Tag Archives: “craft fairs”

Displaying your Jewellery at Craft Fairs and Market

If you are doing any summer craft fairs you’ve probably been preparing your stock and deciding your pricing. It’s now time to turn your attention to your display. Here are some ideas and advice from tutor Anna Campbell from her own experiences of selling at Spitalfields and Camden Lock markets in London, on attracting attention and making the most of your space.

 

1. Space

Firstly, check how much space you will have and what will be provided by the organisers. Do you need to bring your own table? Lighting (I have sold at a market where you had to bring your own lightbulbs!)? Table covering?

Once you have the full details, mark out the size of space you will have on a table at home and play around with displaying your work.

 

2. Preparation

Make a full list of what you need to bring with you, see the blog post craft market checklist, for help with this.

 

3. Labelling your products

Many customers don’t like to ask the price and worry you may be charging them more than others if you don’t display your pricing. I suggest either labelling each item clearly or, a technique I used was to bring slate tiles and chalk pens. That way I was able to change my pricing through the day if I decided to or to create offers e.g. buy two for £XX.

 

4. Innovative and eye catching displays

Having a theme for your display can help you stand out from the crowd. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about what could work for your jewellery.

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J Crew ice cream jewellery display

 

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Planting some seeds for the future pendant by Ornella Iannuzzi on display at Liberty

 

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Earring display from Buzzle

 

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Clipboard display from Swirl Marketing

 

5. Framing your jewellery

 

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Frame your earrings from Broke and Healthy

 

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Umbrella earring display from  Georgie Designs

 

6. Using height

Don’t forget to use height in your display to maximise the amount of space you have and so that people can see some of your work from a distance. Here are a few ideas to inspire you:

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Bracelet display riser from Uniq Display

 

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Jewellery display from Packaging World

 

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Branches display idea from Joana’s creative notes

 

We’d love to see photos of your jewellery displays. Please share them with us in the comments below or via our instagram, twitter or facebook pages.

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Craft Market Checklist

In preparation for the summer craft markets, tutor Anna Campbell provides a comprehensive checklist to help you prepare for bumper sales!

craft-market-bunting

Source: http://www.greertonvillage.org.nz/monthly-greerton-craft-market/

1. Arrangements

Make sure you know everything you need to know before the day

  • What time can you arrive from?
  • Can you park nearby? Nearest station, cost etc
  • What is provided and what do you need to bring?

 

2. Selling

It’s a good idea to have a variety of stock – different types of jewellery and price points. Ensure your stock is labelled with the price, many customers don’t like to ask the price and feel like you may be charging them more than others if you don’t display your pricing.

  • Stock
  • Price labels
  • Business cards/flyers
  • Packaging
  • Signage e.g. a sign with your business name and social media handles
  • Wheely suitcase (I travelled to markets by train so had to be able to fit everything in a suitcase!)

 

flying_m_craft_fair

Source: http://www.boiseweekly.com/boise/flying-m-coffeegarage-7th-annual-super-summer-craft-market/Event?oid=3804611

 

3. Display

  • Display items
  • Table cloth
  • Clear plastic sheeting (useful if you’re outside and it starts to rain!)
  • Market stall clips (excellent for clipping your table cloth etc to the table)

(we will have a blog post coming up on ideas for displaying your jewellery so keep an eye out for that!)

 

4. Payment

  • Secure change wallet
  • Change (go for round number prices as it makes giving change much easier!)
  • Card payment machine e.g. izettle
  • Fully charged mobile phone

 

5. Comfort

  • Layers of clothing
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Umbrella
  • Chair
  • Cardboard to stand on (if it’s a cold day and you’re outside it provides insulation!)
  • Flask of tea or coffee
  • Food
  • Helper who can take over when you need to toilet!

 

6. Miscellaneous

  • Pen
  • Cloths

What have we missed? Do you have any advice for people selling at craft markets for the first time? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Great answers to tough questions at craft fairs

The spring and summer craft fairs are on their way. While we prepare our stock and display, it is also important to prepare your answers to frequently asked questions. You don’t necessarily want to sound like you’re working from a script but equally you do want to know how to answer questions and respond to comments. London Jewellery School and Jewellery School Online tutor Anna Campbell suggests some answers to tough questions.

