5 Lessons Learned at My MarriageMoon Booth

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this past weekend, i set up my first ever booth at our annual community fair/festival thing! our company is heavily a service-based business (keynotes, workshops, trainings, etc) so having a tangible product like MarriageMoon is a whole new world.

i want to share some lessons learned from this experience.

lessons learned:

1) get there early

unloading could start at 5:30am but had to be 100% done by 7:30am because then no cars would be allowed in. we arrived about 6:20am and it was perfect. the sun was up but the streets weren’t completely filled with all the cars unloading.

set up took a while, even with my husband helping me set it all up.

2) placement matters

i signed up for western welcome week about 6 weeks ago. that’s pretty late in the game and because of that, i wasn’t in the best placement. i was between a toy booth and a beauty pageant booth. the positive in this placement is at parents were passing my booth. as i walked around the rest of the festival, i could pinpoint that i would have done much better with more of the jewelry and handmade boutique feel.

3) success has multiple facets 

real and raw moment: i packed up 97 ‘kits’ with the intention to sell every last kit and start taking orders to ship other ones later. i sold five. yes, five.

honestly, a big part of me wanted to write “i sold a handful of MarriageMoon guides” and leave it at that. then i remember how much i hate reading vague sales crap like that.

a portion of me felt embarrassed at selling five kits and loading up 92 to lug back home with me. then my husband helped me reframe it. sure, income is an easy and tangible way to account for success but there’s more to success than dollars.

the point of being there was to learn. i’ve never done anything like this before and didn’t have much to go on from a seller’s side.

in that regard, this event was wildly successful because i learned a shit ton. i learned how to talk about my product in a way that resonates with people. i learned people’s initial reaction to how i describe what it does. i realized i need some type of activity to draw people to my area (and omg how people love to spin a wheel). i should do some type of giveaway for people who come visit me. i learned to bring a few gallons of water because i will run out.

4) conversations with customers are crucial 

i know, it’s so many c words but it’s true. my introvert self sort of hates talking to people and it for sure doesn’t like initiating the conversation. this experience pushed me out of my comfort zone. it helped me realize that even though it initially makes me sweaty to start a conversation with a stranger, i can indeed do it and i can indeed connect to people.

because of this, i got more comfortable sharing how MarriageMoon benefits a relationship, how it works, why i developed it and all that jazz. i also kept notes on my phone about the language they used, the questions they asked and the stories they shared. that’s HUGE.

5) flexibility is a must

the dark clouds starting rolling in about 2 hours after we set up. then the thunder claps got louder and the lightening strikes vivid. queue torrential downpour for a whiiiiile, with a legit river running along the gutter of our booth.

lessons learned not to have product in cardboard boxes when doing an event outside! thankfully i had additional product in plastic containers so we were able to stack the cardboard on top and that worked okay.

bonus lesson: plan for recovery

i’ve shared this before but i’m a highly empathetic person and my soul recharges itself by being alone. one of my friends (hi justine!) shared with me that when she does booths, she always takes the next day off because they drain her. i found this to be true for me too.

i planned to spend the day with ravery and our daughter but i found myself feeling cranky and irritable midway through the morning. that’s when i realized i needed to be alone, like aloooone. he took her shopping for new clothes (because we almost have a two year old, what?!) and i sat on our couch and did nothing. that’s what i needed.

the evening after the fair was done, ravery offered to take me out to a nice dinner to celebrate our success. i said i’d rather order a pizza, put on comfy clothes and sit in our backyard. that’s what i needed in that moment (shoutout to BFF alison for the best shirt)!

thank you to my parents, my in-laws, my soulfriend lindsey and everyone who cheered me on along the way! your words of encouragement and support have a deep impact on me so thank you!

of course, massive shoutout to my boo for being there with me the whole day, getting me donuts, water, pulled pork and constantly showering me with positive words and encouragement. you are the epitome of a supportive partner and i’m grateful to be loved by YOU!

10 Comments

  1. Jennifer Haston

    August 22, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Congratulations to you!! It’s so so so HARD to put yourself out there and you DID it! I am super duper PROUD of you!

    Thank you for being real about the five kits, those five kits are what you sold, and you gained expertise in doing something all day that is HARD for you.

    You were doing “reps” and that’s how practice turns into precision.

    • chelsea

      September 18, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      yay!!! thank you jennifer for your excitement and encouragement!!! it really means a lot. i gained a TON of knowledge through the process that will help me get better and better!

