The sort-of birthday craft show

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galaxyMLP

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This is my first thread in the business forum! Woo!

Anyway, I had a small craft show on Friday (the day before my birthday!). I was very excited becasue the fee was only $25 and it was smack in the middle of busy downtown. :D

I was worried about the rain all day because it was outside, thankfully I had finally bought a tent after my last show (this was only my 3rd one)! I had to leave work an hour early for it and worked extra pretty much all week so I was tired and hoping it would go well! The show was from 6-9 pm.

The rain started pouring down as I was on my way but by some miracle, it did not rain during the actual show!!

It went very well! In 3 hours I sold $70. But, that wasn't the best part. The best parts were that 1) people were impressed with my packaging, 2) apparently in the future this event will be free and 3) I was offered to be in another craft show.

That last one was very exciting because the lady who offered it just pretended to be a regular customer and bought something. She said she "made soap once" so I asked her about her process and expressed genuine interest. A few customers came up as she was talking to me (after she finished her purchase) so I politely asked if she could give me a moment. After I finished with them I went back to talking to her, and she left.

She came back 15 minutes later and she said "I really like your set up, I am actually a market manager at X farmers market, do you know that one?" I told her I did (its one I've been wanting to get into!). And she said they want to have a big craft show in November and they've been looking for a soaper! She thinks I would do really well and loves my style. She also said the people of that city have $$$$.


She asks if I need any special permitting with the FDA. So, I explained soap laws, and that I wasn't selling cosmetics (basically illegal in Florida, ect.). I also said I had business insurance, ect. She was very impressed! She also said I might be able to join the "regular" farmers market once per month if I wanted! I'm so excited.

Here is my booth: I have a few things to tweak but it looked good even at night! I took down the big shelf after I noticed customers weren't looking at it. Thank you for reading!!

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commoncenz

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VERY Cool! I'm glad you had such a fulfilling experience and I really like your setup.
 

galaxyMLP

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Thank you! I have to say though, it was so humid/wet outside that my soaps started to sweat! Alot! All the display soaps had glycerin drops on them. Even the Castile bars that had been curing for 7 months.

I was very thankful I had wrapped them all.
 

Cindy2428

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Happy belated B-Day and congrats on your first show. It sounds like you were very prepared if you impressed that store manager. Happy that you were successful.
 

TeresaT

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Yay! I'm doing a happy dance for you! Congratulations on your successful show. Good luck with the farmers market. And happy birthday! What an excellent birthday present you got!
 

galaxyMLP

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I just re-read this post to myself thinking "Boy, I was wayyyy too happy when I wrote this." Next time I need to wait at least a week before posting on here about a show. Otherwise I seem braggy and all-too-excited at the same time! :eh:
 

TeresaT

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I did not think you were braggy in the least. I doubt anyone else does, either. We all know soaping is a passion and addiction. It was obvious you were excited and wanted to share that amazing news with like-minded people that could really appreciate what an awesome thing it was. That was an amazing birthday gift. I'm glad you though to share your joyful news with us.
 

galaxyMLP

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Thank you so much guys. I had a poop-y day today at work so reading this along with everyones lovely comments again today made me happy. Looks like the next one is going to be on the 28th of this month. Hopefully I'll get into that one too. Its supposed to be free from now on too apparently! I sure hope that's the truth. It will be well worth my time. If you all were wondering, my detailed labels are on the back of the soaps. I just didnt get a chance to grab a pic of that before the end of the show.
 

nsmar4211

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Where in Florida are you?

I won't even make MP after having a horrible experience with glycerine soaps turning into EWW...found out later its due to the 90% humidity down here !
 

shunt2011

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Congratulations and belated Happy Birthday! It's nice when you're told your display and products are very well done.
 

galaxyMLP

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Where in Florida are you?

I won't even make MP after having a horrible experience with glycerine soaps turning into EWW...found out later its due to the 90% humidity down here !
Yes, I had to wrap my MP soaps very well when I used to make them (dont make them much anymore). I'm in Gainesville FL specifically. It happened to have rained all day that day. Humidity was probably 98-100% during the show. The soaps got pretty slimy right on the outside. Its a good thing I had towels to dry them (and my hands) off!

Congratulations and belated Happy Birthday! It's nice when you're told your display and products are very well done.
Thank you Shunt!
 
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nsmar4211

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Ok, you're about 5 hours north of me :). That makes me even closer to the sun LOL.

Your display method on the tables is very well thought out! I'd buy!

