Tips For Jewellery Party Success
by Jeanne Lyons
I have had my own jewelry business, Lyons Den Designs, for a little over a year. I think I had a pretty typical beginning. The idea was sparked by two stones I fell in love with while visiting my sister in Colorado. In prior years I had bought gemstone jewelry from the area. But 2 years ago I fell in love with two stones that I decided I’d try to make into pendants. Upon my retirement six months later from teaching 1st grade for 33 years, I had a one-on-one 1 hour class on wire wrapping. I spent about 6 months learning more about craft from DVD instructions, various on-line classes and bead store classes followed by lots of practice. I found I loved choosing stones and creating jewelry. My friends and relatives were impressed with my finished pieces that I gave them as gifts. They also kept telling me that I should sell it. So… I decided to try making jewelry as a retirement hobby to make a little extra money and put my creative bent, love of stones and making jewelry to a practical use.
After reading a lot of on-line stories, and still being hesitant I decided to try to start small and in a way I would feel “comfortable”. I also hoped for some feedback – positive as well as constructive and to get an idea about my pricing. So – it was to be a home party rather than a public show.
My First Party
As an incentive for a hostess I gave a $20 jewelry credit as well as 10% of the gross take toward current or future purchases. I also offered a 10% discount to anyone who scheduled their Home Party within the next 6 months.
I started by asking someone familiar, my sister, to host a jewelry home party. She lives nearby and I already knew some of her friends so I would feel a little more secure. She contacted some of her friends to find a good evening; we picked a date and time, – mid November from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. We called it a “Wine & Cheese Tasting Jewelry Party. She provided the wines and coffee and I brought some cheeses and crackers. We thought it would be a come and go kind of event with about 10 ladies, but most of them stayed once they got there (I think it was the wine). When it appeared that most of the people had arrived and gotten a drink & snack I gave a short talk explaining the type of jewelry I made, the stones, wire, etc. In addition to my completed jewelry pieces I brought stones and cabochons to encourage custom orders. In addition I brought some larger holed beads for ladies to create their own stretch bracelets – a big hit! A few women actually spent hours choosing and rearranging their beads. I sold several other pieces and took five orders on top of the bracelet making pieces. Be sure to get a down payment on orders so no one changes their minds after you’ve created a special piece for them. Almost everyone bought at least one item.
When not writing up sales and orders I made sure to socialize, explain the stones and my work, and check in on and make recommendations with the bracelet makers. I scheduled an evening at my sister’s house to pick up their orders and complete payments.
I did not get anyone to schedule a party. I think the timing wasn’t optimum; people had Christmas on their minds and weren’t ready to plan any further ahead.
I did another, smaller (three ladies and two girls) home party when my husband and I visited his brother in South Carolina the first week in January. The timing wasn’t the best here either; many of her friends were not back from Christmas/Winter vacations and it was probably too close to previous Christmas receiving and spending. We offered desserts and coffee for an early evening party. Since there were going to be girls I included things from my “Kid’s Korner” which was an opportunity for them to make a simple necklace with a bead or two, as well as a few completed children size bracelets and earrings. I sold 4 pieces and took 4 orders. While not a large party everyone was interested and I got some great feedback because of the more intimate nature of the party. So, I considered it a success. I also did a small party with my other sister in Colorado in July following the same format which was also successful and I got great feedback.
I spent the next several months creating more jewelry, learning how to do a traditional show and investigating local arts and craft shows. When I had my first outdoor arts show I also put up a sign that stated I do Home Jewelry Parties with an explanation of the benefits. Over the summer I was able to schedule two home parties following the same incentives. Since shows are usually on weekends that leaves week days for home parties. Both were successful in that I sold enough pieces and took enough orders to make it worth my time.
While I’m still new at this I feel that my home parties have been pretty successful, even more successful than some of my outdoor shows for which I had to pay a booth fee.
I feel these are the most important aspects to a successful Home Party:
1. Start with people you already know to make it a comfortable initiation -start small and as you gain confidence and product make it larger
2. Offer a hostess benefit package of your choosing
3. Be sure to have business cards for any follow ups needed
4. Entice them with food
5. Bring something that they can engage in making, or beads and cabochons for them to choose for their own custom orders.
6. Be sociable, knowledgeable, and informative
7. Make sure you have at least 1 mirror to encourage trying on the jewelry
8. Ask for any feedback they’d feel comfortable sharing
9. Be ready to take orders – get a deposit – follow through quickly-include a Thank You note – either be ready to ship orders along with a bill or agree on a time to drop it off.
10. While I have not done this part personally, a jewelry making friend makes sure she gets e-mail addresses and birthdays and sends out birthday e-mails with a 10% coupon for a future or online purchase. She says she gets a couple purchases from this a year. I don’t have an online business yet, but it’s something I would like to try in the future.
I hope my experiences help you to have a successful home party business.
Thanks Jeanne for sharing your tips on having a successful jewellery party! We wish you more success for the future, and found your post really interesting.how to sell jewellery, how to sell your jewellery, jewellery business, jewellery business week, jewellery party, party plan, selling handmade jewellery, selling jewellery tips, selling your jewellery