The holiday season is usually filled with craft shows and sales for small business owners around the region, but this year, they’re having to get creative to connect with customers for their hand made holiday gifts.
“They’re the softest blankets you’ll ever feel so when you feel them, you fall in love with them,” Shake Rattle Sew owner Holly Anderson-Hintz said.
For the past 15 years, Anderson-Hintz and her family of sewers have spent all of the fall and winter season at craft shows.
“Normally we do 10 to 15, sometimes 20, just depends on the year and how much we can put out in volume and get things ready for each show,” Anderson-Hintz said.
This year, her holiday sales have looked very different.
“We’ve had two shows that didn’t cancel, all the rest have been cancelled or postponed,” she said.
Now she’s moved to marketing her homemade gifts online.
“We had to hire someone to start a website for us, we rented a place to do live shows so we can do live sales later in December,” she said.
Right now you can find many homemade holiday items being sold on Facebook.
“We have to pay for marketing on Facebook, so another added cost, but it’s still working, we’re figuring out new ways to find more targeted customers and grow,” Anderson-Hintz said.
She’s also getting creative with offering new crafts centered around the pandemic.
“Everybody just needs a little joy right now, everybody is just looking for something to make people smile and bring them happiness,” she said.
A homemade gift that can brighten someone’s day while also helping to support local crafters struggling to connect with customers.
“Our sales definitely are down, because we aren’t in front of people, people don’t get to feel the blankets and touch them,” she said.
The switch from craft shows to online marketing also means local hand-crafted companies like Shake Rattle Sew have to pay to ship the items to their customers, adding another new expense to their business.