Thursday, June 2, 2011
Selling Bath & Body Products in Summer at Markets
I know this is not one of my regular blogs, but hey, what is one of my regular blogs lol. I need to get better at this lol, Im seriously working on it lol. Ok so summer is just about here and we have been doing quite a few markets and shows. We have been traveling all over the place from Pennsylvania to Jersey to NY kinda like we've been on tour lol. We have had lots of fun doing them and learning, this is our first real time going out and doing the outdoor markets. I was looking around all over the place for articles, blogs or YouTube vids on tips on how to display your products in summer conditions. Unfortunately I have found none, I have seen people set up and other things but none related to how the products reacted in the heat.
Ok, so when we first started it was back in February sometime and we did some indoor markets which were great because we were in a cool environment. Spring has sprung so we began to do the outdoor markets, when we had cool days with a breeze our products were fine, but when the sun and heat got to us oh boy! This weekend we did a big market in Brooklyn, NY called BAM while it was an awesome event our products just could not stand up to the heat and sun. It seemed like it was the hottest day EVER! Sweat was literally pouring down our faces. We were under a tent but the heat and humidity still caught us. Our bath bomb cupcakes were getting soft, our Whipped Body Mousse melted and was bubbling (yes bubbling! LOL), Our soaps were melting on our display. We tried our best to rotate out products and we always put 2 up on display and have the rest of the products under the tables. But we noticed that everything was melting and quickly. We put our products that could melt in a cooler with ice, and that worked but we had to consider our customers who were going to walk around in the heat it was still going to melt or soften! Needless to say that we lost money on our products being destroyed because of the elements. Some where able to be salvaged but most were just destroyed.
Ultimately, we put our "meltable" products away until the sun went down and thats when it got cooler. We put them out again and we were selling like hot cakes but we could have all along if our products did not deteriorate with the climate conditions.
So here are my tips for selling in the summer time:
-Do not sell shea butter products because they melt fast. (Our Whipped Body Mousse is one of our big sellers at the market but when people seen them all melted it turned them off! We had the fresh ones under the table and said this is what they look like when they are fresh lol!)Maybe sell it in a liquid form because in the heat it will definitely melt!
-If you sell any oils make sure to keep them in dark bottles because the sunlight will help your oils go rancid quickly. If you are selling after shower oils, massage oils and they are in a clear or frosted plastic keep them in the shade, and if someone purchases it have black or dark bags to place them in.
-If you sell Melt & Pour Soap and it gets really hot, keep in mind that the soap has been melted down to use and if it gets hot enough it will get soft and melt. My mom came up with a really good suggestion on how to keep your products protected, she said make a color copy of what the actual soap looks like glue it to styrofoam,put that on the display so that people can see the product but it is not exposed to the elements. Keep your soap in a cool area and when people want a product you just get one from under the table.
-If you make Cold Process Soap make sure if your doing outdoor markets you use a recipe that can hold up in the warm conditions. The softer bars of soap only get softer when its extremely hot and the sun is beaming on it.
-If you sell Bath Bomb Cupcakes, they will definitely give in to the humidity and start reacting. A friend of ours on Twitter had the same problem selling at the markets and suggested selling the bath bombs in powder form instead of the cupcakes or spheres. Even though it makes your display look really nice, there is nothing nice about a dripping soft cupcake.
-Bath Truffles are just off of our menu for the summer, we will still mail them out with a message do not leave package in the sunlight. But they are not going to be at the markets unless we have a cool day or until the end of September!
-Displays-We have a wooden display that Tristan built, we painted it black and it got really hot and literally cooked the soaps. So if you have a wooden display keep it unfinished. Im not sure but I think the black paint aided in "cooking" our soaps.
Things that I think are ok to sell at the market in hot summer months:
Body wash, Body/Massage Oils (only in dark bottles or in shade), Body Splash, Moisturizing body mist, Sugar Scrubs (ours held up unbelievably well in the heat), Lotions, Mud Masks, Bath Salts.
Ideas for great products in the summer:
Cooling soaps and lotions
Things for tanning and products with sunscreen
If you want to be sure of what products can hold up in the elements try putting them outside on a table in the sun and see how well it holds up. If it holds up well then you know you can work with it at the market, it not then you need to be prepared and work out a solution. We are going to try lining our boxes we store our products in with the reflective pad things you put in your windshield to block out the sun and heat and see if that works (another suggestion from my fabulous mother who should have a bargain diy show but I digress lol). I will keep you posted on how well that works for us. Nothing is worst then having a beautiful display and your products spoil and you have a loss for the day and people dont see the beauty or purpose in your products. So preparedness is one of the best things for a soaper! I hope that you have enjoyed this post.