What sells at a fundraiser when it’s hosted at a biker’s bar? Sex and alcohol—not clutches, aprons, purses, beauty products, floral arrangements, or glass art pieces.
Connie and I didn’t realize the Special Olympics fundraiser site was a bar until we arrived at the event’s address; nor did we understand that 99.5% of the attendees would be bikers although we knew there would be some, just not that many. We didn’t sell a single thing.
My cowgirl bags didn’t sell.
These didn’t sell either, although Connie absconded with one.
My clutches didn’t sell—nor did the aprons or anything else I prepared.
The organizers invited only five vendors and later told us that they had not had good luck with selling things in the past. I’m not surprised. Out of the five, only one woman had booming sales.
This is Jamie, a biker from South Dakota who designs products that fit right in with the target market group. She kindly posed with her husband, Chi Chi.
Jamie’s helmet spikes sold along with her thongs and booty shorts (new term for me). You can visit her web site to see her products. Her table was popular because she is part of this eclectic biker community and knows what they want. Here is her business card--it took me a while to figure out what her business name means.
Lesson learned for the rest of us. Know your market, a mandate of which we were ignorant. Connie and I envisioned families, Special Olympics athletes, and community supporters.
What to do when you’re the equivalent of an apron surrounded by leather and chains? You adapt. We adapted by simply contributing cash and I overcame my fear of the chains, tattoos, and tough exteriors by talking to people who turned out to be quite nice. It was an alien world for me, but I made friends and Chi Chi let me sit on his Harley—a first for me.
At the end of the day, this is what it is really all about.
It’s about people like this sweet child (his adoptive parents gave me permission to take his photo), one of only three children we saw the entire day—and for good reason. Being a volunteer for a good cause like the Special Olympics is an opportunity that transcends boundaries of all sorts, no matter the circumstances in which we find ourselves.
I don’t regret a single thing.