Saturday, October 12, 2013

Bead Shop Hop Wraps Up Today

Today is the final day of the Bead Shop Hop, and I have to say that I think it was a success. I would never have believed that a group of adult women would get so excited about traveling to twelve different stores to collect charms, shop for beads, and see what each store has to offer. But it hit people's imaginations and they flocked to our stores. Many of the shoppers said that they wouldn't get to all of the stores, especially the ones that were far from the metropolitan area, but I did have a few who were intending to see each store and even had one completed form turned in to me for submission for the Grand Prize.

Beads - just lots of beads. People love them, and they are so pretty and happy.

What really came through when talking to the 'Hoppers' is the variety of the participating stores and their products. I know that I have an extensive selection of pressed glass, seed beads and Swarovski crystals, but that my findings and chain selections are fairly middle-of-the-road. That was confirmed, but people really loved our selection and our more unusual products like our leather and metal products. Those customers using my type of product were over the moon and delighted to find me. I saw a lot of customers who hadn't been in for years because they live in far-flung locations, and 'Hopping' allowed people who hadn't been by lately to remember why they liked us in the first place.

Red coral - such a wonderful and natural material and treasured throughout the world.

It was a lot of fun. And it was a LOT of work. 90% of the customer interaction and sales were mine, and on days like yesterday I was feeling my age by the end of the day. I never had a chance to sit back at my computer or have a lunch, and I barely had any time to process product or even read on my phone or my Nook. In some ways I'll be sad to see the Hop come to an end, but my life will be happier in other ways. I'll maybe have a chance to get a little writing in over my lunch break again. For that matter - I might actually get a lunch break again. What a novel idea!

Turquoise - treasured in the southern US, ancient Persia and even in dynastic Egypt.
I love turquoise too. So hard to resist...

But I would do this again. It actually was a great experience that revitalized my own interest in my customers and sparked interest among the beading crowd as they toured the variety of stores. We gave away our turtle charms, put our stickers on the sheets, and we'll see how much of a bounce-back we'll get on our coupon offer for the 16th-31st of October. With luck, we'll benefit from the 'Hop' throughout the remainder of the month and our customers will have a great time as they save money in the second half of October by using the coupon they "hopped" in to get during the Bead Shop Hop.

These lovely purple beads are handmade. Yes, individual artisans still make
beads one at a time, like little works of art. Some handmade beads are
extremely detailed and very expensive. I'd buy these - they're quite lovely.

Have a great weekend, everyone. I'll talk to you again on Monday.

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