Vendor fairs and business expos offer shoppers the chance to purchase specialty items not often found in stores. From handmade crafts to order-only vendors, the possibilities are endless.
On Feb. 27, the Chief Petty Officers Club will host the second of three Home Business Expos, again organized by Coast Guard spouses. The first one was held this past fall.
“We choose to hold vendor shows for the community and the spouses at a low cost so that anyone can afford to show their wares in a public setting, ” said Diane Million, one of the event organizers. “It’s also a great way to see what our fellow spouses do in their spare time. The spouses (who are direct salespeople) are selling to help support their family are able to get exposure they may not have had an opportunity for before. Those who make crafty items and gifts are able to show their talents and earn money at the same time. These shows allow us to get together in a fun but profitable way.”
For visitors to the event, the organizers try to make the expo about more than just shopping.
“We make it more of a social gathering versus a shopping experience, ” Million said. “We have local writers who offer to autograph their latest work. And with the expo being held in the banquet room of the CPOA, it immediately takes on the comfortable feel of getting together with friends.”
Vendors do not have to be Coast Guard spouses, Million added, though there cannot be more than one direct sales booth of each company, so registering early is key. Already, booths are registered to represent Pampered Chef, Jamberry Nails, Gourmet Cupboard, Tastefully Simple, Southern Sisters homemade crafts, Flair (handmade bows) and more, she continued.
And with table costs at just $10 plus a raffle item donation of $10-to-$20, the cost is significantly lower than many vendor show registrations.
“The CPOA donates the room to our group of women who have dedicated their spare time to helping others and volunteering within the community, cutting down immensely on our costs and allowing us to charge less per table, ” Million said.
All fees collected by the organizers benefit the USCG Spouses’ Club Scholarship Fund, Million continued.
“We are able to give back to the community through the scholarship fund, ” she said. “We hope to raise $400-to-$500. The money raised will help local USCG families afford continuing education.”
The fund gives scholarships to dependents of Coast Guard personnel, whether they are active duty, retired, reserve or deceased. Eligible applicants must be attending or have been accepted to an accredited two-year or four-year institution, working towards an undergraduate or graduate degree, or be attending an accredited technical or vocational training school.
The Chief Petty Officers Club is located at 514 Cardwell Street in Elizabeth City. The Home Business Expo has space for more than 30 vendors, and will be held at the CPOA on Feb. 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
I love The Knot, the website is very helpful.. and there's discussion boards on there as well.
I like to flip through bridal magazines, I've got a lot from those, especially a local Michigan Brides magazine, so I don't know if your state has one of those.
Any bridal shows around where you live? That's something worth checking into :)
6k budget club!
My FH and I have a 6k budget as well. We are keeping it less costly by deciding what i want and then finding it cheaper online. We found a reception hall that basically does it all for under $3,000! I have gone to millions of bridal shows for ideas and deals. Our professional photographer is only costing us $650 and they are all over so check them out! they are in Indiana, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, Wisconsin, and Ohio.
I am getting a great deal on linens at this site
In Detroit area - locaton, location, location!!
Your plan sounds like a winner.
I personally would position my location to be easy to reach from 696, 96, 94, 75, 275, etc. You will potentially get clients from all of S.E. Michigan.
Flint, Lansing, Toledo, Port Huron, etc. should be able to get on the highway and reach you within an hour. You have a very populated area to draw from.
If I were looking at this type of business, I wouldn't be concerned about prime, "Main $teet" retail space, as much as a large space with plenty of on-site parking. Think: close to the freeway, warehouse/studio (paint it white and add lots of tulle & mirrors) space that you can grow into and is cheaper - AND you can host bridal fashion shows regularly! With an on-line presence, and good word of mouth, your clients WILL find you