Get Crafty with P. Graham Dunn

Written by P. Graham Dunn

Crafting Party

A How-To Guide for Your Store 

Do you love driving additional traffic to your store? We thought you might, so we’ve created a guideline for hosting your very own crafting party at your store!

Step 1 – Purchase Supplies

Newly available from P. Graham Dunn—an assortment of blank wood pallets that are perfect canvases on which your customers can create their own unique designs. Choose from 12 different varieties here.

Step 2 – Invite Your Customers

Spread the word and create buzz about your event! Several different ways to promote your event include:

  • Social Media
    • Create a Facebook event and post it to your page
    • Use the Facebook post we’ve created here.
    • Create additional buzz by sharing photos from the crafting party
    • Create a unique hashtag for the event to collect photos from customers (ex: #PalletParty #CraftParty)
  • E-Blasts
    • Have a customer contact list? Send them a quick heads-up about your event!
  • In-Store Posters and Flyers
    • Spread the word in your store with in-store posters
    • Drop a flyer in each customer’s shopping bag
  • Sign-Up Forms
    • Keep sign-up forms for your event by cash registers and train your staff to share info about it during checkout
  • Eventbrite
    • To make sign-ups seamless and easy to manage, consider using an event platform such as Eventbrite (eventbrite.com)

Step 3 – Paint, Craft, & Have Fun!

Our favorite step! Have fun with your event and don’t be afraid to get creative!

 

Additional Tips & Tricks:

  1. Limit attendees to keep the group manageable, plus create exclusivity.
  2. Leading a class may be overwhelming for many, so reach out to local artists to lead the class for you. This may also be a great opportunity for local artists to get their name out to the community.
  3. Consider offering light refreshments during your event.
  4. Looking for a design that others can replicate on their own pallet? Check out Pinterest, Google, and Instagram for inspiration!

 

 

 

 

In-Store Event Guide to Drive Traffic

Hosting in-store events are important for independent retailers. They take planning, dedication, and hard work, but are all worth it in the end. Here is a collection of some of our favorite events that we would like to share with you. Keep this list handy and refer back to it from time-to-time. Whether you opened your doors days ago or have been in business for quite some time, these ideas will help to provide direction for your next event that will undoubtedly drive traffic and sales.

Winter/Fall

  • Holiday Open House – Let this be your big holiday introduction revel to your customers. Offer specials promotions, giveaways, and treats to create a party like atmosphere. Click here for tips from Paddington Station in Ashland, Oregon on hosting a Holiday event.
  • Tailgate or Sports Event
  • Decorating for the Holidays – Partner with a local interior designer to hold a decorating class for your customers plus provide treats and a giveaway basket.
  • Cause Marketing Event such as March of Dimes, World Autism Day, Breast Cancer Awareness or connect with your own local charity or non-profit organization. Click here for tips on hosting your own Cause Marketing event.

Spring/Summer

  • Graduation themed Event – “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” With borrowing the theme from an American favorite, Dr. Seuss, post quotes from the book around your store, hang balloons, create a space just for gifts for grads.
  • Blushing Bride Wedding Events
  • Salute to Mom – Mother’s Day Event
  • Easter Egg Hunt
  • Gardening and/or Miniature Gardening Event – Click here for tips on hosting your own Miniature Gardening Event from Brown Dog Gardens in Alpine, Texas
  • Cinco de Mayo May 5thServe festive treats and offer a special discount or door prize
  • Sidewalk Sale & BBQ Event
  • Spring Fashion Show – Great opportunity to showcase apparel, jewelry and accessories for a particular season.

Great non-seasonal Event Ideas

  • Wish List Event – have your female customers come in to your store before a big holiday like Mother’s Day, Birthdays, or Christmas and ask them to put together a wish list of products they would like. Then consider doing a separate event for just the men while serving beer, nuts, and popcorn and let the men shop for their spouses or significant other from their list.
  • Store Anniversary or Birthday Celebration
  • School Fundraiser Night – Designate a specific day/night when customers can come in and shop. If they mention that specific school, you’ll donate 20% of the net proceeds to the school.
  • Pamper Yourself Day – Invite a local massage therapist to come in for short neck massages. Demo a specific line of new products.
  • Wild & Wacky Wednesdays – Determine your lowest sales/traffic day and do a promotion that will encourage people to come in.
  • Ladies Night & Men’s Night
  • Meet & Greet with Treats – Host an artist, author or creator signing in your store and provide light treats during the events.
  • Jewelry Event – It’s What Girls What
  • Pampered Pet
  • Gourmet Cooking Night – partner up with a local chef to present a cooking demonstration using products from your store.
  • Baby Showers – Sell kids products? Then consider holder baby show events within your store. Invite soon-to-be Moms to come and complete a wish list. The family members and friends of the Mom-to-be could then shop from that list. Serve refreshments and provide a few atmosphere with music and giveaways.
  • Happy Indie Retailer Month – Take the entire month of July and host different specials and events each week. Need more ideas? Click here for suggestions!

