A Crafty Idea to Promote a Business
Fragile Earth Stuffed Animals is offering free crafts each day of the summer in an effort to attract more business.
Helen and Mary Beth Graham are trying out a concept they hope will improve business at their Fragile Earth Stuffed Animals store on Monmouth Street. The plan hinges on one simple word: free.
In an effort to draw in customers who might otherwise walk past the colorful stuffed animal dispensary — even as their children plead to go in and pull on their sleeves along the sidewalk — the sisters have started offering free arts and crafts projects every single day of the summer through Labor Day. For no cost to the participating kids or their parents, themed crafts can be made.
Whether it results in an immediate sale or simply serves as advertising for a potential purchases down the road, the simple and free gesture, offered without the slightest hint of pressure to buy, could be just what the ladies from Fragile Earth need to help them succeed.
“Marybeth was a kindergarten teacher before, that’s where we got the idea to do crafts,” Helen Graham said. “We’ve done crafts on Sundays throughout the year but we thought we’d do it every day of the week. It seems like a good idea to get people in the door.”
On Wednesday afternoon a group of children was sitting down at the craft table as another group was just leaving. Each week there’s a new theme, and everyday the craft something different. For the third day of pirate week this week children were invited to make pirate medallions out of lanyards, leather, and a bucket of beads. The day before it was pirate swords. The next day it will be something else.
In the first week of their new summer arts and crafts schedule, the sisters have seen attention start to grow already.
“It’s been great,” Graham said. “On Monday we had a couple of kids; yesterday a few more. Today it’s been gangbusters.”
The Grahams are keeping it fresh with their themes, too. Coming up the arts and crafts will be Olympic inspired. Later this summer there will be a week for fairies and a week dedicated to science. The varied options should help Fragile Earth see new and returning customers throughout the summer.
As her kids sat on small chairs around the small table and sifted through a basket of beads, Jenny Pepper handed Graham money for something she wasn’t expecting to buy. The Long Island resident, in town to visit her family, was walking downtown when the free arts and crafts sign – as well as the giant stuffed Teddy – caught the attention of her kids.
“We were just walking by and they saw the big stuffed bear outside and they had to come in,” she said. “(The arts and crafts) pulls you in. The kids love it and it actually got me to buy two books.”
That’s the idea.