Over the years, since Inspirit Arts started promoting headwrap vending as a viable profession, I've watched a number of entrepreneurs open and close their headwrapping businesses. They didn't take my classes, and bit the dust within a year. There are various general reasons why businesses tend to fail in the first year, however almost everybody who failed at a headwrapping business made one or more of these three mistakes.
THEY FOCUS ON SELLING. I realize that it's a bit counter-intuitive, but demonstrating headwrap styles with the intention of selling scarves doesn't really work. The selling mentality stops vendors from engaging people in a way that encourages them to buy. People don't like being sold to. They like getting value for free.
WE FOCUS ON TEACHING. Our Headwrapping for Entrepreneurs classes are really teacher training courses. I give step by step instructions on how to give hands-on tutorials and create a memorable experience for shoppers. When we give away value (a free tutorial), the headwraps sell themselves.
While sellers tend to be desperate and pushy,
Inspirit Arts headwrap teachers are fun and nurturing.
THEY SEEK TO IMPRESS. Headwrap professionals are usually tempted to wear and demonstrate elaborate headwrap styles. We feel an urge to show off our scarf tying skills in order to razzle and dazzle the crowd. This is a trap that inhibits vendors from making a living. The more complicated a style, the more people are impressed, but the sales are made. The bottom line is that people buy what is easy and practical.
WE KEEP IT SIMPLE. The Inspirit Arts Headwrap Vendor Method is limited to simple everyday wrap styles that our customers casually wear to the gym, work, school etc. We call them 'beginner's wraps'. Some of our customers ask for full cover styles, however most ask for partial cover 'crown' or 'criss cross' styles. The multi-cultural look appeals to a vastly diverse range of people, and are accepted everywhere, even in corporate America, because they are basically glorified headbands. The most important thing, is to teach very simple styles that give people confidence that they can do it themselves. Also, vending is a numbers game. The faster a vendor teaches easy to learn styles, the more customers that vendor can tend to in a day.
Complicated styles make learners loose confidence,
and the vendor looses a great deal of time & income
Easy to learn scarf tying lessons feel good,
and create memorable experiences for shoppers.
THEY OFFER COMMON FABRIC. Let' face it. Most women are happy to get a free headwrap styling lesson and not buy anything because they already have plenty of scarves at home to wear. Also, it's typical for festival shoppers to save their money for the most unique product that isn't readily found in stores.
WE OFFER HAND WOVEN HEADWRAPS that most shoppers have never seen before. People typically say "WOW!" when we show them the intricate detail and craftsmanship. Our script for giving one-on-one tutorials puts a lot of emphasis on the comforts of light weight, breathable, non-slip fabric that never needs to be tied tightly. It only takes 2 or 3 minutes before our customers learn to appreciate the difference between ordinary scarves and Inspirit Arts headwraps that were woven, one thread at a time specifically to be worn on the head. Inspirit Arts sellers get a lot of return business because our products are not easily found in stores.
Extraordinary hand woven head wraps are not available in stores,
so shoppers keep coming back to Inspirit Arts Vendors for more and more colors.
I freely share this information hoping to slow down the rate of headwrap business failure.
Headwrapping is a wonderful money making profession and fundraiser only if the vendor is properly trained.
~ Sylvia NebSa Harmon, aka Miss NebSa
ABOUT US: Inspirit Arts Vendor Academy
We have a very rare and unique specialty: Teaching entrepreneurs and fundraisers how to customize their own turn-key vending method so they can have more fun earning more profit when selling in small spaces at public events. The content for live workshops and distance learning programs come from our newsletter and forthcoming workbook.
~You are invited to learn ~
Besides teaching vendors to sell their own products, the Inspirit Arts brand is a complete line of fair trade hand-made hair and fashion accessories made by craft co-ops world wide. We highlight headwrap fashion because giving one-on-one mini scarf tying lessons to shoppers creates memorable experiences for them in a hands-on ‘feel good’ kind of way. We offer payment plans in our wholesale store for smaller business start-up packages, and larger 'ready-to-go' vendor booths full of crocheted hats, embroidered purses, beadwork, jewelry, hand woven headbands and head wrap hair scarves
As a social enterprise, the purpose of Inspirit Arts is to alleviate poverty in developing countries through our
VILLAGE TO VENDOR PIPELINE
Our strategy is training micro franchise vendors and affiliate marketers to meet the demand for hair and fashion accessories made by global artisans.
Feel Free to connect with us at InspiritArtsAcademy@gmail.com, (937) 546-9400
Now that I'm a semi-retired vendor and a full time vendor coach, I get to visit shows and just watch what untrained vendors do.... or more accurately, I observe what untrained vendors DON'T DO.
They don't have a way to draw people to their tables.
They don't engage shoppers within 2-3 seconds.
They don't demonstrate or teach shoppers anything
They don't create memorable shopping experiences.
They don't display products in customer friendly ways.
Many of them don't even stand-up, smile or talk to people.
The bottom line is that 99% of vendors are struggling because
THEY DON'T BOTHER TO LEARN A TURN-KEY SELLING SYSTEM
Optimistic vendors always hope to make lots of sales despite their lack of salesmanship.
This is a tall order, and precisely why vendors who don't study salesmanship, usually need a job to make ends meet. Finding shows with lots of hungry eager buyers is hit or miss. You get lucky from time to time, but that's not good enough. Most of us need consistent predictable income.
Vendors who don't make enough money, usually make lots of excuses.
The most common excuses blame uncontrollable factors or blame other people for ruining their income. Shows are labeled lousy because....
"There aren't enough people here"
"This weather is bad for sales"
"The organizers did a poor job"
"People are only buying food here"
"They put my booth in a lousy location"
"This is such a weird crowd"
"The music is too loud"
"The booth next door is ruining my sales".'
"The timing is all wrong"
"The entertainment was awful."
"These people are broke"
"There are too many vendors selling products like mine"
All the excuses above are valid. However, all vendors have the ability to respond to the demands of any show situation. They can start learning how to get consistent predictable income when they...
STOP BLAMING OUTSIDE FORCES AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
It doesn't matter if a crowd is small, weird, alien, or the walking dead. Shoppers will buy enough if the vendor knows how to sell enough.
My customers often tell me that I could "Sell ice to Eskimos".
It's ok if you don't know how to sell ice to Eskimos, because that's what I teach. All you have to do is show up, and then practice, practice, practice until you achieve mastery.
The first step is completing the form at www.InspiritArtsAcademy.com