I have written about hosting an open house in your home on Bijoux Designs For You blog but thought it was worth revisiting here. Open houses/home parties are a great way to increase sales, gain valued feedback and get together with friends and family. I will post separately about home parties (held by someone else) later this week. Last year I held a couple of open houses (one in the spring and one in the fall) and both had great turnouts. Here is the posting I wrote about it:
Yesterday was our open house in my home for friends and family. I had several visitors and many of them were first timers and even some friends brought other friends that I didn't know. I set up a small display in my living room using a dropleaf table, some tv trays, my entertainment unit and my patio table (on the other side of the room). It was open house style, with guests dropping by between 1-8.
Invites: I sent out an email to my mailing list, an invite on to my friends on facebook and put up a little poster at work. Just something simple with date, time, directions and a link to our Etsy and Artfire stores so they could browse ahead of time if they wanted to. I offered a door prize and had guests fill out a ballot with their name, email and a box to check if they wanted to be added to our mailing list (everyone checked the box) AND I had one girl book a home party.
I loved doing the party in my own home. I could invite guests on a day/time that worked for me, I didn't have to find a sitter for the baby, when there was no one here I could just work like normal, I set up the night before so I didn't have to rush AND there was no overhead cost or competition! If you have been contemplating having an open house I say go for it! Even with a small inventory it's great practice to work on your display and get the hang of dealing with customers face to face (especially if you have only ever sold online). You can also team up with another artisan in your area to offer a wider range of products and have them invite their friends as well.
Hope this was helpful to others who have been contemplating an open house. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.