Saturday, October 6, 2012

31 Days - Day 7: Do your Research: Opinions

As you are making your products, ask for opinions.  Start to poll people.  Ask them:

  • Would they buy this?
  • What do they like?
  • What don't they like?
  • How much would they pay for it?
  • Do they know anyone that would like to buy this?
Some of the places to get opinions on your products are:

  • Friends - not the ones that will give you a "nice" opinion, but the ones that give you an honest opinion.  You know, the opinion that initially hurts.  
  • Etsy - I know it doesn't seem like an opinion, but people don't buy what they don't like or don't think is reasonably priced.  This is a great way to test the market for your craft show.
  • Blog - Do a tutorial of what you are making, or a feature, or even a behind the scenes with lots of pictures.  People are usually pretty kind, but occasionally, you'll get that criticism, too.
  • Craft shops - see if they are interested in your products.  My son took some of his things that he is selling to a local ice cream shop and it was interesting to see which things they went crazy over and which ones they had no interest.
I know those criticisms are hard to take, but if you can step back from them, you will find that they push you to do more or better items.  For this research, I think you should be looking for the harsh, not the pretty comments.  They help you grow as a crafter.  Don't take it personally!

I know initially, it's hard to take.  I've been busy making my table runners, like this one.
They've been selling well on my Etsy store, in fact, I can't keep them made fast enough.  So I was confident that they would be great for my upcoming craft show.  My close friend said, "are you making anything that's not burlap?"  Well, that one comment made me step back a little bit and think about what my booth was going to have in it.  She even went on to say that not everyone likes burlap.  Initially, I was pretty offended.  I love my burlap items!  But then, I stopped to think, I certainly could make other things too, and it would be a great addition to my booth, too.  

I'm really thankful to my friend who could tell me the truth outright.  When I go to craft shows, I wonder if anyone has stopped to tell some of these ladies, that an item needs to be updated.  This stage of getting ready for the craft show can be brutal, but can save you time and money in the long run.  My last craft show was quite a giggle when the three of us in the booth got together to price things.  We each had a different item that we thought should be higher priced because of an attachment we had to it.  This is so easy to do as you make products for a booth, too.  An opinion or two, can spare us a failed booth, later.

Be sure to check out the past 6 posts from my 31 Days Until a Craft Show HERE.  I will be linking many of my posts up to the blogs I love over there in the right hand column.  For a complete list of the 31 Day Until A Craft Show series and links to each post go Here to Day 31.

PS - please give me your honest opinion of my burlap and ticking table runner in the comment section!