A Crafts Community For Craft Ideas & DIY Projects - Craftster.org
Help | About | Press | Advertise | Cookie Policy | Terms | Site Map
Welcome, Guest
News from Internet Brands:
Closing the Craftster Community on December 19, 2019.
Read the details here.
Total Members: 323,619
Currently Running With Scissors:
112 Guests and 0 Users
Home Craftster Community Crafting Articles Craft Tutorials Crafting Calendar City Guides


Pages: [1]
Jump to page:
  Show Images Only     Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
Topic: Any Corporate Crafters out there?  (Read 4037 times)
Tags for this thread:  Add new tag
Share the love... Pin it Submit to reddit  
MoonShadows
Offline Offline

Posts: 5
Joined: 19-Sep-2014

Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains


View Profile WWW
« on: September 20, 2014 08:53:18 AM »

We are going to test the waters of Corporate Craft (vendor) Days. For those of you that are not familiar with this, they are days set aside by large companies/corportions where crafters/vendors (usually one a day) set up in their lobby or cafeteria and sell their goods to the employees. You can learn more from such companies as www.CountryCarts.com and www.corpkiosks.com.

If you have ever attended any of these shows, I would be very interested in you input/opinions/results. From what I have read, I think we could do very well with our country food line.

Jim
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Jim Guinn
MoonShadows Farm LLC
Visit our Home Based Business websites at:
www.moonshadowsfarmllc.com
Chris in VT
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2014 03:59:17 AM »

Hi Jim!

I know we've talked a lot on other forums and I know you make a good product. But aren't the shows doing it for you?

I know nothing about corporate events as there are no corporate places anywhere near me up here.
But just the thought of going in, setting up, selling for a short time, tearing down and going home all in one day exhausts me.

I just finished a 2 weekend show in upstate New York at a cider mill. The second weekend there was an exhibitor selling jams & jellies and we talked (because he was across from me) and at the end on Sunday, he said he made just over $2,200. You should be able to do those numbers easily.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

There's NOTHING at a craft show, or on Etsy, anybody NEEDS. NOTHING.
MoonShadows
Offline Offline

Posts: 5
Joined: 19-Sep-2014

Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains


View Profile WWW
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2014 06:50:10 AM »

Hi Chris,

I've noticed over the past few years, shows are getting leaner and leaner here in NEPA. We have a handful of good ones, but there just don't seem to be a lot in this area that are worth attending. I don't mind traveling, but I work a regular full time job in the area and my partner commutes to NYC everyday to teach. Neither of us want to work full time, but we have to have the insurance; and, it's great insurance since we both work for school systems. It's hard enough trying to satisfy all of our wholesale customers on a regular basis, but I can't imagine trying to get ready for a distant two day weekend show, leaving Friday night, getting home Sunday night, and getting back up at 3:30am for work on Monday...yes, that's what time we get up...all while balancing our wholesale customers. Our time is at a premium as it is, but we're not quite making enough to make the leap of faith just yet, and quit our day jobs.

I want to begin exploring the world of corporate shows. I think you are right; they can be exhausting, but they might be our way out of our regular jobs. If they are lucrative and we could do one or two a week. that might allow us to leave our jobs, and then we would have more time to further develop the wholesale side and travel more to better shows.

As far as that jam guy saying he made just over $2200, was that gross, net or some number he dreamed up? What was he charging? Did he account for the fee, travel, lodging, food, samples, etc. when he said he made just over $2200. I never have a problem talking gross-net with other crafters, but I find so many "blur" this line, and conveniently "forget" things like expenses when telling others what they "made" from a show. I think our prices at $6.50, $5.50 and $4.50 are very reasonable, maybe too reasonable and have been thinking of raising them. We do have some, what I consider, excellent shows, but we don't come close to "clearing" $2200 for any show. Even Wilbur's last week. We took in $2077 for the weekend, but after expenses for fee, travel, samples, product, our profit was $1003.75. I consider that a good show, but I know we can do much better, but not in the NEPA area. To do it, we have to travel, we have to go where the money is (possibly corporate shows) and we need to have more time, i.e. cutting back(questionable) or leaving our regular jobs....or at least one of us doing that initially.

Right now, I feel we are caught between a rock and a hard place. We have a good product that people like, and it sells well, but to break through to the next level (expand our show schedule and further develop our wholesale base), we need more time to devote to it. However, we are not financially secure enough to do what it takes, quit our jobs. However, there comes a time when that leap needs to be made or the window of opportunity may close...maybe forever. I feel that time is coming close, and I feel myself being slowly, but surely, drawn into taking this leap or feeling I'll forever regret it. Hey, we can always eat peanut butter and jam...we have a ton of it!...LOL

Did you experience similar feelings when you and your wife left your jobs for full time crafting?

Jim
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Jim Guinn
MoonShadows Farm LLC
Visit our Home Based Business websites at:
www.moonshadowsfarmllc.com
Chris in VT
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2014 05:07:13 PM »

All number I quote are always gross sales. Naturally we deduct our costs of doing the show, inventory, etc.

