Monday, November 3, 2008

My Craft Show

I participated in the Annual Women's Business Expo at the Marten Center on November 1st. As most of you already know, I became a Stampin Up! Demonstrator at the end of September and wanted the community to know I was the new Demo in town, and also showcase different projects you can make with Stampin Up! products, other than just cards.

I took these pictures in the sunroom of my home. I set up a 'practise display table', so I would know exactly what I needed to bring to the expo and how to arrange items on the day of the expo. However, at the actual expo, the coordinator was kind enough to give me another table, plus I used a card table I brought from home, because I had SO MUCH STUFF I couldn't even fit it all on one table. I so desperately wanted to take pictures of my display at the expo, but I was so busy that day, I didn't have the time. So these pictures will have to suffice.

I was very pleased with the large number of customers that came to the Expo and the profit I made from selling my creations. I live in a poor, rural area, so I kept my prices really low. I sold my cards for $2.00 a piece or 5 for $8.00, and they sold very well. My BIGGEST seller of the day was Stamped Candles. It really surprised me, but everyone was awestruck that I 'stamped' a candle and I spent most of my day explaining the technique. If you don't already know how to make a Stamped Candle, you don't stamp on the candle, you stamp on tissue paper. Then, you color the image in with markers, cut it out, place it on the candle with a sheet of wax paper over it, and heat it with an embossing gun. The image is melted into the candle. I then dressed the candle up more by wrapping it in cellephone and adding a pretty bow and tag. They sold like hotcakes!!!! I bought the candles for $1.00 at the dollar store, and the ribbon and tags were scraps, so I made about a $2.00 profit on each candle. Next year, I'll definately be making more candles and keeping an eye out for candles on sale!

This picture shows 5 Christmas Cards that we will be making at my Christmas Card class on November 15. I was very pleased with the number of women that signed up for my class.

Unfortunately, I didn't sell a single gift set. Everyone picked them up, looked at them, and loved them, but no one bought them. So I won't be making any more of these for next year. LOL!

My second biggest seller was Notebooks that I sold for $3.00 a piece. Unfortunately, I don't have a good picture of those, but if you look at the picture of the dessert tray, there is one left on the bottom plate. These I will definately be making more of, people just loved them. This was another item that surprised me at how well received they were. Inside it was just lined index cards. On the outside was a glittery designer paper and a stamped image. They took me minutes to make and hardly cost a thing, so it was a good profit for me.
My Post-It-Note Holders didn't sell at all. I was really surprised by that, because I thought they were a great idea and absolutely adorable. Everyone picked them up and loved them though!
My Recipe Books were another well-loved and admired item, however, I only sold two of those. I think my price might have been too high for this area. I only asked $7.00, but these took more time to put together than any other project, so I felt I couldn't go any lower.

These were gift bags I gave out for free. Inside is my business card and pieces of candy. Everyone thought they were cute, but I got a lot of comments that people didn't want 'candy', but would have preferred a free stamp or a trial product instead. Well, I certainly can't afford to give out a free stamp, and Stampin Up! has no inexpensive trial products that I am aware of, so next year what I think I'll do is give away a FREE CARD and put my business card inside. That way people not only get a free gift, but they have an example of my work too.
I also had a table with a lot of Stampin Up! products on it so people can see and touch them, instead of just looking at a picture in a catalog. That way they could see not only their quality, but also the variety of products Stampin Up! has to offer. I also laid out brochures and catalogs on this table.
My third table had my scrapbooks on it. Many people stopped and admired the scrapbooks and I got a lot of comments on how much people would appreciate it if I sold pre-made scrapbook pages, where the page is already all done for them and they just 'pop' their pictures on. So I will definately do that next year! I think what I will do is, everytime I make a scrapbook page for myself, I'll make an extra one, but leave it blank. That way, at the end of the year, I'll have lots of pages to sell!
I really learned a lot at my first expo and was very pleased with the way things turned out. However, I made a lot of mistakes too, but I learned from those mistakes and the changes I need to make for next year. One of those mistakes I made was, I failed to print out nice directions to my house so people could come to my Christmas Card Class in two weeks. I had to scribble directions on a post-it-note! How unprofessional! And would you believe I never brought any bags!!! I had no bags to put peoples products in after they purchased them. Most of my products were little, and awkward to hold, and the customer really needed a bag! I was so embarrased. Next year, I'm going to make attractive, stamped bags, to put the product in that people buy.
The biggest surprise of the day, and the one that made me the most happiest, was a local businesswoman stopped at my table and saw my creations and asked if she could sell them in her store. She owns a massage parlor, but it has a loft upstairs and she thought that would be the perfect spot to sell arts and crafts of local artisians. So I was THRILLED with that idea. Hopefully, she'll let me display my business cards next to my creations too!
I hope you enjoyed my little tour of my craft show. And if your planning your own craft show in the near future, hopefully you'll learn from my success and my failures. LOL!
Till tomorrow, Amy

1 comment:

  1. OMGoodness Amy ... where did you find the time to get all of these projects done??? Isn't it amazing what sells and what doesn't! Go figure!!


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