May I make a few other suggestions? Look into putting up a sunshade on the front of the tent that projects out to throw shade (well, yeah). My tent (I sold plants at a couple markets for a bit) didn't have that option, my neighbors' tent did. It made a HUGE difference! I saw a few homemade versions using pvc pipe, looked a tad meh but helped a lot. One person was selling baked goods and the sun before the sunshade was causing her tons of issues. And I can't find a picture of what I mean...... I'll keep looking. It was basically a strip that stuck out over peoples head height with two poles at an angle, like an awning...

For your next tent, I highly recommend white. This is my tent: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006QFQZ3E/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20
Been using it for three years. I can put it up completely by myself (only tent at the markets that didn't need neighbor help). It doesn't weigh a billion pounds like the ez ups but its not flimsy either. Only one, issue, my first top started to yellow in six months, Wenzel shipped me a new one and it's fine. Actually, I was the only one who noticed the yellowing and it wasnt visible once the tent was up. I used the king canopy tent weight bags from walmart and filled them with peagravel and never lost my tent in the winds :). I did buy screen sides, they are great...but for looks the solid white sides were better (friend gave me one). It does make a difference, moreso when your neighbor junks up their tent space and keeps pushing towards yours... For a while I was using silver tarps as sides because of that LOL.

Ooo ooo one more suggestion, make/buy yourself a giant banner that says SOAP. Either for the front of the tent (across the top, 6" high to cover the canopy part hanging down) or for the front of the table. Sounds silly, but it helps when people are looking down the rows..."oooo soap!". My banner brought more people over than the plants did (I did an informal survey to see what caught their eye).

Okay, hopefully you aren't offended by my suggestions :). I had a lot of good advice from neighboring tents when I started so just paying it forward :).

Can't wait to hear all the success stories you're going to have!

Edit: Found the awning thing, it looked like this: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00RXCUDT6/?tag=skimlinks_replacement-20 but not the mesh part, just a strip with two sticks. I think the homemade one was hemmed all the way around and some sort of pole was used to stiffen the front...
 
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galaxyMLP

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Thank you for the suggestions!

A white tent would be ideal (I looked into it already...) however, I actually got this tent for $35 second hand and it looks like it had never been used. It will have to suffice for now as I can't rationalize spending another 100-250 on a tent because... I already have one. Now if I can just get a white cover, that would be great!

I really love the awning idea! That never occurred to me. I'll look into a makeshift one.

And before my next show I hope to have a big banner that says "Handcrafted Soap" with my logo under it.

One more thing, you said you're 5 hours south of me, are you in ft Lauderdale by any chance? That's where my mom is and I'm originally from. I'm going to visit in a couple of weekends!
 

DeeAnna

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I live in Iowa and even I would not want to stand under a black tent in a hot August day up here! My brain would roast!

Nsmar -- I haven't seen that sunshade idea before, but it looks very nice. On a hot day, people will come into the shade, any shade, just to get out of the sun for a few moments ... and hopefully they will linger long enough to shop! If you have electricity, consider adding a fan or two as well -- that will create an even bigger lure (and maybe keep you a little more sane in the heat as well!)
 

galaxyMLP

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Good idea with the fans! I can get a few battery operated ones. For this show, the heat isn't bad because its so late in the afternoon but for the show I have coming up I'm September that might be another can of worms.
 

nsmar4211

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Ok maybe I'm like three hours south of you....I'm on the east coast not too far from Ft. Pierce :).

Ooooo a fan.... great idea! Our markets didn't have enough electric for me to have a fan but they do help!

You might be able to find a white cover...someone on ebay might be selling off a cover to a tent that had a frame issue (winds can bend them)? $35 I'd jump on too!

I actually ended up doing an L shape with my two tables, the l was in a corner so people could come into the tent and get out of the sun. Had to chase one woman out of my tent who was just standing there in my shade yapping on her phone...shooo!!! I did notice staying behind the tables seemed to help people be more comfortable looking at stuff vs standing in the front of the tent. Also helped when I wasn't immediatly behind the table, rather, pushed back a bit :).

Reminds me, i need to check the tent...the bottom of the legs got scraped pretty badly on the asphalt and I need to make sure they arent rusting!
 

galaxyMLP

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I noticed that you needed to look available but not too "come to my table so I can talk to you". If you looked too busy (on your phone, not with other customers) no one would stop by but if you are seeking people out it turns people away too.

I have yet to encounter the cellphone people! I'm sure it will happen.

So, near Ft Peirce. Cool! Another Florida soaper, pleased to meet you.
 

Trix

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Belated happy birthday galaxymlp!!! And this is great news, with all honesty you never sound bragging, so relax....and hope this proves a wonderful birthday gift from the universe!
 
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