A craft fair or market can be a great way to generate sales and get feedback from potential customers however it can be nerve wracking wondering what questions people will ask. In writing this blog post I looked at the great community support resources from Etsy and Folksy which I encourage you to read. Even if you don’t sell through these channels you can still access the wealth of information and benefit from the experience of others.

Price

One of the biggest questions at craft fairs is around price. For example:

  • Why is it so expensive?
  • Why is it so cheap?
  • Will you accept £XX for this piece?

Advice

  • Display your prices. Firstly, I suggest that you have your prices clearly marked on your items. It is frustrating as a buyer not to be able to get a sense of pricing and interested customers may just go elsewhere without asking you what they are. Also, when you don’t have prices written down there’s a sense in the customer that you are charging different prices depending on the customer and that they might be ripped off. I tend to write my prices in chalk on pieces of slate so if I do decide to adjust my pricing during the day I can.
  • To haggle or not to haggle? It is up to you if you will accept an offer on a piece. I would decide ahead of the craft fair if you will do that. However, I do suggest you should stay firm on your pricing (have a look at this video from our director Jessica about how to calculate your prices).

Some great answers to pricing questions

“Thank you for your offer but I can’t accept it”

“I don’t haggle. My items are priced in such a way as to compensate me for my time and materials.”

“I can’t go lower, but that price includes the gift box/wrapping” or “No, but if you buy two, you get this price” or “no, but this item here is available at that price (point to a lower priced item you are selling) ”

 

Design

  • How did you make that?
  • I could make that
  • My sister/brother/niece/granddaughter etc etc could make that
  • Did you make this?

These questions and comments can make your blood boil! After all the training you have done and work you have put into creating each piece it is tempting to be rude to these people! However, remember that many are not trying to be insensitive (although some may be!).

Advice

  • Stay calm! Have a summarised story of how a piece is made (without giving them a tutorial!). This will help them see how much work it takes to make a piece.
  • Treat everyone as though they are a genuine customer even if you suspect they are not.

Some great answers to design questions

Put the focus back on them. People love talking about themselves so ask them

“Have you made jewellery before? What type of jewellery do you make?”

Those that have no intention of buying are likely to move away quickly so you can focus on the real customers.

 

For the question ‘How did you make that?’

“It’s a trade secret”

“Years of practice”

“That’s fantastic! I’ve been trying to meet some other designers who do the same type of work. Please give him/her my card. I’d love to do a design collaboration with your XXXXXX”

 

Materials

  • Where do you get your materials/beads/silver? Etc

This question could suggest a competitor is asking so my advice is to be positive and vague.

For example: “I have spent a lot of time researching and have a number of suppliers”

 

Can I take a photo?

Sometimes people will ask to take photos. Once again, I suggest you have an answer to this question in advance. If you are unhappy with people taking photos I suggest a polite notice on your stall to let people know.

Educating the buyer

It may seem insensitive to comment about pricing and value for money in front of you but remember, people are used to the prices of mass manufactured items. It is up to you to educate them about the time, effort, training etc that it takes to hand make an item.

Remember, nothing is a stupid question.

Browsing

When people are browsing start up a conversation. I find rather than sounding like I am just talking about my own products I like to say  ‘I love that ring/necklace/earrings you’re wearing’ Complementing the customer on their choices and talking about them can help get the ball rolling.

 

What advice would you give to those that are preparing for a craft fair? What strange questions and comments have you heard?! Share them with us in the comments section below

Anna Campbell is a metal clay artist and tutor at the London Jewellery School and Jewellery School Online and runs her own jewellery business Campbell Hall Designs.

Jewellery Business Week 2015: Selling at Markets

jewellery business week

Selling a fairs and craft markets is one of the main retail routes for many handmade jewellery businesses.

Taking your first steps into selling can be daunting – deciding what markets to choose, what and how much stock to take and how to get the best out of the day. So we decided to talk to three jewellers about their experiences at markets and what advice they would offer other people starting out.

