Today's Hoop Biz Highlight is on Jaime Foley and Lauren C Denaro with Whirl & Dirvish located in New York!
Have you ever wanted to vend at a festival or local street event? Well, in this biz highlight, Jaime has graciously broken down what all is need to have a success booth!
1) You NEED a strong structure. You can use an easy up , but with some strong winds, that baby is going down! Always have extra rope, a mallet, and extra stakes. There is nothing worse than your tent and all of your creations flying everywhere! Also, make sure to secure the sides of your structure with waterproof canvas. If you are vending at an event for more than a day, it's good to have these sides to secure up at night.
2) Extension cords and power strips. Most places promise (or sell) you electricity and then can’t or don’t always follow through. If there is power around, make sure your have these items just in case. Speaking of power, you need lighting! You'll need enough to light up your entire tent, and not just one end. Bring extra light bulbs, or if you're using an LED strip that works way better. Bring construction clamps to hold up your light, or zip ties works well with LED strips.
3) Always be prepared to do it all yourself. Have a set of tools such as a drill, screw driver, knife, scissors, duct tape. Zip ties are your best friend. Bring lots (300 is perfect). They’re cheap and it never hurts to be over prepared, not to mention you’ll make a friend when you lend them to another vendor in need. :)
4) Get there early. Usually spots are first come first serve and it’s not always about prime selling real estate. You want a spot that’s flat, the more grass the better. If it rains (which it probably will, thanks Murphys law) you don’t want to be caught at the bottom of the hill. And if you are caught, the more grass the better! You don’t want to depend on the vending coordinator to bring you hay (that probably won’t show up until you and everything you brought is covered in mud. (BRING PAPER TOWELS, otherwise your car will end up looking like you had a mud wrestling match in there.) Also getting there early gives you more time to set up before people show up and your vending coordinator will appreciate it.
5) A well-thought out display. You want the atmosphere of your place to draw people in, keep them in, interest them, express what you’re about, and be easy to move around in. Have proper signage. People want to know who you are and of course you want them to know who you are! Have business cards at the ready. Have something interactive if you can.
6) Be upfront. Always have a sign that states your return policy. It is important to protect yourself. It's also very important to keep your eyes on everything and everybody because unfortunately, theif is way too common. I great way to keep an eye on everybody is to stay friendly and acknowledge people who walk by and are in your booth.
7) Bring a note pad or expense journal to keep track of all your sales. Bring extra pens and paper. Also, keep your cash locked up safe and never expose to the pubic what you have. Hip belts work perfectly. BRING SINGLES and 5’s! No one will have change…well maybe one person, and you’ll probably hug them. This is the perfect opportunity to make friends with your neighbors because you guys might be able to help each other out during your time there. Oh! And have a price marked on everything. It will make your life so much easier.
8) Bungee Cords. You never know when they will come in handy.
9) Garbage BAGS! Pack it in, pack it out. LEAVE NO TRACE.
10) Chairs. You need to be comfortable if you're going to be there all day!
11) Plastic Containers. Protect your goods by putting them in plastic bins with lids (if possible). This is not only great for storage and traveling, if it rains, you can quickly put your things away safely.
12) Have patience and know your self-worth. Some customers can be challenging, so being patient and trying to work with them may end up getting you a sale. And on the flip side, it's important to know when to stand up for yourself if someone is disrespecting you in a mature and calm manner. People don't always know how much effort, work, and love goes into making things. Some of these people just need that exta care and time to understand. :)
Last note: Don't let negativity bring you down! Have fun and continue doing what you love! There WILL be people who appreciate your work. True passion does not go unoticed, and is much appreciated! ;)
Festival season is coming up quick! Will you be vending this year? :)
If there are any tips that was not listed, please comment below!
Show some love to Jaime and Lauren for sharing all of this awesomeness!
Whirl and Dirvish on Facebook
Follow on Instagram @WhirlAndDirvish
Whirl and Dirvish Etsy Shop