Jump to content

First open house, what do I need?


Hillary
 Share

Recommended Posts

Okay, I've been reading and reading. I think I'm ready to have an open house. I've been selling to friends for awhile, but I need to make some money. I was thinking about a 3 hr open house. I'd like to sqeeze this in before Mothers Day. I have a good guest list going. I'm thinking only 1/2 or less would show, sound about right? Invite 20, 10 show up....

I don't have much space for display, but I want to do cash and carry. I have a cash box, reciepts, what else do I need?

Some drinks and munchies? Order forms maybe? I'm suprisingly nervous about this!

TIA!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started doing house parties last year. Alot easier than shows, no overhead, no lugging everything! I do mine with two other ladies, one does soap, one jewelry--we all put out one thing, I did a veggie tray, one did a cake, the other cookies, some ice tea and couple bottles of soda. People came in, munched a little and spend their money! I was surprised that I made comparable sales at my house than I had at paid shows. I always do them a few weeks before a holiday so people can gift shop. I wish you luck, once people show, you will really enjoy yourself. Let us know how it goes.

P.S. There was just a post about this a few days ago and people posted some really good ideas, like JLDorrington--she had suggestions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did my first open house with my cousin last year. She is a jewelry designer and I do candles, air fresheners, potpourri, etc. We anticipated that about 20% of the people invited would come to our open house, and we were about right. So invite, invite, invite!! We did ours in the fall and served cookies and hot cider and coffee. The open house was from 1:00 to 4:00 and we did very well. I made more money at my three-hour open house than I did at the huge craft fair at our local high school, which I had to pay to enter. I would highly recommend an open house.

May I suggest you also have a door prize? I offered a candle basket and my cousin offered a piece of jewelry with a jewelry cleaning cloth. Everyone who came to the open house could sign up to win and did not need to be present to win. It was a great marketing tool ... everyone was thrilled at a chance to win a prize and the prize winners have become repeat customers as well. In addition, the slips the guests had to fill out to enter for the prize asked for their name, address, phone number (to call if they won the prize) and email address. We used these slips to add these people to our mailing lists.

Good luck with your open house and let us know how it went!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Only 20%??? Yikes.....I thought it'd be more than that. Well, I better keep working on that. I want enough people to show to at least make it worth while.

Di-I did read that other thread, that's what got me motivated! I just feel like I might be missing some things. I mean, I do two styles of jars candles in about 22 scents, and wickless, and I'll have warmers. Is that enough or should I find someone to partner with, soaps or jewelry or something? I wish I could go to one before I have one!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a friend that us a very successful At Home America consultant. Her philosphy is that if there are 2 vendors then people split their money. Say Jane has $50 to spend, she will most likely spend $25 with each vendor. She might spend all $50 with one, but it is highly unlikely that she will spend $100. Soooo..... you might do well to have it yourself unless the people you are inviting are big spenders. She still does parties with more than 1 vendor, but she encourages the hostess to invite double the guests.

You could share your customer lists with another craftsman if you know someone. So they give you their customer list to invite and next time you give them yours. It would broaden your base. Also, as door gifts you could pass out a discount certificate to your friends products. That way you would be promoting her without her being there.

I agree - invite everyone you KNOW plus a few and have incentives for bringing a friend. If people bring a friend along they get 2 entries into the door prize drawing etc.

Dat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dat has made an excellent point. I started out doing open houses at my house and I did really well, especially in the fall/winter. Then I partnered with someone else and the first year we both did great. The 2nd year she added another person and we all did pretty good. The 3rd year she added yet another person and sales dropped somewhat. Last year there were 5 of us and although I still did okay it was nothing like the first 2 years.

Maggie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good to know. I didn't really want to have to sort things out with someone else anyway. I'll do my own thing. As far as who to invite, I was thinking pretty much anyone I feel comfortable having in my home. I will probably send a few evites to close people, family and friends, then have invites/flyers for the people I see reguarly-other parents, neighbors, etc.

I guess though, I just feel wierd asking people to come to my house to see my stuff and then pay for it. At least if your working with someone you kind of share the spotlight. I don't want people to feel like I'm always trying to sell to them, you know? Anybody else feel like that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Only 20%??? Yikes.....I thought it'd be more than that. Well, I better keep working on that. I want enough people to show to at least make it worth while.

Di-I did read that other thread, that's what got me motivated! I just feel like I might be missing some things. I mean, I do two styles of jars candles in about 22 scents, and wickless, and I'll have warmers. Is that enough or should I find someone to partner with, soaps or jewelry or something? I wish I could go to one before I have one!