Our jewellers are:

  • Helen Walls who makes mostly sterling silver jewellery mixed with semi-precious gemstones, colourful recycled glass beads, leather and natural materials (which are animal by-products / naturally shed) such as ox horn and deer antler. She describes her jewellery as sophisticated rock’n’roll with a vintage bohemian twist.
  • Louise Farrow who has two ranges of jewellery, one using mostly sterling silver and precious metal clay with stones (Nanuk Jewellery), and the other using polymer clay (Nanuk Designs).
  • Annie Mason works in both silver and beads, sometimes combining the two – her work features loops and chains and striking, colourful beads

Why sell at fairs and markets?

It is all about the people. More than pretty much any other way of selling your work, markets and fairs bring you into contact with potential customers as well as ones who actually buy. This means you have opportunity to tempt new people in and get feedback.

“I love the atmosphere of a market,” says Helen. “I feel that face-to-face selling to customers is always best, as you are your best sales person, you can describe how it’s been made, and talk about your inspiration with passion. I think potential customers appreciate this personal touch.”

Louise agrees: “Online and through shops you have very little or no interaction directly with your customer, whereas at an event I can meet people, see what kinds of people are interested in my work and what they like about it.

“People are also sometimes happier to discuss commissioning an item if they can speak to the maker in person, and talking to people at fairs gives me new ideas for things to make and which areas of my work to develop further.”

Helen Walls jewellery

Necklace by Hellen Walls

How to choose the right market.

Choosing the right fair is crucial. Something Annie learnt from experience: “I simply picked fairs that were local to home and not too pricey. I didn’t do any research about them before I went along.  I’m now a bit more selective.”

And she says it can be difficult to predict in advance which fairs will work best: “It’s kind of a mixed bag. Some fairs I thought might be a bit rubbish (cold, rainy day and located a bit out of the way) and they’ve turned out to be brilliant. Others look great on paper looked but don’t work out that way.”

You need to think about how many people attend the fair, if it is likely to attract the right sort of customers for your work and how well it is advertised says Helen. She also recommends thinking about the time of year, whether it is indoor or outdoor and if it clashes with any other local events.

And checking out the event (or a similar one run by the same people) before you commit is very useful.

“Go along and see what the footfall is like and whether people are buying from the stalls or simply mooching (looking and walking away),” says Annie. Also check if the customers at the fair are your target customers.”

“I visited some local fairs and found some that looked right for my work,” says Louise. “Local event pages on social media have also helped me to find other suitable fairs to sell my work at. It is worth not dismissing smaller local events, as sometimes these can be very successful, sometimes more so than a big, busy event where your work may get overlooked amongst everything else there is to see. You will also probably find you get repeat customers coming back to these smaller events to look for your work in particular if they like it.”

Choosing stock and getting your pricing right

Once you have chosen your market you need to decide what to take, how much stock to display and at what prices.

Louise says that if she doesn’t know very much about the types of customer at a particular event, she will bring items from both her silver and polymer clay ranges to test out what works.

“I’ve found that a fuller table is more likely to be looked at than a sparser one. A few striking pieces on display can look lovely, but if people can see all your work in one quick glance that may be all you get,” she says. A few more pieces on display, attractively laid out on different levels, is more likely to make people come over for a closer look which gives you a chance to speak to them and help them find exactly what they are looking for.”

You may want to have cheaper items at certain markets says Helen who warns that this is about having pieces that cost less to make (in materials or time) rather than selling yourself short. “You are trying to make a living out of making and selling,” she says. Although sometimes you may want to do a special offer to attract sales.

What makes market day a success?

Even a market where you barely cover the cost of your stall shouldn’t be regarded as a total failure, says Helen. “They are all good experience for future successes. If it does feel like a failure, reflection a day later can help you make possible changes and improve your display, banners, sales technique etc.”

And even if you don’t sell a lot on the day, both Annie and Louise point out that you will have still had an opportunity to market your work. “Even if someone doesn’t buy on the day, they are more likely to come back to your website or online shop in the future if they have seen your work in person beforehand,” says Louise.

And Annie adds: “I did one fair where although I sold very little at the time, I had a rise in visits to my website for a few days after the event.” She adds that she also uses quite days at fairs to network with other stallholders which can be useful a future events.

