Category Archives: Savvy Tips

Craft Show Tips


A few Saturdays ago I had the opportunity to “showcase” some of my handcrafted wreaths at a local holiday (bazaar) craft show. The hubs and several others had been encouraging me to sell my crafts for months now and I finally had the guts to give it a go. It was a somewhat spur of the moment decision which left me with just a few weeks to create about 10 wreaths to display and hopefully sell. So all of my efforts and time were put into creating and crafting, and not much else. Let me just say that my first craft show was definitely an eye-opening experience, to say the least. Here a few craft show tips I discovered after doing my first craft show….

Craft show tips

Do your research!

I’ve attended several craft shows in the past but the experience is completely different when you’re a vendor, which I knew going in but I still wasn’t as prepared as I should have been. I was so busy creating wreaths I didn’t once stop to think about ways to help me actually sell them. So I advise doing your research on craft shows in general (especially about those held in your area in the past). Also research selling tips, advice and techniques. And don’t be afraid to ask the craft show coordinator (or point of contact) about the upcoming event…ask about the general customer base, vendor space and location, past craft show successes, etc. All this information can be a big help!

Invest in your table setup and signage.

Being an avid shopper, I could just kick myself for slacking in this area; when I’m out shopping I’m always drawn in by pretty colors, signs and cute set ups. I so missed the mark on this one and I was totally disappointed when I looked around the room at all of the awesome displays (as I continued to struggle with mine). So I advise taking the time to invest in your table and set up! A few days before do a trail run set up of how you want your table to look at the craft show, hopefully this will help you avoid some unwanted frustrations the day of the event. But keep in mind to always be flexible with your set up,just in case the vendor site is not what you thought it would be. Make sure you have signs displaying your vendor name, pricing and other important information about your crafts. You don’t have to invest a lot of money in this area just a little time and effort. Remember to be creative, you want your crafts to stand out!

Craft Show Tips

Do a giveaway or freebie.

One way to draw people to your table is by offering something for free! Or is that just me that loves a good freebie…lol. Two of the vendors near my table had drawings for a featured products at their table, I noticed that it not only caused people to stop but was a great way to draw them in to take a look at more of their products. Other options to offer are a free gift with purchase, percentage off future purchases and/or samples…it really depends on what crafts you are selling. Even offering a piece of candy (which is what I did) is nice, however next time around I plan on attaching my business card.

Take a friend and make a friend.

Ask someone to tag along with you to your craft show. It’s always great to have helping hands with you when setting up. You may also need someone to keep you company during the down time and to stand in for you during you bathroom breaks. And while you’re there try to make friends with the other vendors around you too! Not that you’re in a rush but it can definitely help the day go by a little faster. Plus, they may be able to share a few craft show tips or information about upcoming craft events in your area.

Be organized and prepared for the unexpected.

Nothing is worse than being ready to purchase something and the seller is nowhere to be found or is not prepared to take your payment. I have left things behind for that very reason. So have everything you need to make shopping easy for your customers…keep extra cash for change handy, if your selling expensive goods have a credit card swiper (PayPal Here, The Square, etc.) and receipt book if necessary. Make sure you have an emergency craft show kit on hand too, with things like extra pens, notepads, tape, safety pins, markers, scissors, and snacks (trust me you’ll get hungry). Basically you want to be prepared for any and everything that could happen. And don’t forget your business cards…lots and lots of business cards and don’t be afraid to hand them out!

Set realistic goals and expectations, and have fun!

I went into this craft show with a very open mind! Of course I would have loved to sell every single wreath plus take orders for more but I didn’t…but I didn’t go expecting to either. I told myself that if I sold just one wreath that I would be happy and I ended selling two. I really just enjoyed the experience and I had fun!

I had such a rewarding feeling when I left my first craft show, not because I sold out or received such great feedback but simply because I stepped outside of my comfort zone. And I learned so much from the experience. I haven’t signed up for any other crafts shows just yet but I will definitely be using these craft show tips when I do!

Do you enjoy going to craft shows? What tips do you have for a first time craft show vendor? What handmade goods do you look for at craft shows?

The Savvy Housewife

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I did it!

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I did it! Yes! Finally after a whole year of procrastinating, I did it! I now have my Vision Board completed and hanging on my wall. I’m so ready for the new year!

2014 here I come!

The process

The process

The rough draft

The rough draft

Y’all know I struggled with getting my vision board started but I’m happy to say it ended up being a lot easier than I thought (once I committed). And I even finished well ahead of my set deadline…woot! And although I’m still not quite what my “vision” is for my future, I do see somewhat of a pattern on my board. I highly recommend that everyone do a vision board at least once…it was such awesome feeling when I hung my vision board on my wall!

