sell handmade jewelry

What you should do this week to sell more of your handmade crafts for Mother’s Day

If you sell your handmade jewelry or crafts on Etsy or another website AND you’re doing all the right things to drive the traffic (buyers) to your site, that’s wonderful. Remember, though, a lot of people are last minute shoppers and won’t begin shopping until Friday for Mother’s Day Sunday.

Many artists, crafters and jewelry makers assume everyone knows about Etsy but you’d be amazed at all the qualified buyers with money to spend who would never dream of looking on Etsy for a Mother’s Day gift. There are also many people who want to see and touch the gift before they buy. That’s one reason brick and mortar jewelry stores still exist.

Your job, the week leading up to Mothers’ Day, is to get your work in front of buyers where they already spend time:

  • offices and hospitals
  • spas and barber shops
  • gyms
  • sports bars

If you took my advice and set up some trunk shows for Valentines Day, this week you should just call the places where your sales were best and schedule a date to do it again in May. If you haven’t taken any of these suggestions yet, now is the time to follow through and plan to make more money from your craft.

Remember it’s to their advantage to have you in their establishment. To read why, you’ll find more lots of ideas for what you can do to sell more crafts at the last minute HERE. Some of the tips are written about Valentines Day but they work great for Mother’s’ Day as well.

How to Sell Handmade Jewelry and Crafts for Valentine’s Day

For the next week, you have the perfect opportunity to sell your handmade jewelry and crafts for Valentine’s Day.  Even if you’re snowed in, just pick up the phone and set up some trunk shows at galleries, men’s salons, health clubs, office buildings or all of the above. Do you have any idea how many people would love to have your help in choosing a piece of hand crafted jewelry or a silk scarf for their wives or girlfriends rather than have to scour shops trying to figure out what the women in their lives would like?  Whether you need to generate cash to pay off your holiday credit card bills or turn your crafts into cash so that you can go to the Gem Shows and buy more supplies, right now, today is the time to make those calls. After a successful sale, you’ll have an open invitation to return for Mother’s Day.

Sell handmade jewelry? Cash in on procrastinators.

Most men won’t even shop for Mother’s Day presents until Saturday and if you make handmade jewelry, you should use this procrastination to your advantage. (and you’re doing them a favor too.) It’s not too late to set up a last minute trunk shows at a men’s hair salon, health club or even a pub where men hang out. If you have the chutzpa (or ambition) to walk into any male-trafficked locale this week with a trunk of your gorgeous wares, you have a captive audience of guys who will see you as their savior because they don’t have to hit the mall and guess what she might like. You may offer to give the proprietor a percentage, a donation to his favorite charity or better yet a free piece for the Mom in his life, but you may find they are happy to just let you hang out because the excitement may generate more traffic and business for the venue as well. Do you have any idea how many men would love to have your help in choosing a piece of hand crafted jewelry for their mothers, wives or girlfriends rather than have to scour shops trying to figure out what girls want? After a successful sale, you’ll have an open invitation to return for Christmas and Valentines DAy. See the December post on how to sell handmade jewelry to men. Or, go to the right of this page to get 21 Ways to Turn Your Craft into a Cash Cow 

Teaching a Craft Class? Make More Money by Learning From My Mistake.

As I gathered materials for a jewelry making class I taught at Whole Foods last night, I realize a BIG mistake I made that you all can learn from.

The cost of the class, $15. per person, was set by the market whose goal is to get new people into the store, promote community goodwill and sell wine while we make crafts.

My intention was to contribute to the arts community so I wasn’t really concerned about making money from the event but I didn’t want to lose money either.

I have more jewelry making supplies than one person could ever use in a lifetime but it’s mostly high end: gemstones, fine silver, handmade lamp work beads, venetian glass and pearls.

In order to keep my own costs down, I substituted copper for sterling wire and glass beads instead of crystals.

Even so, by the time I purchased the less expensive supplies and materials, it was pretty much a break even.

Driving to class, I realized a solution that I would have recommended to a client. Unfortunately, it was too late to implement it myself, but I’m sharing with you so that you can learn from my oversight.

While the less expensive materials we used in class made beautiful bracelets, here’s how I could have turned the event around to be profitable for me and a convenience for the attendees who will want to make more of these at home:

-made additional samples using the sterling, crystals and gemstones I have in my personal stash
-offered those finished pieces for sale
-made kits for purchase with the finer materials and instructions
-made earrings and necklaces for sale to match the bracelets we made in class.

