how to host a home boutique, part 1 {the basics}

i’ve hosted a few home boutiques in my day.

actually, that’s partly how the pleated poppy was born!  after making all my christmas gifts one year, my readers suggested i try selling them.  so i gathered some crafty friends (including lisa leonard, back in the days when she used to do home parties!) and we all invited our friends to join us for a little boutique!

it was a humble beginning, but that is exactly what it was – a beginning.

now 3 years later, i’ve hosted about 8 home boutiques, and here’s a little of what i’ve learned:

the basics

{time}

i usually start my boutiques at 6 and end at 9, but am flexible.  when we’ve tried 5 o’clock in the past it was slow for the first hour.  but now at 6, we’re busy right away!

we’re also tried something new this season:  a 2-day show!  we did one evening from 6 to 9, then the following morning from 9-about 12.  this gives moms a chance to shop after they’ve dropped off their kids at school if they weren’t able to shop the previous night.  we’re thinking next time that we’ll do a later and longer day on friday, maybe from 10 until 2.  just be open to experimenting with time.

{day}

we have found that thursdays work best in our area.  but that may not be the case for you.  when you are setting the date be sure to consider upcoming holidays, local events that you may or may not want to coincide with, common busy nights (sports, bible study, awana… nights that people generally are already committed to).  for our most recent stitch market we set the date for the week after spring break.  unfortunately, we forgot to check out other school district’s spring break dates and many people were still out of town on their break.  so ask around, not just in your own circle.  lesson learned.

also consider the time of the year.  before a holiday is best.  for example, i host a boutique early december or late november, allowing enough time for christmas shopping.  if i wait too late into december then most people have finished their shopping already.

{location}

as much as i’ve considered moving the location of the stitch market to a larger venue, my home seems to work best.  the ladies who come tend to stay for at least a couple hours, enjoying the atmosphere a home offers that an outside venue may not.

the location should be central, not to far off the beaten path, and close to your customer base.  be sure to consider the ease and availability of parking.

be sure the venue has adequate space for both vendors and customers, that the area is well lit and inviting.  if you really want to host a home boutique, but you live in a small home, consider planning a boutique in the summer months in your yard.  or ask a friend with a larger home if  she’d be willing to host for you.  maybe offer some products as a trade ;)

ok, that’s it for the basics!  i’ll be back soon with more info on the nitty gritty!

part 2 – advertising

part 3 – vendors

Comments

  1. 1

    Sounds fun! Wish you were my neighbor!

  2. 2
    Andrea says:

    That is so cool, thanks for the tips. I am in the process of planning both a midwinter evening market, and an outdoor market in our garden, so this was very helpful :-)

  3. 3

    So useful and helpful tips! Thanks a lot! At the moment having once or twice a month a craft workshop/atelier with the friends ans the friends of the friends.

  4. 4

    what fun! need to try this! thanks and i wish you lived closer…a five hour plane ride to a boutique may be a bit crazy for me, but what fun! :)Alyssa of Boston Bee

  5. 5

    Love this idea. Now you’ve got me thinking that it would be a great way to open up my home to the neighbors as well (we just moved into our new-er home this past November).

  6. 6

    Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  7. 7

    I’ve always loved the idea of a home boutique. Thanks for the great tips. Now to gather other local creative folks.

  8. 8

    This is such a great idea! I love the practical advice { you make it sound so simple, even though I am sure it has not been :) }

  9. 9

    you’ve inspired me, lindsey! can’t wait to see what else you’ve got!! i kind of want to do this :)

  10. 10

    How fun!! I wish I lived in an area where I could make this happen…I seriously need to get a second house in town haha. Thanks for sharing :)

  11. 11
    christina says:

    Thank you so much for the post! This is a great ideas, and wonderful for me this year since I’m expecting In nov and am still not sure how many outside shows I’m going to be up to! I can’t wait for the next post :)

  12. 12

    very helpful; can’t wait for the nitty gritty.

  13. 13

    I’m working with some friends to do this in the fall or early winter. Maybe you’ll answer this in the next post but how much inventory do you have and do you take orders for things you run out of? I’m such a newbie at this!

  14. 14

    Whether I had my own or came to your boutique, I am in love with the whole idea. Very, very cute!!!

  15. 15

    Thanks for sharing your info…It’s very helpful! I’ve hosted a boutique at my home once and was wondering what your thoughts are on charging the vendors a small fee that would be used towards advertising? Maybe you can answer this in the nitty gritty segment. Thanks again:)

  16. 16

    Thank you so much for all the awesome tips!! I’ve always wanted to host a home boutique or a boutique of some kind. Someday….

  17. 17

    Very helpful! I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a while, but feel overwhelmed when I think about how to go about doing it! I have plenty of creative friends who also have their own businesses so it would work out great!

    Looking forward to part II : )

  18. 18

    Thanks for the tips, Lindsey! When I host one in Denver, you’ll come out and sell, right? :)

  19. 19

    Great tips! I’d love to come shop :)

  20. 20

    Wow. What a great post. This will be in my saved post. I am building my portfolio of different designs and working on getting a stock. I cant wait to have enough to have my first home boutique! Again…Great Post!

  21. 21

    I cant wait to read more on this! THanks for sharing your tips!!

    Kara @ http://www.mineforthemaking.com

  22. 22

    oh thanks so much! i’ve always wondered about this and have thought about doing something like this myself! one question and forgive my impatience (maybe you’re going to answer in a later post) how much product and what type did you know would sell? also, how do you price it? this is exciting!! i want to do one soooo badly!

  23. 23

    Was a blast participating in the most recent Stitch Market. Thank you for including Cookie+Curly!!

  24. 24

    so helpful; thanks linds!!

  25. 25

    So happy to see this post. My friend and I have been pondering the idea of hosting an in-home boutique…can’t wait to see the follow up post!

  26. 26

    WHAT A FUN IDEA! HOW DO YOU LIKE TO ADVERTISE YOUR EVENT?

  27. 27

    It was mighty fun hangin’ with you friend. Hope to see you again in August. If not, for sure at Blog Sugar.

  28. 28

    Great tips! Thanks! I only do 1 BiG sale a year from my garage (which is painted like a barn) and I do it the same weekend every year.

  29. 29

    Wow, thanks for the overview, great idea and presentation, thanks for sharing!

  30. 30

    Hi just want to let you know that we tried the home market here in Australia. I think it worked well for all those involved. http://littledittydesigns.blogspot.com/2011/05/fireside-markets.html

  31. 31

    Hi Lindsey!

    I know this is an older post, but OMG… AMAIZING IDEA!!! Extremely grateful for accidently finding this article. Just ABSOLUTLY LOVE THIS!!
    Do you continue to host these boutique events? If so, do they remain in your home or have you expanded your space?
    Interested in updates of any changes and new developments that have came about since this article.
    If you get the time, you should definitely create another blog post for us!!

    Thanks for your time and thoughts!!

    Lori M.

    Creative Desires: Bows Galore & Kid Couture
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/cdbowsgalore

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