Monday, July 19, 2010

Clam Festival !

Here are a few pictures to start with "behind the scenes".  My dad was in the area on Thursday (my folks live about an hour away) and while I was planning on some pre-set up on my own, he was able to lend me a hand.  This helped ALOT.  While you can imagine and plan, design and figure before an event, you have to make last minute changes when you get to the actual site.  Dad and I set up the tent, secured weights (I totally overkilled it in that department, I have been through my share of wind and rain storms at the Farmers Market that have left me scared to death), set up the tables and tucked the display baskets safely away.  Thanks dad!

This is all I really set up on Thursday.  I forgot the banners at home, so that will be a job for Captain and I on Friday morning.  I tucked the baskets under the table overnight as I was worried about fog settling on the baskets (this venue is only like 1 mile from the shore).

Here are a few of my neighbors setting up....

Across the aisle from me:  Beautiful pottery, cool and contemporary aprons, colorful baby items, hip belts and t-shirts, leather goods, artwork, soaps & lotions, jewlery, hand knit and felted mittens and much more!

Once Friday morning came around, craft set up was in full swing!  I was extremely nervous and my Captain was great!  He just smiles and does whatever I tell him.  It was very very hot and super humid.  We were sweating in minutes.  I had a great spot for unloading and loading, so that worked in our favor, but still, soap is heavy and there is alot of it to unload.  

This was it for 3 days.  Friday & Saturday 10-9, Sunday 10-5.  My great friend Chris came by on Friday and stayed with me for about 3 hours. She and I were both making sales and that was very exciting!   My other super friend Deede came by and escorted me to a clean and fresh bathroom in a friends office.  Much better than the porta pottys! She also brought me a table from her home that we set out in the aisle with some soap on it.  As a way to lure in those shy shoppers.  This worked great!  Thanks Deede!  Saturday my mom came by and stayed about 4 hours.   Thanks Mom!!! This gave me a chance to run across the street and check out the other crafters (scope out the other soap makers too).  There were about 130 crafters at this event.  I bought a lovely 2011 calendar (which I quickly turned into art for my walls) from Alan Claude and a beautiful pearl necklace tied off with funky green saddle stitch ribbon, the artist I do not know!  Sadly, she didn't give me a card. 

Here I go!


The banners are up (behind me) the table is FULL of soap centered in the tent.  I choose these colorful basket and filled them up with soap as sort of a self service soap.  Can you see in the top right of the photo the paper lanterns?  I had 5 of them up there in brown, blue, white & yellow to match my colors and add some fun.  People loved them.  My tent didn't back up to another crafter so I set it up so customers can come in from both sides.  This worked waaaay to my advantage in a couple of ways.  1.  The weather.  It was stifling hot and super humid, I'm talking mid 90's.  Any breeze that came our way made it through my tent.  Those crafters closed in on 3 sides were baking in the mid-day sun.  2. Customers!  I definitely was awarded with more customer "action" with this open tent.

Some close up photos of my display:

All in all, it was a great event.  Exhausting, yes.  The weather was gorgeous and I am very happy it didn't rain. There were a few sprinkles and a threat of a thunderstorm on Friday and Captain showed up to calm my nerves and offer a huge piece of plastic to throw over the soap and baskets if it got to that.   It was super hot (mid 90's) and wicked humid.  I realized last minute that I would be there after dark!  Captain quickly bought me some clip on shop style lights and hooked up an extension cord.  He also brought me a fan to circulate some air in the tent.  I just didnt' think of these things.  I have lots of ideas for how to make it much easier next time.  I really believe I sell alot of soap because I greet every single one of the customers that come in the tent.  I was standing almost the entire show.  I like to have lots of enthusiasm and let the customers know my story, that I hand make all this soap just for them.  I get alot of soap questions, and I am happy to tell folks how soap is made.  Alot of energy was spent on packing and unpacking the soaps.  Next time I will find a way to keep my soap in the booth overnight.  I would say that 1/4 of my sales were credit card sales and I am glad that I can now take credit cards at shows. 

I saw many of my loyal local customers.  I met lots of people and got the word out that I sell locally at the Farmers Markets, and also online to those that came from out of state.  I  met a woman on Friday that was working on a book about fairs in New England and she took close up pictures of my soap in the big baskets (that was exciting!).  I made some great contacts for many other shows in the area.  I had customers make a bee-line for my tent, they were looking for me!  That is all so very exciting!!! 

Now, up next....2 phone calls today...more soaps for Sea Side Creations and The Apple Shed! 


Anne-Marie said...

It sounds like you're surrounded by amazing friends and family to lend a helping hand! Your set up is darling. Love your baskets and chalkboard soap signs.

Steamer said...

Shannon, we hope you had lots of fun and did well at the Clam Festival. Thank you for sharing your experience on your blog! All the best! -- Steamer

Casco Bay Soap Co. said...

Thank you Ann-Marie! Yes, I do have some great friends and family!

Steamer! Wow! Thanks for visiting my blog!!! (For those that do not know, Steamer is the mascot for The Clam Festival!) Great festival, Steamer! :)

sproutsandsweetpeas said...

Wow, great turn out! What was the top selling scent?
My guess would be citrus scrub. With all the hot weather everyone could use a bit of a refresher! Or maybe blueberry cream (scince it is a good time for Maine blueberries!) Let us know....

Casco Bay Soap Co. said...

Oh Thanks for asking Sproutsandsweetpeas....

My top sellers were:

Lemongrass ~ People just said oh and ah when the sniffed the lemongrass.

Peppermint & Rosemary ~ I think the peppermint seemed soo refreshing in the wicked heat

Sea Mist ~ Sea Mist is a new fragrance I introduced only a few weeks ago. People loved it's clean fragrance with salty undertones.

And, I would also say that I sold alot of Walk In The Woods, mostly to men! Fir & Spruce with a bi of berries.

Thanks for asking!

Shannon, The Soap Maker!

Monica said...

Wow! Sounds like you had a great location and lots of help!