May 7, 2013

Homespun Recap

Hey, I'm back!

Sorry guys, I seem to get a bit forgetful when I'm super busy making stuff, and I've spent the past couple of weeks building inventory for the two shows I have scheduled this spring that didn't get canceled for one reason or another. Since I have fewer shows, I really wanted to make the most of them. Also, it's that time of year where I'm adding new fragrances in addition to adding candles and solid perfume to my inventory.

Homespun is one show I've wanted to do since before I actually opened the store. I didn't have the stock or money that first year. I missed the deadline to request an application by about three weeks last year, but I managed to get in this year. I was super excited these past few weeks and as Mom and I got there to set up at 7 a.m. Friday morning.

I LOVE my new sign! Thanks so much Aardvark Screenprinting.
You have to keep in mind, Homespun is one of those local shows everyone who has any sort of crafting hobby knows about. It's been around for years and years. It has a reputation of being a busy show with lots of sales and only handmade items.

Here I am with seventeen different fragrances, eleven of which are originals, brand new solid perfumes, and a whole rack of brand new candles. I felt like I had a bit of a home field advantage considering I was born and raised in the town and my little brother graduated from the hosting school. So, I was pumped and ready for this to be a bustling show, so long as the weather didn't get too horrible.

Seriously, there was a table dedicated to candles and sample size soaps.

There were a few hiccups during setup.

Despite sending out information packets specifying setup started at 7 a.m., the school organizers didn't show up until just before 8. Six of the booths, mine being one of course, were labeled incorrectly. This resulted in three of us initially setting up in the aisle, but those things happen. Whatever, it was easy enough to shift six feet.

The first real clue the show might not go so well came when some of the other venders started noticing direct sales booths setting up. The next was when the folks at the Scentsy booth fired up not one but at least three wax warmers and started burning wax tarts at their booth.

Okay, I get the fact that my items carry fragrance too. However, there's a huge difference between having wrapped items sitting out and actively using items designed to fragrance a small home at an indoor event. First off, there are a lot of people who have sensitivities to certain fragrances. It's not cool to fire up something that may cause a health hazard for someone to the point of making it impossible to avoid. I mean seriously, you'd get smacked in the face with a wall of Scentsy fragrances the moment you stepped foot in the gym. Secondly, it's just rude to the other perfumers to overlay your products fragrances over theirs to the point where absolutely everything smells like your stuff, and there were three other independent, handmade bath and body booths there not counting my own. Needless to say, if this is typical brand strategy for them, I will be pulling out of any shows where Sentsy booths will be in attendance from now on. 

There will video shortly to prove this was typical of traffic throughout.

Additionally, attendance was pitiful. For an event as long established and with  as good of a reputation, I was sorely disappointed. I went expecting the cram packed event I'd heard about and saw maybe twenty people walking through at a time at best all weekend.

As it turns out, most of my information was a few years out of date. I'd mostly heard from people who went, vended, or helped organize it several years ago. After talking to other venders who have participated for many years, it seems the school's new administration just doesn't want to bother with the show anymore. They ran off a lot of their best venders via policy changes, drastically cut advertising, loosened their vender requirements, and took up lax, unprofessional event coordinating practices out of apathy and ruined a formerly great event in the process.

My impression was the show's become a waste of time and booth fees. I won't be returning.

No comments:

Post a Comment