And finally some advice for your market day

All three agree that having enough food and drink with you is essential – if you have a busy day you may not have time to queue for food and anyway you don’t want to blow your profits at an expensive gourmet stall.

“If your table is quiet even though the event is busy,” says Louise, “try rearranging your display during the day, and it is worth remembering that just because an item isn’t your favourite piece, doesn’t mean it won’t be somebody else’s, so give it a chance in the spotlight.”

And finally, Helen says: “Enjoy the experience – after all, you have made beautiful products that deserve to be talked about and shown off.

Get 20% all jewellery business classes booked between 22 and 28 February 2015 – offer includes all business day classes and tasters, Business Bootcamp, and the 6-day Jewellery Business Intensive. For details of included classes click here

Call 020 3176 0546 to book – this offer is not available online

Preparing for summer craft fairs

Summer is approaching (although it may not feel like it!) so now is the time to prepare for the summer markets and craft fairs. There are a few things you need to think about when getting ready for and budgeting for these events.

Anna Campbell has a list of handy questions to help you prepare.

summer craft fairs

How to display your jewellery is only one decision you need to make if you are planning to sell at fairs ©Anna Campbell

Where should I sell?
There are lots of markets, school fairs, open days etc that you can choose from so there will be something local to you. Make www.stallfinder.com your first port of call and do a search for your area and the month you’re thinking of selling.
However, there is more to think about than location. Before you sign up look at
● does the event have a good website?
● does the website include clear information for stall holders and shoppers?
● how is the event being marketed? Is it being advertised in the local press? At the school? Will there be leaflets in local shops? Do you think this is sufficient to draw in a crowd?

Sometimes the small, local events can be more lucrative than the bigger markets that charge you more. If you can, talk to people who have sold at the event before to get their opinion.

How much will it cost?
There are lots of things to consider when working out the cost of selling at a summer fair
● How much will the stall cost?
● How much will it cost for you to get there and back? Include all costs e.g. parking, petrol or train fare etc
● How much will display items e.g. busts cost?

What are the logistics that I need to consider?
You need to consider all of the things you will need to do to have a successful day. Think through your day carefully from packing up your stock, travelling, setting up etc and make a list of the things that occur to you. Here are a few questions you need to answer

● How do I get there?
I don’t have a car so when I go to markets I need to make sure that I can get public transport there, work out how long it will take and how much it will cost
● How do I get my stock there?
I carry mine in a large wheely suitcase. You need to check that you can fit everything in including any display items you will need
● What is provided and what will I need to bring?
The event organisers should give you a list of what is provided e.g. a table (don’t presume you’ll get one – make sure you aren’t expected to bring one!). You may need to ensure you have a cloth for your table (I use a large bed sheet), your own signs etc. At one market I sell at you need to bring your own lightbulbs to plug in! Make sure you know what to take.
● How will I take payment?
Bring a money belt or similar with lots of change. You can guarantee that the first customer will pay with a large note! Also consider allowing people to pay by paypal if you have a smartphone or tablet and internet access
● How much stock should I take?
This is a tricky one. Spending a lot of time and money making stock that doesn’t sell is a waste but so is selling out early.
My advice is to consider the size of the table you are being provided. Have a practice setting up your display and see how much makes sense. Remember that you won’t want everything out at once. I tend to put out one of everything and leave the rest in my case under the table (hidden by the sheet I use as a table cloth). That way I can easily see what I have and can spot if something goes missing.

How should I display my jewellery?
● Think about new ways to display your jewellery and catch people’s eye. I sell jewellery that looks like sweets so I bought a children’s play sweet shop and use that as the centre of my display
● Think about having different levels to your display rather than having everything just on the table. Get some busts to display necklaces, use some shelving to create different levels
● Consider getting a sign professionally printed if you are going to be selling at lots of craft fairs
● Make sure items have prices on them. People don’t always like to ask. I use small pieces of slate and chalk to write prices on

How do I make sure I’m comfortable?
Make sure you prepare for all eventualities of a British summer! Bring layers of clothes. If you are outside you can quickly get cold in the shade so don’t presume you won’t need a coat.
I always bring a flask of tea and a few snacks to keep me going! It’s also a good idea to have a friend come to take over from you at some point so you can go to the loo!