Other Helpful Tips to Drive Traffic

  • Cross market with other local merchants whenever possible
  • Send thank you and birthday cards to your customers
  • Keep your social media presence active and attractive
  • Develop a Frequent Shopper Program and host VIP events. For every $100 spent, your customer would receive a free gift or special discount

Quick Checklist for Hosting an Event

  • Pick your theme, date(s) and time of your event.
  • Determine your budget for refreshments, entertainment, marketing/advertising, and additional staff.
  • Develop your marketing plans that includes any advertising, social media, giveaways, contests, and/or print marketing.
  • Decide what you would like to serve regarding food and beverages.
  • Set your expectations with your team and determine if additional staff is needed. Review your sales goals with your team to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  • Take pictures and/or videos during your event and post them on your Facebook page to create buzz and excitement.
  • Analyze your event and make notes on the successes and improvements that you would like to address for your next event.

 

 

Serving up Great Wine Display Ideas

Wine 1Originally posted 3/12/2012; Updated 5/2/2016

The endless possibilities of CORKS. Alison Dodson of A. Dodson of Suffolk, VA posted this picture on the OneCoast Facebook wall (left side). They were able to create a wine wall just by asking our customers to collect their corks and bring them into their store. Roughly 5,000 corks later, they were able to cover an entire wall! Aren’t A. Dodson’s customers so kind for drinking all that wine just for us? What a great backdrop for displaying all their wine accessories.

wine 2Debbie Hardey of Local Vines & Gourmet in Cohasset, MA shares her display idea (right side). Here she showcases some of their wines along with gift baskets posing the thought to her customers to always think of wine as a great gift giving item.

At the Atlanta show in January 2012, Mud Pie was creative in displaying their new Bacchus Wine collection* using a striking burgundy red color with contrasting lime green colored wine bottles. This is a great way to make any display pop by just stray painting empty wine bottles and showcasing wine accessories like candle holders, bottle toppers or wine tags. And don’t just stop with one color. Try stray painting several bottles in a variety of shades for one eye-popping rainbow of colors.

wine 3Light up your store using recycled wine bottles. Here’s one we posted to the OneCoast Pinterest board showcasing a string of lights worked within the bottle itself. Suggestion….check the internet for instructions on doing this project yourself. You will need to drill into glass and you will need to use proper safety procedures when doing this project. But…wow what a stunning presentation! Also, use LED lights instead of standard string lights. LED lights will produce less heat and therefore the bottle will be cool to the touch.

Onto yet another great way to use all those corks! Create a beautiful centerpiece display with pillar candles surrounded by an abundance of used wine corks. By utilizing the corks, you create a rustic, yet elegant look. Not only would this look great in your store, but try it out at home too.

 

*Specific collection is no longer available. Click here for the updated Mud Pie wine collection.


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For other wine inspired display ideas, check out our wine themed Pinterest board.

Ask Us | Should I Decorate for the Holidays?

askus2lIt seems as if there is a holiday for every month. It starts with New Year’s Day on January 1 and ends with New Year’s Eve on December 31. Celebrating holidays is an exciting time for store owners and customers alike. But, should you be decorating for them? We asked our experts, our Regional Sales Managers, what they have seen work best!

Q: Should I decorate for the holidays? Or too much?

A: Vary below.

Susan Sacca, Regional Sales Manager, Mud Pie Sales Division

“You should absolutely decorate the store around gift giving seasons/holidays because this resonates with your customer. Today’s consumer is looking for a “shopping experience” and the decorations and store displays are key to creating a fun and positive shopping experience. The store window display bids the consumer to walk through the door and shop. Changing it our regularly tells the consumer the store has something they must come in to see. The floor displays contribute to this shopping experience, drawing the consumer to the feature product which is saying, ‘Buy me! Choose me!'”


David Nelson, Regional Sales Manager, Mud Pie Sales Division

David shared an excerpt from “A Shopkeeper’s Manual” by Mary Liz Curtin. Mary Liz is customer of OneCoast and an incredibly successful retailer in Michigan.

How often do I need to change my displays?”

As often as you can! Redo something in your store every week, even if it is only a small section or one category. The window should change at least monthly. Naturally, any time you sell the focal point in a display, it has to be re-merchandised. If you have a display that just didn’t work or is getting no attention, change it immediately.

Note: “A Shopkeepers Manual” is available for purchase at her store’s website.


Nora Chapman, Regional Sales Manager, Mud Pie Sales Division

“Yes, decorate if the room is available. If products are purchased that are able to be merchandised and coordinate with the rest of the store. The seasonal product should enhance the core lines and not distract. Door hangers that are complementary to the season are always a good way to decorate. A small table in the entrance way that creates a nod to the season; Easter, Halloween, Christmas. etc. The goal should be to add incremental dollars and not replace the store’s bread & butter.”

 


Regional Sales Managers:

All 3

25 Great Event Ideas from Independent Creative Retailers

This article is re-posted on the OneCoast Blog with permissions from the author(s).

25 ArticleHow’s your In-store Events and Promotions Calendar looking these days?  You do have one, don’t you? You need to run one MAJOR and two to three MINOR in-store events and/or promotions each and every month of the year.

A well done in-store event does more than just sell product, it attracts customers because there’s something different and unique and fun going on at your store. Events generate so much more than short term excitement, they create a lasting impression, and – this is important – an emotional connection with customers. This connection alone gives customers a reason to return. Short on ideas? Here are 25 events from creative retailers you can use in your own store:

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