So I recently put together a Shop Hop for my guild, the Music City Modern Quilt Guild. While I could take advantage of a lot of the hard work Stefanie did to put together this hop, there was still a lot of work to be done! If you ever need to put together a shop hop, here are some tips I want to share. Next week I’ll have some shop hop tips from a participant perspective!
Most Important! Keep Organized!
Whether you do it digitally, with pen and paper, whatever you need, just write everything down. You’ll thank yourself in the end.
The first thing I had to do was make a list of the shops that we wanted to go to. Last year we went to 5 shops; Quilting Squares, Craft South, The Fabric Shop, Quilter’s Attic and Stitcher’s Garden. Last year we went more to the north of Nashville, so this year I wanted us to go a little west or south. I thought maybe we could go to a shop in Dickson, Granny B’s, but I wasn’t sure how everyone would feel driving 35 min one way for one shop. Also, the Fabric Shop has since closed up, so that was one shop down. Because I couldn’t think of any other shops, I reached out to the guild and got their input, which leads to the next point:
Get feedback and input!
When I got stumped, I asked for help! I don’t shop a lot in person, so I asked others to recommend shops in the area they wanted to visit. I got an overwhelming response to go to the Dancing Bobbin (omg what a cute name, right?!) so I added it to the list. With this addition, it made more sense that we took a southern path on the hop. I also wanted to get an idea of where people wanted to go eat. I don’t eat out very often either, and when I do it’s generally close to my home and mostly the same places.
Contact the shops!
This took a teeny bit of work, but I found the emails of each of the shops. I sent out emails to each shop individually with an idea of how many people I was expecting to come, what day we were coming, and to see if they were interested. When I got back emails from all the shops that I needed, including any discounts we would get, I started to put together a timeline.
I love Google. I often claim that Google makes up half of my brain. (Because half of my brain is full of nonsense you can only find on the internet!) I also get lost a lot and I have to rely on Google maps. To lay out my hop, I got on Google maps, and I put in each of the shops. I put them in the order that would make this a round trip and we would end back up where we started. So, we would all meet at the last place, go to the first, second, and so on, then end up back at the last place. I’d also planned a lunch break in there, so I added it to the list as well.
Timelines and Wiggle room!
With the map in order, I needed to plan out how long we’d stay at each shop, and let the shops know what time we’d be expected to show. I came up with a simple formula and put it to work. I figured we’d stay about 45-1hr at each shop, so I did duration of each visit plus the time from each shop to the next and got us back to the end point around 5pm. That also included a 2 hour lunch break! I knew with a big group and the drive time we might take a while, so I just factored it in.
Contact the Shops…again!
I got my times and wrote back to each of the shops and let them know how excited we all were to be visiting their shops and what time to be expecting us.
Keep to your Schedule!
Since I’d given us about a 15 minute wiggle room, this wasn’t a huge concern, but I did try to keep an eye on what time it was (which, could be a little distracting from shopping!) and let everyone know when we were getting close to going on to the next shop.
Pat yourself on the back! You did it!
At the end of the day everyone was so thankful and grateful for the work I put in, and I really felt good about how it all turned out. All in all it took about 30 minutes to an hour each night for two weeks to get this together. I drug it out some, because I had other things going on that I needed to tend to, so I just wanted to give myself plenty of time. Take it from me, who has never really organized a caravan type thing like this, or even much of a party, put a little time into it and you can do it!
*Bonus Tips!* Make a Cute Graphic
I use Canva, a free service, to make any of the graphics I use for the guild, my blog, you name it. They have premade sizes for Instagram, Facebook, you name it. It’s so great! It is a great way to streamline getting the word out. This is the graphic that I used for out hop. (not being sponsored, just a really great site!)
Come back next week, where I’ll give you some shop hop tips from a shopper’s perspective!