What if I don’t make many sales?
Of course making sales is important but there are other benefits to selling at summer fairs
● Networking
Make sure you have a chat with other sellers, perhaps find out about other selling events they recommend. In my experience there is a lot of camaraderie rather than competition, a craft market needs a variety of different sellers to make it successful
● Mailing list
Make sure you have a mailing list on your table and invite people to give you their email address. This allows you to keep in touch with those that are interested in what you make
● Business cards
Make sure you have some available for people to take. I love the mini cards from Moo (use this link for 10% off your first purchase with them)

If you have sold at craft fairs, what advice would you give? We’d love to hear them in your comments.

Anna Campbell is an experienced teacher and enjoys all types of jewellery making including beading and silver clay. She runs her own business, Light Boat Jewellery and has made jewellery for celebrities.

Preparing your jewellery business for christmas part 1 – craft fairs and markets

Can you hear those sleigh bells yet? Christmas is fast approaching.

For those of you with a jewellery business this should be a busy time. Alternatively, if you have been thinking about setting up a jewellery business, now is a good time to try a stall at a local school etc to get an idea if what you are making will sell.

Over the next few weeks LJS tutor Anna Campbell will be offering advice to help you prepare for a bumper Christmas for your jewellery business.

Craft fairs and markets

LJS tutor Chu Mei’s beautiful stall for her business Grace and Firefly at We Make London handmade market, Old Spitalfields market

Christmas craft fairs and markets can be a great source of income and are fun to do. Keep an eye out in your local press for fairs in your area in schools, community halls, markets etc. Also, have a look at stallfinder, an online resource for searching for stalls by area.

Do a bit of research before you commit yourself to a stall. Find out where they are advertising their event as more advertising should equal more customers. Ask around and see if other crafters feel that it is a good event to go to.

Craft fairs and markets can be a bit hit and miss. They can be very lucrative one year and not the next so it can be a risk. Bear this in mind when budgeting for your stall and perhaps share a stall with another crafter to spread the cost.

Preparing your stall

If you decide to do a stall you need to think carefully about how to make it attractive to potential customers. Make sure you find out exactly what is provided by the organisers e.g. how large the table is, do you get a table cloth, is there power for extra lights? When you know what is provided you can start to plan what you will need to take.

Stock

It is really hard to gauge how much you will need, so be realistic about what you can make in the time you have before the event. Ensure you stick within your budget for materials e.g. beads, findings etc.

Prices

These can be on handwritten notices. A lot of potential customers don’t like to ask the price of items so make sure they are clearly displayed.

Your display

Think carefully about how you will display your jewellery. Do you need to buy a bust to put a necklace on? Do you need a stand for earrings? Have a look online to see what you can get e.g. on eBay, at Cooksons etc.

Once you’ve got some inspiration for your display think about what you already have at home that you can use to show off your work. I have a pretty jewellery stand on my bedside table that I take to markets. A jewellery box with your pieces in it makes a lovely display. And don’t forget to take a good sized mirror so that people can try pieces on.

Consider using boxes or stands to add some height to your stall. It stops everything being on one level and means that people can see your pieces from a distance which can attract people to your stall.

Practice setting up your stall on a table at home. It is easy to forget something obvious and this will help you identify this when you’re still at home.

Remember some change and a secure money purse/belt. And a calculator is essential if mental arithmetic isn’t your strong point!

Comfort

Make sure you wear warm clothes, take a camping chair and a flask of tea! Organise for someone to come and take over from you at some point during the day so you can go to the loo!

Have fun!

Hopefully you’ll have a busy day but if not, ensure you take something from the day by chatting to other crafters and makers; get networking! It is a great opportunity to connect with like-minded people from your area and could lead to other opportunities to collaborate.

Anna Campbell

Anna is an LJS tutor teaching beading classes and PR for your Jewellery Business. She mentors artists and crafters in using social media to promote their businesses for Crafty Websites and runs her own jewellery business, Light Boat Jewellery.