Display Ideas (The never ending dilemma)!

May 10, 2015

I really liked my display set up from last season and I want to keep most of it, but with the addition of a body scrub line I need something to display those. What I have won’t work.  I’ve spent way too many hours researching different display options. I have a couple of good options…now I have to play around with designs and see what would work and what I think would look best.

Option 1: Love the tiered shelf. Problem is it won’t hold a lot of scrubs…but it would work well on a table set up.

teired stand1

Option 2: Again, won’t hold a ton of scrubs, but would definitely look cute on a table.

whitewash shelf

Option 3: This would cause me to change my whole table set up. And I’m not sold on it. I’d also need to add a couple more shelves as I think five would be better for me. I don’t need as much space between my shelves.

shutter display

Option 4: Love the idea of this, but then it would most likely replace one of my tables…do I want to do that?  Oh the choices!

ladder display


2015: A Look Forward

January 15, 2015

I met many of my goals in 2014.  So, now it’s time to make those 2015 goals.

  1. Double my profit.  This might be asking too much, who knows, but I’d rather challenge myself than just be content to do what I did last year.
  2. Work on my “attraction appeal.”  I know that seems a bit big and vague.  What do I mean?  Work on pulling new customers.  Work on standing out.  Work on making some new products that will draw in new customers.  Goal #2 goes hand in hand goal #1.  I’ve already begun working on goal #2.
  3. Maybe (finally) finalize my display set up?  I know that will never happen.  I think part of a changing display makes for something “new” for repeat clients, but I’m hoping to before the season really starts get my new display all pulled together to work with all my new products (and all fit in the car)!  I’m currently banging my head against walls as I continue to play around with options.
  4. Introduce a few new products.  I want to develop a body scrub/polish line, bubble bath, lip scrubs, shower tabs, and under eye butter.
  5. Make some improvements to my webpage (most which will be behind the scenes changes).
  6. Grow my online sales.
  7. Grow my wholesale sales.
  8. Expand where I teach classes and the variety.  I started this last year, and want to continue on the path this year.
  9. Save a percentage of every sale for a really BIG (potential) goal that is (potentially) years away.

That’s a fairly big list.  I’m sure there will be other things that come up and will get added to it, but these are my goals for 2015.

kicksart21

Half the battle is having a positive attitude! The other half working hard–something I’m very good at. I will not give up (but I might complain along the way 🙂 …this is what best friends are for though.  They’re good at listening to your frustrations and just being there for you as you realize no matter how hard or rough something might seem that You CAN and you WILL!)

 


The ever chaning booth set up…

September 13, 2014

I’m always searching for the PERFECT display set up.  I think I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I might not find the PERFECT set up, but I can make a pretty darn attractive set up for just about any space size I’m given.

The hard part was the every changing booth size!  In the summer when I’m outside and in my tent I’m always in a 10×10 space, but I have to deal with the sun. Depending on each market depends on which way the sun would come into my tent.  I used to do my set up in an “L,” but was never really happy with that.  I just felt it cut people off and didn’t necessarily encourage them to come into my booth.

L-setup

After a lot of playing around with different table sizes and displays I found a 9′ long table combination that works pretty well. (Still a few things to fix up in this display, table skirts mostly, but it’s to the point where I’m happy with it.)  Before I ventured into the big changes I actually had to sketch out many different alternatives…playing around in my head what would/wouldn’t work. (I know this could be considered a little obsessive :D.)

sketch

straigh setup

You’ll notice this picture is still missing one last layer I added.  I moved the soaps forward and added a shelf to display the soaps.  I Like it so much more!

final levels

Another problem I found was too flat of a display.  This problem I’ve worked on for YEARS!  This season I think I finally stumbled onto a solution that really helps my display move up!  And seem like it’s full and be inviting.

levels

levels2

Lastly, I added the layers and then my sign in the back kind of disappeared.  I wanted it to be obvious I was selling soap.  I wanted to grab peoples attention.  Which lead me to my little “SOAP” in wood letters, painted design.  Works great.  Stands out!  Is bold!  And people know: Oh it’s soap!

signage

There’s still stuff I’m not 100% happy with.  I know it’ll see changes.  And this whole set up goes through a whole new morph once I move inside (where my space rarely is 10×10).  However I’m not going to think about that until October gets here.  I actually have a really nice wood shelf my dad build that is awesome (heavy and a little hard sometimes to get in and out of places, but I’ve got a dolly that really helps).  That post is for a different time though.


Updating the Webpage

August 7, 2014

It’s been on my list for a while now to update my webpage.  I needed to update the version of the shopping cart I was using.  I wanted to do away with the initial homepage I had and make the shopping cart homepage my homepage (which meant I had to really work on updating that page)…there was so much that I needed to refine and fix (behind the scenes stuff).  I also wanted to set up and use the rewards point system my cart offers.  For about 4 intensive days my aunt and I sat down and just worked on getting it updated.

I am so happy with the results.  It’s just an overall more pleasing page now. The first thing I had to do was tackle the homepage redesign.  This screenshot gives you a little glimpse.  I think it’s clean, simple, and appealing.  http://www.jennifersoap.com

homepage

I spent a lot of time updating photos.  I created banners, collages, you name it…It was worth it though.  I think it grabs peoples attention.  Keeping with photos, I created new banners for the Soap and Bath and Beauty pages.  I think it helps.  One of my biggest complaints was there just seemed to be too much text on pages.

Soaps

Bath

I was also able to institute a rewards point system.  Every order now earns reward points.  And (almost) every item allows you to buy that item with “x” number of reward points.  It’s my way of saying thank you to all my repeat customer. I really do appreciate your business!

reward points

If you’ve bought and loved a product of mine I’d love for you to review it!  I’m trying to build the reviews on the site so buyers can see what others think about the different products.  I know sometimes my descriptions aren’t enough to sway a person!  So, if you loved a product and want to write a review all you have to do is sign into your account and go to the review button and then just fill it out. Thank you!

reviews


Saponification: Visually

January 11, 2014

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 😀  It will be printed and kept with me at fairs to be pulled out every now and then. 🙂

Saponification


Craft Fairs are always more fun with a friend!

July 29, 2013

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 😀  But we made it all fit!

car load (1)

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!

car load (2)

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 😀  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 😀


Sample Packs – Coming soon to my Markets!

May 18, 2012

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.  🙂


Photo Submission for my stART at the Station Application

October 21, 2011

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!

August 26, 2011

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 😀  Each farmers market I figure out another little piece of the layout…eventually it’ll get to exactly what I want it to be!


Bread Baskets are Great for Soap Displays

July 22, 2011

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!