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Start a Handmade Business

Lesson 11 of 39

Booth Q and A

Kari Chapin

Start a Handmade Business

Kari Chapin

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Lesson Info

11. Booth Q and A

Lesson Info

Booth Q and A

I was just wondering how you feel about lady I tend to be attracted tio a boost that have a little bit of sparkle or lighting to them do you think that's like a general thing that people like something that's a little bit flashier or lit up does that? I mean it also depends on where you're you know where your booth is so um I mean, obviously if you're doing an outdoor show, you're probably fine indoor shows often they don't like them well enough so it is actually kind of nice to bring maybe like just some clip lights with a light bulbs so it's not and make sure they're not it's not possible that they could shine and someone face when they walk by or like they're not facing into a mirror if you you know, sell jewelry or something like that day light bulbs are nice because they're kind of soft and they're not you know they're not oppressive on people but it is nice to think about like an indoor show I know I've done some indoor shows where it's so dark that no one could see anything and ...

that's always kind of a planning that's a great question to ask will in betsy tomorrow to on their segment because they sell jewelry and it's really, really beautiful, sometimes very delicate jewelry and they have a great example of how when they invested in a lighting setup and they went to shows all over the country and so they never knew what the venue is going to be like really aside from what they could tell online and that it really changed their business tio pretty sure that I heard wells once a lighting is everything well, so you know, when you when you have something like that that has a much higher price point and perhaps the average booth has or you're selling something for two hundred dollars that is meant to be worn you know, lighting is definitely something to consider for that. Yes, kathy, I have a question about sign ege for my left it's fair and made a sign that's actually I also sell who part? And it was a quilting hoops that was pretty thing but I'm wondering do I need a professionally printed sign that I could that's more prominent way didn't because there's not really any where to put the sign but here's aaron sign and I actually tend to be partial tio a handmade sign if you if you are a seller which you are I think it's it's an amazing extra bit of branding to make your banner on and then you know I mean it's kind of the same is this like you have it all the time you just have to do it the one time so I really like a handmade sign for handmade business because it's just showing how much you kind of live in breathe the brand yes usually you also recommend maybe raising the table up I know a lot of people use like I think they're called like bed lifters your bed up on stilts to put the table more high level you can definitely do that I think it depends also what you're selling and it's nice I feel like a lot of jewelry people raise up the table a little bit and it feels a little bit more inviting to kind of because you know you don't have to like stoop over like this also if you have a booth depending on the craft fair like you might just have this one table or you might have a whole tent you khun dio a table that's lower and then to the side do a table that's higher so that you have different heights kind of all throughout you think if you're selling smaller things that getting emma's you know as close as you can to the customers makes selling them a lot easier where if you were like palling through here looking for too cat hearings or something like that if there was a whole been to choose from that that's a lot of work on the customer right raising up the table benefits really small is definitely a great idea now leslie I know in your booth you actually use vinyl walls to simulate like we're all in the shower really? So when you decided to make that investment in your boots, how did it how did it affect your sales when you would go to shows? Well, I've only actually used them for one show we brought him out for the holiday season last year so it's hard to say but there was people commented on them quite a bit, so I feel like it was a good decision okay, we're going to check in with you think it goes after that yeah, I think the most you can make your booth a reflection of your own brand is fabulous and like, you know, people are walking through especially a big show like renegade there's two hundred fifty vendors of people who will get fatigued after a while if they're seeing kind of the same style of booth over and over again, so if you have a booth that's really different and I've seen you know, I mean people go so far as to almost like, build a house and their move and I'm not saying you have to do that, but if there's a way, you can make your booth feel different in some way it's it's great it's great to make yourself stand out yes, well, we still have a ton of questions coming in for kate it's about jews in general I don't care if we if we're done with air and if she can if we are we're not but weaken center you can sit down if you want or but want to let everybody know and appear awkwardly I wouldn't yeah I just love for you again to let everybody know where they can find you maybe do you have a show coming up? No, I don't have anything up coming up anytime soon I'm kind of in the middle of wedding season right now oh that's running my life um but you can always find me on social media I haven't etc shop have a web um web site with all of my everything on it and yeah, social media great find me wherever well you wave onto social media one we're done today and put your information up tag it so that people can find it if they search on any of the networks so they can yeah that's exactly what you're doing definitely thinks you're holding this is against building here and I thought it was my friends, my finger and you have a question from online? Yes um olia had said I always like seeing crafters working on a piece of work if possible at their booth it draws people and if they can watch you work it's like a behind the scenes glimpse to your process, what should I have advice on that I think that's great, I like that, teo, I really do love it when I go to sheep and wool festivals somebody's like spinning the war they're like, you know, pumping on their machine or doing that carding wool, I mean, the kind of I think that it's great to work on your product in front of people as long as you're comfortable doing it and sharing that side of what you do, actually, but I think that there it's another way to engage people, but I think we all have parts of our job that aren't that glamorous like for me, when I'm embroidering, sometimes they just want to zone out and wind all of my embroidery, thread and that's one way that I spend a lot of times, so even just some aspect of what you do if you could work on that at the booth, even if you don't want to be physically making something that you're going to sell if you're uncomfortable with that process, there's, lots and lots of other things you can do that can strike up conversations and really help engage customers. Yeah, I think that's great to see the behind the scenes of you know what you're working on? I think a lot of people are I mean, that's what you're selling is this handmade thing, so people want to see how it's made as long as you're not so into it that you're not talking to anyone but it's fine anything you know it's kind of like you have to do keyed it a little bit where you're working and looking up and working so