Yes, bazaar, not bizarre but you never know, coming from me it may end up being about both! The Facebook Page is really active, and I completely appreciate everyone’s comments, it really gives me lots of good blogging fodder.
We had an interesting mix of comments from the last blog post which lead me to want to address a few things before diving into some bazaar item ideas
So in the order I am thinking of and not in preference:
1) $5.00 an hour is pretty cheap for labor. Yeah it is, and I actually do charge more for my own labor than that, but the last post was directed to people who a) haven’t considered charging time and or b) undersell their labor. A step up is a step up.
2) $5.00 an hour is pretty expense, who will buy it? Um…no it’s not expensive. What is the national minimum wage? So you’re telling me that it’s more valuable to work at a burger joint than it is to crochet something? Not saying working at a burger joint is a bad thing at all, just trying to get you to think about it…Do you want fries with that? People buy things they think are valuable.
3) Only other crafters get it…. Yes, that is true, only other crafters really will “GET” how much time it took to make what you make, or the skill involved. But no one really gets how the car engine in their vehicle works unless they are a mechanic, but they still buy cars don’t they? How many people buy jewelry, do you really “get” what it takes to cut a gem well? How about baked goods, a lot of people still buy cakes and cupcakes, I mean some people spend at least $3.00 on a cupcake, I know I can bake a dozen of them for that price, but when I buy a cupcake, I’m paying for the utilities/labor of the store/bakery too…right? Ok, well charge your time. Don’t qualify it, don’t apologise for it, just charge it because you know you’re worth it and voila!
4) What if someone is selling theirs cheaper? No one will buy mine… Not true. I was speaking to a friend of mine who sells crocheted hand towels and dishcloths at holiday bazaars. She was remarking to me how she felt guilty for someone buying her stuff that cost a little more and how people remarked that her stuff was “nicer”. Well ya see? She didn’t think it was nicer than the other persons at the bazaar, but since she charged more, she made more sales. It’s not like she was breaking anyone’s bank either.
5) I don’t want to sell mine I like gifting mine. Cool! You don’t have to sell your work. The post was for those who do want to or do sell their work. Stay posted for posts on holiday gift giving. Gifting is valuable too!
So those are the top five I felt I needed to address from the get go…It’s a matter of value. Think of it this way, do you really value yourself? Do you sell yourself short? I think maybe some of you do, I know I do sometimes. I feel weird about charging for my work, it took a long time for me to feel comfortable asking a fair price, and even though I now gratefully recieve it, I still feel wierd taking the money; I just don’t let it stop me.
Not everyone can do what you do…Seriously, crochet may be easy FOR YOU but it is not easy for everyone else. Some people have zero desire to crochet, they would rather buy something from you. Other people have tried for years and failed (much like me with the sticks, I appreciate the work though, just not good at it), there are those who can but don’t want to do what you are doing and value you that, or there are those who want to learn or are learning but don’t have your skill set. And here’s the real kicker, both you and I could make the same thing, with the same hook, and the same pattern, and the same yarn and guess what? They would be different. They would be unique, why? Because we have different “hands”, we all have a signature to our stitch work
So ‘nough said, if you ARE going to charge for it, charge a decent price… (Because we hurt ourselves when we don’t!)
Ok…We’ve discussed price, now lets talk about merchandising!!
First of all, merchandising for those not in the know, is a key component to doing well in any kind of retail sales. In real terms it’s how you set up your table or booth. It doesn’t take a lot of expensive fixtures to make an attractive display, it does take some thought and a good eye certainly helps.
I learned to merchandise from the display team at Meyer & Franks Department store in Portland, Or when I was in high school. Those guys took me under their wing and I learned lots of fun tips and tricks to making display magic happen!
So for the holiday bazaar here’s some great, simple and affordable things you can do!
1) Make sure the table is covered fully, with a cloth that drapes to the floor. No one wants to see your feet under the table, or your bags, boxes etc. (Some bazaars and shows include table draping)… You can use white, or black, or blue, try to avoid neon colors. Off white is my personal favorite, often there are fluorescent lights and real white doesn’t do well in that kind of lighting.
2) If you are selling garments, hats, scarves and slippers, make sure some are displayed up right. You don’t need mannequin heads, but if you have them SWEET!! If you don’t have them use plastic bags or newspaper/tissue paper to fill them out so people can have a good idea of what they look like. For scarves you can cover pop bottles with fabric, or a pretty canvas bag and drape the scarves around them. Slippers can be stuffed to show how they wear.
3) Have your most affordable items in easy reach, with a sign showing how affordable they are! PINS $5 on a shoebox covered in wrapping paper, holding the pins is a great way to show that off! It draws people to your table!
4) Use 3-D to your advantage. Even if you only have a table space you can make 3-D displays. Use boxes of all sizes to make various heights on your table, you can put them under the cloth for an easy fix, or you can wrap up those shipping boxes you get in pretty wrapping paper and use them to help display!
5) MAKE SURE YOUR PRICES ARE LABELED CLEARLY ON THE ITEMS. People rarely ask how much something costs. If you have a special deal make sure it’s posted well, such as Hats $30 Scarves $20 Hat/Scarf Set Only $40 Remember that’s just a suggestion of a deal not the pricing!
6) You are your biggest display item. WEAR what you make. Wear the hat/scarf set, have the slippers on, or have your helpers wear them. I used to have my kids dress up in my stuff and walk around the room Make sure you are clean and presentable, that you have your personal items out of the way. Make sure you have someone else to help watch the booth, so you can go eat lunch AWAY from the table, and take potty breaks. Do NOT make it hard to get to your table, and make yourself accessable!! Don’t just sit like a lump and read a book, engage your customers. Ask them how they are doing, if they are having fun, if they have found any cool things at the bazaar, ask if you can be of help, and for the love of all that is fuzzy be working on a cool project so you can answer questions. DO NOT EVER PUT YOURSELF OR YOUR WORK DOWN…DO NOT EVER PUT OTHER VENDORS DOWN…
Now for another cool project for the holiday season that’s rather simple, and can be dressed up in a million ways…Coffee Cup Sleeves/Cozies…
Here’s a cute and simple pattern I found on Ravlery by Jennifer Kaye, and I made sure the link wasn’t malicious!! Here’s where you find the pattern!