What is a pop-up shop?
A pop-up shop is an informal, fun, home-based way to showcase and sell Chalk Couture™ products. Typically, a Designer will partner with a host to hold the open-house-style event where customers can drop by, see what Chalk Couture is all about, and shop, either from inventory you have on hand or by filling out order forms you can use to place orders on their behalf afterward. A host welcomes their friends, family, and neighbors, and in return receives free products and incentives from you!
Your pop-up shop may include a brief demonstration or Create & Take (customers are always wowed when they see Chalk Couture in action!). And you may choose to have a few completed samples on hand to show guests the type of projects they can create themselves.
Chalk Couture has created a variety of marketing support, including flyers, social media images, and email copy you and your host can use to promote these events with ease. This document gives you some great guidelines to hold successful pop-up shops, but you’re always welcome to adapt to suit your style! Read on for inspiration!
Where do I hold a pop-up shop?
Usually, Designers hold them in their homes or partner with a host to hold them in their homes. It’s a free, comfy, casual atmosphere where customers can take their time to see how Chalk Couture works and order what they would need to hit the ground running.
How do I provide the best experience for customers?
Keep it simple and casual. In a comfortable setting where customers can see what they can create, Chalk Couture products practically sell themselves. Hold your shop as an “open house” for a few hours where customers can come and go. Let customers see finished projects, handle the products, and review items.
What’s the difference between a pop-up shop and an expo?
Expos are typically larger vendor events where you rent booth space, have significant inventory, and welcome customers who are browsing through the larger event. They may require travel, setup, and sometimes multiple Designers collaborating to share responsibilities. These are great venues for sales and recruiting activities, but not all Designers have access to expos near their hometowns, nor a desire to make the investment in booth space, inventory, travel, etc., to participate.
Pop-up shops are an easy, economical, and fun way to create your own “mini-expo” on the go. True to its name, a “pop-up” shop can be set up, held, and completed in just a couple of hours, with minimal investment. Events are usually held in homes, so there is no booth space fee, and you can bring inventory for cash-and-carry sales, or use the Chalk Couture order form to help customers place orders.
What’s the difference between a pop-up shop and a workshop?
A workshop is typically a paid event that guests have pre-registered and paid for to attend. Attendees come together to create a specific finished project and go home with a completed piece of artwork. The Designer prepares for a workshop by promoting, securing a location (including those at homes), and determining the project and pricing, then provides instruction and supplies for the project on the day of the event. Usually, guests are already customers of the Designer and have some familiarity with Chalk Couture™—it’s common for Designers to have “creative clubs” or ongoing workshop groups that meet together to Design. Love. Repeat.™ artwork on surfaces they already own. Workshops may or may not have a host receiving rewards.
A pop-up shop is not a paid event, and guests come and go open-house style. The focus is on potential customers shopping for products, seeing a demonstration, and/or getting acquainted with Chalk Couture as a company. It’s a great place to meet new customers and prospective customers and future hosts. Pop-up shops may have a host who has extended invitations to friends, family, and neighbors, helped to host the event in their home, and is rewarded with products or incentives based on the total sales and activity at the pop-up shop.
What’s the difference between a pop-up shop and a Create & Take?
A Create & Take is a small project, typically free (or at nominal cost), that a Designer offers to a customer to demonstrate how impressive Chalk Couture products are. Create & Takes often involve a cut-apart Transfer of 3” × 3” size used on a Chalkable Chip with just a single paste color, although every Designer may create their own Create & Take.
A pop-up shop may include a free Create & Take, if the Designer chooses to do so. The purpose of a pop-up shop is to offer an open-house style, casual shopping event in a home with a host. If the host and Designer want to include a demonstration or a free Create & Take for attendees, that’s great!
Do I need a lot of inventory for a pop-up shop? What inventory should I bring?
No, not really, although having some inventory on hand can be helpful. Because showing how to use the products and what you can make with them help you sell better than just displaying products, you can begin holding pop-up shops with the products included in your Starter Kit and a few projects you’ve made from them. Just be sure to have a small demo and an easy way to order (bring a catalog or use a tablet or laptop displaying your Chalk Site).
For light inventory pop-up shops:
If you prefer to bring only a small amount of products with you, your focus at the pop-up shop should be on showing customers the product (with samples and a small Create & Take) and taking customer orders. To take customer orders easily, bring customer order forms and have your catalog with you. You may also want to bring a tablet or laptop with the catalog on it so users can easily browse items available.
If you are bringing little inventory with you, we recommend including the following:
- Two to five samples of finished projects customers can fall in love with.
