Home Craft parties

Posted By: Wanda
Date: 2004/1/13 9:55 a.m.

I am hoping to add a couple of different "sales" this year and perhaps you all might have some suggestions.I have been doing craft shows for about 20 years now and really enjoy them so I will continue to some of the bigger ones in our area but they are seasonal for me and I was wondering about doing a couple of "open-house" type parties from my home and also I have a long narrow Sunroom on the front our house and I was thinking of perhaps using it as a show/sale room perhaps a few days a week.Anyone out there tried either of these venues and what advice would you have to offer?

Re: home parties
2004/1/13 11:32 a.m.

Hi Wanda; It's wonderful to have a show room, but I think I would only open it for home parties or previews before my shows. That way I would already have most of my crafts done and giving the public an early crack at it. To have an open house once a week; next thing you know they'll be dropping by to chat and look and you'll get nothing done.

I would however make a catalogue.
Gather all my crafts.
Pick a day for picture day.
Carry all my crafts outside and take pictures.
When you take your pictures in to be developed..get the photomart to also put them on CD for you. I think Walmart charges an extra $5 dollars.

That way you can print pictures of your crafts from your CD anytime or use it on the net like on places like our boards.
Put all the pictures on a binder..people want to see what you have made they can take your binder home and phone in the orders.
By what I've learned from Craftpals, I wouldn't do craft shows all year 'round. I would start in September and end in November.
Why November?
Because life is too short..if I left it up to my customers I would be working right through Christmas and robbing me and my family of the great Holiday Season.
I didn't do craft shows but I did have a craft home business.
I sold some of my stuff to shops and to book wholesalers.
The rest I sold from my home.

Fun, but also a lot of work and a wonderful learning experience. To balance a family, a business...from home...I had to be organized. I also found I had to take my business seriously but the worse part was convincing my family and friends that I had work to do. luci

Wanda, my rule of thumb is . . .
2004/1/15 11:30 a.m.

to offer something for everyone so I can sell as much as possible. The following can be applied to any group. Just change "kids" to "limited funds" and it works! I try to offer nice little items for kids to buy parents or relatives or teachers to the high end items.

As you well know, tree ornaments [ornies] can range in price for all!!! That way those with little to spend can still feel good. Hate going somewhere on a shoestring while everyone else throws it around like there's no end ~ and know young marrieds, etc., feel that way, too! Sometimes I've sold more in small tickets than anything else because of limited amounts of cash in their pockets. They were so happy to find something they could buy more than one of!!! Then they came back with others who purchased in tow... Loved that show! With the cross section of the community you plan to invite, plan on all income levels and you should do well! Karen

Not only kids, Wanda . . .
2004/1/16 8:28 a.m.

But newlyweds, first home buyers, college students, anyone with a limited income on the "starting out" side of life's course. We all know about the other end after folks have traveled most of it with the retirement fixed incomes ~ and they like to buy, too! One craft that has sold were spoons with a ribbon tied in a bow above the bowl on the handle and about 3 mini ribbon roses glued on it. I used the wee spoons and pickle forks that I had picked up at thrift shops. These I sold for $1.00 each for kids to buy and give teachers or family. I found that not only the kids bought them, but mom's and g-ma's did too!

The other is the pretty silver or nice stainless steel serving spoons which had a mini doily in the bowl [which was usually scratched or stained] with a mini "rose corsage" on top of the doily. Naturally the ribbons and beads, too. These varied in price from $2.00 for pretty stainless to $15.00 for nice silver in good shape. The low end had to look like the nice stuff or I wouldn't use it. Found a lot of it, so could vary the prices accordingly!

I also did florals and birdnests in tea cups. And don't forget the shoes or skates or boots!!! All kinds of neat things can be done with those!!! The drawback to any of the above I've done, folks here copied them ~ which is fine, but ~ drove up the price at all the thrift shops on cups and spoons!!! What I bought for 49 cents became 4.98, and so on... Good thing I still have a stash of each!!! Another I did was the circle purses with self fabric drawstrings embellished with a mini rose corsage. Inside I put the Friendship survival kit. These sold for $10.00, made from velour fabrics, not necessarily velvet, but have that plush look. The teens loved them, which was my target because I still had a teen at home!

So depending on your supplies and the abundance [mini roses were the hardest to find] of them, your prices can vary quite a bit and still have a fair margin of profit. Yeah, "loss leaders" work too... Just keep in mind you want repeat customers so maintain your quality of execution and cut your cost on the base supplies to offer the range of prices. Like stainless vs silver flatware ~ or ~ nice paper flowers vs silk or ribbon roses ... the buyers want the silver, but on short bucks can only purchase the stainless this year. BUT, wait until they have the money and they'll come back for your "exclusive" stuff because you remembered them "when!" Sorry, didn't mean to get off on a tangent, but sometimes I can only explain by example!!! karen

Does anyone else do home parties?
Posted By: Tilley
Date: 2003/8/18 5:47 p.m.

The good news is that the lady who owns the restaurant where the auction was wants to have a jewelry party. I've been doing them for the past year, but I'm always curious if anyone has a different approach.

Did a lot of research before I laid out my party plan--similar to most franchise ones except I let them purchase off of the table and also do custom orders. My main problem is with displaying stuff--I'm so used to setting up at shows that it's hard to get out of that mode. I can be a little more creative at a party, but it's got to be a quick set-up. Any ideas?

Re: oooh wish I lived close enough to come to one of your home parties
2003/8/18 10:41 p.m.

Tilley I haven't done any myself but some of the other gals may have. A friend was down Saturday and is going to be doing shows in nursing home and schools for the employees...in their breakroom area...she wants to take some of my stuff to them.

Not sure about that but told her I would meet her next Sunday afternoon (she lives 2 hrs from me) and bring a few things for her to try at the Sept 16 show and then depending on sales, she can let me know if it is worth the trouble to handle someone elses' stuff...don't think it would be for me but everyone is different. Good luck . Sharon

Re: Does anyone else do home parties?
2003/8/19 5:27 p.m.

No, Tilley, I have never done any shows. Been to a lot of home parties and they can be lots of fun especially if you get a lively group. I guess jewelry would be a lot easier to hull around then say the tuperware, candle parties and xmas round the world that I've been to.

Those girls seem to need lots of time to set up and take down. Then they have to worry (in some cases) about breakage. My sister sells avon and tried a few home parties, but that did work as good for her as going door to door. I guess it all depends on what you into. Roxy

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