Any professional crafter will tell you that running the summer and fall show circuit can be grueling. Professional crafter's venues are an excellent way to meet face to face with customers and potential customers, discuss your product, and market your company. However, the preparation that goes into the presentation of your display, travel to, setting up, manning the booth, packing up and traveling back home, only to have to unload, reload, and do it all over again the following weekend, well...it can be downright brutal if done consistently. Thanks to my team and my family, Linda, Donna, Mark, Kim, Mom and Dad & my Aunt Betty, we've been able to pull off these events week in and week out.
Since relocating the company in 2008 from Parsons, WV in the northeastern part of the state, to Hamlin, WV in the southwest, we have made some interesting observations. For years our founders Donna and Alby Cunningham, ran the show circuits in the upper part of the state of West Virginia. Folks there and in parts of western Maryland are very familiar with Appalachian Milk Soap and the trademark pitcher and basin. Very little selling or consumer educating is necessary when we visit shows in those areas of the state. In most cases, customers simply walk up to the booth and place their order...they already know the product and exactly what they want. There are many times where it becomes difficult to wait on so many people at once lined up at the booth. Since moving the company we have tried to visit more of these crafters venues in the southern part of the state and in eastern Kentucky, in order to introduce our products and our company to a broader market. We have often come home with scratchy voices from talking to customers about our company, it's history, and our milk soap products. More and more though, as our customer base grows here in the south, and we consistently travel these venues spreading the news, we are starting to notice customers coming up to the booth saying things like, "Oh, Appalachian Milk Soap! Great! I know exactly what I want!" We've had to increase our booth size for some venues in order to service everyone visiting us. Its a wonderful problem to have and makes all the hard work involved, in putting on these presentations, worth it.
We just finished up in Ashland, Kentucky with Poage Landing Days. We're going to take this coming weekend off from the show circuit to rest-up and prepare for two separate crafters venues the first week of October: The Pumpkin Festival in Milton, WV and the Forrest Festival in Elkins, WV. Both are large, quality events for crafters, and Appalachian Milk Soap will have a presence at both. Please come visit with us as we take our show...On The Road Again!