How I Got Started

I started Butterfly gardening many years ago. My yard has been a progression over the years, and has made many transformations. Twenty years ago I experienced Hurricane Andrew. My yard and house were destroyed. We decided not to replace the pool screening and open up the backyard and put in some landscaping. That was the official beginning of my love for gardening in South Florida. I added a beautiful water garden years ago, and have been adding host and larvae plants for pollinators, mostly for the butterfly, for as many years as I can remember. I had my yard certified as a Natural Habitat, through the National Wildlife Foundation. To have a natural habitat you need to provide and meet certain requirements: 1. Provide a food source, 2. Provide a water source, 3. Cover, 4. A place to raise young. I try not to use any pesticides in my yard. I vermicompost and recycle as many of my food scraps as possible. If I had more land I would have a huge compost bin to recycle all my yard cuttings. Basically, I try to lessen my carbon footprint on this earth. In my own little world or backyard I try to provide an ecosystem in my water garden, provide birdbaths, birdfeeders, hummingbird nectar sources, feeders, puddling areas, host plants and nectar plants for butterflies and other pollinators. I am hoping to raise everyone’s awareness of the importance of saving our Butterflies, Blooms & Bees. Without them our world and food source will be in trouble. I hope you all enjoy my journey. I am not a Master Gardener, or Master Beekeeper, an Entomologist, or Journalists. I am simply a Backyard Gardener who is trying to lessen her Carbon Footprint of this Earth.

I hope you enjoy my blogs.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Getting Ready for My First Craft Fair

I have been so busy over the last few weeks making soap, lotion bars, and lip balm for my upcoming Craft Fair. My house is in disarray. I am trying to work my day job and start my business, and prepare for my upcoming craft shows. My first show is November 9th at Perrine Peters United Methodist Church, which is located at 18301 South Dixie Hwy, Miami Florida 33157. When I first booked this Craft Fair I was so excited, I was like a kid in a candy shop. Now the craft show is less than a week away. I am still excited with anticipation, but nervous that I will do well and that people will like my product. I have been asking myself so many questions: Will I be successful? What if it rains? Will people like my product? Will there be enough traffic? Will I be able to answer all their questions? Will I know how to work my credit card app? I have been reading many articles and blogs on having a successful craft fair. So I am hoping that I will be prepared.





From what I have read some of the most important aspects to consider are:

Put time into your table design. I have been doing just that. I was reading the Saponifier magazine and came across an article on table displays for craft shows. When I saw their idea I knew it was perfect for Reeny’s Butterflies, Blooms, & Bees. Their idea was accomplished with flower pots that were painted. Each pot would hold different soaps etc. What a perfect idea! What could be better than to use flower pots with butterflies and bees? I spent most evenings last week spraying the pots with acrylic clear paint and then painting each pot a different color to go with my logo theme. I painted the pots green, pink, orange, and teal blue. I plan on staggering the height of the pots to add eye appeal. I need to decorate with a few scrapbooking stickers of butterflies, flowers, and bees. I also plan on drawing a couple of larger signs in the shape of a butterfly, and bee to place in the two larger pots. I ordered a center display from Etsy, that hold 48 bars of soap. I got material to make a table cloth. The material is very bright and has honey bees on it. I think the table will look great and the colors will be inviting for customers. I plan on doing a test run of my table this week so that I know exactly how I am going to place everything. I still need to label all my bars of soap which will take hours.



Bring Food, Drink and Friends. I have sent a Facebook notification to all my friends. I plan on sending a reminder mid week. I am hoping that they will support me and come to the craft fair. It will be a long day so I do plan on wearing comfortable shoes. It is important to dress well. It is also important to bring snacks and bottled water. A craft fair can be busy and there is little time to eat. Making sure I stay well hydrated is important.

Prepare for Payments. I downloaded a smart phone application. I got the PayPal Here device and downloaded the app. I have practiced how to work the device but I am still nervous about using it since it is new to me, and I have never really used something like this before. I plan on bringing $100 in change.

Making Business Cards Meaningful. I have order 200 business cards, but I am concerned that that really isn’t enough. The cost of starting a business and preparing for your first craft fair can be astronomical. I plan on placing a business card with each order. I also painted a flower pot bottom to place cards on my table for people to take. I made a sign in sheet for people to put their name and email.

Get Organized. There are so many items that are necessary for a successful craft fair. Some examples: cashier box or something to hold cash, checks etc. Calculator, tape, stapler, scissors, markers, pens, push pins, small notebook, receipt book, phone charger especially using the new credit card devices. I created an inventory sheet, pricing cards for my table, custom order signs. There are so many things to think about my mind is spinning!

Buying is a very personal experience. People shop at craft fairs because they don’t want the Big Box Store Experience. It is important to tell your story. I want to make sure people know that I use only organic materials in my soaps and that they are terrific for their skin. But I also want them to know how I got started making soap, and that I use my honey and beeswax and products from my yard, in many of my products. I want to tell my story. Many of the articles said to “Believe in Yourself and your Product.” I do! Well I think I do. I will feel more confident after my first craft fair.

The most important part of any booth is a big Smile! As Anne Marie Faiola, the Soap Queen says Smile, Smile, and Smile!

Wish me luck and come visit my booth. I will be booth #11 at the Perrine Craft Fair. See you Saturday November 9th. Here is the link:

http://nowhitetent.ning.com/events/event/show?id=2050193%3AEvent%3A62939

1 comment:

  1. Maureen,
    I had no idea this was your first craft fair! Wow - I must say, your table looked very attractive and professional. I remarked to my husband that I could tell this was a home based business because you put such careful thought into each detail of your product. I really appreciate that as a customer. The soap bars stamped with your company name, the paper holders with the name of the soap, the little muslin bags with your company name on them, the business cards - everything showed attention to detail.

    I hope the fair was a success for you. I know I certainly am enjoying the soap I bought! ♥
    -Sandy Walker, Freedom Coach
    www.destinysfreedom.com

    ReplyDelete

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