The European Etsy Street Team has put together a very informative blog over at Handmade-Europe.com. We are launching a series covering some of the top posts from their blog that we feel will help improve your handmade/craft business. We hope you enjoy! Today’s article is about hosting an open house for your handmade goods.
Trader can gain profits by using the automated robots for crypto currency exchange this is possible only after making sign-up by user and process off sign up is simple and can be completed in three simple steps and process will be done by clicking on sign up and make initial deposit to perform trade, read more on our official website
article by Greet From Fleurfatale
Some time ago, my friend Veerle and I wanted to come out with our creations. We had the feeling that friends, family and people in our neighbourhood did not really know what we were busy with. Not everyone strolls around in the blogosphere or on internet so much as we do . So we decided to organize a real life event to show our creations to the world!
We both don’t like the Tupperware kind of home sale and decided to make at a kind of exposition open House. People could come and learn to know and admire our work with the opportunity to buy our creations, but not feeling obliged to it, like you often have with home sales.
That worked! Lots of people came to visit us and also bought, others got to learn to know our creations and contacted us later, or are frequent customers know. Since then I’ve done other Open House exhibitions and all of them were successful.
In the tips below I want to share my experiences. Of course this was a jewellery exhibition, but I am sure you can use the tips also for other handmade goods. Are you ready? Here we go!
Pick a date
Plan your exhibition a few weeks before an upcoming feast or event.
For example: Mothers day, Christmas, end of the year.
There are lots of other (local) feasts where people give presents. Keep that in mind when you chose your date.
Consider to mention in your invitation that there will be stuff that can be bought as a present.
In some countries and regions, special events are organized, like open ateliers for artists , (you visit the workspace of the artist) be sure to hop on that train, because then you are included in a brochure or flyer, that is spread by the organizations of these events. (This is free publicity for your event and you reach lots of people).
Spread your open house over the weekend, starting on Friday evening .
Ok, then you spread the visitors too, but you reach more people that way. We started with a vernissage on Friday eve, where we offered a drink and snack as a welcome. The exhibition went on on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 11 AM.
Be sure to have a little kids corner (especially when you expect young families) with books and toys, mum can look and maybe shop while kids are playing. Perhaps one of your teenage kids will be willing to keep an eye on the kids corner.
Promote your event
Make special invitations for the event, we had them printed, but you can also make them yourself. Use pictures that tease the reader.
Printed invitations can look more professional, but handmade invitations do have the handmade touch, up to you to decide where you are good in.
Make little posters in the same style of the invitation.
Use this invitation to spread the word on internet too.
Define your target group and how to reach it…
Think hard about who will buy your stuff, try to figure out what is your target group.
Do you make little kids stuff, then you need to reach young families, young women with babies.
Do you make jewellery, try to figure out which type of women could wear it.
As we were selling jewellery we invited mostly women. (But also their partners!)
I contacted women organizations in the town where I live and asked if they could spread the word among their members, and gave them an invitation they could send by e-mail.
Send an invitation to your own relatives , friends and family and does your cooperator!
Facebook, Twitter and your own blog are great promotion tools!
Think about places your target group frequents and ask if you can spread your invitations there : shops, library, crèches (for kids stuff), hairdressers (for jewellery), beauty institutions,…
Mention on the flyer that everyone is welcome (it’s not a private exhibition) and that each can bring friends with them.
Add a description of the address where it takes place, so that people can find you easily.
Organising the event with 2 or 3 creative participants gives the possibility to invite more people, each can invite his relatives, friends and family.
Bring different products, but do find a link between your creations.
-Kids plush and kids clothes
-Jewellery and bags
-Jewellery and home decoration
-Jewellery and soap
-Clothes and accessories
Try to find a link between them:
maybe you both make eco friendly stuff (repurposed jewellery and eco soap) maybe you both make kids stuff ( little kids clothes, plush, baby accessories…) maybe you both create with paper ( paper jewellery and journals….)
