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:
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.
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.
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