S Muse Designs is still a fairly new endeavor of ours, so last month was our first crack at the craft show scene. I am really pleased with the turn out, we sold about $100 worth of items and had a lot of great feedback---success! We are planning our next for this coming weekend...that is if my sister got the application in the mail! I'm hoping for a similar experience...or better! I realize that while people have names and the need for low cost gifts all year long, this time of year seems to be the BEST time to get crafts and handmades out into the public eye!
If we can plan to attend this coming fair, and host our own in December...and possibly throw in one more...we should have a good amount of Christmas shopping money at least lol!
I have been involved in one form of sales or another for the past 8 ish years, so I am no stranger to the concept...however this is different! I am not out there peddling products from some multimillion dollar company while pocketting (if Im lucky) $20 a week profit. There is more profit to be made in your OWN business, thats "fa sho", and more than just financially! But, on the other hand, no one has heard of S Muse Designs (yet) so we are not "known" for our great products.... we dont have brand recognition, or a really strong customer base (yet). This is what makes our (or any) hand made business a struggle...personally rewarding, but still a struggle! If we want to get our items out there we need to do all the advertising out of pocket. Thats a lot of leg work (both figurativly and literally). Being online 24-7 isn't anything new or particularly difficult for me, but online advertising is a slooooow and repititious activity! This is especially true if you are like me, constantly going off on a random tangent. Easily distracted by anything shiny (or cold dead and sparkly..see other post for cross reference lol). It's probably the easiest yet most time consuming work out there!
Another thought, it is a little intimidating selling your own creations, because you are basically selling a piece of yourself! It gets a little harder not taking "no" personally when what you are trying to sell is something YOU created! But all in all, we have received nothing but good feedback so far, which is exciting. Sure, not everyone who comes across our website, table, or display makes a purchase, but most stop and say (or email) "I love it!" which is a good start!
Ideally, I would love to have our keepsakes in every country store in New Hampshire, but we will aim for 5 or 10 for now. Starting small was never my strong suit, but when you're broke, the choice is pretty much already made for you, haha!
Who knows, one of these days I may not be emptying my pocketbook on Monday mornings looking for quarters because Thursday's check is already spent. I may not have to decide between a Dunk's ice coffee or the new woman's day magazine because i only found $3...nope! Perhaps my sister and I will make a nice go of this biz and have enough income to afford the little extras life has to offer, without feeling guilty! (As mothers, is it ever possible NOT to feel guilty when indulging in something all for you?) It will take hard work, determination, and many more Mondays of change counting..but between the two of us, I think we've got what it takes! It will certainly be a fun ride regardless!
So help 2 strugglin' mamas out, cross some names off your shopping list at