Tag Archives: “craft market”

Market Research- a few tips for selling at craft fairs

So I recently did my first craft fair. Scary stuff eh?, but whilst panicking that I may have nothing to sell I managed to pick up some helpful hints from around the jewellery school.

Helen told me to bear in mind the amount of money people would want to spend at the type of fair I was selling at, as it was in a pub, it would probably be less than or around £30. Annie’s titbit was to always leave enough time to set up, as it will take longer than you think. I asked Penny for advice on hallmarking when selling silver, items under 7.7g are ok without, however it’s best to check with the Assay office if in doubt and their downloadable regulations can be found on the website.

Sophie gave me her own top five:

1-bring scissors and a pen

2-make sure you pack your car/boxes/stock the night before so you can wake up and go

3-try and display a variety of things and price ranges, have cheaper (under £10 pieces) so that you have something for everyone

4- think about your display, place your best and most interesting pieces at eye level, then cheaper ‘add on’ stuff right at the front on the stall for impulse purchasing

5-stand up and engage with people, but don’t be creepy and too pushy

From reading previous posts-link to posts- practice runs, know what you have got, know how you want it to look, know any gaps in your product range. Be ready to learn from what happens on the day. Talk to any friends that sell in this way, they will all have different helpful experiences or they may even lend you a card machine.  Also don’t forget the value of the experience you will gain by giving this a go; it will give you more of idea about which pieces get interest if not sell like hot cakes. I learnt that it is essential not to file your nails down to nubs before needing to wrap items with little stickers, it’s an edge finding nightmare.

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Lil Adams is the London Jewellery School Sundays Studio Manager. Lil studied Fine Art in Leeds and lived in Melbourne before travelling about and settling in London. She now works at the British Architectural Library and enjoys making jewellery with found and natural objects and is shamelessly addicted to casting.

Five offline ways to promote your jewellery business

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There’s a lot of focus on promoting your business online and for good reason – it takes time but it can be done for free and can yield great results. However, there are also ‘offline’ real world things you can do to promote your business. LJS tutor Anna Campbell suggests five strategies.

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Wear your jewellery (and get others to!)

You should be a walking advertisement for your work and when people ask you what you do it helps to be able to show them! It may sound basic but wearing your jewellery shows confidence in your own work.

Think creatively about how you get your work out there. Where will your customers come across your work? Why not give some rings to nail technicians as one of our business students did? Their clients would see the rings when they were having a manicure and asked about them so it was a beneficial partnership.

For bonus points and lots of publicity try to get a famous person to wear your jewellery! If you have famous friends that may be easy otherwise, consider sending some freebies to celebrities that your customers identify with.

 

Business cards

Having a good and memorable logo and business card will help people remember your business name when they want you. Make sure you have some with you at all times, you never know when you’ll want to reach for one!

There are many companies out there that can print your cards – check our Moo for a different photo on each card or Printed for a stack of the same cards.

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Packaging

Receiving a piece of jewellery beautifully packaged and wrapped is part of the buying experience and will help cement your brand in the mind of the receiver. Take a look at some innovative jewellery packaging ideas on this blog post for inspiration.  

In addition, one of the things I found when I first started selling was that many of the pieces I sold were gifts. Having packaging with your logo, website, contact information etc is really helpful if items are a gift as the receiver knows where to get matching items from you! It’s also a great reminder for those that have bought for themselves and makes receiving the items a pleasure.

 

Attending networking events

Networking events can introduce you to potential customers and partnerships in your local area and are particularly useful if you feel you don’t currently have the contacts you need to grow your business.

Take a look at the networking events in your area by using a google search and using the terms‘ networking’ and your area to find groups. You can also find networking groups just for women. Do a little research to find out the types of people that will be in attendance to ensure it will be worth your while.

Before you attend prepare a short (few sentences) introduction to your business and take along your business cards. When you take a card from someone else make a note on the back of anything that stood out about them to you to help you remember them; these events can feel like a whirlwind and a stack of business cards may not remind you who was who!

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Face to face sales

Selling at craft fairs, schools or markets are a great way to get immediate feedback on your product range and pricing. You can see what people look at, what sells well, ask customers questions about who they’re buying for etc. Don’t be too downhearted if you don’t make the sales that you wanted. Ensure you have some business cards for people to take, you never know what sales you’ll get from this. One tutor had a market stall where sales were disappointing but a customer with pieces for repair found her there and she has had a lot of repeat business from her so you never know!

Do always encourage those that are showing interest in your stall to subscribe to your mailing list by giving their email address to you. This means you can contact them again with new product ranges and offers.

What has worked well for you? We’d love to hear your experiences and advice in the comments below.

Special Business Week offers

Our founder, Jessica Rose is hosting a FREE webinar masterclass on 26th January at 6.30pm on Boosting your Online Sales.  Grab your spot on the webinar here.

And don’t forget our special offers on business courses for this week only we are offering 25% off business day classes held here at the School using the code 23011701*.  This code can only be used over the phone so please call on 020 3176 0546 to book your place.   This discount is only available on bookings made during Jewellery Business Week 21-27 January 2016 inclusive.

Click here for more details of all the business courses included in this offer.

And our New 8-week Online Jewellery Business Bootcamp will be starting on 27th January so if you would like more help with your jewellery business we would love you to join us!  

Author: Anna Campbell

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Displaying your jewellery for sale

Our latest crop of Diploma in Creative Jewellery graduates have their final exhibition coming up on 23 April and as always we look forward to seeing both their jewellery collections and how they display them.

It the past we’ve seen clever use of plastic tubs under fabric to create different levels, handmade display shelves, mini spotlights, branches and leaves and even ceramics used.

In general finding ways to show off your jewellery without your stall or shop “furniture” distracting from your jewellery is a challenge but people are always coming up with new ideas. Below are some quirky ideas to inspire you next time you sell at a craft market.

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Creating different levels adds interest to your stall and separates your pieces helping each stand out. The use of wooden blocks here by Hania Jewellery, as seen on Create.net, also helps reinforce the idea of “handcrafted”.

 

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This clever use if a book as a ring or brooch stand comes from an interesting article on window displays from Boutique Window. Be careful to choose a plain pages rather than colourful illustrations so not to distract from the jewellery.

 

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A clever use of space and simple materials – the earrings are attached to luggage labels clipped to strings with clothes pegs. This example was spotted by blogger One Lucky Day at San Diego’s Queen Bee Market.

 

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Wine bottles are useful for displaying bracelets (as seen on Gentlesheep.com)…

 

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…but Creative Income reveals they may also be converted into necklace displays.

 

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This earring display by Virtualli is one that got us talking in the LJS office. We want to know if it is possible to fold the umbrella down with the jewellery attached and wrap it in plastic for easy set up and strip down of your stall.

 

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And finally, look round your house – what else can you use to display your bling. Bet you never thought of a cheese grater like Quirky Creatures did,

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.