Influenced by well-known companies like Tupperware and Candle Light, in-home sales have seen an up-trend all over the country since the 90’s. The structure requires simple elements: an appealing product, a well-connected host, and a friendly shopping environment such as a cozy family room. I have done many jewelry parties for groups as small as 6 people to groups of 80. In this post, I’ll share some tips for selecting and selling your inventory. Join me in the next post for display tips, food & drink suggestions and more!
Many independent artists from different fields have begun showing their products to small audiences in their own homes or those of their friends. Jewelry parties offer a personal shopping experience, where the shoppers can meet the artist and get more detailed information about the products. The artist benefits by being able to turn and refresh inventory quickly, since people look for new colors and styles each season.
A successful jewelry party requires a lot of planning and setup but making it a memorable event will secure more parties. Each jewelry party has a rhythm that builds up during the event itself but there are certain things that you can take care of before you open the door to your first guest.
Make sure you have plenty of inventory. If you have old inventory, organize your time so you can create 10 new pieces and mix them in with the rest of the designs. Make sure these last minute pieces are in sync with current trends. When you begin running out of time, buy the latest issue of In Style magazine. Check the trends and see how you can translate those into your artistic vision. Fresh and bold pieces are eye catchers! Even if you don’t sell them right way, people will notice that your jewelry is updated. Old pieces always sell at these events, too. Just because you think it’s old and tired does not mean your customers will.
I like to offer a wide range of designs from subtle to extravagant, from monochromatic single strands to multi-layered-colored and loud pieces, from chokers to very long necklaces. I believe you get more sales if your inventory is varied because it’s impossible to know the tastes of all the people who come to your party. Think about the abundance and variety in places like the Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico or a street market in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. You don’t need necessarily to have a cohesive collection if you are selling at home, unless that’s your style.
If you have a hostess, offer her a special discount on her purchases. I usually choose a special gift for the hostess as well, something that she has had on a couple of times during the party. If she books another party with one of her friends, her discount will continue through that next party. You can also offer a commission on the sales to the hostess (usually the special discount is not added for the commission). If the hostess would rather choose a charitable organization, then you can make a donation in her honor. This is a win-win because the donation is tax-deductible and people may shop more because a portion of sales is going to a good cause.
Be sure to have at least $100 in cash for change. To boost your sales, give a discount for cash, or offer a different level of discount for items paid with credit cards. Be creative! I created a Brazilian layaway, where the customer buys an item and makes payments. I request 20 or 30% down and we set up the payment dates. The difference with this layaway is that I allow the customer to take the piece of jewelry at the party. This way the person starts enjoying the piece immediately. Each and every time you have somebody wearing your jewelry is another chance for more marketing about you and your jewelry.
- Fernando Dasilva for Beadalon