Sorry it's been so long since my last (first) report (Mar 16). I have
a real job and two wonderful kids and between both of those priorities
I am kind of moving in slow motion on the business.
Recap: Starting a wood products manufacturing business. See
www.sonomaproducts.com for samples of work. This years plan is to try
and do $5-10k in sales via Art and Craft shows. I applied to 8 shows so
far and was accepted to 5 of them. I attended a show earlier in the
year and sold $187 at a cost of $450. My stuff was a bit out of place.
Recent Activity: I went selling one day at a local flea market. It is a
permanent site in San Jose, CA claiming to be the biggest outdoor
market in the USA, 120 acres, and 8 miles of aisles. The crowd was
clearly not the best demographic but there were lots of them. I sold
$327 worth of products and it only cost $45 for the stall. Not
something I can live on but better than the last show.
Pending Activity: I will be attending my first "juried" craft show
in about two weeks. The show is for two days over the weekend on closed
off streets in the downtown of an affluent city (Danville, CA). Between
the furniture, plant stands, wine racks, mirrors, shelves, cutting
boards, birdhouses, etc; I'll have about $4,000 of inventory on hand.
The space cost $200 plus 10% commission. I could have paid $350 and no
commission but have no experience with how much I'll sell.
Future Activities: I've identified a few street fairs in September
and October in Berkeley and San Francisco that still have openings.
They are only $125 to enter so I may sign up for those. I may also try
to take some Adirondack chairs I make (not showing them at the craft
shows) and try to get a few local high-end nurseries to carry them.
Also might try a roadside stand of Adirondack chairs and wine racks in
the local winery region but need to check on the legalities. I think I
could get a local winery or farmer to let me setup on their property
for a cut of the business and it might help with the legalities.
I'll report back from the Danville show in a few weeks. Wisj me luck!