Ginger and nut cupcakes, made for my jewelry party yesterday. Though only a few friends were attending I have to say it was quite successful! My best friend, who was hosting the party, is allergic to most metals, so I thought a good amount of her fave cupcakes would cheer her up for not being able to try and buy all the bling (LOL).
Of course, I forgot the camera :D ! I took the pic of the cupcakes at home before leaving and the camera was left at the tripod, forgotten. Oh well! It was quite an informal situation so no pretty displays to show – just beers and cupcakes and coffee while husbands played cards on the couch. I just love that kind of meetings :). My friend took a few pics with her own camera, so hopefully I will show them as soon as she emails them to me. Here are some pics of other jewelry parties I’ve made:
At the Tea Bar where I make my Tarot readings, two years ago!
At home, xmas 2007
As usual earrings were the best shot, but I sold a couple of bracelets, necklaces and rings too – and most important, got a few appointments for next weeks and gave everyone lots of business cards with the new shop address. I really think that fixing a next appointment is definitely much more important than making lots of sales and then nothing for months. I am trying to balance Gypsy Deluxe’s opening with my local work, and so far I’m doing fine – I love selling online, but local sales have always been my first priority: local means no fees, no shipping and packaging expenses, no waiting from the customer and the chance to speak to every buyer personally and knowing what they’d like to see in the next meeting, something that is not always possible when you sell online.
I love having jewelry parties, and though some times I’ve sold more than others, I have always had lots of fun and got great opportunities and priceless feedback from the buyers, who 90% of times turn out to end as friends. I really, really recommend to every crafter reading this to overcome shyness and simply go for it! If you have never made one, here are a few useful tips:
- Know your customers: I think this is The Golden Rule of jewelry selling!!!! While I always make pieces that I like and that reflect my style, and I would never recommend working on things you don’t like, that does not mean that I do not take my customers’ needs and likes very seriously. For example: I have a customer who loves feather earrings, and another one who loves gigantic hoops. Every time an appointment with them is made, I try to have their favourite pieces available, and 9 out of 10 times that will be the first thing they’ll buy. We should never forget that the best selling is made when you fill a need, not when you try to make everyone fit into your vision.
- Reward your customers and hostess: Second Golden Rule! Yesterday I gave out promo bags and free earrings to all those who bought anything, and the hostess got the cupcakes and a handsewn pouch. I also made small discounts on the more expensive pieces, because these were really my best customers and I do appreciate very seriously the money they spent on, let’s be honest, something completely useless as jewelry.
The free earrings I gave to them – actually cheap in materials, but good hours of love and work were put into them.
Contents of the promo bags: discount coupon for next purchase, a small notebook, a wire-wrapped hair pin, candies and a brochure with pictures.
- Try to fix the date for another appointment: you don’t have to get an exact date, but the intention of the customer to host a jewelry party. I try to make mine in rounds, so I give more or less one month until I contact my customer for a date that’s comfortable for everyone. You should never be pushy, but it’s your work to remind them that they said they would like to meet! If you stay at home wondering if they’ll call, believe me, it won’t happen. Getting their emails to send them images of your new products is great, but a good ol’ phone call is always the best choice.
- Loud and Proud 1: customers love to be informed of fashion trends, unique materials and details of your work. So, don’t stand aside while they are trying the jewelry! Sentences like “those pearls would go wonderfully with the jacket you’re wearing – did you know they are freshwater japanese pearls? Last year it was all about glass, but the hottest trend now is irregular pearls.” make better sales, because they show your customer that you are a real pro that knows the craft, the business and the styling. Also, it is very productive to inform them of any other service you provide, whether it is jewelry-related or not; I have got lots of Tarot appointments in jewelry parties and viceversa.
- Loud And Proud 2: Do not whine about the lack of work, lower sales, higher price of supplies or ANY other problem during the party: what people want from you is to be the personification of glamour and success. If you have been published, sold a piece to a VIP or got a new consignment, the party is the time to brag shamelessly about it. When you are selling jewelry, you are selling the dream of beauty and glamour, so take your time to look good, to smile and to give lots of compliments to your customers’ shoes, clothes, hair or whatever. There is something beautiful and unique in everyone and it’s your work to make it shine.
- Take your time: if you’re thinking about making your first jewelry party, prepare it with enough time to have a good amount of inventory (a 100 pieces is a good amount to start, even if only 3 people are attending), promo items, hostess gifts, displays, etc. Make a good checking list and add ideas as you prepare it – and of course get ready to forget something each and every time! Last time it was gift bags, the previous one was the calculator…you are not perfect, so things will never be perfect – learn to overcome any flaws and improvise!
- Have something for every budget: the fact that we are going through an economic crisis does not mean all your jewelry has to be low priced: actually, I usually sell the same amount of cheap and high-end pieces at every party. Some people like to buy lots of small pieces, others prefer to buy just one expensive, luxurious item. To make the less expensive items, search for wholesale beads and findings, so you always get paid fairly for your work. Underpricing is for losers!
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