If you’ve read any of my e-guides or courses about selling crafts, you know I always recommend having your finished work as well as tools, supplies, materials and instructions available for sale when you do a demo or teach a class. Whatever product you make, you can do a version of this.

Next time, I’ll read my own blog before I go.

The most important thing you can do now to increase your maker income this winter and spring

Hopefully, you did a great business in December and are still going strong but for many artists, sales are slow in January and early February. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here is one simple thing that will guarantee you increase your revenue and have a good winter and spring.

Have you noticed that when women shop, they are often verbal about what they like. This can be used to their advantage and yours when it comes to making more sales. Whether you show at craft fairs, home parties in shops or online, you absolutely are missing the boat and a big chunk of cash if you do not keep an active wish list. (If you sell online, you MUST add a wish list to your website.) If you sell in-person, here is what I did.

I had cards made that were double size. One half was my regular business card and the other half said “Hint, hint: I found exactly what I want at (my gallery or booth name). Then I had a blank line where I filled in the item description that I would recognize. I had them with a pen in several locations throughout my displays and I kept my own file with index cards under the person’s name with their wish list items. The women could then bring their “hint” card home to their husband, boyfriend, friend or family member. When it was time to look for a gift, the men could then call (or come in if you have a permanent location) and ask what was on his wife’s wish list. Everyone is happy. The guy is satisfied that he picked something she will love. The woman is happy that she got what she wanted instead of some random choice of his which she may or may not like and YOU got the sale. A win-win, right?

 

Do you make jewelry? Here’s how you can make some easy last-minute cash.

Many men won’t even begin their holiday shopping until this weekend and some will be doing it on their lunch hour  or on the way home Wed, Christmas eve.  If you create handmade jewelry, their procrastination can mean some easy cash for you. It’s not too late to set up a last minute trunk shows at a men’s hair salon,  health club or even a pub where men hang out. If you have the chutzpa (or ambition) to walk into any male-trafficked locale between now and Tuesday with a trunk of your gorgeous wares, you have a captive audience. The  guys in those places will see you as their savior because they don’t have to hit the mall frantic and guessing what their girlfriends, wives, mothers or sisters might like. You may offer to give the proprietor a percentage, a donation to his favorite charity or better yet a free piece for the woman in his life, but you may find he’s happy to just let you hang out because the excitement may generate more traffic and business for his venue as well. Do you have any idea how many men would love to have your help in choosing a piece of hand crafted jewelry for their wives, mothers or girlfriends rather than have to scour shops trying to figure out what girls want?  After a successful sale, you’ll have an open invitation to return for Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Don’t overlook your own workplace, large office buildings, hospitals or any place else where last minute buyers will be thrilled to have you come to their rescue.

There are a lot more ideas and tips like this on  “12 Easy WAys to Make an Extra $1200. with your Craft.” 

Are you supporting the stores that are going to put you or your friends out of business?

Last week, I attended a first birthday party.  I went to a local store that often carries all lot of fair trade items in search of a handmade gift . I found some puzzles perfect for a one year old boy but when I checked the labels, they were made in China. I went home to search online for handmade wooden puzzles. The ones I found were significantly more expensive. I know I could have found something larger and just as cute at Toys R Us or Target for a fraction of the price and the baby sure wouldn’t know the difference.  BUT I WOULD. I wanted to support indie craftspeople so I ordered the puzzles from a couple who make them in their shop in Oregon.

I know that the socks you hand-knit and the jewelry or lotions or candles you lovingly make take more time and are better quality than a seemingly similar item made on a machine in China so of course you have to charge more for your hand crafted products than the big box stores do.

I also know you’re a sensitive, empathetic person so let’s turn the tables and as you’re holiday shopping this month, think about this:

If you want consumers to support you, it’s your duty to make it a point to buy hand made because if you are are buying from Walmart or other discount shops, you’re supporting companies that will eventually put YOU and your artist buddies out of business. MOST PEOPLE JUST DON’T THINK ABOUT IT. But you, as an artist yourself, you want others to support your work so PLEASE don’t rationalize about buying imports because they are cheaper.

Don’t assume that everything at a craft fair is made domestically, either. Only juried shows control where the items come from and you’d be surprised how many mass produced pieces show up at craft fairs.   If you have difficulty finding locally made gifts, seek out an artists’ co-p. These are generally owned and operated by a group of artist and you can frequently meet the artists and even watch them at work.