Organizing with more participants has more advantages:
-more ideas -more practical help -sharing costs (for printing and
offereddrinks and snacks)
Work with a theme.
Do you both make eco friendly stuff, then this can be a link and a theme.
Do you both make very colorful creations (jewellery and paintings) this can be the theme!
For ex., are you both inspired by ‘ethnic tribes’, it’s obvious to use that theme.
Material you both use can be a theme, for ex. paper jewellery and journals.
Last year I organized an exhibition with a painter and a graphic designer.
A year ahead we decided to create around the theme: once upon a time, fairytales.
I made fairytale inspired jewellery, the painter picked ‘the wolf’ as inspirations for his paintings and the graphic designer created lampshades with that theme. There was a link between our creations which was quite fun.
How to present the handmade goods in your house
Make it look like an exhibition, not a separate table for each (like on a fair), we used the whole interior to show our creations.
You don’t have to investigate a lot , use what is in the house: your sidetables, shelves , the clothes hooks, etc….
Even kitchen ware: pottery, plates, and teapots is fun to expose your stuff.
Remove furniture and decorate onto make place to show your goods, so they don’t drown in the other stuff of the house. Put furniture you don’t need in another room. Do a try out ahead and make a plan where and how you will put your stuff.
Plan a whole day (the day before the exposition) to put the stuff in the right place, you will need that time!
Veerle and I mixed our creations and matched by color, we did not separate our goods.
Some ideas to stall out your stuff:
Cookoorikoo, Birribe, kraplap, wickedmind
Find some great ideas about how to store your jewelry here and here.
This and this is also an interesting read.
If you have a darker home, with smaller windows, a winter house as we say, then organise the exposition in winter.
Use lampshades to create a cosy atmosphere. Use vintage accessories to show your stuff on, create a Bric a Brac look. Offer hot soup and chocolate as a welcome!
I once visited an open door in Ghent, where the lady of the house sold handmade crocheted shawls and hats. She presented them in old vintage suitcases, very original!
Do you have an open house with much of light and big windows, then plan the exposition in spring or summer!
If you live in a country where you can count on bright weather, consider to do your exposition outside.
Some goods, like ceramics, can be exposed very attractive in gardens. But also felted goods, handmade soap will fit perfect in a natural atmosphere. Visitors can wander in the garden while discovering your creations, they do take there time to look at the creations and enjoying the weather at the same time…
In the garden you find lots of ways to present your goods: hang your kids clothes on laundry lines, Present your jewellery on gathered stones or branches you have put on a table.
Organize a special guest during your open house weekend and how to welcome your guests
Veerle and I invited a lady who did color scans.
A color scan is a study of your skin type, so that you can find out which colors fit the most your type of skin. We asked a little price for this service and people had to contact us to make an appointment. After people had figured out their colortype, they could stroll around our house and look at the jewellery that fitted for them (and also buy them)
-Give a demonstration or invite someone who can demonstrate:
For example soap making, book binding, fimo creations, needle or wetfelting,….
Don’t do this yourself, as you have to welcome your visitors, have a chat with them, you have to be there to advice them when they are trying your stuff, you have to explain, to talk about what inspires you, etc….
– Let people have a look into your atelier with unfinished projects.
– Offer a drink (coffe tea or wine) and some snacks (for example home made cookies) as a kind of welcoming , people will also stay around for a longer while then.
– Find some lounge music to play in the background, I am sure there is music out there that fits your stuff
and at last:
be sure you have a place or table for packing your stuff and arranging the payments. Give the packaging task to someone else so that you can concentrate on the visitors.
That ’s it for now!
I so hope that these tips will be a great help for organizing an open House Party at yours.
It’s a cool way to show your handmade work to friends and neighborhood.
but well, a lot of planning is needed, as you see,… and afterwards you will be dead tired, I assure you! But it’s worth it, you’ll see!! Good luck!