Have you ever thought about doing a home show? I do them. I take my crafty things to your home and do a mini craft show. I have been doing them for about 9 years plus.
This is what I do.. And really every year I tweek it a little and change things. This is my latest incarnation.
I put it on the back of my business cards that I do them- so generally people call me. When I first started- I called some friends and bribed them to have a show for me! I am in some one's home for really about 2hrs at the most. Sometimes longer- if you are friends with everyone and you are staying to visit.
Normally the parties are in the evening- but they can be anytime. I print up postcards on my computer and put the stamps on them myself and get them to the hostess. (It is a business expense for me and cheaper than a craft show). I usually do 20 cards. On the postcard- I put a note on them- to return the card for a gift at the party and to be put on my mailing list. I also might say something that if you bring a guest you get a gift. The hostess also calls and emails her friends to come. I have had hostesses that put an ad in the paper for more customers. It is up to the hostess. It is good to over-invite because you are lucky to get half of the people you invite.
I come with small inexpensive gifts ($1-$3) for the guests- everyone likes a freebie. Usually I have Christmas ornaments that I have made. I also make sure I have something more for those who brought a guest with them-maybe $3-$5.
About an hour before the party starts I get to her home and set up. The hostess gives me what ever space she wants me to use. (ex- the living room, family room etc.). I don't bring any racks or tables. I am not there to mess up her home. I use the couches and her end tables and dining/kitchen table for my display. I am make this as easy as possible for us both. Sometimes they have a card table for me to use. I always bring a cloth for the floor- you always hope the house is super clean- but it isn't always and you don't want your things to pick up pet hair etc.
* The hostess needs to remove her personal items from the room that she has the party in- so no one mistakenly believes that they can buy their personal items*
Kids and pets might be around- that is fine-- work with it. I love both- you can always get a 5 yr old to help you put out your items. And hope that the cat doesn't lay on your things! Most people put the pets away. Kids can help you bag items. Remember the hostess is doing You a favor by selling your things- be kind to her kids and pets.
Then I set up my craft things around- with prices on everything. I bring my receipt books, bags, change, Tax number to display and I set up a checkout at whatever table is available.
Guests come knowing it is a home craft show-- they have the option of saying no and not coming. With the Internet- people know ahead of time my crafts/quilts so it is not a surprise. I do them with either my pet line or my home line.. the hostess tells me what she wants. She might also choose to have food-whatever.
The parties really only last about 2 hrs for me. If people stay longer- it is friends who are just getting together. I leave the house as clean as it was when I arrived. I take checks- but it is up to you. If someone wants to order something- the hostess is not involved- I decide how to either deliver it to the customer or have them pick it up.
I offer the hostess a flat % off on her sales. I used to offer a rate of percentage based on total sales of her guests- but that got to be confusing and unnecessary. People come to me to have a party because they like my items. They are happy to get a discount. I do give the hostess a Thank You gift- I offer her a choice of 2 things-- about $8-$10 item. A choice is easier-most people have a problem choosing an item. I make it easier for them.
Safety-- you have to think of that. Most of my home shows are either people I know or people who know people I know. I did have one person a few years ago.. and all I can say was that I had bad vibes-- I felt uncomfortable enough that I brought a friend with me- I am glad that I did. The husband was there and he gave me the creeps- he made inappropriate comments about what my husband thought of me out at night and "allowing" me to do things out with out him etc. It was weird. I was glad my friend was with me. And sometimes you just don't know the area of town- I have some areas that I just won't go to-friend or not. No sale is worth some parts of the city and my safety.
But try it-- and have fun with it and meet new people.... And stay tuned for part 2 of this discussion where I talk about a group show in your home.....