Tag Archives: 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.

Sac magique! – Bumbags to brighten your summer trading

So the summer is here and if you are thinking about taking the product of your jewellery making out and about to spread their joys to the punters at markets you had better get organised about it. Assuming that you have the nitty gritty sorted I have a top tip for a hands-free fun time as you vend.

Get yourself a great bumbag!

Earlier in the year I invested in a fabulous yellow number from Mika Bon Bon, with the excuse of travelling. Mr.Bum has the odd night out as well, and generally delights all that he meets. Others have found that these endearing characters deserve a name too, like jet setting jeweller Akiko Ban aka Mystic Forms. Her metallic companion Jeff Goldbum is often by her side as she models her own bold and bright jewels in various exotic locations.

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Mika Bon Bon

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Mysticforms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, Brighton based Beksie’s boutique is rustling up spangly, tassled, themed bum bags that equip you for wild festival times or brighten any hall or field you are setting up your stand in.

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Beksies Boutique

And not to put the trusty market traders’ pouch in the shadows, these practical belts can be customised for your brand or adorned with your own patch plethora or simple brooch. Needless to say, once you go fanny pack you’ll never go back.

Do tell us your tips for trading at fairs and markets.

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.

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.