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I’m so excited about 2014! Are you?

Have you created a vision board before? Do you plan on creating a Vision Board for 2014? What goals have you set for 2014?

Black Friday Savvy Shopping Tips

Wowzas! Its November already, Thanksgiving is around the corner and Christmas will be here before you know it. And for most of us, with the holiday season comes tons of shopping! Being the “frugal deal-seeking shopaholic” that I am, it’s no wonder that I’m one of those crazy people out shopping on Black Friday. It’s even become a tradition in my family…we stay up all night, brave the cold temps and score great deals! And I love it!

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I know that Black Friday shopping isn’t for everyone and it can even be a bit overwhelming for those experienced shoppers, like me…lol. Here is my Top 10 Black Friday Savvy Shopping Tips to help you get the most bang for your buck and fun out of the experience!

  1. Preview Black Friday Store Ads NOW! We are well into the month of November and most retailers’ Black Friday ads are available online already. Don’t wait until Thanksgiving Day to check them out, view them online now. That way you have an idea of what stores have the items you want and you can begin preparing your list.
  2. Compare prices. Everything that’s on sale Black Friday, is not a great deal, you must compare prices! You can use price comparison websites/phone apps to help you determine if the Black Friday ad price is the best possible price.
  3. Make A List. Yep, be like Santa Clause, make a list and check it twice…lol. While you’re previewing the Black Friday ads online and comparing prices, start making a list now. My Black Friday shopping lists are pretty detailed; store name, item, price, color etc. The list helps keep me on track, I don’t waste time “just looking.” I focus only on the items on my list and leave the other Christmas shopping for another day.
  4. Search for Coupons! Y’all know I love coupons! So before you head out on Black Friday make sure you check for coupons! I always recommend that you do email sign-up for all of your favorite retailers…they are always sending out coupons to their subscribers. And be sure to check store websites, Facebook pages and circulars for additional coupons too!
  5. Know Store Locations and Store Hours. It has happened to me in the past, pulling up to an abandoned building or empty parking lot sucks big time, especially when you had a list items you wanted to score. If it’s not a store or area you visit often double-check the stores location. And Black Friday store hours vary from store to store…some opening on Thanksgiving Day and others in the middle of the night, so check those hours!
  6. Know Store Coupon/Return & Price-matching Policies. Some stores may have specific coupon and price-matching policies on Black Friday. Knowing them in advance will save you a lot of time and headache when checking out, trust me. And don’t throw away those receipts, some stores offer price-adjustments after purchase if you find a lower price at another store.
  7.  Take a shopping buddy! I usually prefer to shop alone but not on Black Friday! With two or more people, you can cover more shopping ground…lol. I like to call it “Black Friday Tag Team”! If there’s a big crowd (which there usually is) one person can grab the items while the other mans the cart. I take Black Friday seriously; you have to be ready to shop ‘til drop and I make sure that everyone that tags along knows this because no one likes a party pooper.
  8. Be prepared! As with anything in life you must be prepared and Black Friday is no different. Gas the car up early, map out your shopping trip (I leave that up to the hubs) and be sure to dress comfortably. Know there will be long lines and crowds. I personally try to keep things to a minimum, I downsize my purse (to help free up my hands) and I throw on my tennis shoes. I make sure to have my list and store ads (from the Thanksgiving Day newspaper) and any coupons/discount cards on hand.
  9. Don’t Fret! If you miss out on a great deal or sale on Black Friday don’t worry…deals/sales will come and go all holiday season long. And don’t forget there’s always Cyber Monday!
  10. SMILE and be friendly! Remember Black Friday is the kickoff of the holiday shopping season, so leave the “grumpy gills” at home. Despite all the craziness on Black Friday, people will be more willing to help you help if you have a smile on your face, trust me.

Do you brave the stores on Black Friday? What are some of your Black Friday shopping tips? What do you love about the holiday season?

Michael’s Passport to Imagination

Being a SAHM (stay-at-home) I’m always on the hunt for inexpensive/affordable activities to help keep the kiddos busy and me sane during the summer…If you follow me on Facebook (and I hope you do) then you may have seen a post earlier this week mentioning the Passport to Imagination Craft Adventure at Michael’s. I was thrilled when I discovered it…

Michael’s Passport to Imagination is a 7-week crafting class for kiddos. The “2-hour crafting adventure takes place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 am to noon” at your local Michael’s Store. And it’s just $2 per child per session. The crafts are designed for children ages 5 and up. Like I said I was thrilled…it’s affordable, offered several times throughout the week and indoors away from the scorching heat.

Be sure to pick up your Passport to Imagination Guide Book next time you're in Michael's.

Be sure to pick up your Passport to Imagination Guide Book next time you’re in Michael’s.

