Hopelessly Devoted to Soaping

Hopelessly Devoted to Soaping

Monday, April 14, 2014

Gearing up for Market Season

Eucalyptus Spearmint
          It's finally feeling like spring...in typical Kansas/Missouri fashion, it was 80 degrees on Saturday and dropped to 35 by Sunday night! Nevertheless, the farmers market season is fast approaching - only two more weeks.  These babies are curing as we speak and smell out of this world.  I've still got to paint my metal display pieces and I should be good to go.  I have so many ideas in my head I can't seem to narrow them down to try in real life.  Last year was my first experience in the market venue and, while I got lots of compliments on my set up, I'd really like to increase my sales this year.

        I've heard it said that you should design your market space just as you would in a store or boutique.  To me, I think simplicity is the way to go in a market setting.  My plan this year is to have one unwrapped bar of each scent displayed up front, and baskets with the packaged bars grouped together in the background, or maybe on another table. Confession - Is it bad that it bugs me to see people rummaging through my soap bars and not loving each one like I do?   I know....that's not normal, right?  :)

      Anyway...one of my goals this year is getting out of my comfort zone and bumping up my sales skills. Getting the browsers engaged is not my strong suit , but that needs to change.  I'm curious about my vendor friends out there - what works for you and gets your customers not only looking but buying?  Everyone always says the fragrance draws them in and they oh and aah, but what's your secret for closing the sale?  
Rhubarb n


  1. I so get where you are coming from. I have a craft show in two weeks and I am working on getting my stock rebuilt. I have the same issue with people not enjoying my soap as much as I do. I have started asking browsers if they have ever tried homemade soap before. It is surprising to me how many older people have not.

  2. I know..even though I want people to appreciate the bars, I feel oddly protective of them...sometimes i'm even sad to see them go. Yep, that's just weird I know, I hope you get everything accomplished for your show. I have some display pieces and wooden soap decks to paint this weekend. These are good things though :)

  3. I love the colors and swirls on this one, good luck at the farmers market! It seams like a great way for people to sell homemade stuff, we don't have that opportunity here in Greece, there are farmers markets every week at the place that I live but you need to be a licenced business or an actual farmer to sell there. There is no option to make stuff at home and sell them legally. I know how you feel, soap making is an expensive hobby and at some point you need to start selling if you want to continue... I participated only once at a similar event last year, some summer craft exibition that lasted 3 days, and mostly with my handmade jewellery. I only brought soaps on the third day, because I didn't think anyone would buy something from me because there were actual proffesional soap makers there and because I only had maybe 20 soaps total. I actually sold 2/3 of it, but I had trouble to set the price for them, because I make them in such small batches and it takes so much time and care to make them and people don't care about that, they see my soaps and the soaps of a soap making business that produces big batches of soap and expect the same price. Anyway, I hope to sell more this year and not just at craft exibition.

    1. Hi Ana! I'm glad you posted. I also have trouble deciding on prices...you're right that the price is often the first thing people see. I try to keep my packaging and displays attractive, and of course the fragrance always draws people to the table. I just explain the process sometimes, and that it;s so much more than having something available immediately. I try to express that it's a special craft for me, meaningful. I've come to understand that "price checkers" just aren't my real customers. My true customers appreciate all that goes into it. Good luck to you - getting started is a little scary....if you love your soap you will do well!