When I lived in Effort I too commuted to NJ every morning, so I know all about getting up at zero dark thirty and getting home 12 to 14 hours later. But I got to the point where I was making just as much from shows as I was at my "real" job. But my passion was no longer in the steel business. So I walked away while I was still young enough to enjoy life and do what I loved for a living.

We had to change our lifestyle. No longer was I going to buy a new vehicle every 2 years. I kept the one I bought in 1990 for 314,000 miles traveling to shows. And we made mistakes. Boy did we make mistakes! But we learned from them. And we still learn something at every show we do.

We also learned to do as many shows with as few promoters as possible. At one point we were doing over 40 shows a year.  But with only 5 promoters. 15 with one promoter alone. We were doing 40 shows and we averaged $3000 per show. You can use a rule of thumb that 50% of sales is eaten up in costs.

We also found out we can live wherever we wanted, so we escaped from the Poconos and moved to the country. We went from PV school system to a school with 60 kids K thru 6th grade. At one point 3rd grade had all of 2 kids. Today the average class size is 9.

So netting 60K in Vermont is nice money. That's because as I said above, we changed our lifestyle. I haven't been inside a mall in over 10 years. I still keep our SUV for a minimum of 150,000 miles. Vermont supports the arts too. And what you guys are doing would definitely be supported here.

There are even a couple places that will do all your canning using your recipe for you. I have a good friend who makes salsa who uses one. He picks up his stock and goes to craft shows. All his certs are in place so he can sell in any state.

But all of us have that one thing. Passion for what we do. And this passion is described as "I would do this even if I didn't get paid!"

Do you have that passion? You cannot work two full time jobs and be good at both.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

There's NOTHING at a craft show, or on Etsy, anybody NEEDS. NOTHING.
MoonShadows
Offline Offline

Posts: 5
Joined: 19-Sep-2014

Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains


View Profile WWW
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2014 05:50:12 PM »

Very comforting words, Chris.

I know we could replace and even better my present salary and chunk of my partner's salary if we were to concentrate on  more shows...widening our territory and carefully picking shows....and continue the wholesale side of the business.  You are right; "You cannot work two full time jobs and be good at both." And, the one I have the passion for is the one I really want to persue full time.

I had a long discussion with my partner tonight. He tends to be the more conservative (read; play it safe) of the two of us. While I am not reckless, I believe it is very doable. Cutting back is not a problem. In many ways we have already cut back now that we live a life that is much more self-sufficient. The "toys" that many in our society seem not to be able to do without really don't interest us. At 58, money does not mean that much to me as long as I can meet my obligations. And, at 58, I want to do what I want to do.

As I said earlier, I am feeling inevitably drawn to making this move from working my "real job" and squeezing in my passion to following my passion full time. I believe this move will come in the near future. It is time.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Jim Guinn
MoonShadows Farm LLC
Visit our Home Based Business websites at:
www.moonshadowsfarmllc.com
Chris in VT
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2014 04:23:36 AM »

Good!

I expect to meet both of you at Chester next spring. The space is $265 for two days. Setup is Friday or early Saturday.

Next get out a map and a compass. Draw a circle from home with a radius of 200 miles. That's usually a 6 hour drive home on Sunday night. Take a look at all the places you can do a show! Look at what's going on at the Allentown Fairgrounds. RV shows, dog shows, other events you can do that we crafters don't because of your product.

And commit this to memory: Selling is 50% of your business! Be passionate about your product and transfer that passion to your customers by actually enjoying being with them. Banter with them, joke with them. Even if they don't buy at that time, if they leave your booth with a smile, they WILL remember you!

If I can be of any help, just ask.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

There's NOTHING at a craft show, or on Etsy, anybody NEEDS. NOTHING.
MoonShadows
Offline Offline

Posts: 5
Joined: 19-Sep-2014

Good Eats & Treats from the Pocono Mountains


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2014 05:47:43 PM »

See you in Chester!
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Jim Guinn
MoonShadows Farm LLC
Visit our Home Based Business websites at:
www.moonshadowsfarmllc.com
Threads you might like:
Pages: [1] Jump to page:
  Send this topic  |  Print  |  Bookmark  
 
Jump to:  



FacebookTwitterPinterest
only results with images
include swap threads
advanced search
Crafting Ideas
Crafting How-Tos
Crafting Ideas
Crafting Topics



Latest Blog Articles
Tute Tuesday: Christmas Crack
Meal Prep Monday: Black Eyed Pea and Squash Soup
Craftster Featured Projects - Dedicated to the People Who Made It



Craftster heartily thanks the following peeps...
Moderators

Follow Craftster...






Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!

Help | About | Press | Advertise | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Terms | Site Map | Do not sell my personal information

Copyright ©2003-2017, Craftster.org, © 2009-2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands