Learning how to design jewelry for the Christmas show season takes a bit of time and observation. With one or two show seasons under your belt you will come know what your best selling jewelry is, what items to make and how many of them to make.
If you are a newcomer to the craft show circuit it may feel a little bit
difficult to estimate just how much you will need at the shows. A good way to start is by setting a goal of how much you would like to ideally sell at each show. Then take that figure and add another fifty to seventy-five percent.
In other words if you think you might sell three thousand dollars worth of jewelry you would produce between forty-five hundred and fifty-two
hundred and fifty dollars. This would ensure that you have enough to meet your goal plus some left on the table should you exceed your goal.
This by no means guarantees that you will sell as much as your intended goal but it does mean that if you sell more than you anticipate your booth will not look empty by the end of the show. After all if you do happen to have an extremely successful show you will want to insure that you will be invited back.
I have seen, on more than one occasion, exhibitors who sold out at a high end show on day two of five and as a result they where not allowed to return to the show on the following year. Now, that hurts.
Another way to estimate how much jewelry to make is to take your booth cost and multiply it by four to ten. This figure will give you a rough idea of how much jewelry you need to make. Now, I know that seems like a wide range but until you are actually at the show there is no exact way to estimate whether you will double your booth costs or make ten times that amount back in sales.
These are just rough ideas that you can adjust by factors such as: how much you know about the show what kind of reputation the show has, what other exhibitors tell you and of course, how hard the show is to gain entry to.
With that out of the way let's look at how to design jewelry for the Christmas season so that you maximize your profits:
1. BOOST YOUR COLOR - people love color and a great way of boosting sales is to take your most popular jewelry and offer it in multiple color choices. If you have an earring that sells well why not offer it in a dozen colors. Often customers will come back looking for their favourite pair in more colors.
2. PILE ON THE EARRINGS - Christmas time is a great time to carry a wide variety of earrings. They make easy gift items and you would be surprised how many people, in the spirit of Christmas shopping, will pick up a pair or three for themselves. Once the spending gates open it becomes difficult for most customers to curb personal shopping.
3. MAKE IT AFFORDABLE - Make sure to stock enough items in the twenty to thirty dollar range. Many times you will have customers who are shopping for many people including co-workers or they are buying stocking stuffers and do not necessarily want to spend a lot of money.
Make it easy for them to check one more person off their list. Go ahead and have some high end items, but don't forget to have affordable items for the average sale.
4. EXACT MATCH - There is no doubt people love to match so if they love one of your necklaces make sure that you have a matching earring to offer them. This can make the job of adding on to a sale that much easier.
5. MIX AND MATCH - Make your jewelry interchangeable with items that can be mixed and matched. There is no rule that says you have to have the exact same drop on your earring as the one you have on your necklace.
Learn how to design jewelry pieces that can be pulled together with the same stone or metal finish. In fact, some customers do not like to have their jewelry pieces match exactly and would rather have a slightly different complimentary design.
6. BOXED SETS - Spell it out to your customer by displaying pre boxed sets so they get the idea loud and clear. Matching items up for your customers is a great way to take the guess work out of what to buy. Sometimes it is just easier to pick up a box that is good to go. Not everyone has the vision that you do, so show them how great a pairing can be.
7. JEWELRY WITH MEANING - We all have jewelry with special meaning whether it is because it was designed with unique purpose or we have cherished memories of how we acquired the piece. Learning how to design jewelry with meaning is a matter of getting your creative ideas flowing.
Consider using birthstones, healing stones, symbolism and stories with your jewelry. Adding a little card that explains the meaning of your design can be an excellent selling feature. Some of the best selling jewelry in the marketplace are those that are designed with sentiment and symbolism and they continue to be growing
Below is a short story of how special memories will help you connect with how to design jewelry with meaning:
When I first learned how to design jewelry I was influenced by my early childhood experiences as well as the various items I received. When I was three my parents brought me and my two sisters to live in Canada. With us came our special little jewelry items.
My favourite jewelry piece was a miniature gold lock and key on a long chain. It was so lovely and it had sentimental value because it represented our move from Argentina to Canada. I have still the romantic memories of a small child dreaming of a land that I can barely recall.
Well, when I was thirteen that little lock lost it's key and I was devastated. This sweet little charm was one of the first pieces of jewelry I ever had and I absolutely loved it.
One day a friend of mine came to the house and stood in our entry way. She held out her hand and said "guess what I have?" Immediately and without question I knew that she was holding the little key. She had found it in the crack of the cement outside her parents variety store...wow!
The key was no longer than quarter of an inch and was about as thin as a business card. My five year old is holding the necklace in the photo so you can see just how small the key is.
So now I still have that lock and key and along with that I have the special memory of how that key miraculously made back into my hands. Now I have learned how to design jewelry with that kind of magic in mind. Creating stories behind each design and naming each piece is a great way to garner interest and a strong desire to have
Be creative and learn how to design jewelry that your customers will feel connected to. Once you start on that path you will see how the desire to "have" will become contagious.
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