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Down the Stretch with Zenyatta

November 8th, 2010 at 10:46 am

Two craft shows down, and around the first turn we go! This weekend was the kick off of end-of-the-year sales and things are on target.

I am projecting, hoping, and working for doing an average of $100 (net) per show. This is not a "goal" because I don't know how to make folks buy stuff outside of:

1. Offer a good selection of jewelry and accessories in a price range of $1-$40. OK, I can do this. Earlier in the year, I planned what type of things to make and was careful not to overdo it on high end expensive work. In fact, I came up with nice, easy-to-give jewelry in little attractive collage boxes like this for example:


Fancy chevron necklace in pearl and lilac, packed in a pressed flower collage box.

2. Tweak displays to maximize quantity of goods yet look uncluttered and branded. OK, this is not as easy as it seems. Typically I get one, two or three tables in an empty 8 or 12 foot space. Really folks, the transformation from an empty bare space with a folding table or two, to a boutique display is more than you would believe! Every year I make adjustments though and things get better.

This year I have hit upon a great idea hanging black foam boards (with binder clips onto standing tabletop racks. The foam boards are covered with cloth and earring cards are pinned on the boards. I can fit 6 to 8 items per board.

I also am using more little tri-fold 'tents' for earrings. Folks just pick up the whole thing and take it.

3. Lowered some prices and improved some quality. Most of these shows take a smaller percent of the sale price than a standard shop. For example, the art association gallery shop keeps 30% of any sale. These weekend boutiques are more on the order of 15-20%. Therefore, I reduced prices on many things.

Also more of the work is in pure metals, ie sterling and 14K gold filled. It is tough to lower the price, but since I bought the supplies before the price of metal went up alot, I will pass the savings onto the customer. I'll recoup some profit but beware of the prices in 2011 if I have to buy new wire unless metals go down!

For example, many sterling / copper scroll heart and sterling rosette earrings were priced fairly at $15 each, and were walking to the cashier on little tri-fold tent displays:



4. The competition or not factor. I already am careful to participate in shows which are not overcrowded with other jewelry. I can't control this factor in any other way. Due to luck this year, one big jewelry booth was absent at my first show. I'm sure this factor certainly boosted my sales. At the second show I knew what other jewelry would be present, so I brought alot of other crafts including a wide variety of cards and journals. In fact, I did make sales in those areas this weekend.

Any other tips welcome!

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