Sunday, 15 January 2017

Portable Handmade Dollhouses

A hobby grows into a passion, and a passion grows into a salable service, skill, or product, don't you think? 

It Doesn't Cost a Lot to Sell at a Flea Market. I know many moms who are making extra money every weekend selling handmade items at craft fairs, flea markets and even on local Facebook trade pages.

I thought it would be a neat exercise for both my kids and i to participate in so we did...

Here's what happened to us over the weekend, and a possible weekend money making idea for you to try too. Please Read on...

WHY the Flea Market? 

It might not have occurred to you to try this type of selling venue, but it can be lucrative and can help you reach a whole new market. 

When Markets21 recently advertised for vendor openings, i registered to be one. I think even if you're already successfully promoting your craft, service or product online, making periodic appearances at craft fairs, art shows, and flea markets, can give your business new insights into : 

the market

your regional competition, and 

local consumers' desires 

A flea market is one of the best places to see how people respond to your stuff. I've seen hundreds of people go on to use this as a platform to do what they really want to do.

When selling at a flea market like Markets21, (#haveyoudoneit ? we did! ) Always...always keep the customer in mind.  I was very fortunate because, being at the flea, allowed me to be face-to-face with my customers on what they liked, what they would like to buy and importantly who they were. They gave me a lot of ideas! 

Bringing Kidzania to life. 

My kids, well.. they were totally hands on.  I do believe It’s about creating the right persona to be an entrepreneur. Even if in the future they do other things, one important entrepreneurial trait I so do hope they develop is to crave learning. That's my little helper there experiencing first hand the "fun" part of trading, → Setting up.

Know Your Buyers

Here's a quick share of what i learned. Having kept in mind that flea markets tend to attract those a little on the more cost-conscious side, prepping for me meant focusing on 'promotional' pricing , it was a tough exercise balancing time and effort of crafting against what the market would pay. There was a lot of back and forth on the matter but we settled and went ahead with the pricing. Our short term goal was to hear from customers on what they wanted. And What was it did we sell?...

Funny you asked! 

Here's the thing, after many months of feeling miserable with NO motivation whatsoever, I finally got around to doing this little crafty project. (When inspiration strikes, you gotta run with it!) Completely genius i must say, to craft a portable dollhouse which stores all loose toys. The design 'per se' is not mine, you will be able to find the template online however it did take a bit of matter and skill in putting it all together.

Well YES then, we sold portable handmade dollhouses over the weekend!

Here is LULU, the portable dollhouse made with felt, and foam core board. Each of these portable dollhouse is handmade with love and happiness in a pet free home.

It is no surprise that your child will love them and you can bring an entire miniature family out to dinner with this felt play set. Handmade items are pricey, but our risky promotional price strategy was acceptable and we were able to sell them at $79 a piece. My custom order dollhouses comes at $130 when you order them online. To secure our Promotion Price just register your interest here.

Why was I nervous about my prices?
I know people often experience “price tag shock” at handmade prices, and I’d never want customers to think I was trying to take advantage of them. My handmade dollhouses may costs more than the plastic mass manufactured one at popular ToyR stores yes. Given the low prices (and frequent sales) that this ToyR stores advertise, we’ve been conditioned to expect low prices on everything!!
Here is my very simplified look at what’s included in the price of my handmade dollhouses or any handmade product out there for that matter:

Profit? Yes. A business that does not make enough profit will go out of business. Its seems like a dirty word huh? It conjures images of wealthy CEOs living in gold finishes homes, but the reality is majority of small business owners will never live in such luxury without proper tools.
Profit as you know is what remains after the employees are paid and all business expenses are covered. Profit is saved up until I need to buy equipment, take training courses, or grow my business in other ways. 
My goal with Tinyhomes Malaysia is to grow the Handmade Dollhouse Business and hire troubled women, single mothers to sew and craft for Tinyhomes Malaysia, so that I can focus on creating and marketing. If you are looking for some crafting to do, drop us an email : detailing your location and current work status.
 I can’t compete with the popular Toy stores, and I don’t want to.
Next time you see a handmade product with a price tag that surprises you, hopefully this will help you understand what’s behind that price tag. I encourage you to support small businesses all year round and not just during the holidays and gift-giving season.
I've hidden the faces of our happy customers but you can see that there were a few..


again, i cant stress enough on the importance of KNOWING your Buyers

So when you do decide to be a flea vendor, remember that, No one wants to just be tossed a product when they visit your space. They want to talk to you, they want to meet the owner they want to know the owner, And then ....they will come back. 
Here is what i truly believe, we are at a time when many customers are changing their buying habits, building loyalty is critical To remain "open for business"

Tadaa.. And now you know that flea markets, especially weekly ones, can be ideal vehicles for creating loyal customers.

Return the favor, will you?

Send me your thoughts about my handmade portable dollhouses I crafted and share this post on your social platforms. With them you can keep all your childs' loose toys. The dollhouse is approx 12" x 8" and is great for  LPS , My Lil Pony, Mini Lalaloopsy and all their dollhouse furniture all of which will be kept organized in this multi colored portable dollhouse. 

I do hope the dollhouses I crafted can assist in, enhancing your child's creativity,  promote problem solving, and teach socialization skills too. In case you are interested on the importance of imaginative play you can always look it up. More on that in my next post.

It's a Wrap

Nothing beats the happy faces of beautiful children seeing it for the first time, and playing with my handmade portable dollhouses? Wow the gratification. It's priceless!

The cutest little smiles that had visited my kids and i at our space during markets21 melts me every time. More importantly though the connection made with mothers, fathers, fellow vendors was worth the time and effort. For this alone i feel very blessed having experienced that moment with my kids and im happy with that now being a part of my life. 

You can catch up with Tinyhomes Malaysia by following the links within this blog or simply subscribe.

Come view and shop a growing selection of handmade dollhouses 

If you happen to be a fellow entrepreneur and looking for ways to improve your online presence do read my marketing articles. 


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