Thursday, June 4, 2009

Hosting a Jewelry Party Part Two

I’m back with more ideas for hosting a jewelry party! This is one of my favorite topics, as you can tell. This time, I’ll share ideas for displaying your jewelry, pampering your guests with party favors, and tips for food & drinks. 

A successful home jewelry party is when you sell yourself as much as you sell your jewelry, so don’t be shy! People want to know about what inspires you and your jewelry designs. I want guests to buy my jewelry but the most important part is for people to get to know me as a person and a jewelry designer. Treat everyone the same no matter if they buy or not, they may call you up a few days later for that great pair of earrings they tried on. 

Displaying Your Jewelry

Remember that this is just like another party at your house. Less is always better on the decorations so the jewelry shines as the star attraction. Place it in a prominent location, add fresh flowers around the room, and create separate tables for the food and beverages. 

Arrange your jewelry on a big table in a central area so people can walk freely and access the jewelry. Use boxes under fabric to create different levels on the table surface. Invite guests to try on the jewelry, help them with the clasps and other features, all the while talking up how it looks, what it’s made from, and what inspired you to either buy the gemstones/beads or to make the piece. Place hand mirrors in different spots around the table so shopper can see how fabulous they look in your designs. 

Arrange your jewelry by color palette: ocean colors, earthy colors, fall colors, winter colors, summer colors. This type of organization makes it easier for them to spot their favorite items but I always have edgy pieces mixed in. Do the unexpected; it keeps your customers looking through your inventory. 

Pick a single color for your displays and arrange the jewelry on solid color place mats. I like to separate matching sets so people can discover them individually. It lets me help my guests find sets and allows them to see other possibilities while I am searching. 

Make sure to price all of your jewelry ahead of time, but be sharp enough to improvise if a customer runs into a non-priced piece. Don’t use the thread tags because they become tangled in the jewelry. Self-adhesive, fold-over tags are better. 

Party favors

Make a small jewelry item to give away as soon as your guests arrive. It can be a simple stretchy bracelet made from forgotten beads, a bling ring made with several beads attached to a single loop ring, a long illusion necklace made with beads and crimps or even a wine tag for each champagne glass made with memory wire. 

It doesn’t have to be expensive, but that little touch has helped me greatly in the past because it’s something special your guests receive just for showing up.  Once you’ve bestowed the party favor upon your guest, make sure she also receives a cocktail and knows where the food and jewelry are located. Reserve 5-minute for a conversation with each of your guests to make them feel welcome and beloved. 

Food & Drink

It’s my feeling that if a woman leaves her home to come to my home or to one of my hosted events, then she deserves to be pampered in the same way a friend would be pampered in my home. I serve interesting cocktails out of real glasses, and really tasty food items. A nice sparkling cocktail or glass of wine helps people loosen up and get comfortable. Offer sparkling apple juice or another interesting non-alcoholic drink for guests who prefer not to imbibe but serve it in a champagne glass. 

Food should be creative, easy to eat, and delicious. Go for non-greasy finger foods such as fancy chocolate, grapes, strawberries, wafers, cheeses or canapés. Don’t serve chips and dip! Your party should be more personal. Resist using disposable napkins, cups, paper plates or anything like this. Pampering clients is a much better way to go, they feel good and the jewelry looks great on them. 

If it’s within your budget, hire someone as a waiter to take care of the food and cocktails. This way you don’t have to worry about anything except spending more time with your customers. If this is not possible, have somebody helping you with all the food and cocktails. If you don’t have anybody to help, be fast, furious and graceful! 

-Fernando Dasilva for Beadalon

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