I immediately checked out the Travel Itinerary for the Passport Imagination and I couldn’t wait to take my boys! But my youngest is just 3 years old and class was for kids 5 and up. If you have kids then you know that no one can be left out….so I called ahead to my local Michael’s store to see if it would be ok for me to sit in with my youngest to help him with his craft and they said that it would be fine. WOOT! Be advised that I’m not sure if that’s the norm for all locations so be sure to call ahead first if you too have a little one under the age of 5. I decided that today would be a great day to do, it’s week two of Passport Imagination and Michael’s headed to South America. The craft today was something simple and not to girly, perfect for my guys….

Week 2 Crafting Projects

Week 2 Crafting Projects

My oldest

My oldest busy crafting his vase.

This guy is so creative!

This guy is so creative!

By youngest trying to keep up.

By youngest trying to keep up.

Some of the kids' crafts

Some of the kids’ crafts

My boys had a blast! And the instructors were amazing! I’m so glad that we went on today, we will definitely be going back. Like I mentioned it’s Week 2 of Passport Imagination, so that leaves 5 more weeks of crafting fun. If you still on the hunt for something fun and affordable to do with your kiddos, I highly recommend that you check out Michael’s Passport to Imagination!

Have you checked out Michael’s Passport to Imagination? What summer fun activities do you have planned for the kiddos?

Frugal Summer Fun List

Summer vacation starts next week for my kiddos and all I keep saying to myself is “get ready, get ready, get ready!” I have three busy, active boys…two at school and one at home with me right. For the most part things are pretty quite around here and running errands is a breeze with just the one kid in tow. So needless to say things are about to change in a few days.

Now being a SAHM, couponer and thrifty/bargain shopper I’m ALWAYS on the hunt for fun, inexpensive/free activities. Y’all already know how quickly things can add up…kids are expensive! So for the past few months I’ve been compiling a list of things to help keep us all busy and allow us to make the most of their Summer. Here are few of the things I come up with so far for my Frugal Summer Fun list.

Summer Fun Calendar

Local Library

Check your local library! A few years ago I rediscovered the value of my local library and I feel in love. They offer Summer Readings Programs for various ages, family movie nights, interactive classes for moms and kids, and crafts. And the best part…most of the events are FREE. And don’t forget to check out books for yourself and the kiddos.

Craft Workshops

Both The Home Depot and Lowe’s offer FREE crafting workshops for kiddos. The Home Depot’s offers a free movie/theme based workshop the first Saturday of each month. In addition to the workshop, The Home Depot host giveaways/contest and special presentations at select locations. Lowe’s offers a FREE Build and Grow Clinic every other Saturday of each month and the clinic last around an hour. For more details and registration info check out The Home Depot and Lowe’s Build and Grow.

Bowling

Your kids can bowl for free this summer! Several bowling allies participate in the Kids Bowl Free initiative, where kids can get two FREE games of bowling everyday all summer long. And Brunswick Zone is also offering “Kids Bowl Free” coupons when you join the Brunswick Bonus Zone and add you kids 12 & under to your profile. Check out Kids Bowl Free and Brunswick Zone to locate a bowling ally near you.

Summer Reading Programs

Tons of places reward kids for reading over the summer!

  • Barnes & Noble Summer Reading – Kids read any 8 books and score a FREE book from the Barnes & Noble Reading journal list in store.
  • Chuck E. Cheese – Kids can score 10 FREE tokens for reading everyday for two weeks. Just fill out the Reading Rewards Calendar and take it to a participating Chuck E. Cheese. And there are other rewards calendars there too!
  • Sylvan Book Adventure – This is one of my favs! Kids ages K-8 grade, use the site to search for books, read them offline, use the site to take a quiz and earn points based on how much they remember. The points can then be redeemed for prizes.

Cheap Movies

Summer Movie Express

We all know how expensive the movies can be…tickets are at least $7 or more for just the matinée plus popcorn. And “ain’s nobody got time for that!” in my Sweet Brown voice, lol. But what I love is that movie theaters offer cheap movie tickets during the summer. Even though the movies are old and my kids have probably already seen them, they still enjoy the whole idea of just being at the movies. The Georgia Theater Company Summer Movie Series will be offering $1 movies every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am. Plus you can score a kids sized popcorn and kids sized drink for $1.50 each. And for 9 weeks, Regal Cinemas offers kid friendly G and PG movies for just $1 every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 am! To see locations and movie listings head over to Regal Summer Movie Express.

These are just a few of the fun things I have planned so far for the kiddos this summer. As you can see I’m trying to keep them busy. I also plan on putting together an educational binder, with age appropriate activities, for each of my sons to work on a few days out of each week…if you don’t use it you loose it. And I don’t want them to loose what they’ve learned in school this year plus it will help get them ready for next year too. I’ve already started my calendar and I’ll be setting up a daily schedule too. Like I mentioned I want to make the most of their summer vacation.

