How to Organize a Jewelry Party for Selling Your Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry
Get your jewelry moving fast while racking up the numbers of fans who are wearing your creations
Selling handmade jewelry is hard, but it's not impossible to make good money doing what you love. The economy is in bad shape, and many people find themselves without jobs or needing supplemental income. Many, like myself, find ways to create their own jobs and make money in a business they've tailored to their own interests and needs.
Thousands of people -- maybe even millions -- love to make jewelry. So many, in fact, that it can seem impossible to make a fair amount of money from the products you make. If you're having trouble selling your unique handcrafted artisan jewelry, consider organizing a jewelry party using these simple steps.
Why a jewelry party? It capitalizes on the techniques used by such companies as Pampered Chef, Origami Owl, Avon, 31 Gifts and Tupperware to reward people for supporting you. Get your friends involved where they devote time to admiring your work, have more people excited about what you do, and give people a good reason to invest in your creative talents.
Is what you're already doing enough for your sales goals?
How do you currently sell your jewelry?
Are you ready for a jewelry party?
Have what it takes to make a jewelry party worthwhile
The first hurdle before you can do jewelry parties at home is assessing your inventory. No one wants to come to a jewelry party to discover that there aren't many choices, or that you sold out of all your on-hands before they could make a purchase. Home parties are a lot of fun, but instant gratification is part of that fun. Custom orders can't be all you have to offer.
Depending on the average price point of your items and the size of your anticipated home jewelry party, you may need anywhere from 30-200 items ready-made to offer for immediate sale. High-end items and fine jewelry may be custom-ordered more, requiring only a few examples of your work. Value-priced costume jewelry, on the other hand, must be displayed in greater quantities to make it worth your while, as well as fill the high demand for cheap jewelry at the average home party.
Have trouble pricing your jewelry? You're not alone
Putting a fair price on handcrafted items is one of the biggest challenges in the market today. Without fair prices, you can't make a living selling your jewelry. Get over the fear of pricing yourself out of the market and make sure you're not underselling yourself.
Plan out great jewelry party displays
Never just "wing it" when it comes to your displays. Inevitably, it'll either end up looking very different than you'd imagined, or you'll find that you don't have everything you need at the time of the party. Take the time to plan out the displays at home, carefully walking yourself through every phase of presenting your products to your potential customers.
Once you have a display plan you like, build it. Don't just assume that it'll be the right size for your merchandise, set it up in every detail. Take pictures, write down notes, and experiment with different looks until it's perfect. If your host sets up, then provide all of these pictures and notes to him or her to help ensure a uniform look for your parties. Once you book multiple jewelry parties and/or hosts, you can start doing real-world experiments to see which ideas generate the most sales.
This video shows a great process for figuring out exactly what your displays will look like, and why you want them that way. It also has some useful tips if you're new to structuring displays.
Great tips for mapping out your displays -- this works just as well for jewelry parties at home as it does for craft shows
New to home parties in general? Check out this awesome book
Get ideas on how to not only make your parties better, but how to find and train your hosts to make each party a huge success. This is one of the top ways to grow your jewelry business by leaps and bounds.
Pop quiz -- do you know how big of a market you're missing out on by not doing parties?
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Structuring your party
Non-merchandise materials you'll need for a jewelry party at home
Great jewelry is the first step to creating a jewelry party, but it's not the only one. The book on the right contains a wealth of information for first-time sales party planners, or for those who haven't yet achieved the results they want with their parties. If you don't want to put out additional resources just yet, then simply think through the process. Every party needs host materials, sales materials, and party supplies in addition to the merchandise and displays.
Host materials. What do you want your host to do? Basically, the host invites guests, entertains guests, and likely does the sales presentation during the party. In order to achieve that, your host needs invitations, any props you want presented during the party, and either supplies or a budget for creating a party.
Sales materials. You can't sell without a way to track your inventory. Make sure you have receipts, inventory lists and price sheets available. If you're accepting payment at the party, make sure you have a way to store cash and checks. Do you accept credit cards or Paypal payments? Look into the requirements well before the show if you don't already have a payment account, then make sure you bring a well-charge laptop or mobile device for payment processing. If you take custom orders, make sure you have an order form and, possibly, a photo album or catalog.
