A little bit late with blog post number two, mainly because we’ve been hard at work (that’s my excuse) but also because I was waiting to have lots of lovely show photos to post. Since the first post we’ve attended a two-day canal festival, two traditional country fairs, an open gardens event and one school summer fete. In between these we’ve been replenishing stock (so happy to write that), developing a new product (more on this in the July blog) and adding content to the various social media platforms we have. It has been wonderfully, crazily busy.
The first event we attended was Moira Canal Festival. After unloading the car and starting to set up I realised we had forgotten the entire collection of scented sachets! Thankfully, it’s just a couple of miles down the road from Harris-Williams HQ and we were able to fetch the missing product before the opening. I thought the finished stall looked pretty fine (even if I do say so myself) and will confess that I’d set the whole thing up in our kitchen as a test run a few days before. The weather was fairly rubbish on the Saturday and not many visitors came into the tent, which was disheartening. I’m not sure what I expected, maybe a Boxing Day sales type scrum? It wasn’t time wasted though as we managed to chat to the more experienced traders, who were lovely and happy to pass on their wisdom. On the Sunday the sun was out and with it more customers, a couple of people we knew came to see us and we got some lovely feedback on the fragrances – music to our ears!
A week later we had a stall at a school fete over looking Ashby Castle – not a bad ‘office’ view for a Friday afternoon. The following three events were all located in charming country village settings and we had very successful sales days at all of them. Despite having variable weather to contend with I can confirm our newly purchased commercial grade gazebo passed the ‘robustness test’ admirably.
Our standout bestseller thus far has been our Grapefruit & Bergamot fragrance. I always thought it was a bit of a crowd pleaser and we’ve had to replenish the stock of this twice already prior to shows. Estimating the stock levels to take to events has been somewhat haphazard and all part of the learning curve. Just as we thought we’d got a handle on buying behaviours they altered at the next event. At Thorpe Country Show we didn’t sell anything but Vetiver & Sandalwood products for an hour and half in the afternoon, it was like human catnip. It made me wonder if the rise in temperature affected sales of particular fragrances. In hotter weather warm moist air does make odours appear stronger (think about over ripe fruit in hot weather) as odour molecules move more quickly than in colder weather. It will be interesting to track sales and strengths of particular fragrance throughout the year to see if any patterns emerge. I will dedicate a future blog post to our sense of smell (olfaction), how it works and its links to memory and well-being.
On that note I’ll round it up, we’ve got two events this weekend and I’ve got to ‘guesstimate’ which fragrances to pack based on previous sales. The weather forecast is mixed but hopefully we won’t get wet! We’ll be at Market Bosworth Country Fair on Sunday 2 July and next weekend we’ll be attending Melbourne Carnival and Ashby Show on 8 & 9 July respectively. Hope to see you there.
Anne & Dave