  2. Debra

    August 22, 2018 at 8:29 am

    I understand what you are going through. After doing a jewelry booth for 10 years, I learned a shit pot full of things too. It is exhausting! I really don’t know how some artists do it weekend after weekend and travel during the week to get to the next festival. Then in the off months they design and create. Good luck to you my cousin. I wish you great success in your endeavor. ❤️

    • chelsea

      September 18, 2018 at 2:02 pm

      oh my goodness, 10 years is a loooong time and i don’t know how people do it every weekend either! i guess that’s part of the lifestyle that some people want!

      thanks for your support and encouragement, debra <3

  3. Trisha Trixie

    August 22, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    First off…Yay!!! You did it!

    I wanted to share something with you, I have been a portfolio entrepreneur for years and I know my own lessons in learning that you don’t necessarily know right away each time in a new business in the new venture it’s always learning lesson.

    Hugs hugs hugs!

    You are not alone in this anyone who is a maker or vendor Booth owner and does booths learn you have around 100 items and maybe sell 5 as you put in I took 100 box to a book signing and said guess how many? Seven! so even someone like me who has tons of experience and has worked with venture capitalist and has pitched and marketed and gone to accelerator school still sometimes has to learn new things about new products and new things.

    Your blog makes me realise maybe I should write a blog about what it’s like to be a vendor Booth offer because being a fashion than the Booth so where is Way way way different than being a bookseller I have learned.

    I always need a break even after keynotes.

    Dixks has a wagon for$100 that is worth it for transporting Booth items.

    The lessons you learned were worth more than the amount of books that you sold I know that may seem hard to believe but it’s true

    Remember many of us are rooting for you and are in your corner I believe in you and Ryan in a little Atlas and I’m always here to help.

    I am super excited that I am one of your newbies in your marriage moon venture I am able to see it live feel it touch it and see how it works in real life and be able to give feedback that I hope will help you along your journey because I wish you nothing but the best of success in all you do and look forward to sharing more with you when my sweetie pie get back from our marriage moon journey in France.

    I’d be happy to do a video testimonial and if you can get others to do them and have a video or laptop of them rotating might help at your next one.

    So excited to know you and so excited for this new life. I can’t wait to see you on Shark Tank or hear about something similar because I easily see this product going that far!
    I BELIEVE IN YOU

    • chelsea

      September 18, 2018 at 1:59 pm

      yay! thank you so much trixie!!! your words of support and encouragement really mean a lot, THANK YOU!

      i also LOVED seeing your trip in france with marriagemoon, thank you for supporting me and cheering me on!

      such a great point that the lessons are learned are worth way more than what i sold – GREAT perspective! really appreciate having people exactly like you in my corner 🙂

  4. Audrey

    August 23, 2018 at 8:07 am

    Yay yay yay! It really does sound like you had a great, successful, educational experience!
    We can finally connect on something concrete business-wise!! Booths are EXHAUSTING. I hated them at first when I started working with K. I actually really enjoy them now, but he and I both know that I need that next day to be a.l.o.n.e. It is so so so tiring to work a booth and strike up conversation with strangers.

    The biggest things that has helped me is this: I 100% believe in the product I’m “selling.” We don’t really sell out of our booth, but sometimes we DO have available products and convincing people to take home a +120lbs cart (that costs half their allotted band budget) is tough. We usually aren’t successful, BUT those people go home, think about the cart, and put an order in when their budget allows.
    But like I was saying, at first I really believed that I had to learn the pitch and be likable and smile real big and push push push. Then I realized that I BELIEVE in our products and I like our products and I really truly believe that bands and colleges would benefit from our products! And it helps me have much more natural, real conversations 🙂 Maybe you don’t need that coaching, but as a nonconversational introvert I constantly remind myself of this every trade show!

    • chelsea

      September 18, 2018 at 1:57 pm

      oh man booths really ARE exhausting, audrey! dang. i’m so glad you now both know you need time completely alone the following day. now i know that’s true for me too!

      thank you for the reminder that you 100% believe in what you’re selling! that is HUGE and so important. i also believe that couples have and will continue to benefit from my MarriageMoon – thank you for that reminder! you’re awesome 🙂

  5. Christina @ Hugs and Lattes

    August 29, 2018 at 8:32 am

    This is awesome! Pai is setting up a booth at a festival for his new business in 2 weeks – I’m sending this post to him!

    • chelsea

      September 18, 2018 at 1:55 pm

      yay!!! i hope his booth went AWESOME!!!!

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