What are you planning on doing with the kids this summer? Do you have any educational or fun activities already planned? Do you have any ideas to add to the Frugal Summer Fun list?

The Pillow Box – January 2013

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Yay! I finally received the first My Shade of Brown Pillow Box for 2013! And I’m excited to share with y’all what was inside. If you are not familiar with My Shade of Brown let me give you the scoop…they a monthly subscription service. Basically My Shade of Brown sends out 4 to 5 premium sized beauty samples each month enclosed in their signature Pillow Box. But what I love most is that their products are geared towards women of color and it’s affordable, just $10 a month. Take a look at few of my previous post here and here, it really is an amazing and affordable service. Check out what was included in this month’s box…

Nakamichi Nail Foil Strips

Nakamichi Nail Foil Strips

Nabi Cosmetics Lipstick in Red

Nabi Cosmetics Lipstick in Red

Nabi Cosmetics Lipstick in Red swatched.

Nabi Cosmetics Lipstick in Red swatched.

Nabi Cosmetics Eye Liner in Ocean Blue

Nabi Cosmetics Eye Liner in Ocean Blue

Nabi Cosmetics Eye Liner in Ocean Blue swatched.

Nabi Cosmetics Eye Liner in Ocean Blue swatched.

Black Opal Oil Free Moisturizer

Black Opal Oil Free Moisturizer

Y’all already know I’m over super crunk about the Nakamichi Nail Foil Strips…can you say Manicure Monday! And I absolutely love the Ocean Blue eye liner; the color blue is amazing against brown skin. I love blue eye liner because it’s a fun way add a pop of color to your everyday makeup look to spice things up. Make sure you’re following me on Instagram because I will definitely be posting a picture or two of me rocking the Nabi Cosmetic Eye Liner in Ocean Blue. I’m also excited to try out the Nabi Cosmetics Lipstick in Red…I have yet to master the Red lip but doesn’t stop me from practicing it, lol.

To find out more about the My Shade of Brown Pillow Box and how you can get one delivered to your door, make sure to check out their  website. And you can also follow them on , Twitter, Instagram and like them on FaceBook.

What are some of your favs from the January Pillow Box? Did you see anything you would like to try?

Free Beauty Events January 2013

Free Beauty Events

Woot! Woot! Here it is y’all the first Free Beauty Events for 2013. If you aren’t familiar with Free Beauty Events, check out my previous post here and here.

Y’all know that I’m a huge fan of freebies and giveaways of all kinds…that’s why I absolutely love Free Beauty Events. Each month they post a listing of all the free events, like makeovers, gifts with purchase, spa open houses and sampling events happening at various local beauty retailers, spas and salons across the US. To find out what events are going on in your area, just head over to Free Beauty Events, enter you  your zip code here and a list of FREE events will appear. Below are a few events you may find…

  • On January 19th, check out the Rite Aid Winter Skin Event at select stores. Demonstrators will be educating customers on Olay Regenerist, Dove Body Wash, and Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion.
  • On January 26th, Walgreens will be having their Glamour event in select cities. Demonstrators will be talking about the latest Tresemme products like Split Remedy Sealing Serum and Platinum Strength Heat Protect Spray. At some of these events there will also be hair stylists giving complimentary hair styles with the Tresemme products.

You can find out more info about the events listed above by visiting Free Beauty Events. And if you host/demonstrate free beauty events at a local spa, salon or retailer you can have your event featured on this site too. All you have to do is submit a form and your event will be listed on the site for free.  In addition to listing events, Free Beauty Events gives it’s readers a chance to win prizes each month. Check it out…

FBE Jan 2013

This month’s prize is a little different, it’s geared towards the fellas but that doesn’t mean you can’t enter ladies…just think it can be a little “I love you” gift for your guy, lol. Free Beauty Events will be giving away 10 prizes, so the odds are definitely in your favor. Each prize will consist of Adidas Moves for Him Eau de Toilette Spray, Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razor, and Scope Outlast Long-Lasting Mint Mouthwash.The Contest runs from 1/1/2013 to 1/31/2013, winners will be chosen on 2/1/2013 and notified by 2/15/2013.To enter, all people have to do is enter here and supply your name, email (only used to contact winners), and zip.

After you enter the giveaway make sure you check out Free Beauty Events Beauty Blog. There you will find reviews and information of some of the latest beauty products available. And you’ll find weekly contests with smaller prizes there too. So make sure you enter those also! And don’t forget that you can connect with Free Beauty Events on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pintrest.

Good luck! And don’t forget to come back and let me know if you win!