maybe like you said it's not something that you're working you're not working on your next masterpiece or something and there but you could do kind of just like a you know, easy process job yeah, something that's relatable it's also a great way to start a conversation because I know it's hard for people a lot of times when they're sitting in their booths to say stuff like how are you all right again? Are you enjoying the show great would you get like there's a least feels like there's only so many times you can say the same thing over and over and still worry about are still hope that you're sounding genuine or in tested or like you care you know, so but if you're actually doing something and somebody can start the conversation with you, it does take a little bit of the burden off of you as the booth person, I think for sure anymore questions many s oh, just a couple of quick questions about booth placement as well and standing earlier you were talking about standing behind booth there if you have a u shape eight booth this is from sandra be where would where would that place you if you have the if it's you know in a big u shape does it just depend on your choice really still be inside you for the most part there I think so it's sort of decided for you if you're going with that lay out so you could put the uup closer he wanted but then you know, thinking about walking around all three sides of that would be more burdens on them just like crossing over or moving back I think yeah, I think for the most part here you want to be sort of I mean, you can come out and talk to people and show people things but your home they should kind of be behind the u of like this end or the sense because again you're kind of going into this territory where you have things is that people need but you don't necessarily want to show them on dh then you can kind of just dash out from time to time to show people other parts of the booth. Ok, another question this is also from olia who's asked what about other stuff you should have at your boots like marketing materials like postcards, business cards, a little giveaways and then in addition to that I have a friend who does photography shows and she said that she used to always have a place where you could charge your cell phone at her booth because that draws people to your booth it's what about having things that have nothing to do with the show like water giving people water bottles or what do you guys think about those kind of tactics? Well I think that having your marketing materials out is sort of a double edged sword so I think he needs to decide what you really think about that number one if you have your postcards and your business cards out and anything else that I might want to know about your business and I'm in a rush it's like all too easy for me to take it and go on the other hand if I have a lot of questions for you and I'm stopping to engage you in a conversation and I really want to know where can I buy this or what else do you do or can you do custom orders I also want you to have some additional information on him to give me rather than just saying go to my website so I think that I think that it could be a little bit tricky figuring that out information that I do want you teo have accessible to anybody who's walking by as I want to you to number one be able to state credit cards and I want people tio know that I think these days people just assume that you're going to be able to take your credit card at a craft show booth but I want you to have some way to let people know that and I also I think it's ideal to have some way tio gather contact information for people who are interested in giving it to you. So in erin's case here she has a newsletter sign up sheet but if she was using square stand and she had an ipad and people could just go you know she could have her newsletter lis right up there when she wasn't taking a payment and people could enter and their email addresses to get on her list that would be pretty ideal so I do think that sign it is really key I think the less people have to ask you how much is this? How much is this? How much is this? The better off you are buying it it's really different for someone to pick this up and say like forty five dollars and to be okay with that versus saying how much is this? And then when you say it's forty five dollars if that's what it is I have made that up so how much is this erin thirty five ok, so if you were tio be able to see that that's a different impression somebody would get the news saying it out loud so as faras having stuff be visible and clear, I think it's important to have all of your things priced your signs match your branding, the availability to give people additional information if they want additional work from you. But otherwise, I think your business cards are pretty much the way to go if you give away, like little buttons or little samples of something, you know, just having a mall in a dish or next next to each other, I think is probably pretty sufficient, and I think it depends again, like what kind of business you have if you have a soap business and might be really easy to give people samples, um, I don't know what you would give away as the sample and other than maybe a little button. Um, but it's, nice to give people like things that are useful or, you know, kind of go along with your branding rather than just, like, weird trade show booth stuff that you can get, you know, because you could you go back home and you've got all these crazy, weird drag blankets in here than of so yeah, and if you're I mean, if you sell things for pets, have a, you know, big jar with dog biscuits, or, you know, if you saw things for kids, have I don't know, lollipops there's something of water for dogs is good if you're at an outdoor show and it's hot and people, but check ahead first to make sure people are allowed to bring their dogs in. I myself have kicked over many a bowl of water without seeing it, but you know, things like that are available to do and to offer people where you can help them, but I probably wouldn't give them model water that's a lot of a lot bring military and a lot of space in your car, where you could have product or merchandise that you need to be able to keep it cold. So now you're buying ice. I would really rely on people getting their own drinks, but but having something to offer them, whether it's shade or or what not, is a really good idea. Yeah, so is there one more question before we got back into the sides for a minute or so to say, I think you'd be really sweet for you to maybe make up an embroidered signed off your prices, even either on a really big hope, hanging somewhere or even in a little above your your hankies there does have a little embroidered, you know, a really cute style and keep it never, you know, I don't have one once, but it does have a part of your side here's your sign each maybe can you make that tonight, erin, and a big hope, you know, yeah, somewhere back there, yeah, I'd be really cute it's a great idea, I think, always you know, no matter what I think about what you're selling and how your display can tie into what you're saying. And since you're selling handmade things that are beautiful and required a lot of work and a lot of thought on your part, the more you can show customers that the more they're you know, likely to buy things and spend time in your booth and feel, you know, just kind of feel that emotion rather than feel, you know, this kind of cold, like trade show feeling like a little hanky and then put the price next to it like important little shaky shape or border hoop shaped with a little you know, I don't know something in the price next daughter get graded with great ideas.

