Crazy Quilting, Cross Stitch and Embroidery Blog

Home Of CRAZY QUILT QUARTERLY MAGAZINE!


Add This To

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Guest Blogger - Louise Giordono

Hello everyone!  Today is the first of the month and that means that I have another Guest Blogger to introduce you to!  I met this lovely lady years ago on Etsy.  I was looking around at the newly listed items and came across a knitted purse that I absolutely fell in love with!  I went to her shop and oh my!!!  The most incredible knitted & crocheted work that I've ever seen.  I commissioned Louise to make 3 purses for me and we have been online friends ever since.  Please welcome Louise Giordono of Scarf It Up!

THE SCARF IT UP! EXPERIENCE

How exciting that Pam Kellogg invited me to be her guest blogger!  I am honored!  She has been an inspiration, a customer, and more, and I think we’ve admired one another’s work for a long time now.  Although I could write about a number of things, this latest event, a home or trunk show/open house could be useful for others, and so I gladly share my experience.  Thanks, Pam!

One way to sell hand-crafted items is the home trunk show / open house!  It can be an effective way to demonstrate products in a welcoming, cozy environment where friends gather round at leisure, handling, trying on, and experimenting with the goods for sale.  As the owner/ creator of Scarf It Up! Wearable Fiber Art in Knit, Crochet and Felt, I have been blessed with periodically using this sales and marketing method to boost sales and earn loyal fans.



RJ's Custom Loop Bag


The whole idea of Scarf It Up! actually started with such a show – at my daughter’s home in Massachusetts.  And a few weeks ago, about 10 years later, we threw yet another “party” at her place.  She invited colleagues from her school districts, friends, and neighbors, and asked them to bring friends as well.  She provided beverages and finger food (non-greasy/non-messy!), and I provided the products, arranged them using whatever worked in her living/dining areas, and we opened the doors to her guests from 4 – 6PM.  




Festive Holiday Bag


Every guest filled out a door prize form, and every half-hour we drew a name for one of several door prizes – I gave Embracelets (http://www.flickr.com/photos/scarfitup/4730440407/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/scarfitup/4727161871/in/photostream/ ) as the door prizes.  We asked for phone numbers (in case the winner had already left) and email addresses (so I could send thank you notes to all the attendees and invite them to be on my email list). 


Art in the Arboretum Wrap (AS)


I knew many of the guests who had supported my work and me in the past, and I welcomed those I hadn’t met before.  It was indeed a party atmosphere, but the most fun was demonstrating so much of my work that has multiple wearing options – and helping the women try on scarves, shawls, cachecols, vests, etc.  with their many variations.  


Spring Flowers Neck Garden


Here are recommendations for a successful home trunk show:

Offer your hostess a special piece of your work or a percentage of sales.  Since this was my daughter, I gave her a shawl that she loved AND some money to help defray the costs for refreshments.

Have your hostess send a “Save the Date” email to guests a month in advance.  Follow up with a formal email or printed invitation.  Print some and stick them in neighborhood doorways or mailboxes.

Set aside an area of the home for refreshments.  White wine, iced tea, and water are perfect.  Our food offerings included: pretzels with hummus, veggies with dip; baked chips with salsa, and fruit with a dip.  NO chocolate or anything greasy or sticky!  You want to protect the furniture as well as the products!

Use the entire remaining space for product set-up in various areas with mirrors.  I used hangers with scarves on the curtain rods; shawls and wraps on hangers from the bookcases (used poster gum to hold the hangers on); bags and purses on other bookcases and a bench; hangers with other items on the backs of doors or on door casings or hinges; jewelry on tables and neckwraps over the TV, backs of chairs, etc.  I flew to MA and so was unable to bring any form of display material with me.  My advice:  BE CREATIVE and use whatever is available!  It works!



Knitted Sac Sauvage Teal


I am able to accept cash, checks, or PayPal, and this was announced in advance.  Wear an outfit with pockets or use a fanny pack.  Do NOT leave money around; set up an area for payments, wrapping, and record-keeping. 

Set up a separate area for the door prizes (collection and display) near the door.  Gather that info as soon as the guests enter.  Send a thank you email to EVERYONE who attended, whether they purchased something or not.  I never want people to feel they have to buy something, but often they do.  So it helps to have smaller, less expensive items (I had a supply of choker/embracelets at $20) for that purpose and will have felted buttons for future shows.



Wrusty Wrapsody


I had announced through my Scarf It Up! newsletter that this open house was to take place, providing the place, date, and time, and inviting anyone in the area to attend.  When I blogged about my summer plans in New England (two separate trips), a friend offered to do another trunk show for me in RI in August.  And so it goes (grows!)  Ask YOUR friends to consider hosting.


Griff's Frilly


Was it successful?  How do you measure that?  Well, let me put it this way…..in TWO hours, I was able to realize more money than I had during the entire month in my two local B&M venues in NC and/or online.  At the very first SIU party 10 years ago, I had doubled that, and so at first I was a little disappointed this time.  BUT…..I needed to remember that this is a totally different economy and my prices were quite a bit lower when I first started.  So yes, I would have to say that it was very successful and indeed very gratifying to know that my work is still valued and marketable.


Nuno Felt Flower Pin/Brooch 2


If you haven’t tried this format, I most definitely suggest that you do.  If you’d like more information, tips, and strategies, or have questions, feel free to contact me: scarfitup@ec.rr.com or visit at: http://www.facebook.com/scarfitupwilmington, http://scarf-it-up.blogspot.com, or http://flickr.com/photos/scarfitup.  I look forward to meeting you online!  You can also friend me on FB: http://www.facebook.com/scarfitup.  And here is the link to my Etsy shop.


Yosemite Cachecol


Again I thank Pam for this invitation to write for her blog.  I look forward to comments and questions and to hearing from you personally.  Happy Summer Shows!


I hope you've enjoyed Louise' guest blogger post!  Perhaps her in home trunk show suggestions can help you in showcasing your own hand-made items in a new & unique environment!  There are opportunities around every corner!  We just have to look for them.

Please take a few moments to visit Louise at her Scarf It Up blog and please let her know if you enjoyed her guest blogger post!

5 comments:

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Great post, with a great idea for an additional way to earn some money with our creations. I just popped over to visit Louise and left her a comment. I'm enjoying your guest posts Pam.

Scarf It Up! said...

Thank you, Pam, for inviting me here, and Magpie, for your thoughtful comment here and on my blog! Louise

Butterfly Works said...

Louise is a very talented lady and I am so glad you show cased her work...

This is a great article....

Scrapping With Sherry said...

What a great idea... I wonder how that could work for a papercrafter? I like how you have a guest blogger too, that is also a good idea and something for your readers to look forward to.

I came by your blog to introduce myself. My name is Sherry and I am a new Bloggerette Sorority Sister. I have only been blogging for 3 weeks so I missed the rush, but I look forward in joining in on the events to come. I would be honored if you came by for a visit at http://scrappingwithsherry1.blogspot.com/ Hope to see you there!

Take Care~ Sherry

MosaicMagpie said...

So enjoyed reading this post. What great ideas you shared. I would have never thought of the food being a consideration, but you are right some choclate on fingers could be a mess!
Debbie

Related Posts with Thumbnails