how to host a home boutique, part 3 {vendors}

{vendors}

you can’t really have a successful boutique all on your own.  you’d get all the sales, yes, but you’d also most likely draw a much smaller crowd than if you had several other vendors.  when choosing your vendors, think variety.  try not to have too many vendors that sell duplicate items.  you not only want variety in items, but also in the price of the items being offered.  a boutique offering only high end items will most likely have far fewer sales than a boutique offering high, low and mid-range items.

so how do you find your vendors? get the word out! mention it to anyone you know that has a handmade shop that you love, or even someone that crafts for fun and see if they’d like to join you. you can also look outside the realm of handmade and invite people that do home parties for companies like aloette, pampered chef, and stelle & dot. not only will these other vendors bring in more variety, they’ll also bring in different clientele.

you can also do a search on etsy for artists in your area, or surrounding areas.  on the left hand side of the front page of etsy, there is a section called “ways to shop”, and click “local“.  super easy, just enter your area name.  but don’t just enter your town or city name.  also add in your county name and surrounding cities to cast a larger net out for finding potential vendors.

after you host your first boutique, vendors often will start to find you.  or your current vendors will often have suggestions for new people.  just keep in mind the size of space you have before accepting all amounts of interested vendors!

it is also really important to find vendors that you communicate with well.  sometimes you just don’t click right with someone and they just might not be the right fit.  its also important that the vendors all get along with each other.  somehow, we have grown a group of women that support and encourage each other, and there is no feeling of competition or jealousy – its awesome!  set up can be crazy and we’re all on top of each other so being in a supportive group is wonderful.  and just because someone has been a vendor once does not mean they are automatically accepted the next time around.

the primary way i communicate with my vendors (and everyone in my life, it seems) is via email.  the emails we send out include:

– save-the-date emails early to vendors once we secure our date for the next market

– we then send a more detailed email about the market and ask for replies to find out who will be joining us again.  we also have them pay for their space in order to hold their spot.

– we send out emails asking for vendor buttons for our blog

– we let our vendors know when the fliers are in and when they can pick them up.  that email also gives ideas for places to pass out the fliers or where to leave them.

– just before the market we have all our vendors sign up for bringing snacks and treats.  ideally they are for our guests, but really they end up being our meals since most of us forget to eat before setting up!

we try to keep all the emails upbeat and encouraging, reminding everyone to get the word out through the fliers and emails and facebook.

up next i’ll be talking about how we set up for the market!

 

 

Comments

  1. 1

    Thanks for all the advice. I was wondering if you charge a fee for vendors when you do a home-boutique, like the fees that are always being charged at craft shows. I love the intimacy of the home show and am so motivated by the info. you are providing.

    • 2
      lindsey says:

      hi debbie!

      i used to host for free, but now charge a small fee based on table size to cover flier printing costs and cleaning the house.

      xo
      lindsey

  2. 5

    I don’t have a business and don’t know of anyone who does. Looking at your pictures and info makes me want to gather my crafty friends and have a home boutique.

    Women who don’t compete or are jealous are awesome. Looks like so much fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. 6

    These are wonderful tips! I don’t know if I’ll ever feel like my home is “ready” enough to do this, but it is inspiring for sure. The last time I did a craft fair I was asked several times if my items were available for purchase anywhere in town. This could be a solution!

  4. 7

    I envy you so much for being able to do this:) Jot just being able but the know how and just doing it! Good for you Lindsey!:)

  5. 8

    Lindsey,

    I was wondering if your neighbors ever have a problem with traffic during your boutiques. How do you prepare them?

    Thanks!
    Jessica

    • 9
      lindsey says:

      jessica –

      we haven’t had any issues, but letting your neighbors know ahead of time is always a good idea!

      xo
      lindsey

  6. 10

    This sounds super fun! I’m not a crafter/vendor myself, but I love hosting stuff like this. Do you know if it would work to set it up on a Saturday morning in the front yard and run it like a chic garage sale? I wonder if it would be against city code. Hmmm, I’d have to look into that I guess.

    • 11
      lindsey says:

      annie –

      i don’t see why that would be a problem! we are actually trying a saturday morning for our next show to see if we can generate any traffic from garage salers.

      xo
      lindsey

  7. 15

    This is a great idea! I’ve entertained ideas for a used clothing store forever but this idea could go along with that. Thanks for sharing. Debbie http://thriftygirlvintage.blogspot.com

  8. 16
    christina says:

    I am really feeling inspired! I wish I could come to one of your boutiques! I’m just saving away the info for after baby 3 gets here, if I even mention the thought of taking on something else before then my husband just may kill me!

  9. 17

    Great Ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  10. 18

    Hi Lindsey:
    I am a new vendor online. I love what I do and I got a lot of ideas from this post. I am planning to do one in my housefor the fall. I am searching vendors and friends. Please keep posting more ideas and pictures.
    Thanks!
    Blessings
    Vanessa
    Etsy:lvcmaldonado

  11. 19

    I can’t wait to read the next installment! I’m hosting a home boutique in November and would love to get some ideas from you about how you set it up. :)

  12. 20

    I can’t find the section where you talk about how to set up the home boutique. I’m interested… :)

  13. 21

    I want to do this as a business, within my upscale consignment shop! Love your ideas, especially about how to find vendors. How much would you suggest charging for space in a permanent shop? Maybe it would vary by size of space? Thank you so much for your advice. So exciting.

  14. 22

    Lindsey,
    I loved this blog. I am recently looking into opening my own store that specializes in local vendor’s arts/crafts/photography/jewelry, etc. Although it will not be in my home this helped me as far as searching for local vendors. I do not wish to have clothes,so would my store still be considered a “boutique”? If not, what would that make it? Im trying to steer away from the name “flea market” but I can’t think of any of kind of store that it would be. Anyways.. thank you for this post, it really helped.

  15. 23

    Hi my name is Dena Byas and I would love to open a Boutique shop to hire foster care girls in order to help them find homes to stay my long time dream is to add on to my house for them to stay the state won’t let me keep them because I don’t have enough beds I was trying to purchase the house for them to have a place to stay.I really don’t know about venders but I have distributers that will send me a truck load of stuff. I would really love it if you could call me be cause I really don’t like to text, I just need some help and guidance 865 936 1268

  16. 24

    I know this series is…four years old? But did you ever post about setting up for the market or any other posts on this topic? Thanks!

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