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Sunday, December 19, 2010

More Adventures in Business Owning

I would have assumed that this holiday season would be less stressful for me than years past.  After all, I only work outside the home at a part-time job (as opposed to full-time), and I'm back living in my home state.  Unfortunately, I am MORE stressed this year than in years past - which is how I managed to go three weeks between blog posts.  Between shopping, working, improving the shop, getting ready to wholesale, craft shows, and prepping for the arrival of my in-laws - I'm surprised I've found free time at all!  Are the rest of you feeling like you're pulled in too many directions this holiday season?  *takes deep breath*

I did want to report back on my 2nd craft show from last weekend.  I took everything I learned at the first show into consideration, and made several changes to my display's appearance.  I think it actually went quite well, and I've got a few new tweaks planned for next time.

My main goal was to get shoppers to realize that PinkyCrafts is more than scrapbooking. 

Loving the new banner!
First, I changed my banner (thanks to Vistaprint's wonderful email deals) to say "Party Accessories & Scrapbooking", as opposed to "Scrapbooking & Party Supplies", and added my tagline.  I love how it turned out!  I wasn't able to put my banner on the wall behind my booth, where it would get seen the most, but I think it still made an impact on shoppers. 

I also learned something that may have been obvious to others: always bring table cloths!  My first show provided them, and I didn't even think about bringing my own to this one until the last minute.  I grabbed what I could find, but I would have liked to use something prettier!

I think it turned out perfect.

Second, I revamped my drink glass tag display.  I added rustic-looking crates to the middle of the display to hold each glass, attached only one style tag to each glass (to avoid confusion - although it still existed, more later)!, and added tinsel and a battery-powered votive candle to draw the eye to the display.  I also made new signs for each item - and I made the sign for the drink glass tags the largest one.  I hoped this would make it very easy for folks to tell what I was selling.

My mom - the best booth helper ever!

 I also worked to organize my display into three separate sections, with the scrapbook section first, followed by the party accessories and drink tags, and finishing up with the framed pages section.  Shoppers will naturally glance at a table from right to left, so I wanted to give their eyes something non-scrapbooking to see right after they noticed the scrapbooks, so they realized I was more than just that before they walked away.

So with all the changes, what was the verdict?  It worked.  I didn't hear one shopper say "Oh scrapbooking.....I have all the stuff to do that" and walk away like the first show.  People actually stopped and looked. The drink glass tags display was very eye-catching, and several folks commented on how beautiful they thought it was.  I didn't do too badly in sales, but I could have done better.  I took a custom order and seriously discussed some large scrapbook orders with a few others. 

Creative business card display!
 Its worth noting that (come to find out), the local newspaper had printed the wrong times for the second day of the show.  It printed that the show ran 5:00-8:30pm on Friday and Saturday; the show actually ran from 5:00-8:30 on Friday and 9:00-4:00 on Saturday. Traffic was slow on Saturday, but the signs out front still drew some folks in, and the school's parents already knew the real hours. I had several folks tell me they stopped by Saturday evening, only to find the show closed.  BUMMER!  This makes it hard to judge my true success, but I still felt I did well.

Now that I fixed my first problem of showing shoppers that I was more than just scrapbooks, I came up with some new tweaks to try next time to solve a new problem - folks were still a little confused with my drink glass tags.  I had some customers ask if I was selling the wine glasses (despite the "Drink Glass Tags" sign right in front of them).  Others were confused because the tag packs weren't on the table - as they would have really cluttered it - and they didn't understand that the samples indicated which styles they could purchase in larger sets (again, despite the sign in front of them!).  On the second day, my mom suggested that I put some of the packs on the table, so it was clear what would actually be purchased.  I think this helped, as folks would rather be presented with the facts, rather than read them on the sign I posted.  Next time, I'm going to use large binder clips, and clip the tag packs down the side of the crate display.  This way folks can see what they're purchasing, and hopefully it will make more sense. 

All in all, it was another success.  I'm moving towards Crafter Utopia, and I'm hoping these latest tweaks will help get me there! 

Here's wishing everybody a very happy holiday season - may you take the time to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with friends and family.  See you all in 2011! 

Hoppy Holidays from Pancakes the Bunny!


  1. There is definetly a "learning curve" for shows!! I had a booth at a farmer's market and I think it took me the first year to finally learn that NO ONE reads the signs!! Maybe it's because I worked retail, but that always amazed me!! I LOVE the look of your table with the votives, LOVELY!!

  2. Thanks so much! I really appreciate it :) I'm glad I'm not the only one that was amazed that shoppers don't read signs! Next time, I'll make sure everything speaks for itself, with no signs required!

  3. I think being busier shows that your business is growing each year! Congrats!