Class Description

Most artists and crafters are easily inspired to create new work, but getting inspired to build a business that shares that work with the world can sound like a much more daunting prospect. Kari Chapin, author of The Handmade Marketplace and Grow Your Handmade Business, is ready to teach you everything you need to know to break into the online marketplace and share your work with the world.

Kari will help you determine the online sales venue that’s best suited to your handmade goods. You’ll learn about the pros and cons of both selling through an existing online marketplace (like Supermarket or Etsy®) and setting up your own independently-operated website. You’ll also develop the optimal marketing strategy for sharing your products with the world, from social media to blogging to branding and packaging. Kari will cover essential best practices for running a successful crafting business, including confidently setting price points, creating media kids, acting as your own publicist, and much more.

No matter what you make, this course will give you the confidence to see the things you have to offer as uniquely valuable to customers, the inspiration to take your work to new heights, and the foundation you need to ensure your business’s success.



Kari Chapin's course, Start a Handmade Business, was a game-changer for me. Her content was presented in such an accessible, engaging, easy-to-digest, and oftentimes hilarious way. At the same time, she did not sugar-coat things. Having a handmade business is a job and requires work. I love that she emphasized that fact. Not only did she give the nut and bolts of how to start a handmade business but spent a lot of time on the emotional component of being an artist trying to sell her work. Her guests (Skype and in-studio) were well-chosen and showed the rapport she has with her community. This showed that she lives what she teaches. The interaction with the studio audience and online community was integral to the course because it showed real-life examples of business owners at varying stages in their career. (I was so lucky to be one of the studio audience members. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity!) This class was a comprehensive look at handmade businesses that everyone from fledgling businesses to more established businesses can benefit from. I highly recommend this course! Thank you Kari for sharing your mind-blowing wisdom and warm and fuzzy heart with us! And thank you CreativeLive for having this awesome resource for the creative community! --Cathy Pascual,


Well, it's been a few days since the course and I am still pumped. Kari said a few things in particular that I needed to hear and I'm so grateful for that. I have been involved in the facebook group she put together and I am so happy about that. It's an awesome resource and my fellow creatives have been very helpful and encouraging. I totally recommend this course to any creative entrepreneur at any stage in their journey. Plus she is cute, funny and has just the right amount of snarkiness. I so enjoyed it!

a Creativelive Student

I loved this course with Kari Chapin! Her wealth of information delivered with such an honest and funny voice was refreshing and inspiring. I have accomplished things in the last few days that have languished on my to-do list for a year or more, largely due to this class. Kari is very down-to-earth and just plain adorable! I highly recommend this course for anyone creative who has or wants to have their own business.