Party supplies. Decide if you'll have refreshments or games, and discuss the length of the jewelry party with your host. Who will provide these materials? Most likely, you will for the first few parties. Once you know exactly what's needed, you can offer shopping lists and a party budget to your hosts. These usually include plates, silverware, decorations and any game supplies you'll need.
Finding hosts for your home jewelry party
You might want to do your first party in your own home if you have the space, but jewelry party hosts help you sell more while freeing you up to spend more time creating. Finding and scheduling hosts is an art in itself, but you'll eventually get a good feel for it. Start with your immediate friends and acquaintances, or talk to direct sales representatives you know who may be willing to branch out into a new company.
Ask potential hosts what incentives are valuable to them, and tailor your reward packages accordingly. Schedule parties far enough apart that you're sure you can make enough merchandise in-between each one. Still not getting enough hosts? Consider offering referral rewards when one of your current hosts gives you a productive lead on a new potential host.
Having trouble finding good hosts? Here are some ideas for super-charging your jewelry business
Getting the right party design can make all the difference between stellar sales and a total waste of time. If you're ready to really get serious about building your business with jewelry parties, this book can help.
Setting up for the jewelry party
Make sure you come to the jewelry party well-rested and well-prepared. It's great when you can set up the night before the party, but expect that you'll have an hour or two before guests arrive. This is assuming the party will be in a rented public space or a host's home -- you don't want to monopolize their time and space any more than possible. The more convenient you make it, the more likely your hosts will want to do additional parties. As you get more parties going, consider writing up a display plan and giving your hosts the materials so that they can set up. You can't be at all of them, and it's well worth trading this work off along with an additional host reward.
During and after the party
If you attend the party itself, make sure that you let the host do his or her job. You are there to network with people and discuss your work, but you're not there to sell it (unless you are your own host). Make sure you set personal boundaries so your host doesn't feel crowded.
In most cases, the host will take all guest orders.You may offer suggestions on custom orders, assist with recording, or do other supportive jobs. Remember that you are the artist, your host is your sales manager for this event. Have a way to record the names, phone numbers and/or email addresses of non-buying guests if they're okay with you contacting them in the future. Door prizes or some other drawing is a great way to get this information.
After the party, take careful stock of what you have. Note what sold, how much it cost and where it sat on the display. Also note what didn't sell so that you can brainstorm on how to change that in the future. Finally, take full inventory and get ready to make even more merchandise for next time.
I know that's a lot to process, so here's a handy step-by-step to help keep you on track for your next jewelry party at home.
So let's sum it up with a handy jewelry party checklist
- Have a unique product in sufficient quantities for a cool display.
- Play with different display ideas at home. Take pictures. Share the pictures with friends and ask for opinions.
- Find potential hosts, and discuss what kind of incentives would motivate them to throw a party.
- Come up with attractive invitations that your hosts can use to invite guests.
- Get organized: Do you have your merchandise, order forms, album/catalog, receipts? Will you serve refreshments, or is that up to the host?
- Rest well the night before the party, and arrive in plenty of time to get set up before the guests arrive.
- Follow up with paying guests immediately after the party. Deliver custom orders promptly; within 1-2 weeks is best.
- Reward your host as quickly as possible, and work to get a commitment for another party.
- Repeat as often as your stock allows, and spend the rest of the time letting your imagination run wild with new designs.
Want more ways to sell your jewelry? Here are some tips
- Tips for Selling Handmade Jewelry Online: How to Mar...
Selling homemade jewelry is a great way to make money. Depending on how you do it, your jewelry sales may support your jewelry hobby or it may create a whole new income for you.
I hope this has been helpful to you. If anything is unclear or you would like some additional help brainstorming, feel free to leave a comment below this hub. I'd love to hear what you have going, and always enjoy the opportunity to exercise some creativity on issues surrounding the marketing and sale of handcrafted jewelry.