- A brief Create & Take for each customer. This helps customers understand the product and be inspired to make their own. We recommend using Chalkable Chips (one per attendee) as well as bringing one to two colors of Chalkology™ Paste, a pack of Mini Squeegees, plus a B-sized cut-apart Transfer demo set (these sets are offered seasonally and typically include 12 different designs that fit on a Chalkable Chip). The guest can create on the chip and take it home; you retain the Transfer, squeegees, and paste for future use.
- About 10 jars of Bright White Chalkology™ Paste. This is a must have for every chalker, and sells well at every event! You may want to have a single jar of other colors on hand to show, and then place orders for customers desiring a wider palette of pastes of their own.
- Transfers used in your sample projects. Remember, you sell what you show, so if you bring sample projects, ensure you have those Transfers available for customers to buy. If you wish to keep your on-hand inventory small, you can show three to four Transfers and have only three to four of these on hand for first-come first-served buying. Your on-hand investment can remain very small.
For larger inventory pop-up shops:
As your Designership gains momentum, it’s easier and easier to reinvest some profits into purchasing additional inventory for pop-up shops. Momentum creates momentum! At larger inventory events, your focus should be on cash-and-carry sales of on-hand items. This will be your most profitable and rewarding approach.
For larger inventory pop-up shops, we recommend having the following mix of items (note that this is only a guide, and your needs may vary). This is a basic recommendation for an average of 10 event guests:
- Five to eight samples of finished projects, ideally on Chalk Couture surfaces (we recommend 9” × 12” surfaces including at least one Couture Gallery™ and Couture Boutique™ Framed Boards, as well as smaller 5” × 7” surfaces, which are easy to transport, show, and sell to new customers.
- Five to ten each of the surfaces used in your projects (we recommend five of the 9” × 12” Couture Boutique Framed Boards, and at least 10 of the 5” × 7” surfaces used, including the Board & Base, Pillar Stand, Pallet Board, etc.).
- About 20 squeegees or equal number of Mini Squeegees. Consider bringing two to three each of other tools, including Fuzzing Cloths, Multi-Tools, Placement Tape, etc.
- Two to three each of paste colors used in your sample projects, plus 10 Bright White pastes. You may also choose to bring paste singles to resell. These are a great way for customers to get started affordably and use a variety of colors right away. They’re also a very light investment for you, with a quick return.
If you have a larger inventory to bring, the focus will be on shopping rather than creating. You may wish to do a quick demo a few times as guests cycle through so they can see the products in action. And if you choose to do a small Create & Take (see the aforementioned guidelines for a Chalkable Chips–based demo), that’s fine as well— to maximize your efforts and investment, just keep the focus on products and shopping.
You’ll also want to have access to a catalog (your printed copy, plus an online version for multiple customers to view) for customers to purchase additional items from that you suggest to suit their taste and space at home. See the customer order form HERE.
Place orders for items you don’t have on hand, and feel free to create promotions for your attendees to highlight and move inventory (see promotions below).
How should I sell and fulfill orders at these events?
We recommend offering products at our very competitive retail pricing. For those items you have in inventory, this will mean a 40% instant commission for you when you resell (without you having to ship or deliver any items to customers!). Use your Chalk Shop by Square app to process orders for on-hand items. The app will help you create and track customers, appropriately manage your on-hand inventory, calculate sales tax to collect from the customer, and help you process orders and send a receipt to the customer via email. It’s so easy!
The following lists two recommended ways to sell and fulfill orders if you are working with a small inventory and taking orders for customers:
- At the event, help the customer place the order immediately on your Chalk Site. (If you’ve passed out order forms to guests, they can have them already filled out and ready to go, making checkout fast and easy.) Have the customer create a customer account and use their credit card. The order will be shipped directly to their address, so there’s no additional follow-up work for you! You’ll receive PV for the order as well as the 25% deferred commission. Your customer will know your Chalk Site address AND have an online customer account, making it easy for them to place future orders online anytime.
- Collect orders and payments from customers using the customer order form. Ensure the customer has provided all item description, pricing, and item number information, calculated sales tax correctly, and listed complete contact information. Collect the payment, and then place an order within 2 to 3 days of the close of your pop-up shop (ideally within 24 hours, unless time or travel make it impossible to do so). You can place orders for customers in your Designer Office. Note that while you will receive 40% commission for these items, all Designer Office orders must deliver to YOUR address (not the individual addresses of customers), which means you will be responsible to receive the shipment and deliver orders to customers (either by delivering those to local customers, or by shipping to non-local customers). Using this method takes longer for your customer to receive the order, and it also costs you time, effort, and potentially hard cost in additional re-shipping. Often, you earn more per sale using the direct-to-customer Chalk Site, which is a great option for fulfilling customer orders!
