Thursday, November 21, 2013

My 2nd Craft Show!

My 2nd craft show!  Minneapolis Craft'za!  Whoo Kiyi Kiyi goes to the big city :)
It was a very successful day.  Let's just say that I made enough money to get me hooked.  I want to do it again!
I left my house with a car packed to the ceiling with soap and came home with a small box of soap. 
 So much fun! 

We had an amazing spot.  Right inside the doors and a corner spot.  How big do you think our booth is?  Someone on FB said they could sell as much as we did if they had a big space like us.  Um, that is a tiny, tiny booth.  The tables are 4 feet long.  The TOTAL booth space was supposed to be 5x8, but it felt much smaller.  
For weeks I was freaking out about our spot - Will it be too close to the doors?  How will I set up?  Corner?!  Where will I put the tables?  Too many tables?  Not enough!?!  
It was perfect.
People at least saw the booth when they first came in.  They would look and listen to our spiel (if there is one thing I have learned from 4 generations of sales people - you gotta sell it) - then they would either buy on the spot or circle around and come back after they looked at everything else.  It was a great spot, because it had some open area around it.  It got really crowded....or so I heard - I never left the booth!  

My Mom was amazing!  She helped me so much!  
Just having her there to tell me to calm down was great!  I was so nervous before the sale that I was shaking.  Standing in the bathroom, shaking and telling myself I didn't think I could do it and it was a mistake.  My Mom was like, "Nah, you'll be fine."
She also helped me wrap the last 75 soaps 2 days before the show, helped me load and unload the car, set up the booth and is a great sales person.  She's really good at bragging about me ;)

So here is the booth!
I did not set it up at home and practice (like all the people say to do), because I had no idea what our actual booth size would look like.  It just came together perfectly.
We got to the show site 20 mins. before it was supposed to open for set up, but they were starting to let people set up any way.  The TV crew was there!!  No, we didn't make it on TV.  The back of my display was on the edge of one shot.  Does that count?  ha ha

We had plenty of time to set up.  Lots and lots of time.  And again after the show opened we didn't sell anything for 1 hour.  What is up with that?  I can't decide if the first hour or the last hour of a craft show is the longest hour in the world. 

So many hours of work in these pictures.  And so many fun memories of creating these soaps.  And so many little soapies that went off to new homes!  I feel like the adoption coordinator for soap :P  I hope all my little soaps are behaving in their new homes.

These gnomes were a great idea.  I painted them to match the color scheme and they each held a sign with prices or info.  SOOOO many people stopped to look at them.  Some people thought they were soap.  I had some actual gnome soap and I sold them all!  
So I bought the gnomes at Walmart....which makes me feel bad as a hand crafter, but I AM a hand crafter, so I usually can't afford hand crafted items.  Starting a business takes a bit of capital and at this point in my enterprise I am sometimes choosing fragrance oils over food.  So yeah I bought them at Walmart and yeah I feel guilty about it.....But the big blue dish is vintage!    

It was so fascinating to see what sold at this sale vs. the last sale.  Such different things were popular!  At the last one I sold out of Almond Milk and Honey & Oatmeal and Honey & Pumpkin Spice Beer.  At Craft'za I sold only a few bars of those, but I sold out of Psycho Citrus and anything with patchouli.  Speaking of patchouli.... I custom blend all my fragrance oils and I think it is really funny when someone says they HATE they are clutching to their heart 4 bars that all have patchouli blends.  Good aged patchouli is delicious and blends amazingly.  

The little lotions sold out really fast.  I wish I had had more time to make more lotion, but I only make 16 ounces at a time, so it is a slow (but high quality!) process.

This was the most amazing craft show I have ever been to!   It just made me giddy to see so many amazing hand crafters!  Or maybe I was high on adrenaline LOL!

The quality of the products and displays was just wonderful.  I was so impressed and felt like such a newbie :P

I met some really nice people in the booth across from me.  The husband and wife team of the Elixery.  They were SO amazingly nice.  I did not expect any one to be so nice...and they are kind of celebrities.  I saw them on TV before the show and I was totally intimidated that they would be across from me.  They were very complimentary about my product and display.  It meant so much more coming from someone like them!  Because they have an amazing product themselves!  

Anyway,  I learned a lot and had a lot of fun hanging out with my Mom :)
And I found out that I love my Paypal credit card swiper!  Money, money!  LOL!  And fun!  And creativity!  :)
That's what it's all about!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

First Big Craft Show

I had my first big craft show a few weeks ago (getting ready for my 2nd one - this week-end!!) and I learned a lot.  I read a ton of websites, blogs, ect. about how to set up a craft show booth, so I thought I would throw in my 2 cents too.  A lot of places said to build your booth up - get height!  They also said to practice setting up your booth.  This was a good idea.  Below is a pic of my first set up idea.  It went through a lot of changes....

Get height - just not too much - this is waaaay too much.

Above is what my booth ended up looking like.  This was a pic from the end of the day, right before we took everything down.  I sold a LOT of product, so the table was looking a little bare, but you can kind of get an idea of what it looked like.

When I started out the day I had this (I thought) super awesome step set displaying all my soaps.  Sure it looked good, BUT I didn't sell anything until I got rid of the steps.  They were pushing people away from my booth.  Maybe people were afraid the soaps might fall if they touched them?  Maybe it was cutting me off from my customers?  Or maybe people just didn't like the color!  
Literally, the minute we took the steps off the table - soap started to sell.  As we were taking them off the table people were coming up and picking bars up to sniff.  It made a huge difference!

People could not see the items displayed in these boxes.  Not sure why, but through out the day I would point them out to each customer and then they would see them - other wise it was like they were invisible!  
That's my super awesome apron on the table - the pocket fits my iphone with paypal reader perfectly!  

I sold ZERO liquid soap.  Everyone says they like liquid soap, but no one bought any....they all bought bar soap.  Which makes me happy!  Because I think my bar soaps are so much nicer than my liquid soap.  Liquid soap is fine, but bar soap is amazing.

I sold a lot of lotion.  Sadly I sold out of some scents and had people coming back at the end of the show wanting to buy the sold out lotion - sorry!  It went fast!
Favorite lip balm flavor?  Vanilla bean.
I have realized that making lip balm is not my favorite thing to do LOL!  It takes FOREVER.  I spent one whole day - more than 8 hours making 60 lip balms.  They are so putzy - with the little labels and everything.  I guess I just like making soap better :)

I had testers available for the lotions and little spoons.  Also clean and used bowls to collect the used tester spoons.  Some how I forgot 2 of the tester pots at home.  I was kicking myself all day about that, because people would invariably want to test the one I didn't have.  

Beginning of day (above)
End of day (below)

And now I need to go get ready for this week-ends show!