Friday, August 08, 2008

Hosting a Jewellery Party

Welcome back to part 2 of yesterday's blog post. Now that you have all of your promotional materials ready, you now need to decide where you're going to sell your work.

Note - I know I'm skipping over a big step in the process (actually registering your business) I'm purposely not covering this here, as each province/state/country has different rules and regulations. You'll need to check with your local government.

One great way of getting started selling your work is by hosting a jewelry party with your friends, (and their friends, family, co-workers)

The general idea is to host a show in someones house. The hostess provides tea, coffee, and light snacks. Or make it an evening girls night party, and serve wine and cheese.
You'll set up a display, with all of your creations. Talk about the process, and materials that you use. You want to sell them on why your jewellery is so much better than the jewellery sold in department/boutique stores.

Paying your hostess

Decide in advance what you'll offer your hostess as an incentive for hosting the party. It's usually a percentage of the sales either given in cash, or jewellery, or a combination of both.

What to Bring

In addition to the promotional material that you have made up, you need to have plenty of stock on hand to sell. One mistake many people make, is to make too many of the high end items. While these are of course the most fun to make, they tend to take a lot longer, and are priced too high for an impulse purchase. Think about who will be attending this event. Are they professional women? Fashionable? Do they have a large disposable income? If so, then plan your stock accordingly.

If the group is made up of mostly young mothers, don't try to sell them $300 bracelets, and $75.00 earrings!

You'll want to have stock made up in a variety of price points, with the bulk being at the lower end of the scale. It's easy to sell $20 earrings, and most people who are invited to a jewellery party will purchase. Make sure you make it easy for them to do so. Always have a least a few of your best, higher end pieces available. These are your showcase pieces. Everyone will ohhh and ahhh, over the fancy items, and scoop up the lower end more affordable pieces.

You also need to decide ahead of time if you're willing to do custom orders. Be wary promoting this. If you do, everyone will want some sort of adjustment. "oh, can you make this in blue?", "Can you make this longer/shorter?", and so on! You'll need to have a really good idea of exactly what all of your supplies cost. You'll need to come up with an answer on the spot. Make sure that you don't short change yourself.

Most importantly, have fun! Keep the talk short, encourage questions about your work....And most importantly, don't drone on, and on. Do not let the attendees get bored. It's easy for us beaders to get so excited about our materials and process, that we tend to talk too much. Remember that although most women like jewellery, they do not necessarily need to know the entire world history of beads. They just want something beautiful.


Liona said...

I'm interested in doing jewellery parties...I've done one at my Mum's, and one at a friend from my church. and I did quite well. I'd like to do more, and I would like to have a clear idea of the incentive I offer the hostesss - what's your suggestion for the percentage to give to the hostess? 10%? 15%? Is it better just to offer that percentage as what the hostess can then spend on your jewellery? Is it common to offer that as cash? Any suggestions would be appreciated. I enjoyed the postings! =)

Liona Ellis

Liona said...

Can you suggest what would be a suitable percentage to offer your hostess? 10%? 15%? Is it more common to offer that percentage to your hostess to go towards choosing jewellery, or cash? (My guess is that credit towards jewellery is better, because your hostess then might buy more OVER what she gets to choose). I've done just a couple of jewellery parties so far and they've gone well, but I'd like to come up with a consistent incentive for hostesses, so any suggestions would be appreciated.



dragonjools said...

A quick google seems to indicate that 10 - 30 % seems appropriate. For instance, Silpada is a company that sells through jewelry parties - they have a sliding scale, depending on how much is sold.

You might not want to get that complicated. For sure offer it as jewelry - you can be much more generous that way. Remember - you mark your jewelry up - so if you tell your hostess that she can have $60 worth of jewelry, it will cost you less than if you gave her cash.

jen said...

I agree with Dwyn, Definitely give jewellery. When giving merchandise, you can up the percentage to the 25% or 30% of sales. Your hostess will be thrilled to get that much in free jewellery, but your cost is considerably less.

If you did decide to give cash, I would lower the percentage to the 10% - 15% range.

Liona said...

Thanks! That really helps. I did think that it would make more sense to give the incentive in jewellery. And I see I did send two messages...I thought my first one didn't work. Sheesh!

=) Liona