In a moment of curious boredom a couple weeks ago, I typed the words “hospital gift shops” and “suppliers” into Bing. After some scrolling, a newsletter especially for hospital gift shops jumped out at me. I had been thinking I would have to hit the road and cold call hospital gift shop managers–yeah, right. With my sales skills and phobias, it would be the next century. So as I read about this newsletter, I became interested. It goes to 1500 or so hospital gift shop managers every other week, and the price of advertising was reasonable.
Long story short, I put an ad in, it came out last Wed, and the response has been good! Two sales so far, with 5 or 6 others having requested a price list and 40 or 50 have visited the web site. So I have paid for my ad, and am putting another one in next week.
One of the orders was to a hospital just 30 miles or so from here. I delivered their order rather than shipping it, and was able to meet the manager and get acquainted.
As I thought of how a gift shop could display the sleeves and I decided to make something that would hang from the ceiling or on the wall. Mike had made some PVC stands for us to use at the farmers market. Here is what they look like.
They are just a 4 way “T” with a base that they screw into. He used 1 1/2 ” pvc, which is fairly pricey once you include the T and 3 caps and the base. I decided to try 1″, without a base or a stand, just an upside down T. Here is what it looks like. It is around 18″ across.
I tried a couple finishes before I found the one I like. One was a stone looking finish, but it dried too slowly and still felt sticky days later. I ended up with a hammered bronze/coppery finish. I painted 20 of them (spray paint) tonight after dark, outside in the little bit of light from the garage, trying not to get overspray on the house or cars, and hung them in a row on a string on the porch. Here is a picture of a couple of them.
They look different, don’t they?! They have an eye bolt in the top so they can be hung up. And when you put a sleeve on them, it looks really good! I got the price down below $5 each, not counting the 6 hours I put into them, and am giving them away to the hospital gift shops with orders of 10 or more sleeves.
I spent several hours this morning getting my quickbooks set up to do invoices and opening a fedex account. Seems to go so slowly, but once it is routine, it won’t take so long.
Both our boys have been home for a couple weeks now, but leave tomorrow to work at a summer camp in Tennessee until the first of August. It has been great having them home.
And that is what is going on in my neck of the woods. Hope you are moving into a good summer!