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Past Time Bears - Artist bears designed and handcrafted by Sue Ann Holcomb
Shelli Makes - Teddy bears & other cheerful things by Shelli Quinn

crisw Posts: 12

Thanks for the polymer clay noses reply!

I've made and sold a lot of different crafts, but hopefully in July will actually try selling some stuffed animals for the first time. This is a 4th of July celebration with lots of families and lots of sticky foods on lots of children's hands.

How do you all politely handle grubby little hands grabbing at your work? In this day and age, many indulgent parents might be taken aback by any reprimands of their little ones. Do you use any signage? Do you just try and keep valuable pieces out of easy reach? I'm looking for good ideas that won't offend any potential customers!

Chico, California
Posts: 9,939

Shelli Retired Help Advisor, Banner Sponsor

I put out a cute little brass pot of saltwater taffy at my first show, and did that on the advice of more experienced exhibitors who suggested strewing little wrapped candy bars about, etc.  It really made the kids happy! 

I didn't have much of a problem with kids touching, and my bears are pretty big and sturdy even if they had.  Plus, I have to admit one of my favorite sales was to a little girl named Rachel; she walked around the show cradling that bear like a baby for over an hour.  It absolutely made my heart sing!

kerrenmorris K M Bears
Posts: 349

I remember a lady looking at my bears at a show with a small child in a pushchair, the child had a sticky lolly in its hand, the mother was oblivious to the child as she was engrossed with looking at the bears I had on display.
I could see the child getting ready to grab one of my smaller bears who was sat at the front, I thought now what am I going to do!
just as I was ready to rugby tackle the tot, the mum moved the pushchair away. Thank goodness for that! I now sit tiny bears on a shelf at the top of the stand .

Anther show a boy and his dad were looking at the bears the boy stood with each elbow resting on one of my lying down bears tummy, with his finger stuck up his nose. I calmly walked round and said "don't do that please" the dad said "something wrong?" i said "all's ok now carry on browsing!"..................

"little darlings?"

Wisdom Bears Wisdom Bears
Ayrshire, Scotland.
Posts: 951

Hi Kerren, I think most of us has came across this problem at shows from time to time. Like you I now put smaller bears at the top of my stand ,I also have a bowl of sweets which help to distract  the little ones from touching bears. The parents never seem to notice for some reason.When my children were small ,I always warned them before we went into shops etc ,never to touch anything you did not intend to buy.

Hugs Rita xx

kerrenmorris K M Bears
Posts: 349

Hi Rita,
Good idea, but i think I would eat the sweets!     bear_laugh

Dilu Posts: 8,574

Thank you for this topic, I would never have thought of this problem.  Course I don't show, but still its good to know. 

The taffys a great idea, cuz I don't like it, now chocolate? come the pounds flying in to my hips


dawdlebears Posts: 11

I put a sign that says:
Feel free to hug the bears. Clean hands please.

Strangely enough having the sign giving permission seems to make people think twice. I often see kids checking their hands!


Laure Fool's Gold Bears
San Luis Obispo, CA
Posts: 351

What great and practical Idea!  I have told children they could hold a bear if their hands were clean, but having it in writing would relieve me of watching like a hawk.  Thanks, Dawn. bear_original

Daphne Back Road Bears
Laconia, NH USA
Posts: 6,568

Dawn, that's a great idea.

Having something to distract the kids is also a good idea, BUT..... I've been the next booth in line after a child has opened the candy wrapper, is sucking or chewing on something (either way the fingers are in the mouth) and then they are pointing at or wanting to touch my bears. So, I'm afraid I'm not for the candy thing. In fact I don't think kids should be allowed to have food while walking through a teddy bear or doll or artisan shows. I'm more for teaching children how to have manners before they ever leave the house.

OK, that all came across as being very crotchety sounding. No, I don't have kids but I was a live-in nanny for 6 years so 'been there, done that'. They can have manners. And you can bring something for the kids to do or give them games to play. "Find something at this booth with a star on it." Games using eyes only are great and work for a little while. I've often engaged children in my booth with such challenges, gets you talking with them while mom shops and keeps them out of trouble. Sound like babysitting? Yes but I might have made a sale or two because of my hospitality - who knows!!

OK, that was more than 2 cents worth. I'm done before I get into trouble here!


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