Getting Ready for the Holiday Rush!!

The Holidays are rapidly approaching! For those of us in the handmade world, there's no time to waste! We need to make sure that we are ready for the upcoming rush of buyers who will start shopping with us via our on-line stores or visiting us at a local craft/art shows!

Below are a few tips that I try to do in starting my planning for the upcoming holiday rush. I thought I would pass this info along to you so that you can start your planning as well!

1. Sit down and think about what products you want to offer, especially those in the holiday line (if you offer themed products). If you've offered holiday themed items before and found them to go over well with your customers, be sure to offer those again. Also, be sure to create new holiday items for those who are return customers looking for something new!! Spend time on designing and creating these items...the extra time and attention to details in these items will be important to buyers since many of these items will be given as gifts to friends and family over the next few months!!

2. As always, market and advertise your business!! You can't wait until the middle of November or first part of December and try to get your business noticed for the holiday season. I am already getting requests and orders from people who are starting their buying early to help spread the cost of the holidays out and not get hit real hard with all the buying! START NOW with your holiday advertising and products! I bet if you take a look around at the big retailers, the Christmas sections are already starting to appear!! ;-)

3. If you don't offer gift certificates or gift cards, consider offering these! You can quickly make your own! I have found this to be a great addition to my store since some customers were having a hard time picking just the right jewelry out for their friends and family. The gift certificates allow them to give a gift, but allow the receiver to get something they want!

4. Make sure your store is stocked and ready with a big variety of items. More choices is always best this time of year!! Also, assure your customers that you can work with them to create the best gift and assure them that you can meet deadlines, etc., that they might have or need. Be flexible, patient and understanding of your customers. It will go a long way during the holiday season!! Also be sure to have plenty of shipping supplies on hand. Running out and delaying the shipping process during this time won't be good for your business.

5. Relax, have fun and try not to get overwhelmed and lose the spirit of the holidays! We know it is can be a difficult time of the year trying to keep up with everything and meeting customer demands. It is a stressful time for our customers as well in trying to find the perfect gift. Offering good customer service will no doubt win you a repeat customer.

The items listed above are just a small list of things you can do to get ready for the rush of holiday shoppers that are about to hit us! Getting prepared early will be a good gift to yourself!

Until next time...Blessings! ~ Dawn


Give To Get...Have You Considered It?

Yesterday, I was given the opportunity to provide 65 earring gift packs to be put in the celebrity gift bags for the world premiere of Tyler Perry's new movie "I Can Do Bad All By Myself," which will be in New York City next week. In case you aren't familiar with Tyler Perry's movies, he writes and produces his own material based off the character of Madea (who Tyler himself usually plays!). "Diary of A Mad Black Woman" is probably the best recognized movie he's created!

When I got the email from the PR agency handling the event and got their request, I was overwhelmed with excitement, but then overwhelmed with the task as I have had less than 48 hours to design, create and package all these gifts to ship in time to NY for the event!

In talking with some friends and colleagues, their immediate response is "how much are you getting paid for that?" And when I tell them nothing, they all but yell at me! But I'm completely content with it! Here's why...

I am getting the opportunity to put my jewelry in the hands of celebrities and some potentially amazing customers for a very small investment. I am also getting the opportunity to say that I've had my jewelry included in celebrity gift bags for a world premiere movie event. Both of these opportunities for some businesses will never happen or would cost businesses thousands of dollars! So why wouldn't I take this amazing opportunity and have fun with it and promote my business?! I'd be stupid if I didn't!

So if the chance to give your handmade goods ever comes up, take the opportunity!! Whether it is on a local scale for a charity auction or on a bigger scale like for a movie premier...take it! You don't have to do it all the time, but it does make for some great PR and usually only costs you a few dollars and some business cards!

Give a little to Get a little...consider it for some great PR for your business!!

Until next time....Blessings!! ~ Dawn