Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Famous Last Words

Well, I don't know about the "famous" part, and the"last" is debatable. ;-) But here are some "words" - to be sure.

My beautiful new Eric Silva earrings

Just doing the Contemporary Crafts Market was inspiring. Putting together my booth, gathering up my existing jewelry, seeing it all together in one place... So inspiring that I've closed my Etsy shop and am going to work on some new ideas in preparation of a grand re opening later this summer. 

Since I've considered myself a teacher and not necessarily a maker, I realized a few key things that are important to effective selling. 

• People like pieces that go together. If I use blue stones on a necklace, but red stones on the "matching" earrings, they're not really matching are they? 
• Many pieces with a uniting theme create a "line". Each of my jewels are simpatico with the others, but it wasn't really a cohesive table of goods.
• I can create a unique line that is comprised entirely of one offs (if I so desire).
• Numbers count. I had just enough work to fill my tiny space (5' x 6'), but only about three extra necklaces and 6 pairs of earrings to re stock what sold. Next time I'll figure out exactly how much I need to lay out at the beginning of the show and make sure I have at least half again as much for back stock. Maybe even double.
• Creative re arranging worked really well by the third day of the show. Re arranging the table each day not only changes the look, but it invited me to take a look at my "show stoppers" in a new light. I actually liked my set up on Sunday more than the one I started with on Friday. And there are those patrons who might come to a show multiple times. If the table has been altered they may see things that they missed the first time around.

I did a few things that I really liked and think definitely worked for my booth.

Yes, it's laying on my unmade bed. So?

• I used an under mount computer keyboard slider to hold a drawer that I stocked with pens, tissue, bags, sales slips, knuckle buster, calculator etc. Didn't have to turn my back on a customer (or potential thief) to ring up or wrap up the sale.

• I took a "quick and dirty" picture of every piece of jewelry that I brought and printed them out on a contact sheet along with the coordinating inventory number and price. That way if a price tag got lost Paige or Ellen (who spelled me for a couple of hours on Friday) would know how much to charge. We also crossed out the picture when the item sold. Easy visual inventory tactic.
• Customers looooved the Moo Cards! Thought they were so cute, they took two. Great publicity - even if they didn't buy. Maybe they'll put them up on the fridge and will be encouraged to buy something in November.
• My booth neighbor printed her postcards with two images side by side and positioned the printing on the back to one side and the other. Then cut them down the middle to make two smaller postcards. Great for the "cute" factor - great for the wallet. I'm sooo stealing this idea for my next show.
• I remembered to bring pliers "just in case". When the ear nuts on a pair of post earrings kept falling off, I was able to tighten them. And a friend was able to change out a clasp for a customer. She came all the way over to my booth to borrow the pliers because "I knew you would have them. You're a teacher". No, just a girl scout. Always prepared.

• Thought I was really clever by using "today's menu" clips from a restaurant supply to hold thin wood pieces from Jo Ann's to display earrings. You can get them in black and silver. I might spray paint them with chalkboard paint to dull the shine. 
• Since I wasn't allowed to put tape on the wood paneled wall behind my booth, I was pretty chuffed to have thought to hang photos on the wrought iron, 3 paneled screen from my bedroom. Next time I want to figure out a way to fit it into risers so the photos are higher up on the wall.

• Loved that the 14" wide laminated photos printed at Staples were only about $20.00 for three! Thanks for the tip Christine.
• Museum putty was soooo my friend. 

So now I'm just working on getting my life back to normal, take care of everyday business that I neglected and am looking forward to my time back at the bench with all my new found enthusiasm. I'll post what I'm working on soon enough. Hope to see you at the Grand Re Opening!


Marbella Designs said...

all great ideas, thanks for sharing!
enjoy creating!

Vickie Hallmark said...

Thanks for all the great ideas! I'll be stealing them, pronto. ;-)

Aja Vaz said...

Thanks for sharing, Lora, I'm super nervous about doing my first show in Nov. at BABE! and this will definitely be one of the places I check back to get some ideas!

Laura Crawford said...

Hey Lora - Your booth looks fantastic! I might just have to steal some ideas for the next time I do a show. :) I was never able to make it up there, which I was so bummed out about, but I thought about you all weekend and kept my fingers crossed that it was a successful show for you. It sounds like it was, even if just from a learning experience!

Sue said...

Thanks for sharing all this Lora! I have yet to do a show with my own work, so hearing your entire experience is very interesting.

Anonymous said...

You are sooooo clever (It must be in the genes....) I am also most impressed at how organized you are! Where did THAT come from??!!! Sounds like you had a good show & actually sold a bunch of stuff...BRAVO! And LOVE the earrings you got yourself.

Susan D said...

SO glad you came away with such enthusiasm! The booth was great and your tips you shared are very helpful! AND they'll serve as a checklist for next time! Bravo, chickie!

HappyDayArt! said...


Ruth said...

Wow. A big learning and re-evaluating time. That's great that you are taking time to take stock of it all and figure where you are going. Good for you!

Anonymous said...

Bravo...simply bravo! rock girlfriend ;-)

Thanks for sharing!