I thought it would be better if you partnered up, because it added variety and at my show people generally bought from all of us. However, what Dat says just makes more sense--she has knowledge about that and I don't because I have always shared with the other women. At this point my one friend who does jewelry is just starting and would not have enough stuff to do shows on her own, so I always have her with me.

The one good thing though is that the ladies I do shows with work at different places so we end up with my friends and co-workers and their's as well--we get more invitations and notices at more places than I could on my own. At my shows we have always had friends and acquaintances as I don't feel comfortable inviting the general public into my house. I have some antiques and the thought makes me paranoid.

I set up an area where I have my cash box and everyone pays me, and then I give the other ladies their share, I always keep a journal and write down all my sales and have a receipt book around to take orders.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess though, I just feel wierd asking people to come to my house to see my stuff and then pay for it. At least if your working with someone you kind of share the spotlight. I don't want people to feel like I'm always trying to sell to them, you know? Anybody else feel like that?

Be careful with that. I felt awkward at first and got taken advantage of because of my own stupidity. People at work saying they just want to pay for cost of materials. You never get ahead that way and now I just ignore people. Not all people are bad like that but you have to remember, Walmart doesn't sell anything at cost and they are much larger than you and can afford to.

I personally am not a salesman and my one friend is. Sadly, at shows, she does a better job selling my candles than I do!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you have a friend or relative who is a big fan of your stuff, ask them to stick around for the entire party and "talk up" your products to people who are just looking and browsing and seem "iffy" about purchasing things.

Offer a free gift to guests who bring an additonal guest that you did not invite.

Make up a few gift baskets for Mother's Day. Try to keep it in a relatively easy price range $25-$30.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I started doing house parties last year. Alot easier than shows, no overhead, no lugging everything! I do mine with two other ladies, one does soap, one jewelry--we all put out one thing, I did a veggie tray, one did a cake, the other cookies, some ice tea and couple bottles of soda. People came in, munched a little and spend their money! I was surprised that I made comparable sales at my house than I had at paid shows. I always do them a few weeks before a holiday so people can gift shop. I wish you luck, once people show, you will really enjoy yourself. Let us know how it goes.

P.S. There was just a post about this a few days ago and people posted some really good ideas, like JLDorrington--she had suggestions.

thanx Di

Here's the link to the thread di was reffering to there are alot of ideas

http://candletech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48731

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you have a friend or relative who is a big fan of your stuff, ask them to stick around for the entire party and "talk up" your products to people who are just looking and browsing and seem "iffy" about purchasing things.

Definitly doing this one!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you have a friend or relative who is a big fan of your stuff, ask them to stick around for the entire party and "talk up" your products to people who are just looking and browsing and seem "iffy" about purchasing things.

Offer a free gift to guests who bring an additonal guest that you did not invite.

Make up a few gift baskets for Mother's Day. Try to keep it in a relatively easy price range $25-$30.

Bah, that is what my friend does--no one will be at my table and then she comes over, says one thing about my candles and everyone will be pulling their wallets out. I just don't get it, I am lousy at selling and I can talk till the cows come home and it does nothing. I really wish I had that in me but I just don't. Word of mouth does wonders.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know what you mean Hillary. Someone has to sell it. I do pretty good at craft shows even though oodles of candlemakers but seems like once in awhile I get slow times. Then husband or friend take over for a short time and when I come back SALES. I do talk to people while they are sniffing all of them and get a idea what they like and always sell but cannot figure out how they sell in a short time.

My husband is one I prefer not to talk. Never know what he might say. BUT he sells. He helps make the candles but sometimes I have to b*** in to say something different than he does. Once I wanted to wring his neck. A lady was talking about lotion for a candle. I am adamant about that and said NO. Never.So what does he do. Demonstrates. Then says "See that is not hot". We have discussed this before but suddenly he wants to try it. Now you know what I mean. Hate for him to talk but he sells and makes some money. Really think I need to be there. HA!!!!

My friend is different. She sells and makes sense. She doesn't buy all the time but does put in a big order once a year for charity. Also did a couple weddings for her family members and made lotion, soap,bears etc for some other people she knew. Now she is taking some of my products to work and see how they go. She knows they smell good and people buy so she gives a sales pitch. Just sent some candles this week.

I would like to try another Open House. Bad weather when I had my first one. I am planning one before Mother's Day and doing a craft show after that. I need to market more than just fall shows.

LynnS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...