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I have a lot to do this month.  I will be getting ready for my very first craft show.  I am doing a show through my husband work.  It is open to the employees and their families to have a table. 

I don’t know if I am nervous or excited!  I get to plan how I want the table to look.  I also how to display my stuff.  I will be selling barrettes and some of my polymer clay jewelry.  I just want everything to look nice and be visible to the shoppers.

I do have a display for the earrings but behond that I have nothing!  I have to figure out how to display the barrettes, hairpins and the jewelry.  The other thing that I have to figure out is what I want the table to look like.  Oh, and how to display my barrette holders.

I also have to make a bunch of more stuff! 

I better get busy!

I am not even sure where to start.  I have bben thinking of doing at least one craft show in the next year.  Just to get my feet wet and to see if my stuff will sale in the craft show environment.  I do know that I need to come up with a creative way to display my stuff from barrettes to jewelry and everything in between.

The first thing I think that I need to do is go to many shows and see what is out there.  I might even take the camera in case I find something that might work.  If I take any pictures I will make sure that I talk to the boothes owner first and make sure that it is okay.

I will also start talking to my artist friends and see what kind of ideas that they can give me or share with me.  I found that many of the art and craft world are very helpful and willing to share.

I do already have the barrette holders.  I would just have to figure out the best way of displaying them with the barrettes on them.  Then how to I let the shopper know which ones of the holders are for sale and which are not.

 I have a lot to think about and work on planning.

Since I am planning on doing a demo at the AC Moore with polymer clay,  I figure that I could also use that as marketing my website and jewelry.  I am planing on making an apron or two for Justbarrettes.com and wearing that during the demo.  I could also make larger buttons (like the ones that they wear at places like Burger King to show new products)  with pictures of some of my work that can be found on the sites.  I would also have my business cards on the table.  The only thing is that I would have to make sure that it would be okay with A.C. Moore. 

I could also use the apron at craft shows.  I am busy trying to find a smaller craft show to get my feet wet at.  I would like to do one this fall for Christmas time for sure.  I would like to do one this summer but I think that I have missed the deadlines on those.  I may talk with one of the gals at work who is also interested in craft shows, if we could find a show that would let us split a table/booth.  She does scrapbooking and stamping arts, so we would not be competing for sales of similar items.

This is the key I think to every thing and yet one of the hardest things to be.

My recent costumer service issues would have not been has potentially damaging if I had been organized in how I track sales and more importantly what the costumer had bought.  That will be that project for this week.  I need to create a filing system for orders placed and received.

I also should organize my receipts on what I have spent.  This will help next year with my personal taxes as well as if I turn my hobby in to a business.  There is no time like the present to start. 

I keep my supplies organized and am getting better at organizing my stock for sales.  I should be taking the same view of keeping the business side the same way.  I learned that in my past job as a restaurant manager.  It is what made me successful in that field for over 19 years.

I will start that today.  Right now!  There is no time like the present.

I have had my first barrette damaged in shipping.  It happens and I have always expected it.  That wasn’t the problem.  I have the policy that if something that a customer did not like about what they ordered or if the barrette was damaged that I would replace it or even refund the money that they had spent.  I even have that on my website.  I will always stand behind what I sell and make. 

What happened in this case is that I had made an error in making the replacement of the broken barrette.  I had “remembered” what the costumer had ordered wrong.  I re-made what I thought was right and sent it to the costumer with a free barrette as a gift.  They arrived safely and in one piece.  Much to my dismay, I recieve a note form the costumer pointing out the error.  I was already to mail the correct replacement to her when I saw that she had placed an order for another barrette.  I was very surprised about that but also very pleased.  I sent both of the barrettes to her today and am hoping that they arrive safely.

 I also sent her a note of apology about the error.  I had exchanged e-mail with her about the mix up and all but I feel that going the extra step for a costumer is what you should do.  It only took a few minutes to hand write a note. 

I can always have the best product on the market but if I mistreat one costumer, I actually lose many more.  That is “Marketing 101″ in my book.

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