For me, the hardest part of my business is marketing my products. I learned so much from the owner of one of the first shops we ever sold to. Caleb and I walked into the Kennebunkport shop with a plastic container piled full of loose earrings. We had no business cards or brochures, order forms or invoices. We had no real understanding of what we were doing. The very patient shop owner looked directly at us and said, "I love your product, but your presentation needs some work." So we went home and polished our presentation. We had good sales in this shop and the owner was nice enough to connect us with a sales rep. A few months later we received an order for 108 pairs of earrings from a store in Boothbay and our business suddenly became real! Sadly, the Kennebunkport shop closed a few years ago, but I will always owe a debt of gratitude to the owner who took the time to advise and teach us about the marketing end of the craft business.
The person I am "featuring" today is another shop owner who is the best promoter of my products and (perhaps more importantly) a good friend. Bonnie Brooks is a jewelry designer and owner of Bonnie's Place (http://www.bonniesplaceme.com/). This little shop is a hidden treasure well worth finding. Off the beaten path in Rockport, Bonnie's Place is filled with items handmade by Maine crafters and artists. Bonnie knows details about each product and its designer; she is the consummate saleswoman, who loves her job and it shows. The only thing she needs to improve upon is promoting her own products!! I feel blessed to have found Bonnie and will spend this weekend making more Forever Cards for her because she just keeps selling them! Check out her website and if you are in the Rockport area, stop in and visit with Bonnie - you will LOVE her and her shop!