Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Taking Time Out For HospitaliTEA

Oh wow, I have just had the busiest month and the next few months will be the same as I put time into establishing this little mother/daughter business. On the weekend we attended our first big craft fair. It was a lot of work but setting up our table with the tiered stands I have been making and the teacups, crystal and other high tea accessories I have been collecting was a lot of fun. I wanted to give people an idea of what a special occasion table could look like if they were to buy or hire some of our tiers and other china. The sweet little posies in teacups were a final detail that made our stall look so beautiful. Snipped from a $5 bouquet from Aldi!

On the day over 4,500 people attended these markets and our stall drew lots of admirers. We sold a few stands and all of our soy candles in teacups. At the end of the day and after many a conversation with people who visited our stall and other vendors we came away with a much clearer idea of what direction to take this little business in. Lots of older ladies were attracted to our stall and some dear ladies told us they thought our stall was the best out of all the stalls there. Quite a compliment if you had seen some of the stalls and the beautiful handcrafted wares for sale. But old ladies don't need anymore china (that's what they tell me!) so the bridal market is definitely something we are now aiming for and I now have permission to collect china to set up a little hire business. Joy oh joy!

 It's quite a family affair as we attend the garage sales each weekend with each child given instructions to spy out china first before clothes, books or more nerf guns. Told my son I will sell his nerf guns in a garage sale if I find any more peach foam bullets in the laundry baskets! Any other mothers relate?

In addition to our usual monthly local markets, I will be exhibiting (with permission to sell) at an annual ladies conference next month and I have been asked to attend another three craft markets before Christmas, two being out of my region which would involve travel. After lots of discussion with the family we think the money might be better spent on an ad in the bridal supplements that the local newspaper publishes. This region has lots of resorts which are popular wedding venues and vintage style weddings are very much in vogue. I know of one photographer who told a friend that eight out of ten weddings they photograph have a vintage theme. What do my readers think? I'd love to hear your feedback.

 Waiting to cut her birthday cake!

 I have so much on at the moment and blogging has to drop down my list of priorities. Our family is also going to get involved in a ministry to international students. Even before that takes off, my friend's son from Germany is coming to stay with us and his mother (my penfriend from the age of 15) is also coming over at Christmas so lots of hospitality is on the agenda! We had the opportunity to use some of our china at a dinner party for my daughter's 15TH birthday recently. We had four guests from Saskatchewan, Canada who were staying in our town who we invited to come along on the last minute which added much talk, mirth and merriment to the evening. They sang the Canadian National Anthem for us. It was so loud I'm surprised no koalas fell out of the trees! The world is coming to our doorstep and we have lots of supplies for hospitality! Everything is working in so well together. Hence the name for this blog post!

As to my blog I will post when I am able (I want to simplify it and give it a fresh design sometime too) but right now I need to take time out for the business of tea. I've added in something else to my life so something has to give. I would love to keep sharing what I am learning as we set up this little business which is still very much a hobby. If you would like me to share some insights from my own experience thus far from time to time that could help others who are thinking of establishing a home based business please let me know.


Unknown said...

Sounds like things are going well. I like the idea of hiring out the vintage china- it would be very practical as most people wouldn't want to buy it and then keep it, just for a wedding.
I bought some plate stand pieces off Thea, but now I can't find her on eBay are you still buying from her?

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

Deanne - she's still there. My e room is her store. Thanks for the feedback about hiring. There's already a couple of vintage hire companies in this area (I didn't know this until I started searching the net) and my collection is in its early days so I can only cater for small events at present. I'll keep as my signature item the cake stands for hiring and selling and keep on doing the markets to have a visual presence.

Camille said...

I think your idea is wonderful my friend! Could you provide the actual tea items as well, so you would be supplying the pretty dishes as well as the treats that would go in them?? That, I think, would be a good way to go, if you could manage it.

I understand about the time for blogging...sometimes it must take a back seat. I've been taking time off from my space too. I will miss you here...but, I will keep my eye on you. :)

With love,

africanaussie said...

Oh I am so glad that your little business is taking off. Such a great idea to rent the plates etc. I am hosting an afternoon tea to raise money for Habitat for Humanity - I wish you were closer so that I could rent some dishes from you. You might contact them to advertise next year as I think it is an annual thing.

Niki Jones said...

Great idea about the wedding hire. Perth girls love that theme too.
On the nerf guns, hearing you loud & clear.
Sounds like a wonderful Christmas planned, can't wait to see your posts on that.
Love Niki

count it all joy said...

Just wondering where you get all your energy!! The plates are divine, no doubt they'll be snapped up for hire. Clever clogs. M xo

Pam said...

Your business endeavors sound wonderful. That is definitely my cup of tea (no pun intended :) ). It sounds as if it is a great success. I would love to hear your up-dates when you have time for them, and would delight in hearing what you have learned. I am sure the wedding advertising will be a success as well. We have had great delight in the past in giving Bridal Shower Teas, with all the trimmings; we could have used your lovely dishes. I understand the need to slow down with the blogging; I am up and down these days. I hope to be able to get it going again soon, but canning season is here, so we will see.

Love, Pam

Ruby said...

I love the look of those beautiful tiered plates. The whole thing looks just so delicate and lovely. I know about the elderly not needing anything like that. When my parents downsized into a Retirement Home Mum had a load of them. No tiers though. I will have my eye out for one now!

MLM247 said...

Your business sounds lovely. Why not do Golden Wedding Anniversaries, Retirements, Birthday Teas for the Over Sixty Crowd, etc. PhD parties? Funerals? Why these people? Firstly they just love pretty china and secondly they do not break things. Quiet. Careful. Appreciative.

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

Louise - thank you so much for your suggestions. You are so right! The type of china I have and the table settings I put together would very much appeal to such groups on such occasions. I really appreciate your comments and you have given me something else to consider!


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