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My very first Open House


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Here's my take on MY open house-

Considering I worked my ASS OFF for months, and got little to no sleep the last couple of weeks, and passed out over 100 flyers/emails, and had only 12 friggin' people show up, I did ok! LOL

I brought in just over $400 for 6 hours!

BUT, I spent over $600 (I'm sure it's more like $800, I'm just afraid to know the actual amount I spent so I'm in denial! LOL)

I had waaaaaaay too much stuff to even fit on 4 tables-really need to rethink what I'm making and offering, there is NO way I'd be able to fit all of my crap at a craft show event! Plus I think people got a little overwhelmed by all the soaps I had!

And to think, I thought I would not have enough product! LOL I guess I just didn't realize how much I really had, b/c I kept boxing it up and putting it away and then making more. LOL

My candles went over like a lead balloon, which was surprising at this time of year! I think I sold a total of 12 4oz. and 5 8oz.

I know that if more people had come, I would have made BANK for sure. Everyone who did come, bought at least $20 worth.

What was really really cool, is that hubby came in after it was all set up, and said, "WOW, this looks soooo professional, like a real store set up!" That was an awesome compliment considering he basically takes little interest in what I'm doing, other than he's been asking me when I'm gonna start selling all this stuff I'm making. LOL

Then, I had a couple other people come in and say the same thing, so I knew he wasn't just "saying that" ya know. ;)

I didn't sell ONE sugar scrub, which pisses me off, and I can only be mad at myself, since I know that everyone who tries it loves loves loves it, I had a tester out at the sink, and forgot to tell anyone about it. DUHHHHHH Idiot!

My cousin drove over and surprised me (she lives about 2 hours away) and bought over $100 worth of product for gifts, she loves my stuff, and said I need to take my product and get the heck out of my worthless town who doesn't appreciate me, and take my stuff to her town, where people would go gaa gaa over it. She said they have a farmers market that people just flock to, and she doesn't remember seeing anything like my products there. Plus she said at their annual fair, people rent tables for their crafts etc. and do really well.

Our fair is basically carnival based and no one is really there to buy anything like what I have ya know. Also our farmers market is just dinky and people only go there to buy fruits and veggies.

No one balked at paying $9.50 for a 10oz. lotion or shower gel which was awesome! I figure if B&BW can sell theirs for $9 than I can sell mine for a bit more, since I know for a fact it's better than theirs. LOL

Also, my critter soaps went over big, and I did some of the disney princesses (Ariel, Snow White, Belle, Sleeping Beauty, etc.) embeds (just clear stickers) in soaps, and those were almost gone after the first buyer, and actually I had 8, and they all sold-should have had more dang it!

I sold a few melts, but not as many as I thought I would, and mostly everyone wanted the Christmas Splendor ones, which is what I was burning at the time-2 of those little suckers scented the whole friggin' house and even Sunday we could still smell it and we didn't even light it up. LOL

I also offered CC payments, but had only one person pay that way, I guess people are not used to being allowed to use them at these type of things.

Overall, it was a great learning experience, but dang, I was soooo exhausted I couldn't even really enjoy the day, and I think I crashed out about 8:30 that night and didn't wake up until about 10am the next day! And probably could've slept all day if I would have let myself, I was THAT tired!

Oh I just have to mention how much I appreciate my 15yr. old daughter and how much she helped me out, getting things packaged (she's an awesome gift set packager) and set up, she worked her little fanny off also. Love that girl!

I did have to spend waaaay more than I probably will have to from now on, cuz I had to buy display stuff, tablecloths, bags, etc. etc.

I have some pics. although they aren't the greatest, and I still need to download them, so I'll try to post those after a while.

Do I think it was worth it? Hmmm I'll have to think on that for a while, when I think about all the work and money I put into it, NO, but when I think about how if I could just get MORE people here then maybe it would be I guess. :undecided I just don't know.

I have a TON of product left over and have NO idea how to get rid of it now. I know it will keep for a while, but with no other prospects in sight for a while, I'm worried that it's all going down the drain.

Oh and just to prove how worn out I was/am, my whole set up is STILL set up! LOL I'm looking at it right now, thinking "oh great, I've got to put all this crap away now!" YIKES!

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You can do a few parties at other people's homes maybe? I've done a mother daughter one before and I actually didn't end up doing an open house this year since all my regulars hosted their own parties for the free candles! (I do one free of my biggest product -my choice- and then half off to another free one of their choice depending on sales). That method did really well this year and I *think* everyone who would have come to an open house had already come to a party... oh, there are 2 people I can think of... but I'm NOT doing an open house for 2 people lol....


