This month’s Diary Of A Maker is by Sarah Harper of the Clovelly Soap Company and she talks about the run up to Christmas. Over to Sarah…
Holidays are coming……
Christmas is well on its way and for any retail business this is a time to make the most of the festive buying season. Having been in this business since 2005 I have seen the demand for Handmade, Natural and Local products grow and grow. Whatever level you are at, be it craft markets, Etsy, Bricks and Mortar shop or Trade you will be preparing for a bumper season.
With Handmade soap it is always hard to judge how much you will need and take into account the cure time. Most other products can be made to order as you go without much delay to your customers providing you have all your supplies ready. You want your soap to be nice and hard and cured but not to lose its scent in storage. We make in advance for this time of year so that we can react quickly to demand from trade customers and ensure that they have no gaps in stock at crucial times. Once our soap has had its 4 weeks on the racks we store them in boxes in our store room which is dry but not too warm. This allows them to continue evaporating but not lose scent too much. With all your supplies it is best to allow longer for delivery at this time of year as companies experience much higher demand and it can slow things down. The last thing we all need is a 2 week wait for that vital ingredient.
Ensure you have plenty of business cards ready, price lists and catalogues to hand out as well as bags, boxes and packing materials for internet orders and craft fair purchases.
This time of year we switch to festive packaging for our festive scents and add new items like our fire lighters for this time of year. If you have a website or Etsy shop ensure you have some festive images to get buyers in the right mood and why not offer some special custom products labelled for Mum, Dad or Gran, personalisation is a big trend this year particularly on Etsy.
Packing orders for online sales it is important for the packaging to be appealing and not too heavily branded, feedback from customers is that when ordering gifts they often don’t want to have your logo and details all over the outside if it is a surprise gift. On the other hand it is nice to offer gift wrapping as an option at check out or in store or at the craft fair. Add a little free sample of other products to entice future orders or a small gift with purchase. All these little additions make the difference between a standard purchase and a gift or purchase that makes the buyer or recipient feel special.
Have a great festive season from all the Elves at The Clovelly Soap Company.
Or if you want to read Sarah Harper’s previous Diary Of A Maker CLICK HERE.