Remember, if you want the public to buy your work and support you, commit to buying handmade because you have the choice.

How to get free gallery space in a prime location.

I just thought of one more great place to sell your handmade work. I bet you didn’t think of this one. I just did.

Every day for the past couple of weeks, I’ve walked Lucy by a gallery with stunning wood sculptures out front. Every tourist who’s staying at the beach front hotels has to pass this corner.  But the gallery is never open.

Today I noticed the sculptor in a garage studio behind the gallery. While I would love to speak with him and see inside the gallery, I didn’t want to disturb his concentration. I could tell he was really focused on his work.

And then I had a thought.

but

I must digress a moment. I’m helping Alexandra,  the daughter of my recently deceased friend, start her jewelry business. I have a lot of money invested in materials and want Alexandra to be payed well for her work, plus, I’d like to have enough profit to donate to some causes that meant a lot to my friend. So I’m not wild about selling Alexandra’s pieces wholesale or consigning to a gallery.

I thought about this sculptor and how he, like many artists, obviously loves the creative process and probably is never open because he wants to spend his time in the studio, not selling. Lightbulb moment! What if I approached him with the offer to open his gallery on weekends in the summer and sell his work in exchange for displaying Alexandra’s jewelry? Wouldn’t that be a win for all of us?

Can you think of a gallery or shop that is owned by an artist who might prefer to spend her time in the studio? Why not approach her and offer to gallery-sit in exchange for a place to display and sell your own work? Or, are you that artist? What if you could find someone who has artwork they want to sell and would work in your gallery in exchange for being able to sell and display her own work?

If you’ve had any experience with this idea, please do share in the comments below. If you haven’t ever thought of this, you’re welcome to congratulate me on my brilliant idea.

An Easy Tip for Making Sales of your Hand-Crafted Jewelry

I just finished up a call with an entrepreneur who will be joining Barbara Winter and me in Las Vegas for the Obstacle Buster Mastermind and I’m thinking of all the things she can do to grow her jewelry business. She has a job demanding in the cosmetic industry and she says whenever she wears her jewelry to that job, people ask to see it and she sells it right out of the trunk of her car.

If you aren’t already doing so, wear your own art everywhere you go. Everywhere. And bring it with you everywhere. Obviously you can’t carry around display cases full of your work but if you make jewelry, it’s easy to take a dozen or so of your best selling styles and put them in a soft jewelry roll that you can pop in your bag. Then when someone comments that they like the piece you have on, tell them you have some with you that you can show. As soon as you bring it out, everyone crowds around looking at your work. All it takes is one person to purchase and it’s contagious. Always, always have your cards with contact info to hand out. If someone admires a piece, write the style name  or some identifiable memo on the card for them so that they can refer to it later.
Also carry a small notebook to jot down the person’s name, contact info and what they liked so that you can let them know when you have similar pieces. Ask permission to add people to your mailing list so that they will know when you have new designs or are doing shows.

Having your jewelry with you is also a great way to book home parties because if someone loves your work, they will want their friends to see it as well. You can make an arrangement with them that in exchange for hosting the party for you, they will get a discount on your jewelry or a complimentary piece as a hostess gift.

Particularly in the next couple of weeks, you’ll have lots of opportunity to sell your work to men who are at a loss for what to do for Valentines Day. Make sure you wear it and have samples with you everywhere.

Check out these other tips for selling jewelry for Valentines Day HERE

One super-simple thing that will increase your craft sales drastically.

Are you participating in craft fairs or any face-to-face shows this holiday season? How have your sales been?
Do you know there is one simple thing you should be doing that will increase your sales drastically and create loyal customers? One easy, obvious thing that you probably aren’t doing.

Place your work in their hands. That’s it. Easy peazy, right?
When I attend craft fairs, I notice artists only speaking to people who ask them questions and mostly just saying “hi, how are you?” or “thank you”. Or worse,
sitting in their booths texting, reading or looking bored.
People who shop in-person for crafts want to have face-time with the artists, to know the person who makes the art. To be able to tell the gift recipient or their friends who admire the piece they met the artist.  They want to touch and feel the work.

Try this next time you display your art: Greet every single person who walks by your booth. If they hesitate, they are interested in knowing more. Invite them into your space and tell them a little about your work. Talk about the process. If they are looking at a particular piece, put it in their hands and even invite them try it on if it’s wear-able.

I guarantee you will have a lot more sales and happy, return customers.
Let me know how it works for you.