I’m Back…On YouTube That Is

Soooo I thought it was time to revamp my Youtube Channel to match my current projects.I don’t have any set schedule for these videos posts but I’ll announce my uploads on various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Some of you I actually “met” first on Youtube before I started this blog back when I was doing slideshows to showcase products from my online gifting company my 1st adult entrepreneurial endeavor ( I started a Babysitter’s Club business in my teens inspired by the book series hehehe). (You’re still here with me YAY!) I’m going to keep those old videos up because I want people to see where I came from; I want to share my humble beginnings, and I could use the accountability to keep moving forward 😉 Hope you enjoy my 1st vlog.

Becoming A Craft Show Vendor

Photo By: L. Davis

Thanks to social networking on Facebook, I was invited by a fundraising event planner to participate in a craft show that would benefit a local nonprofit. After reading more about branding and growing my business through different marketing venues, I decided to give it a try and become a vendor.

Because it was my first craft fair, I made sure to do a little research in preparation for the event. I found that because La Bella Baskets was an online store and my budget was extremely small, I had to do a lot of improvising, but I made it work. Here are some things I did to prepare for my craft fair:

  1. If you’re a newbie vendor I would suggest reading articles like this to get an idea of what to expect.
  2. Because my business is online, I decided to set up a booth to recruit people interested in a work from home opportunity. I brought my laptop with me so anyone interested could enroll right on the spot. I also made sure to advertise my gifts for anyone interested in purchasing from my online store.
  3. I ran around like a mad woman gathering supplies such as: a table and table cloth, chairs, etc.  
  4. I shared the event on my facebook and twitter business accounts.
  5. I hired my little sister to lend a hand and traded an “I owe you” with my good friend to help me set up and (wo)man my battle station.

 Here is what I learned:

  1. Even though I read up on vending at a local craft fair, I wish I attended one as a spectator first. I became very anxious because I didn’t have a cool banner or proper signage. If I had gone to another small town fair, I could have saved myself the unnecessary stress. I realized that most of them don’t have an over the top set up like the kind you would find at let’s say a big expo center event.
  2. I borrowed a table for this particular event because we were advised to bring our own table and chair. When I arrived, tables happen to become available, and so I used the provided table rather than haul mine out the car. Unfortunately, my table cloth was too small for the provided table. Next time, I’m bringing more than one table cloth.
  3. Hauling my stuff back and forth, even though I traveled light, was literally a pain in the neck. Thankfully, I was surrounded by friendly vendors who saw that I was new and offered a helping hand. They also suggested I get a cart or small hand truck to transport my items.
  4. I figured I could lure customers with free candy and that would get them to take my materials and ask questions. What I received was a lot of children running over as often as possible to take the candy and run. Next time, I think I will put the candy along with marketing materials in a nice mesh bag.
  5. Although I posted the event on Facebook and Twitter, I left out the actual address so my friends and supporters could stop by and show some love. I assumed that sharing the link to the event was enough and was sadly mistaken.

Overall, the craft fair was a wonderful learning experience. I made some new contacts with other vendors, was invited to do another craft fair, and hopefully earned some new business partners and supporters. Do you have any tips you would like to share? I would love to hear suggestions and I’m sure other readers would too!

Are you looking to become a craft show vendor? Besides looking in local newspapers and magazines, I’ve added some resources below to help you locate some events in your area.

http://www.craftlister.com/

http://www.artfaircalendar.com/

http://www.fairsandfestivals.net/

La Bella Baskets Father’s Day Contest! Win A Basket!

My company has a Father’s Day contest that started this month and I wanted to share our exciting contest with you all! To learn more visit my site http://giftsoflabella.com and click on the link  “Happy Father’s  Day Contest”.

Contest Details

Create a 30 second video (or less) and tell us why your DAD is the greatest. The video can be funny, creative or sentimental.

Two special dads will win a beautiful Father’s Day Gift Basket of their choice.  The Basket will be delivered to their front door before father’s day!

Share the Contest

We encourage you to pass along this contest to your friends, family members, and whomever you know that has a great dad and could win this contest!

Contest Deadline:

Contest Begins:      5/9/2011
Contest Ends:         6/1/2011

We will ANNOUNCE the winner on June 3rd.  Winner’s video will be posted and notified by email and by a telephone call!

To Submit Your Video 

To submit your video, please email La Bella at: giftbasketandflowercareer@gmail.com the information below after you upload your video to youtube. Looking forward to seeing your dad win!

1. Name of Dad (first and last name)

2. Lynette Davis #2585 (Your consultant)

3. Name of Gift Basket that you like -Take a look inside my online gift store: http://giftsoflabella.com

4. Phone# to contact you if you win

5. Email Address to contact you if you win

6. IMPORTANT (how to forward your video to us)
   a. Upload your Father’s Day video to YouTube.

   b. Your title should read: Why My Dad Should Win A La Bella Baskets

By submitting your video to La Bella Baskets, you acknowledge you own all rights to the photograph and you hereby grant La Bella Baskets right to use your video for any purpose and in any media, including without limitation, on the La Bella Baskets website. You further acknowledge that all persons depicted in the video consent to LBB’s use of the same.

My Work From Home Experience

   In my last post I mentioned that I found a work from home opportunity that keeps me productive and on my toes while I’m (technically) unemployed. What I didn’t mention was how legitimate work from home opportunities require investments that many people who claim to want a “side hustle” or home business aren’t willing to dish out.

   Work from home businesses require time, money, industry knowledge, quality product and/or services just like a brick and mortar business does. Even if you sell makeup or offer babysitting services, you have to develop some kind of business plan and strategy.  When I decided to pursue a work from home business I knew I wasn’t going to get rich quick, but I did jump in thinking  ‘how hard could this be?’ with no game plan, no real training, and even the assumption that all my family and friends would ride in the bandwagon. Boy was I wrong. I almost laughed when I read this article on network marketing in which the writer basically asks: Do you wake up one day and say “I’m going to be a doctor!” And you go down and join a company, get a distributor kit for 50 bucks, and you’re a doctor?” As funny as that sounds, I understand how ridiculous my thinking was in regard to my approach to online marketing. What can I say? You live and you learn. Luckily for me, the La Bella Baskets opportunity required no contract or startup kit. It was perfect for a complete newbie in the marketing world to learn by trial and error. Honestly, when I came across the ad for a “Gift Basket Consultant” on Craigslist, (Yes I said Craigslist) I just wanted to supplement my full-time income so that I could have some extra money on the side. As it turns out, I lost my full-time job and have been afforded the opportunity to really learn how to be my own boss.

   Being an entrepreneur, no matter how large or small scale, is not for the faint at heart. I’ve had to “woman up” on numerous occasions while still battling my introvert personality.  I hope anyone interested in work from home opportunities will not approach their business with a lackadaisical mindset. Although I never intended my side hustle to be anything more than that, working my business and growing with my company, I gained skills and confidence that I can take to my next job and future entrepreneurial endeavors.  Even if I don’t accomplish everything I originally set out to do, I’m striving to enjoy the journey and learn from my mistakes.