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I wanted to discuss a little about packaging and displaying your finish product from my personal point of view.

It is all well and good to be extremely artistic, crafty, and innovative with your handmade works, but if you can't package or display your products at a show, flea market, craft booth or in your retail shop, then you will fail at your ultimate goal - making money from your hard work.

Even if you are just here for the fun, will it hurt to make a little money?  After all, supplies don't buy themselves!

Many of us gals concentrate so hard on the creative part of candle making, that we forget the business side of things.  You will find just as much enjoyement in the packaging and display as you do the crafting.

It can be an artistic release with immense instant gratification of woos and ahs from passersby's.
There are tricks to retail display.  A lot of this is common sense, you won't need a college degree to understand the concepts or implement the practices.

Start with being observant and do what the big guys do.  After all, Sears, Penny's, Yankee, Bath n Body Works and every other big store, spent  mega bucks on the layout research.  Pay attention to their lighting, music, color combinations, displays, where they place their sale items, expensive items and eveything else. They ain't where they are by accident.

Just observe what sucessful shops do, when you are out and about. Sort of spend n learn.  It's a big education for doing what us gals do naturally......shopping around.  I've learned new stuff at the grocery stores, drug stores and even convient shops!

Worked for me!

I like either the "drug store" look, where everything is lined up in order on the shelves or the "disordered orderly" look, where everything stays in groupings or themes but isn't so perfect.  I've like a mix of the two as a routine.  Which I use, depends on the items I am selling.

If my retail selection is a combination of items which contain many of the same in height, weight, look and feel. I will use the drug store look and line everything up in that fashion.  Rows of same like items on shelves.  People like order and if you watch closely, you will find some girls who just can't resist straightening up your shelves.  It's one of our habits.....cleaning up after everyone else!

If my items are similar only in "feel".  All primitives, for instant, but different in size and packaging, then I will use the "disordered orderly" look.  I will make little groupings within my flea market, or craft mall booth.  I may mix in some antiques or vintage items that look to be of the same period. 

People love to purchase individual items for gift giving.  Not every product in your retail shop or lying on your craft table needs to be identical.  Customers love to purchase gift giving presents or one of a kind items. Giving such a gift to a special friend or love one makes for warm fuzzy feelings.  Then there are the customers who adore having a unique decorative treasure in their home....something no one else can ever have.

For a Christmas booth, one year, I had gathered vintage winter clothes from various places during the summer months, yard-sales, flea-markets, ect and used these to decorate the walls of my craft booth during the November and December months. 

There was an old blue coat with a fur collar, pair of vintage skates, gloves, woolen muff, and scarf among other items. These clothes were not in mint condition, which only added to the nostalgic look.

The winter decorated booth sparkled with such a vintage flare.  I just loved it and even received a wink and a nod from the mall owner! 

I hung the clothes on the walls and just propped other stuff up against wooden crates.  I used the crates for shelves, along with enamel pans for storing fixin bags.  Primitive candles were packaged all around. 

With this layout, I used a combination of the "drug store" look and the "disorderly look". I wish I had captured a photo that year, but I didn't.  My point is - I couldn't keep it stocked with my candles!  Everyone one wanted something from that booth, just to be a part of the "feeling" the booth presented.

See..... you are not just selling your crafts, you must consider the psychology of the customer.  What are they coming away with, besides your incredible art work? You need to create a "good feeling" to help them spend  money at your place.

This is why packaging is so important, not just the packaging of your in craft, but the packaging of the whole look and feel of your booth or store.

So remember........little things count more then you would ever think. 

To help you understand, let me tell you a story of one of my customers.  This happened a few years ago, so I know their anonymity will stay intact.  This husband and wife came into our store, saw the bears and wanted to wax their own for a large upcoming craft show.  We gave them instructions and sold the supplies.  They went home, made their bears, but didn't bother putting the bears in packages.  They figured the sales bag at check out would be enough, why spend the extra money on another bag!  They actually said that to me, when they were buying the supplies.
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We happened to attended the craft show in Iowa and stopped at their booth. (We travel to craft shows all over to keep abreast of new ideas.)  There their bears sat in the "drug store" style on shelves, with none selling.

I ask if anyone else had bears at the show, they said yes......   Needless to say, when we stopped by the other booth.  The bears were packaged with a creative plus and we learned, from that owner, their business was fantastic.  This booth couldn't keep their shelves stocked with scented bears.

See, customers are buying a look, a feeling and a product.  So see that they get what they are looking for or your stuff will just sit and sit.  No one wants that!

So pay attention to your craft from the ground up.  When I was working on the packaging for the bears, I had to keep in mind the following........

Will the product hold up in shipping?

Can we make enough to wholesale?

Will the customer be able to smell the scent without destroying the package?

How to make the package look cute and yet change for various seasons?

What will shipping cost - will it be cost prohibitive to our wholesale customers - can they still make money?

In selling your crafts, you will need to think of a little bit of everything.  Remember to have fun and don't tire out your brain............mine needs a chocolate donut and coffee rest now......later................