Wander down the main street in Elizabethtown, PA, and you are bound to discover the glass-fronted building of WhirliGig Unique Boutiques and Creations Re-Imagined (this is probably after you’ve caught the fantastic aroma of chocolate wafting by from the nearby Dove factory, so you will know you are in the right place).
Stepping inside, you’re greeted by some warm, wonderful people and some of the coolest upcycled and hand-crafted items–furnishings, décor, jewelry, art, soaps, candles, quilts, leather goods (yes, that’s mine!).
I’ve been selling there for several months now, and so far the experience has been nothing short of fantastic. Okay, I don’t have those Hollywood filmmakers knocking on my door to design and create costumes yet–however, if you ARE from Hollywood and like my work, please contact me via my e-mail! I wasn’t expecting to be able to quit my day job (yet) but that’s a goal for the future.
I’ve learned some pretty valuable lessons so far:
- It’s great to have a place where my goods can be found regularly. Up until now, I’ve done shows and sold to friends and family through Facebook and via word of mouth. Having even a small spot in a brick-and-mortar has been a God-send as people can find my things even when I can’t be around.
- No packing car/set up/break down/pack car/unpack car. Others who have done craft shows know exactly what I mean. At first I was a little skeptical of renting what amounted to a smaller piece of real estate (typical booths are 10′ x 10′) but paying a similar price for a one-time setup that sits still, aside from decorative changes, was the way to go. My weekends can be mine again.
- Someone else is minding the store. In this case, the lady minding the place is a fabulously fun and friendly lady with a jubilant, positive personality and a joy to be around. And she’s there on a regular schedule, which results in…
- Better sales. Someone may not have made up their mind to buy at the craft show and when they did it was too late because I already packed up to go, but they can come back to the brick-and-mortar where they might have to wait a whole month/year and will likely have forgotten about the items by then.
To sum up–at first I was a little leery but after checking the place out, asking questions of the proprietor, and reading the contract, I took the plunge, and am glad I did.