Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Crafting for Profit, pt3: Where are you selling it?

Where you sell your crafts is just as important as what you're making. You have to decide whether you want to sit at a show all day, work on a website or leave your crafts in someone else's hands. They all come with advantages and disadvantages, you just have to decide what works best for you.

Let's start with the craft shows. Craft shows are wonderful places to network. You can find out about other crafts shows in the area and mingle with other artists. This is also a great place to establish a customer base and get feedback on your creations. The drawback is that you have to pack up your stuff, unload it, display it, pack it back up and take it home. It's a lot of work but if you are up to the challenge, try one out. Look for them in in local paper ads, churches, schools,
villages and online.

If you don't have time for a craft show, try selling online. There are easy to use sites, such as Artfire and Etsy where you can upload your pictures, fill out the descriptions and make contact with buyers. Selling online is a time consuming task and your presentation is just as important online as it is at a show, but you don't have to worry about lugging your belongings everywhere.

You may want to also consider selling at stores or consignment shops. Check out the store and ask about their rules and policies. There should be a clear contract and pay period. If there is not, reconsider your options. You don't want to be in a store that cannot clearly tell you when they cut checks. Oce you are in a store that you are comfortable with, keep the space stocked with new and seasonally appropriate items. Getting into a store gives you daily exposure without the need to haul your creations from one location to another.

And for my last bit of advice on where to sell, don't forget to network with friends, family and co-workers, always when it is appropriate, of course. Home parties and business organizations are great places to network and establish clientele.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Smelling Great with Bath and Candle Crafts

While dabbling in various crafts I came across some bath and candle supplies and decided to give it a try. I made pillars, soap bars, body washes, tarts and anything else I could think of creating. It turns out though, I was terrible at it! I wasn't patient enough to wait for the right temperature to pour candles, and my bath stuff was nice, but nothing spectacular. So I give credit to my wonderful bath and candle crafters here at my store. They make high quality products that they have spent their valuable time making and creating so that we all have the chance to smell great and feel good!

If you are in the area July 22nd, we are having a candle and spa party where you can sample our bath products from 7pm-9pm. If you can't make it, be sure to visit them at their websites. Here's a little preview...

Nancy Hertz- Lake House Soy Candles
Nancy Hertz is owner and creator of Lake House Soy Candles. Her bath and candle products are environmentally safe and made from soy. Her candles have a strong scent throw and come in various sizes from 2oz tarts to 20oz jars. I've actually been using the tarts as an air freshener in the car. I just open the lid, set it in the cup holder and let the fragrance fill the car. It's been three weeks since I first put it in there and it's just as strong as the first day I placed it.

Her smelly jellies are another great product. If you're not familiar with it, it's a jelly like substance that mixes with a fragrance. It's not a candle so you don't have to light it, a plus for people like me who don't light candles in the summer or have cats that jump all over tables and counters knocking things to the ground. All you do is put it in a container and smell away! I've been putting it in the bathroom and on a high shelf in the dog's room. When they dry out you just add water and you can even mix the different colors and pour them into layers in glass jars for really pretty effects.

I hardly ever use makeup but I'm addicted to lip gloss and chapstick. I have one in every jacket pocket, purse and room in my house. I always seem to lose them so I figure if I put one everywhere I'll always have one around. Thankfully, Nancy has also started making Diva Lip Balm in addition to everything else she has. It's full of Vitamin E and is made from moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil. It's well worth a try for $2 in flavors like Wicked Watermelon, Posh Punch, Mango Tango and Ruby Red Cherry Pucker.

Pam Bigelow- Willow Trail Soap

As I mentioned before, I dabbled in soap making. It turns out, I'm much better at using it than making it! I love the fact that Pam has taken the time to create colorful layers in her soaps. Not only are they pretty, but they have a rich lather when you use them. They leave a light scent behind without drying out your hands. Even her fragrances are unique, like Asian Plum and Blooming Tulips.

Pam also makes this fantastic sugar scrub. I love it! Especially since it's summer and I wander around in sandals all the time, so I use it to keep my feet nicely moisturized. It's not as rough on your skin, like salt scrubs, and it comes in a creamy, highly fragrant container. Love Spell and White Tea and Ginger are my favorites. Don't tell my husband I told you but I even made him use it and he liked it! Sssshhhh.....

The Goat Milk and Honey lotion is a great addition to the sugar scrub. After you're done scrubbing away, use the lotion for an additional moisturizer. It's not greasy and lasts all day. Try it in Strawberry Kiwi, Day at the Beach or Lilac. There's even an unscented one for those allergic to fragrances.

Courtney Spino-Our Memories Created
Courtney is our newest crafter here and I'm very excited to have her creations on display. Her Cucumber Melon bath fizzies are very fragrant and she even makes body washes! They come in colorful sqeeze bottles and are available in fragrances like Citrus, Tangerine and Mandarin Bergamont.

In addition to her many bath and body products, she also makes scrapbook frames in any theme and for any occasion.

So there's my preview for our Spa and Candle Party on the 22nd. If you're going to miss all the pampering, be sure to visit the crafters websites for more product information.