I have had great success with holiday craft boutiques run from my home. It takes a lot of preparation, but the rewards can be worth it. A craft boutique can be open one day or for several weekends. You will need to check with your town clerk to inquire if any special permits are needed, or if there is a limit on the amount of days you are allowed to have a craft show from your home. A craft boutique will save and make the crafter a lot of money if it is properly run. In my experience, you should give yourself at least two to three months to transform your home into a craft boutique. The crafter will save craft show fees, gas for traveling, hotel and other expenses that can occur when traveling to a show.
My house is zoned for residential and commercial. Check with your town clerk office about the zoning specifics of the location of your home. You will also need to inquire if there are any special permits that may be needed to run a temporary craft boutique from your home. Also, make sure to have a sales tax license. You can go to your state’s government website to obtain one. The cost of a sales tax license is minimal.
Your craft boutique will have the best success if planned close to a holiday. For example: Hold a boutique the week after Thanksgiving when people begin to shop for Christmas. You can also hold seasonal boutiques. Fall in Vermont is a popular season for tourists. This is a great time for me to open a craft boutique in my home.
Determine which rooms you will be turning into a craft boutique. When I first started, I transformed my living room, entryway and dining room into a craft boutique. I found that unless you have help, it was hard to work all the rooms and keep track of merchandise. I decided that one room and the entryway was enough for my boutique. Another factor in keeping my craft boutique to one main room is the size of the rooms.The rooms in my home are very large. If you have small rooms, you may want to have your craft boutique located throughout a few rooms.
The boutique area and the entrance have to be spotless. This takes a lot of work, and I find it is best to do a little each day. Once the cleaning is completed, spot clean each day to maintain the areas. Remove all the items like pictures, figurines, etc. from the rooms that will be transformed into a craft boutique. Store these items in a spare room. Nothing should be left out that isn’t for sale.
The first room where guest enter should have a small desk, which will be the checkout. Next to the checkout desk have a small table with refreshments, and a table of gifts to be raffled as a thank you to your guests for coming. Make sure the rooms flow, which will make it easy for the customers to go from display to display, then back to the checkout or place where they will exit.
I setup my displays by theme and holiday. This allows the customer looking for a specific look to be able to immediately find it. For example: I have a Christmas, primitive and a Victorian section in my boutique. Also, have gifts for each section displayed by price. Make sure each craft item has a price tag with your information. This allows the customer to contact you if they want more crafts.
There are many inexpensive ways to advertise your craft boutique. Place flyers on cars and on every bulletin board you can find. Send notices to friends and tell them to send notices to their friends. Place small adds in your local paper advertising your craft boutique and the hours it will be open. Another great place to put flyers is at your local beauty salon. Think of all the places in your town that cater to women, and bring flyers to those places.
Have plenty of bags, tissues paper and other supplies you may need to wrap your craft items. Make sure to have a cash box with plenty of change. Have professional business cards made with all the information needed for customers to be able to contact you.
Make sure to place large signs outside your home on the day your boutique opens. Signs can be made with scrap pieces of wood and any paint you may have on hand. This will help guest locate your home. I also have balloon bouquets and other inexpensive items displayed throughout the front lawn to help potential customers find my home on the grand opening day of my craft boutique. If the weather is nice enough, place a few craft items outside to give customers a preview of what you have to offer.
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How to Design an Eye Catching Craft Display
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