Folksy Ltd

Open House?

(René Trewern) #1

I’m seriously thinking about doing an open house event to sell my craft, since it’s so varied. Have any of you done them? How did it go?

My main issue is that I’m out in the sticks and my only source of customers will be surrounding villages and schools.

(Liz Lothian ) #2

Hi Rene, I’ve been at a couple before. Really good, and very busy. It was in a rural area and very well attended. They had a big selection of items. As it was a Christmas shopping event they had mulled wine, and non alcoholic alternative, and mince pies in their kitchen. I haven’t done one myself yet, though a friend and I often discuss it. I’d love to hear how it goes if you do one. Liz.

(Roz) #3

I’ve not done one, messy house and two nervous dogs not really conducive to lots of people! A friend of mine did one last Christmas which she invited me to join her at but unfortunately I was busy at the time. She did it in aid of a charity (a percentage of her sales) and did very well. She lives in a village location so I guess it can work. You need to get people to know about it though - it helps if you’ve got a good community that talk to each other!

(René Trewern) #4

Thanks Ladies, I’ll give it a few days to think about and make a decision… it would be the perfect time to arrange one for Christmas and a Charity will definitely be chosen too.

(Jill Fairbairn) #5

I haven’t had one in my own house, but been part of a friends. It was the same idea as Roz posted above, and they had lots of different crafters involved so there was something for everyone. There’s a lot of work involved but I think it’s worth it and it’s great for getting to know people too xx

(Ronald Koorm) #6

You describe what might have been the equivalent of a ‘Tupperware’ party !
A mix of different crafters sounds great.

But one would probably need a large room or separate outbuilding or a garage to have the space.

(Witty Dawn) #7

Hi there - I do one every year in the Autumn kicking it off with a Macmillan Coffee morning . I put out all my stock ( so it’s also an opportunity for a stock take/pricing session ready for the Xmas fair season ) and I donate 10% of my sales to Macmillan. I get about 40 people popping in over the event, and usually several follow up orders later on. You can check it out here . This year the donations total was £311 . The downside is that you end up eating A LOT of cake :slight_smile:

PS I also leave a corner of my Family room set up with a selection of my stock from now until Xmas as I get a fair few peopl popping in for gifts ! quite often Xmas Eve for the chaps…LOL!

(René Trewern) #8

That looks fab, @WittyDawn. I’m a bit nervous about it all…so maybe I’m not ready, lol

(Witty Dawn) #9

It’s lots of fun but a LOT of work too. You have to promote like mad and so it helps if you are doing it linked to a charity that you are passionate about ( as I am with Macmillan) . It’s the 3rd year I’ve done it and so people know it’s coming up and come along with a view to starting their Xmas shopping.

Given that people will have to travel to get to you, you’;d have to really push it as an event and perhaps a weekend would work best and get some other well networked people involved to help with promotion. I live in a large village adjoining a market town, and lot of people attend b4/after school pick/after work up so I timed to fit in with that. I sell and get as many donations from ad hoc visits AFTER the main coffee morning day so it is worth me being ‘open’ all the following week. This pattern would perhaps not work so well for you?

(Ronald Koorm) #10

One small point.
Your insurance company for house insurance may wish to know you are using the property for commercial reasons, ie selling goods or services and having public / strangers come to the property. It could affect your insurance premium.

  • it might not, but worth checking, and reading the terms and conditions or contacting them.

I know that craft people would do this selling relatively small scale, but insurance companies have a habit of finding loopholes when potential claims arise.

(René Trewern) #11

THanks Ron,
and everyone else…

For NOW, I have opted for using the Community hall and hosting a Christmas market.
I think I will need a bit more time to do a proper Open House and do it justice.

Thank you all for your valuable input!