Momtrepreneur is a catchy little term describing a mom (most often a stay at home mom) who builds a hobby or idea into her own business, therefore becoming an entrepreneur. Momtrepreneur. Has a nice ring to it, no?
Here’s my own little momtrepreneur journey (so far) in a nutshell: In 6th grade I kind-of, sort-of learned how to sew. In 2010, my friend gave me her sewing machine she no longer wanted. In 2011, I became a mom and was motivated to improve my sewing skills in order to make cute stuff for my kids. These kids happened to be boys, and I realized there was a lack of adorable baby boy clothes on the market. In 2013, I have just completed my first craft show with an all-boy clothing booth called “Walrus and Carpenter Boy-tique.”
The majority of stories like these start out with just a mom and her hobby. You may be one of those moms right now: crocheting during nap time, sewing into the wee hours of the night, or working on a baby product that you think could really benefit other moms. But how do you get this hobby or idea out of your living room and into the lives of consumers? Craft shows are how. Here in Baton Rouge, there are plenty of opportunities to rent booths to display your hard work and hopefully make a few dollars from it, especially during the holiday season. Smaller shows pop up at local churches all over the area, and there are also much bigger (and more expensive) shows such as Hollydays and Mistletoe Market. In fact, Mistletoe Market, now a hugely successful holiday craft show in its 13th year, was originally established for stay at home moms to sell their nap time creations!
If you are that mom with an idea or product and aren’t sure where to start when signing up for your first craft show booth, here are some tips I’ve gathered from my own experience:
1) Visit the shows you want to join before signing up
I visited the Blackwater Pumpkin Patch last year with my family; so this year when I went to sign up to be a craft vendor at the event, I knew exactly what to expect as far as the event layout, size of the show, which other vendors might be present, how my booth was expected to look, and the target market the event was expected to draw.
2) Borrow larger items
If you are nervous about making a big investment for your very first rodeo, borrow bigger items needed for set up, such as the tent, table, and chairs. My awesome neighbor let me borrow her tailgating tent for my first show at no cost to me! If I decide I want to stick with craft shows, I will buy my own tent in the near future.
3) Get displays for an affordable price
Buying brand new displays for your products is probably not in the budget when you are just starting out, but don’t be afraid to make your own or buy used. I found a picture of a wooden display I liked from Pinterest, brought it to Home Depot to have an employee help me find the wood and materials I would need to make it, and my husband was able to make it in a weekend. Stores going out of business are a great place to find used displays for a great price. Also, try scouring garage sales, thrift stores, and flea markets for out-of-the-box display ideas for not a lot of cash.
4) Everything should have a form AND a function
Make sure that the must-have business items in your booth (price tags, retail bags, table coverings) not only function, but they look pretty while doing it! This will keep things like price tags from being eye sores and will add to the overall “curb appeal” and branding of your booth, which will draw in more customers. This also prevents you from getting all your basics together for your booth and then having to go back and decorate it all too! Kill the two birds with one stone.
5) Use items you already have to decorate your booth
A pom pom garland from my boys’ playroom was simple to string on my booth’s tent for a little bit of color and personality. A decorative tray from your living room could be great for grouping smaller items on your display table. A chalkboard or frame you already own could make a great sign or price board. Using things from around your home for the first few shows will save on start up costs and make decorating your booth easy!
6) Don’t forget the business cards!
Even if you don’t make as many sales as you would have liked on the day of the show, getting the word out about your business will go a long way in drawing future customers and getting repeat business. Have the cards in plain view and make sure they are easy to grab!
Now all that’s left to do is sign up for your first show and get out there to sell your amazing product!
What have you been burning the midnight oil to create well after the kiddos are in bed?