I was recently interviewed for an upcoming Holiday Gift Boutique. This is a short clip of what I said. Part 1 of 5.
Who are you and what do you do?
AltogetherAnna Hand-Made Designs, Kitchen Gadgets, SCRUBBY Soap, Family Game Night Fun … and so much more!
Anna Longo designs and curates an exciting mix of fun and functional products! Anna designs and sells hand-made Blanket Wraps and Capes for infants, toddlers, children, and adults.
Working with Licensed Fleece and designer textiles, Anna creates NFL, NHL, MLBA, and Collegiate Fleece Capes and Blanket Wraps. Anna's differentiation point is the custom sewing services she offers. If you do not see your favorite professional sports team or collegiate team no worries, She will make it for you.
Hand-Made in Minnesota is an integral part of the AltogetherAnna business strategy.
Anna also has a line of hand-made Make Up Remover Cloths.
Just wet the cloth with warm water and remove all of your makeup
… no additional product is needed. Removes waterproof eyeliner, mascara, foundation, and eye shadow. Economical, Reusable, and Environmentally Friendly … wash with like colors and use them repeatedly.
At AltogetherAnna, we carefully design, manufacture, and curate products that help make your life easier. We know how busy you are … we have been there!
All you need is at Altogether Anna (published June 1, 2017 Farmers Market Annex Vendor Newsletter)
Anna Longo brings a wide mix of fun and comfortable products to you! First, she designs and sells handmade blanket wraps and capes for infants, toddler, children, and adults. She also sells fun family games like Tenzi, Slapzi, Last Mouse Lost, Don't Rock the Croc and so many more. Lastly, she has kitchen Gadgets Galore including SCRUBBY Soap, Swedish Dish Cloths, Berry Boxes, Herb Zippers, and Naked Bear Naturals Skin Care products.
Anna has a background in specialty toys and educational products having traveled the world looking for products that are unique and that make a difference in the lives of children and families. It was last fall when she began sewing sports fashion wraps, something that has quickly become, a significant portion of her business.
She joined our market last year. "Being a 'Weekend Warrior' provides me the opportunity to interact with consumers, meet interesting people and have fun on my own terms. I choose the Minneapolis Farmers Market Annex because of the steady flow of traffic. It provides me with a permanent location for the summer and that offers me the ability to build a loyal customer base. Consumers can find me easily (right next to the giant 10 foot Rooster), and come back for new and exciting products because they trust me."
It is the customer; she loves best here at the Annex. “I have met some amazing people who are really loyal to the Farmers Market and they visit weekly.” Last summer a gentleman bought a Tenzi Dice Game from Anna and asked: "Are you Anna? After she said yes, he asked, “Are you Altogether? Cause you seem like you are!” “ I laughed so hard,” said Anna. You too can have a laugh with Anna. Stop by and see all the great games and handmade products sold at Altogether Anna!
651-955-8894 AltogetherAnna.com email@example.com
No one said it was going to be easy ... consumer shows and festivals are a lot of work. It's like owning a portable, traveling retail store. But the payoff is immediate, and the consumer data I collect is an invaluable source of information. Each and every time I add a new product to AltogetherAnna.com I am committing to building a new brand and creating a winner.
So how do I do this? I believe in going narrow and deep in my product selection. I buy enough inventory on my first order to ensure that I can make it a winner. You can't sell what you don't have. So I don't buy 3 or 6 of anything. I usually start with case quantities. Once I am confident that my "gut" instinct is correct, and that consumers will like the product as much as I do, then I commit to larger quantities based on sales activity and turn around times. Managing my inventory is as important for me as it is for any bricks and mortar store.
Where I have been particularly successful is in demonstrating products that I am building. Being able to speak to the features and benefits of the product or teach how to play a game in 60 seconds is really important. No one will give you more than that if you can't keep them engaged.
I attended ASTRA (American Specialty Toy Retailers Association in Denver last month) with the sole purpose of starting a Family Games category on AltogetherAnna.com. I knew I was going to be attending many outdoor festivals and markets this summer and SCRUBBY Soap and Swedish Dish Cloths would be a strong focus for me. But I also know women, they are always looking to buy great new items.
So my top 5 ASTRA items are:
1. Mobi Math Game - plays crossword style, each person plays their own "pod" but it is numbers and equations instead of alphabetical characters.
2. Tenzi - dice game which is hugely popular and has been well recommended to me by industry friends as one of their very best sellers.
3. Last Mouse Lost - great item for little people and adults. This one demos well and sells at a high rate. I sold out of my first 24 units in less than two weeks. Waiting for next weeks order.
4. Spin-balls - this is an active play item. The POP unit is what sold me. It has a little TV that shows people the product in use. I am starting to get the hang of it. Watch my video live on AltogetherAnna.com or Facebook.
5. Smencils - a great display, with lots of options and no adult will say no to a smelly pencil for their little person. $2.00 is a great price point for an impulse item.
The key to making a product sell is engaging the consumer. Training and developing your teams on how to share the pertinent information in a way that makes the team and the consumer feel good about the product is the biggest challenge. I find that once they have experienced my products, and they have had fun with them, then the objections take care of themselves.
I never sell a product I don't personally use or love.
It's OK to wiggle while you work!
Bouncy Bands help students release their extra energy, anxiety and stress by quietly bouncing their feet and stretching their legs while they work at their desk or chair. I found sitting with my feet on the Bouncy Bands released the pressure in my lower back.
Bouncy Bands are for adults too!
I had the pleasure of meeting Scott Ertl creator and founder of Bouncy Bands last week at EDexpo 2016. Scott is an elementary school counselor in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and he created Bouncy Bands to help students at his own school have a way to move when they worked so they wouldn't have to stay trapped at their desks for 5-6 hours a day. He wanted to help them be able to stretch their legs, bounce their feet and prop up their feet instead of having them dangle all day from their chair.
Scott started sharing Bouncy Bands at conferences and presentations where he worked with educators on a variety of topics (Progress Cards, Parent-Child Retreats, Playshops, and Read and Ride). Then he decided to start making Bouncy Bands available to other Teachers and for home/office use.
Bouncy Bands orders started coming from around the nation for individual students, classes, grade levels, and whole schools! After numerous requests to create a Bouncy Band that would work for chairs, he developed the latest version that keeps the support pipes securely attached to the chair legs.
Scott gratefully shares his products with children and adults while promoting active learning with appropriate ways to release anxiety, energy, boredom, and frustration--without getting in trouble. Making learning fun for children.
Teachers notice that students have improved performance on class work and tests since students can stay focused longer and they feel calmer -- without distracting others. Students love being able to move instead of having to sit still at their desk for 5 - 6 hours every day.
Wiggle away with Bouncy Bands!
As seen on:
Dr. Oz, CBS This Morning, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL , NBC, TODAY Show.
I'm Anna Longo,