Home Jewelry Parties
Karen Meador, PhD
Do you party? I’m not asking about your personal life, but rather about selling your jewelry. There is considerable information online about how to conduct home jewelry parties/shows. I was truly surprised by the number of hits pertaining to this topic that came up on the internet. In this brief article, I’ve tried to keep things concise and to offer both a synopsis of the information I found as well as a few suggestions of my own.
I’ve enjoyed doing some home jewelry parties largely because they give me the opportunity to visit with the hostess before, during and after her party. It’s really nice to have a second person involved with preparation and solicitation for an event. All my hostesses have been customers who simply wanted to share my jewelry with their friends. That’s a really nice compliment and I try to reward those hostesses with a nice discount on personal purchases. Other sources suggest that you give a credit, such as $100, toward jewelry the hostess purchases at her show. I haven’t tried this; yet think I prefer the discount. Often the hostess buys more jewelry than her guests and the discount gives the hostess a chance to choose more expensive gemstones that she might not previously have been able to pick up. Alternatively, you can offer to give a certain percentage of your sales to a charity selected by the hostess.
It has been important to me to think of home jewelry parties differently than all those plastic ware parties I went to as a young wife. I always felt obligated to purchase something and disliked being asked to host the next party. I guess I’m not very entrepreneurial, but I want everyone to feel really comfortable about coming to one of my parties. I think that will make a person more eager to host one of her own, even if it comes at a much later time. I suggest that party guests sign up for notifications about the next jewelry party or jewelry show in their vicinity and promise not to bombard them with any other form of advertisement.
If you are planning your first jewelry party, the following link might prove helpful to you: http://www.home-jewelry-business-success-tips.com/jewelry-home-shows.html. There you will find 10 Tips for Great Jewelry Home Shows. The suggestion that one guest should not monopolize all your time is especially important to remember. I find that the customer I spent the most time with usually purchases the least. A few people are just needy, so introduce them to someone else.
I saw a friend in the hobby store the other day who excitedly told me about going to her first home jewelry party. Guests at this party were guided as they made their own necklaces and enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the design process. She reiterated that it was great fun to work with gemstones of her own choice, but that she thought she should leave the more complicated necklace making to the pros.
You can also offer jewelry parties for the younger set as creating a simple bracelet or necklace at a birthday party can be fun for everyone. I suggest putting together kits of supplies and numbering them. Then each guest can draw a number that corresponds to the kits. This avoids problems when more than one guest wants the same bead combination. Be sure to send your business card home with each guest for those who would like to offer their own jewelry party or show. Perhaps their mothers have been looking for you!
You might also offer a dress up jewelry party where the little girls get to have their pictures taken wearing your jewelry and the photo follows them home. Each photo does, of course, have your contact information, website, etsy store, etc. on a label on the back.
Why not have a glamour jewelry party? These can work great at a boutique after hours. Guests try on clothes and pick out jewelry to see how different gemstones and designs work with the clothing. It’s especially fun if there is a hair stylist present and adult refreshments. Don’t forget to take photos of the guests as they model different designs and get permission to use these on the boutiques website as well as your own.
You can offer a “while you wait” service at a home jewelry party. Arrange beads by colors and display a few simple designs. Guests connect the beads to the preferred design and you create. Earrings are an especially effective offering for this.
Be aware that setup and display is a bit trickier at home jewelry parties. It’s great if the hostess can offer you a large dining room table for your setup, but you’ll want to be sure that people will actually “hang out” in the dining room and not just look quickly and move on to the food arena. Consider making trays of jewelry to display near the food and in the seating areas. You run the risk of having guests miss some of your items, but I’ll take that chance. Trays of earrings can be easily passed around while guests chat. The person who didn’t need any more jewelry might just find a gemstone she can’t live without.
After the home jewelry show, ask yourself if you had a good time and check with the hostess to see if she has suggestions for improvement. You can check with her again in a couple to weeks to see what feedback she received from her guests. I’m also looking forward to improving each of my jewelry shows and I’ll bet you are too.
Lastly, home jewelry shows can also be held at an office during the lunch hour. It doesn’t have to be solely for those who work in the establishment, but is a nice convenience for them. This type jewelry party can easily turn into a brown bag and you’d be surprised which business wants to host the next jewelry gathering.
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