So you want to sell your jewelry? I have been selling mine for over 20 years. Here are some tips that I have learned over the years to build my business.
1. Find your Inner Salesperson
Not everyone is a natural born salesperson. My Dad was a salesperson, so I guess I got that gene. If you struggle with selling, you will have to step outside your comfort zone. Conversation is the door-opener. Compliments, genuine compliments, are the perfect ice breaker. A beautiful smile and happy demeanor will be remembered. This may take practice, but customers will embrace your interest in them.
2. Be Flexible
My first home show was at a friend’s house. She was having a lunch for her neighbors and friends, and invited me to bring my jewelry. I did not have that much inventory, so I only needed one little table. But, I walked away with orders! “I love this piece, but it’s too small!” No problem, I can make it bigger and it will be ready tomorrow! “This is the perfect style, but I need it in blue!” Awesome, which shade of blue are you looking for? You get the idea.
3. There’s Strength in Numbers
As my home show business grew, I realized I needed guidelines. Some of my shows were really, really small, maybe only 2 or 3 people. I worked too hard to have only 2 people show up! So, this is what I did. I offered my hostess 15% of my sales in free jewelry ONLY if she had at least 10 people show up. 10 people was my magic number. If there were at least 10 people at the show, I would have a great show!
4. Anticipate What your Customers Will Want
I soon started setting up at Craft Fairs. My first craft show was the annual Grapevine Fall Craft Fair at Grapevine High School in Texas. My booth looked great, my jewelry was awesome, but, my sales a little disappointing. I did not have what everyone was asking for. The school mascot was a Mustang, and all the girls were asking for jewelry with the school colors or a Mustang. Lesson learned, KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!
5. Get to Know People
My next venture was into office buildings. I started setting up at American Airlines Headquarters, outside the cafeteria. They put me on the schedule for once per month, charging me $50 each time. I soon had regular customers . I kept phone numbers and addresses, and let them know when I would be there, so they would be prepared to see me. I took interest in them, got to know if they had kids, or pets, and remembered names. Building relationships will build your business.
6. Get Creative About Where you Sell
Elementary schools were big business for me. I set up in the teachers lounge. I gave the person who got permission for me to be there, the hostess offer I mentioned in tip number three. It was a win-win situation. Teachers love jewelry, and don’t have alot of time to shop. It was a service to them, and helped my business grow.
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Think Big
Larger craft shows proved to be very lucrative for me. I started showing at a Texas craft show, The Peddler. It was a juried craft show, which means you have to show pictures of your jewelry and your display to be approved. This involved some travel around Texas and the shows were 3 days. But, this was the career I chose, and I treated it as a career.
8. Have an Open House
Keeping phone numbers and addresses of customers I knew really loved my jewelry proved to be profitable. Twice a year, I would have an open house and invite my customers, neighbors, friends, anyone I could think of! I would always have other sellers there as well, clothing vendors, candle sellers, etc. Keep the open house going until at least 7 p.m. That gives the ones with the 9 to 5 jobs a chance to come by. Make sure you have alot of business cards with your name, phone number and email on them. Give a card out with every purchase and send a card with everyone who does not purchase. Always leave doors open and never burn bridges!
9. Keep Up with the Times
Stay on trend. Know what is selling now! Buy magazines, look at our website for ideas. You don’t have to do it exactly as shown, make it your own. DIY, gemstones and seed beads are very popular now. Big earrings are hot! By staying on trend, you will position yourself as the expert.
10. Tempt your Customers
Always have an impluse buy at your booth. I chose to buy a tray of finished rings. I bought sterling silver rings at wholesale, doubled the price and when sales were slow, the rings helped out my day. You could also do buy 1, get 1 free earrings.
11. Establish a Web Presence
Etsy, Pinterest and EBay are great ways to start selling your jewelry online. The first place to begin is great photos. Look at other sites and see what catches your eye, how they were photographed. Presentation is everything when it comes to web retailing. Once you get your pieces online, you will need to set up a facebook page. Invite everyone you know to like your page and let them know you pieces are now for sale! Start a blog, give people information. Tell them what your jewelry consists of, the length and size. Let them know why your jewelry is special. And let them get to know YOU! I have always said “If they knew me they would like me!” And that is true for you! Be patient, Rome was not built in a day.
12. If you Want Selling Jewelry to be your Career- Treat it like One!
Treat your business as a real business. This is the most important thing to remember. Start your day at the office, even if it is in the next room! Being successful means hard work, sometimes long hours, and discipline. You are part of an exciting industry, which has been alive almost since the beginning of time! Get inspired, enthusiastic and that will show in your jewelry pieces.
I hope this will help in your journey to be successful jewelry-makers. There are things I am sure I have left out, unintentionally, which may require an addtional blog at a later time! Feel free to leave comments or questions below!