If you own a brick and mortar store, you might keep hearing that you should provide your customers with “an experience” in your store. I don’t believe brick and mortar retail is “dead” or “dying,” but I do believe in-store experiences make you unique and gives you a competitive edge over online retailers. Creating experiences is a way to draw your ideal customer into your store while providing them the opportunity to do something they enjoy. One way to do this is by offering “Make and Take” workshops in your store. This won’t fit everyone’s business model but if this is something you think your target customer would love, you’ll want to keep reading!
It’s an opportunity for a customer to walk into your store, without an appointment, and make something to take home with them.
There are some things you’ll need to consider before offering this in your store. I want you to be as prepared as possible, so here’s a list to help you:
If you own a home decor store, you know signs are still very popular.
We all know trends change, but for the moment, Christy, Store Owner, at Miss Daisy’s Joplin offers her customers 20+ designs so they can make their own sign.
In order for this to be profitable for you and enticing to your customer, a price range of $20-$45 seems to be ideal. But you know your customer best, and you always want to consider the price of materials and the price of your time – so keep this in mind when pricing your “Make and Take” projects.
Your customers should be able to simply walk in, select their project and pay at the register. No registration, appointment or sign up necessary. You want to make this as simple as possible for your customers.
Store owner, Jerina of JNJ Craftworks, likes to offer “mini” workshops like painting ornaments, where minimal instruction is needed and the price point is extremely appealing – $5 to $20.
Like hand painting these Wisconsin ornaments.
Materials and Supplies
This will vary depending on what you offer. For instance, if you offer painted signs, you’ll want to have pre-made wooden signs. Darice has a variety of these in stock. You’ll also want to have paint brushes, pre-made stencils, tape, rulers, etc.
Whatever kind of project(s) you decide to offer, just be prepared to supply everything customers might need to work on their project.
Equipment and space
Some retailers have a 6’ table that seats 6, and some might have a separate room dedicated to Make and Takes. It really depends on the amount of space you have in your store. At the minimum, you’ll need a table and chairs. If possible, you’ll want some dedicated wall space to display your Make and Take offerings, a cabinet to store supplies, and maybe access to a sink if any type of paint is involved.
The biggest benefit is that you’re making your customer happy! Offering Make and Takes can bring more people into your door, it can be an additional source of revenue, and ideally, these customers will also shop!
Things to keep in mind
My advice to you is that this offering should be something that makes sense to your business and customers. You’ll also want to consider that it will take you or an employee away from the floor as you get your Make and Take customers situated and give them instructions.
Christy at Miss Daisy’s Joplin creates laminated instructions so her customers can work on these projects on their own and she can spend time with other customers who are shopping.
If you think Make and Takes are a good fit for you, have fun with it. Get creative, be prepared, and make sure you market it well. You’ll want to share this offering regularly on social media, in your newsletter, hand out flyers in your store, tell all of your customers about it as they checkout. The more you market it, the more chance it has to be successful!
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Since founding The Salvaged Boutique with her sister in 2013, Kathy watched her passion grow from a fun blog and hobby with her sister on the side of her full-time job, to a thriving brick and mortar home decor store. After running the store for years, she saw the need for an online community where small business owners could find resources. So she took it upon herself to create Savvy Shopkeeper, a blog and online business dedicated to educating, motivating and building a community of shop owners. From a full-time job to full-time entrepreneur, Kathy helps hundreds of store owners and makers navigate store ownership while running a store herself.