What kind of promotions can I do at pop-up shops?
You can have so much fun and freedom with promotions at pop-up shops, which are considered “private groups” for the purpose of personal promotions. Here are some great ideas you can offer to incentivize your customers:
- If you have a lot of older Transfer designs still in your inventory, bring them with you—offer them free to every customer who spends a minimum amount (i.e., $100 retail)
- Offer a free item to any customer who books their own pop-up shop at the event.
- Offer “buy X, get Y” free or at a discount. For example: Buy three pastes, get a Multi-Tool free; or buy two Transfers (B-sized or larger), save 50% off a Couture GalleryTM Board.
To determine what kind of promotion works best for your customers, consider the following questions:
- What products do I want to sell most? (Evaluate what you have in inventory and what is most helpful for you to sell.)
- What offer will excite my customers and cause them to “stretch” their behavior? (For example, if your average customer purchase is $50, offer something for free when they spend $75, so customers have to “stretch” to achieve the reward, rather than earning a reward/discount for something they were going to do anyway.)
How do I find a host?
Social media is always a good way to advertise, but you may want to start by asking your best customers, family, friends, and cheerleaders. Pop-up shops are the ideal way to establish your Designership LOCALLY, so reach out to people who live in your neighborhood, have children in your children’s schools, work in the office next to you, or who attend church or book club or yoga class with you.
Current pop-up shops are the best way to meet future hosts, so ALWAYS mention the rewards of hosting to your pop-up shop guests and strive to book one to two future pop-up shops at your current event. In addition to talking about the free products available through your host rewards offers, you may also wish to offer a “booking incentive,” or an immediate-gratification reward for guests who commit to a date for their own pop-up shop on the spot. It can be something small, like a free Mini Squeegee or two paste singles; you determine what you have on hand that your guests would love to have!
You can also create an incentive for your current host to help you secure future pop-up shop dates with his or her guests. For example, let your hostess know that if she helps you get three of her guests to host future events, she’ll earn a bonus, like a free Pillar Stand or free B-sized Transfer she loves. Her partnership and endorsement goes a long way with her friends, and that additional momentum for you is well worth offering an incentive!
See more ideas finding a host in the Host Rewards FAQ.
Can I hold a pop-up shop on social media?
You can (and should!) PROMOTE your pop-up shop on social media. And you should encourage your host to promote their event and invite their friends using social media.
Chalk Couture™ has provided several marketing support pieces to help!
You may not transact orders on any platform other than approved Chalk Couture methods, including your Chalk Site, Chalk Shop by Square app, and in person. No personal promotion (including discounts, free items, etc.) is permitted on any publicly accessible social media page, so you may not post products for sale, other than listing their retail pricing, on any website or social media page/feed. Social media should be about advertising events, not conducting transactions.
Note: your host is ALWAYS encouraged to collect outside orders to add to their pop-up shop’s total sales. So if they are promoting their event on Facebook, for example, and inviting their aunt in Hawaii and cousin in Texas, their aunt and cousin may choose to place orders. (This is extra easy to do if the Designer has given the host a Chalk Site link to share with invitees.) If these social media contacts shop, either on the Designer’s Chalk Site OR by contacting the host with items to order, these orders can and should be added to the pop-up shop’s sales total. Your host’s efforts can really help increase sales this way, and also the total rewards for him or her.
How do I help my host promote the pop-up shop?
We make it easy for your host to promote their pop-up shop and have a successful event! Visit your Designer Office to see the full “host packet,” which includes the following:
- Host Checklist for success (things they need to do to prepare and promote).
- Social media and advertising images (easy, beautiful images they can post along with their details to spread the word).
- Email copy (a short email blurb she can email to friends, family, and neighbors about their upcoming event—also works great as a text!).
- Host Wish List (so they can start making a list of items they’re dreaming of that they could earn for free).
- Customer Order Form (you’ll want to print these before the event to have on hand for guests to fill out).
To see all the marketing collateral you can share with your host, check out: Designer Office Resources Library.
How do I reward my host for their work?
Happy hosts are key to successful pop-up shops! You should always offer a host rewards program and we’ve provided guidelines for you to follow. You may adapt as individual circumstances warrant.
We always recommend being generous, flexible, and service-minded when rewarding your host. Partners who can advocate for you, love our brand, and are willing to open their homes and hearts to friends help you flourish. Create a rewards program that helps you return that love!
For complete details on our recommended host program read the Host Rewards FAQ.