I get asked quite often how you make soap. People don’t understand the chemical transformation that the oils/lye go through most of the time, no matter how I try to simplify it. Well the other day I came across this image and LOVED it. It’s a simple visual explanation of what I try to explain :D It will be printed and kept with me at fairs to be pulled out every now and then. :)
A couple weeks ago a friend and I carpooled down to Falmouth (2 hours away) for an event on the cape. This involved getting up at 4:30AM getting to her house by 5:30…loading my parents van (minus three of its seats)…and then driving down (thankfully against rush hour traffic–the event was on Wednesday) to Falmouth.
The drive seemed to fly by with someone to talk to! And oh it was so much fun fitting all of our stuff in one car. Two tents…four tables…all our product and display items…tent weights :D But we made it all fit!
And there was getting back to he place at 9PM…after a very long day. I missed taking out her garbage cans by millimeters as I backed into her driveway to unload her items!
Yup I was a tired girl. But we got a good laugh over it and it was a fun day made more so by having a friend with me :D We’ve got another “carpool” event coming up in September as we head up to the middle of nowhere (or so it feels) New Hampshire :D
I’ve started to change how I cut my bars so now I’m left with small end pieces. Great for sample bars for someone who wants to just try out a soap or scent before buying more! The prices range from $1.00 to $2.50 (based on weight).
I love how the packaging worked out.
I’m excited to see how these go over at the fairs. :)
I have two winter Craft fairs lines up. One December 3rd and one December 10th. The stART at the Station Craft Fair is December 4th. It’s a more expensive fair to get a spot at and there’s only about 100 spots (to about 200 applicants).
When I knew I had two fairs I decided not to apply to the stART at the Station one…but then talking with my Dad and thinking about it I figured why not. If I’m investing one day of that weekend already might as well try and see if I can get a spot for the Sunday fair too.
With this application I have to submit three photos of my work that show it’s “uniqueness” as the winter craft fair is being advertized as “unique.” So I put together these pictures to submit with my application. Now it’s just a waiting game to see if I get a spot or not!
I’m way too detail oriented! I’m always sketching out ideas. In part it’s just how I’ve always been, ten plus years of working in the design field has taken a natural instinct and made it nearly impossible for me to function any other way. I’ve been free hand sketching my designs for my craft fair tables for months now as I figure out what I want to do and as I get new “pieces” to help me display my products.
Well, I finally reached a point where free hand sketching wasn’t cutting it. I needed to draw my plan to scale and see just how everything would layout out… This is what came from that (I warmed you…way to detail oriented!)
My dad and I went to the Bolton Fair this past weekend and we saw a shelf display for soaps I LOVED! The lady there was really nice and let us take pictures of it! So I went to work designing a shelf pretty much like hers, just slightly modified…
Of course I had multiple options (the above is the one I think I’m going with, but before I got to that final design I had a couple other options).
And for those who the above plans and elevations make no sense here’s a picture of the shelf I’m basing my design off of!
And since I wrote and scheduled this post my table design has changed AGAIN :D Each farmers market I figure out another little piece of the layout…eventually it’ll get to exactly what I want it to be!
I went on the search a while back for bread baskets that would work as a soap holder and I found some I liked (remember back to my post on my display table). They’re a little bit smaller than I wanted, only hold 4-5 soaps but they’re adorable and exactly what I wanted style wise! I’m having covers made to line the inside of the baskets and I think once they’re all set up they’ll be perfect!
I can’t wait to get the covers back so I can pull everything out and do a mock set up to see how it all looks. Traveling to craft fairs and farmers markets is going to be quite a trip now. Between all the boxes of soap, cupcake soaps, display/set up items, two tables, wood shelves…I’ve got quite a production. The nice thing about this though is I can alter the display to fit one or two tables. There’s a lot of flexibility in my table layouts. I’m excited. August, September and October I have 5 Farmer’s Markets I’m attending. Can’t wait to see how those go. It’ll be a learning experience for sure! But I’m excited!
I’ve got decisions to make and I don’t know what to do! Normally I’m pretty good with coordinating colors and patterns but I’m a bit stuck at the moment and would love your feedback! (Click to enlarge image.)
Now that you’ve seen my sketch above and the fabrics I have here’s my dilemma. I am building a little 12″ High x 12″ Wide x 68″ Long shelf to set on my table out of 2x4s and plywood. It’s not going to be “pretty looking” so I need to make a cover to go over it.
The question is:
- Should it be beige to match the tablecloth?
- Or should I use either the striped or flower fabric to make the cover? And if so which one the flowers or the stripes?
