Saturday, August 18, 2012

Your Kids- Market Days- Entrepreneurs

I have a thousand directions I want to go in as far as blogging about homeschooling. But first, I wanted to share this post about our daughters and utilizing Market Days to make and sell items. Market Days is in November(google and make sure of this year's date) and has a kids tent where the kids can make and sell their crafts. It was a fun experience for our girls and I wanted to get this idea out there now so you will have time to get in on it.  From the Teachable Moment December 1997

"We finally did it! We had discussed it for 3 years,planning and revising, but could never seem to even get to the point of making the telephone call to obtain the application, never mind actually making something to sell.

Market Days is one of the biggest craft shows in the Southeast Region with exhibitors coming from all over the country to participate. It is sponsored by The Museum of History and Natural Science. It is a major part of the museum's income. That is because every exhibitor pays a certain percent of their gross income back to the museum for the privilege of being there.

There is even a children's tent set up for young people to exhibit. The word exhibit strikes me funny since what everyone is really doing is trying to hawk their wares. Why don't they just call them vendors? Although a majority of people do seem to pay the charge to get in just to walk around and look. Which is what I always tell myself I am going to stick to every year, but then I lose my selfdiscipline.

Shelley and Lindley organized themselves in time to actually be ready to participate this year. It was a great learning experience that covered many areas. It was one of those activities we are still processing a week later. I keep thinking about yet another thing they learned from it.

Once the items to be sold are decided upon, materials bought and the items actually assembled, the real fun began. Trying to decide what to charge for these items so painstakingly created (for Shelley, with multiple hot glue gun burns, it was definitely painful at times). One price would be suggested, then someone else would think the time put into the task should be compensated for also.

By the time we showed up that morning, we were ready for a great sales day! We made it to our assigned table, got everything displayed in a becoming fashion, collected our envelopes for the 10% to the museum and the 7% sales tax to the state of Florida ( no cutting slack for these young ones!) and waited on the first customers. And waited and waited and waited...

I walked around a little to see exhibits, breathing a silent prayer that what the girls had made would seem worthwhile to someone and came back to the exciting news that two photo albums had sold, as well as one Santa Claus hanger! And so the rest of the day went, with little spurts of progress here and there, but no great outstanding sales! To think we were worried we hadn't made enough!

By the end of the day, several kids were bartering items. This seemed like a great idea so that you could at least lug home something different. We evaluted the process and decided on a few guidelines that will be helpful next year.

Since it's a children's tent, we felt that most of the people who walked in there were looking for real bargains. We decided that making low cost items would definitely be a factor to take into consideration. The children to the right of us had a great variety of items and did a really brisk business. So having more than just two items to sell seemed to be important. Also, since there are so many exhibitors in this particular craft show, how you disply your items is important too. The people to the right of us brought a portable shelving system to sit on top of their table. It really grabbed people's eyes.

Once Shelley started marking her prices down and then changed her sign to read  Sale of the Day, it also got more attention. We decided again that grabbing people's eyes were important.

I questioned several children involved about their experiences with this and they all said they wanted to do it again next year. I encourage parents to be careful about the amount of money they are willing to invest in this one, since it might not be coming back. I also think it was worthwhile as a learning experience. By the way, the majority of participants seemed to be homeschoolers.

If you are interested, contact the museum and they will give you the name and number of the person in charge. You do have to submit an application and state on it exactly what you will be selling. Remember to prepare your child for a long day and maybe some disappointment regarding sales. A word to the wise, have your child start making their crafts early, maybe in the summer. It will take some of the stress out of it!"

2012 Followup: I went ahead and googled for you! It will be December 1 and 2nd, 2012. The website states average attendance is 15,000+ with over 300 arts and craftspeople exhibiting their original and handmade creations. You can contact the museum at 850-575-8684 or email them at    Happy Exhibiting!

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