How to prepare for your first craft show: Inventory
Preparing for your very first craft show can be very exciting! It can also be very stressful and nerve racking. I have decided to put together a series that will consist of 5 parts discussing the main ingredients of a fun and successful craft show. We will be discussing my experiences as I prepared for my first craft show.
As some of you may already know, my area of expertise is selling my handmade candles and soaps. My pictures and examples will reflect this, but the lessons may be adapted to whatever your own craft is. Let's get started!
Welcome to the first of a 5 part series!
When I received a letter back from the facility who was hosting the craft show I had applied for my first order of business was to make inventory. The show was to be in October, the beginning of the Fall and busy holiday season.
I decided to make my candles in three separate categories: Fall, Winter, & Everyday. These were my new product lines. In each group I chose 4 different fragrances. Fall: Apple Pumpkin Strudel, Pumpkin Spice, Candy Corn, & Caramel Sensations. Winter: Peppermint, Bayberry, Amish Quilt, & Christmas Village. Everyday: Midnight Pomegranate, Twilight, Blueberry Cobbler, & Love Spell.
I then decided which types and how many of each type of candle I was going to make. This is what I came up with: For each fragrance I made (4) 8 oz jelly jar candles, (2) half pint wide mouth jar candles, 6 tart melts, 10 tea lights, and 8 votive candles. It worked out to be 4 pounds of wax per fragrance.
With 12 different fragrances to choose from, I was able to offer (48) 8 oz jelly jar candles, (24) half pint wide mouth jar candles, 72 tart melts, 120 tea lights, and 96 votive candles for my customers. I came up with a schedule of making 8 pounds of wax per day and was able to pour everything within one week of my supplies arriving. This was plenty of inventory to take to the show.
I added all of this new inventory to what I already had on hand. Which, at the time, consisted of some 8 oz and 16 oz candles from my Spring and Summer product lines. And of course, there were left over tea lights, votive candles, and tart melts from Spring and Summer as well. I combined all of these products and sat down to make a very big list.
This list I am referring to is my Inventory List. I highly recommend having an updated inventory list at all times. It can be a very simple list stating everything you have on hand. I include type of candle, fragrance, quantity, and price on each line for my list. This way I can add up the price of each item I have available and come up with a total value of what I am taking to the craft show with me. After the craft show, I make a new list and add up the new total. I can then compare the list and subtract the difference to know exactly how much product I sold at the show and what my profit is.
Here is an example page from a product list:
Summary: Be sure to decide asap what categories or types of your products you will offer and how many of each you will make for the show. You will need to decide this and figure out what supplies you will need. Order your supplies asap and get to work! Once your products are made you still have a lot of work to do!