Still a pretty fallow week in terms of getting things done. I am slowly plodding through some projects to eventually go up in the Etsy store, but i’m not really thrilled with any of them. they’re good, but not wowzers, to my thinking.
Anyway, in terms of marketing, we were asked again to participate in StashFest up at the La Conner Quilt Museum next March. Last year we said yes because we wanted to go on a trip to an area we’d never been before. This year we knew we had to make a very pointed look at the expenses to make the trip. So if you’re thinking about doing a show and never have, here’s the process we went through.
One, we knew from our record of expenses last year (we wrote down EVERYTHING in a notebook for the whole trip, complete with every receipt) that Seattle and back to Tucson would be $3000. That’s accounting for the five nights free on the road, between friends and freebie points toward rooms. That’s gas, rooms, food, admissions, some gift/art buying. Not a whole lot of extravaganza, but the whole trip back through the Oregon Coast was part of the enjoyment of the trip.
Two, we had a new percentage cut to work with this year. We would get 65% of what we sold. If we sold $6000, we would get $3900. that would cover the expenses of the trip, but it wouldn’t cover what we would need to lay out for expenses to make the fabric. We looked at what we would need to have in inventory to take $6000 worth of product up to La Conner. Once we had this inventory, we cost out supplies, which came to about $3000. Marbled fabric has a very low profit margin….and this would mean every spare piece of change would go to supplies, with no additional trips between now and March.
Three. we based our new inventory on what we learned last year. New, deeper colors, especially grays. Lots of specialty fabrics, as they were a last-minute addition to our inventory, and we sold out in lass than an hour. Pattern kits using marbled fabric. Ribbon and silk flowers. Based on our experience last year, we had a good idea of price point. Our basic cotton fat quarters need to sell for $8. We could have sold a lot more last year if price and color choices had been different.
Four, up-front expenses would be everything, and about two weeks after the show before we would receive our monies. That’s $6000, up front.
Five, hubby is facing some surgeries this fall, one of which is very up in the air. We didn’t want to commit and then have to back out of the event.
As much as we want to do the show, all of this added up to our saying we couldn’t participate. We were bummed, as we had a great time last March. So we emailed our regrets…..
…and got an email right back inviting us to send up fabric that a volunteer would sell for us. As much or as little fabric as we wanted. The organizers knew with the new percentages that it probably wouldn’t work for us, but they wanted our fabric anyway.
Absolutely! This is something we can definitely do. Now there are a number of things to consider:
1. Shipping costs to and from, approximate amount of inventory
2. What gets sent to support the fabric – a few less quilts, more business cards and care codes, specific instructions, a revised portfolio.
3. Time line for creating, and deadline to have everything completed (March 1, ship March 15….)
I’ll keep you posted.