Last year, in February to be exact, I decided to take my aromatherapy products from our training classroom to the public. It has been a fantastic ride so far, and our line is growing!
Was it the long winter nights that prompted this decision? Most likely. It isn’t that I needed more work, or another business to run, I was plenty busy. And then add family on top of that and you could honestly say, uber busy.
But I really had a belief in what I was blending for clients, and wanted our products to have a bigger venue. How do you market aroma products for dogs and their people, an inter species product?
During our first year we were busy with research and test trials. My assistant and I investigated shipping and packaging, labels, bottles & containers, advertising, marketing, etc. All of the foundation work necessary to get this product out to the public. My business mentors called it my development year.
I did the local Farmers Market, local Art and Craft shows, and then two rather large national Trade Shows outside of the state. And a ton of what is called gorilla marketing. I found out that is were I shine, and that is where our early success started.
Farmers Markets are awesome, touching base with clients, forming relationships, great conversations, and coffee!
Art & Craft fairs are kind of funky. Some are good some are a bomb. I would say they were my least favorite venues last year, and in saying that, we did ten around the state. We did well but the atmospheres in most of them were weird, for our product at least. Nonetheless we will continue to go to the ones we enjoyed, if nothing else they are a great advertising and marketing opportunity.
The Trade Shows are a boat load of work, starting weeks/months prior to going. Booth display took me totally by surprise, as did the amount of literature, take aways and samples to give away. But we were wildly successful, enjoyed them, and will continue to do at least two to three a year. I like the buyers days the best, it is business and direct, and fun to negotiate new partnerships. We currently have twenty six wholesale accounts across the country, and I love the home spun relationships we have with each of our partners.
Today we leave for the Red Ants Pants Music Festival. It was juried for the vendors this year, and they looked at women owned businesses in Montana first! Woop!. I am hoping this will be a good venue for us, as it sounds like a fun way to sell over a three day period. Six to eight thousand people will congregate in a cow pasture outside of White Sulphur Springs Montana to listen to great music, camp, eat, and buy stuff. This sounds like my speed as long as the wind doesn’t kick in and carry everything to Kansas!
Happy music festival weekend, Nancy