I plan to make basket covers for these baskets, which I’ll be putting on top of the shelf and using to display my soap in. (Imagine no bread in it :D)
I was going to do a beige cover and alternate the basket covers with flowers, stripes. But now I’m wondering if I should do something more bold for the raised cover. If I did do the flowers for the cover then I’d just do the stripes for the basket covers (and vice versa) Of course I don’t to take away from the soap which is the focus…but I’m afraid of the beige being too bland…decisions, decisions.
So I went into my first craft fair really with no idea how to best set up my table or the correct supplies but I figured I’d get plenty of ideas walking around and viewing other people stalls and boy did I get ideas!
I’ve been sketching and putting together ideas since Sunday night. I want to use baskets. I’m not sure if it’ll work, but I think if I can get levels on my table that I can make baskets work. I went out and bought some Monday night. Tags are still on. I needed the baskets though to layout on the table and see if they work. Try as I might to lay it out and picture it in the store I couldn’t. I hope to be able to try setting it up this weekend or next to see how it’ll work.
My next goal is to get my wonderful dad (I’m totally sucking up here :)) to help me build a shelf to create levels on my table. Too hard to explain here but I know what I want in my head!
Next is to start going to garage/yard sales and seeing what treasures I can find for my set up as well. I have some specific things in mind that I want that I think I can find at yard sales. So that’s my goal this summer is to go to yard sales all summer until I find all the pieces (and hopefully some little treasures I wasn’t expecting) for my table set up.
I’ll also need to invest in another table and a couple of tablecloths, some ribbon and supplies to make new signs for my soap. Got some ideas for that too!
I survived my first craft fair, made a small (very small) profit, and learned A LOT! I’ve also got ideas for how to display my soap. I didn’t know what to do or how to do it this time, so I kind of went with that I had and I made it work, but I have definite ideas for future craft fairs and flea markets. My mom and I are going to go hit up some garage sales this summer in hopes that I can find a few pieces I’m looking for! Some stuff I’ll have to buy, but it’s an investment that will last and be worth it in the end.
The day started at 6:30 AM. I was up and out of the house by 7 AM. I had to go to my parents. They were letting me borrow their tent and table and helping me set up and take down (Thank you Mom and Dad :)). We got everything packed up and in my parents van and were off to Worcester by 8:50. Got there, checked in, were assigned spot 113 and so began the setting up. We were done by 10:45-11ish so my mom and I (while Dad watched my soap) walked around to visit the other stalls. There where all sorts of wonderful artisans there! I counted 6 or 7 soap makers total. I paid close attention to what they all did and got some ideas from their displays and also realized how I could do things differently next time.
I knew I needed to sell at least 20 soaps to break even on the booth cost. My goal was to sell 40 soaps. If I did that I’d have broken even on the entire deal from soap costs, gas, banner and supplies. And I’m happy to say I surpassed 40! I was happy.
It was really interesting to see what most people were interested in and what people showed NO interest in. I didn’t sell a single lavender bar or lavender-vanilla bar and only one vanilla. The tangerine, lemon verbena, oatmeal milk & honey, cedar and saffron, and white peach and hibiscus were the most popular. The vanilla-pomegranate was also pretty popular.
In two weeks it’ll be time for my local flea market. That’ll be interesting to see how it goes. That one will be much less intense and a very different atmosphere seeing how it’s a local flea market and not a craft fair. However the town folks are pretty good about supporting their local businesses so I think it will be a fun day.
Then come July it’ll be time to sell my summer soaps and I am so happy with how they all turned out! I think they’ll be well received at the flea markets this summer. I can’t wait to get started on my Christmas soaps! I have to do some restocking, that’s my goal for June and come July it’ll be Christmas time for me :D At least me house will smell like Christmas time!
Okay everyone! Do my a favor and pray for good weather this Sunday! The craft fair can’t be held if we have bad weather and I REALLY don’t want it to get postponed!
I’ve been a busy bee getting ready for it! I’m almost there. I need a few things still mainly another table. If I don’t get one I can make due with one table, but I think having two would help. I need to get some “plastic” table cloth and a paper bags (the small lunch ones) to put orders in but otherwise I think I’m ready!
The hardest part about this is wondering if I have enough soap or too much soap! I just don’t know! I’ve never done a craft fair before and I’m not sure how much I’ll need. Though if I sell out of all the soap I have (about 150 bars) I won’t complain :D I made my description tags and got them laminated last week. My banner came too! I like it. Simple but it works. I just wish they’d had the text option I used in my banner, but really in the big scheme of things I supposed that’s minor.
Saturday I’ll go pick up the last couple items I need and then I think I’m ready!