love my lavender soaps.
     
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