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Maybe you could have a clearance sale before Christmas? Mark everything down a bit and see what happens. I do that with my Christmas gel candles that have colored embeds. Can't keep them around for a year because the color bleeds into the clear gel.

I have the same thing happen at my open house every year. I send out 80-100 invites and usually average about 25 people. My best sellers change from year to year too. This year I barely sold any Christmas Splendor or Sugar Cookie and those were my biggest sellers last year. Last year I couldn't move Spiced Cranberry or Gingerbread and those were my best sellers this year. I've learned to cut down on the amount of each item I make. If they sell out, people can place orders. I also have a "by order only" table that has things I don't want to stock large amounts of, like larger size jars and B&B items.

Hope you can find a way to sell some more!

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I'm not surprised that you sold out of your embeds, I have yet to see a pic of one that I didn't like(hint, hint, more pics..........:rolleyes2 ).

Aww shucks, thanks girl! :o

I wish I could do something else to get rid of some of this stock, I just do not feel like going through another open house type of thing this close to Christmas and don't have anywhere (extra room etc.) to keep this stuff displayed unfortunately.

I actually had a lady come up to me yesterday and say, "Oh I don't know if I'll be able to make it to your open house but I definitely want to buy some soaps and stuff from you" Uhhh Helloooo I had to tell her that it was the day before-boy did she run off real quick! LOL Ding Dong!

Ok, for your viewing pleasure (remember photographer I am NOT):





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I always love your soaps w/the curls in them - I want to do them when I get some extra $$ at some point. You went to a lot of work! Your open house sounds similar to mine in that I invited about 80 people, and only 14 showed up. That was disappointing for sure. At least you made twice as much as I did! So good for you on that note! Hopefully your next one will be even better!

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Next one? Who said anything about a next one? LOL Thanks for the compliments on my soaps, I love making the curly Q ones. :D

Sorry your open house didn't go that well either, what is up with people? Man, when I get a flyer for something like that, I'm all over it. Of course I love looking (and buying) handcrafted items. I guess others maybe just like buying Wallyworld items instead?? :rolleyes: LOL

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Next one? Who said anything about a next one? LOL Thanks for the compliments on my soaps, I love making the curly Q ones. :D

Sorry your open house didn't go that well either, what is up with people? Man, when I get a flyer for something like that, I'm all over it. Of course I love looking (and buying) handcrafted items. I guess others maybe just like buying Wallyworld items instead?? :rolleyes: LOL

I know - I thought mine would go well as it was a couple of weeks before Mothers' Day - oh well. I'm actually going to close my business account and business license and just do it for me, I guess. I just can't seem to generate enough interest. :undecided

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Your soaps are awesome. Can't understand why you didn't sell out of all of them. The toy soaps are just too cute for words. Had no idea you could put stickers on soaps. Those pink ones are perfect for little girls.
OMG my kids would love those!!!

Thanks ladies! :grin2:

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Wow Michi, you're setup really does look great -nice & professional!

I made the mistake of making 400 candles for my first craft show and ended up only selling 40! It took me 2 years (and many silent auction donations) to get rid of all of them!

Good luck with your clearance sale LOL!

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My kids would love the critter ones too!!! Michi, do you have a website? Can people buy online? I know right now I'd love to buy something for a stocking stuffer for the kids. Those things are adorable!!

You know what you can try? When people do show up, give them a coupon for a free something for the next open house or to use online. Or do those scratch tickets like someone mentioned once, for discounts from your web site if you have one.

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Congrats on taking the plunge and having an open house. I wanted to have one before CHristmas, but that didn't work out, so I plan on having one after Christmas. I want to mark everything down to get rid of some excess stock and then introduce my spring scents at the same time!

I don't think that was too bad for your first one. I agree, giving them a coupon for their next purchase is a good idea. I recently started using the scratch off stickers. My cousin and aunt had bought some stuff and my mom gave them a coupon. Well they turned around and bought more stuff! Most of my coupons are for 10 or 15% off, but some are free shipping (web orders only), one or two are 30% off or I offer 50% off of one item!

Good luck if you do it again.


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Thanks again for the compliments everyone, it means a lot! :smiley2:

Vio, I don't have my website up and running as of yet, I hope to have it done after the first of the year though. It's been a lot of work, and I still have to take pics. and write all the descriptions and such-ugh!

Having an "after Christmas" sale/open house would be awesome, plus being able to introduce your spring fragrances will be perfect! I wish I had enough time and energy to do another one so soon.

I think asking my cousin to have an open house or just a "party" at her house, would go over great! Thanks for the advice/idea Angel! :D

I'm definitely on business hiatus right now, only thinking about Christmas and family right now. ;) After the holidays I'll be all gung ho again I'm sure. LOL

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