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holiday prep

Before the busy season starts to creep up on us, this is the perfect time to start preparing your craft business for the holidays. Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas to help you get holiday-ready.

Develop an email newsletter series

Creating beautiful and effective emails is one of the best ways to boost sales for your business during the holiday season. Get a jump start by outlining your holiday season email campaigns, and even drafting the emails you plan to send in advance.

Order Supplies

There’s nothing worse than running out of supplies when you’re under a time crunch. Avoid extra errands by ordering extra supplies for your business early. Consider stocking up on:

  • Shipping supplies
  • Materials to create your products
  • Tags and pricing labels
  • Business cards
  • Branded gift certificates or gift cards
  • Wrapping paper
  • Shopping bags
Take holiday photos of your products

Even if you already have stunning photos of your products, a photo of your work wrapped in a beautiful bow makes it clear that your products are giftable. You could even go all-out and create styled photos that feature your products in a holiday setting. You can share holiday photos on social media to remind your followers that your products make great gifts or to highlight the fact that you offer gift wrapping.

Sign up for holiday season craft fairs

Many holiday craft fairs begin taking applications in August or September. If you’re not sure which shows might be a good fit for your brand, consider reaching out to vendors from previous shows to politely ask them about their experience, to help you make an informed decision.

Investigate pop-up shop opportunities

Do any local businesses offer opportunities for pop-up shops for indie makers? September is a great time to reach out to local partners to explore the possibilities for cross-promotion during the holiday season.

Send updates or catalogs to your wholesale customers

With tradeshow season wrapping up in August, many shop owners are writing orders for the holiday season. If you sell wholesale, now is a good time to make sure your stockists are up to date on your offerings or check in about reorders. Make sure your wholesale customers have what they need from you in time for the holiday season.

Plan holiday displays for craft shows or retail shop windows

If you’re participating in a holiday sale or craft show, this is a great time to build displays and signage ahead of time. Same for retail shop owners — developing your holiday windows early gives you time to order special supplies or create new displays, or even hire a window painter!

Create a gift set for the holiday season

Highlight your product offerings during the holiday season by creating gift sets with your products. You don’t need to undercut your pricing, as long as you package the gift beautifully. You could offer full gift baskets, or even sample kits for those who are new to your brand and want to try a little bit of everything.

Pitch to magazine editors for holiday gift guides

If you want to be featured in a magazine during the holiday season, now is the time to share your work with editors. Magazines have long lead times, so it’s important to pitch your work early, so they can consider it for holiday gift guides.

Develop holiday focused marketing

You’ve probably noticed certain themes cropping up a lot during past holiday seasons. Adding holiday-themed copywriting to your social media posts, email newsletters, and even your product listings can help get shoppers into the right mindset to buy. Think about which of these categories your products or services might fit under: 

  • Stocking stuffers
  • Gifts under $10
  • Splurge/luxury gifts
  • Hostess gifts
  • Gifts for mom/dad/spouse/kids
  • Gifts for coworkers
  • Gifts for those who “have it all”
Create a holiday DIY tutorial

If you have a blog, YouTube channel, or use IGTV, you may want to consider developing a holiday DIY project that could help drive extra traffic to your website during the busy shopping season. Can you create a tutorial that compliments your product offerings, and offers an easy, free way for shoppers to engage with your brand?

Plan the logistics of the season

Do you need to book travel or accommodation for any of your holiday shows? Need to schedule childcare for the busy season? If you want to make sure you have the support you need during the busiest part of the year, September is a great time to make a list of the help you’ll need, and even begin making appointments or reservations early to save money. 

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Erin Dollar is an artist, surface pattern designer, and founder of Cotton & Flax, a collection of boldly patterned textile home decor that is designed and manufactured in California. Her work has been sold in 100+ retail shops, from indie boutiques, to large mass-market retailers like West Elm, CB2, and Need Supply. By growing her ecommerce business to accommodate wholesale buyers, she has built a sustainable business that generates income year-round, and built a platform for long-term growth. See her webinar, Wholesale for Craft Business, in our archives.

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