Daily Wire Tip Aug. 20: Birthstone Jewelry in Craft Fairs

By on August 19, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
August 20, 2010

Question:

I have started to prepare for the local arts and craft fairs that will begin soon. I would like to have enough birthstone jewelry on hand for these shows. How many sets should I make for each event? What months are the most popular? What amount of each should I have on hand such as pendants, earrings, rings etc? And last but just as important, what size and shape CZs are the best sellers?

-Dolcie in Farmington, New Mexico

Answer:

Wow, these are loaded questions! Every month is important to someone. The amount of product to have on hand depends on how many attendees each show advertises to its vendors, and how many shows you have been accepted into.

Cubic Zirconia gemstones
Cubic Zirconia gemstones

Because you are beginning to make your stock now, you have plenty of time to make one dozen full sets; one for each month, for each show you are committed to. Keep in mind that one full set for each month needs to be kept as a display sample to be able to take orders from, should you sell out. With a solid start to your inventory like this, you should be able to make whatever you need to between shows, to replace what sold.

Here’s a suggestion that will help anyone with next year’s shows, keep a show notebook or log. During and after each show, enter:

  • the weather;
  • the time of the first and last sale of every day;
  • the average age of the attending crowd;
  • the number of pieces/sets sold per day;
  • what sold the most; and
  • any current events in the area you are selling in such as the area’s economy and other events happening at the same time as the show, etc.

This way, you can look back when it comes time to make the decision to do a particular show again and know what to expect.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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8 Comments

  1. avatar

    Dena Ellison

    August 20, 2010 at 8:06 am

    That is great advice, Dale. I have a list of questions in a spreadsheet, and print it out before every show. I am missing a few from your list, and will add them.

    I also include information on:

    – Cost of show broken down by fee and extras (electricity, etc.)
    – Name and number of the event organizer, and how they were to deal with. (Easy to deal with, Difficult to deal with, couldn’t be found when needed, etc..)
    – Whether the show allowed resale, either in the rules, or with the organizer ignoring infractions of the rules
    – Whether people were paying high end or low end prices.

    Thanks so much for answering our questions every day! I learn so much from your daily posts. :)

  2. avatar

    Sonja

    August 20, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Dale, Thank you for the absolutely priceless information.

  3. avatar

    Mr Fitz

    August 20, 2010 at 10:14 am

    Dolcie,
    Good advice from Cougar, but have no fear – you’ll remember each and every show (and whether or not you’ll attend next year).

    Keeping a simple “cash” book (what sold, at what price) will help you tally your sales and determine what items are the biggest sellers. BTW, each show WILL be different – there’s simply no way to anticipate which items will be winners, only which ones WERE.

    As far as when, where, etc. – your best source of advice is staring back at you in the mirror. When/where would YOU shop for your type of merchandise, how much variety would you like to see, how much would you pay, and what form of payment would you offer?

    The only variable to that “advice” is if/when you do a show in a tourist area – then all bets are off. Folks on vacation spend entirely different than normal (think back to your last vacation)…

    Good luck!

  4. avatar

    Linda B

    August 20, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Get feedback from your neighboring vendors as well. Although you may both be selling similar items, you may find you are doing better than they are so take into consideration where your booth is located. You might just have a better placement in the show and can request the same space next year. Or if you are not doing well maybe moving to a different location might be beneficial. Don’t believe the promoters when they tell you “the customers get around to all the booths” because that’s not always true. Good Luck!

  5. avatar

    Casey Willson

    August 20, 2010 at 10:52 am

    That is the most excellent advice on shows I’ve ever read. Wish I’d had that info back when I was strong enough to do shows! Now its pretty much website or locals for me. Go artists, GO!

  6. avatar

    Janet

    August 20, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Dolcie —

    I just started making zodiac charms in sterling silver. I did four sets of each sign, hopefully, I won’t run out. I plan to do make alphabet charms/dangles and I will also start with four of each letter.

    I think four or five sets of each birthstone should be plenty for your first show. You can judge by how many you sell at this show on how many you will need for future shows.

    Hope this helps.

    Janet

  7. avatar

    Kathy

    December 21, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    I only just started reading the blog recently so sorry for the late comment. I would like to add something that works for me for both birthstones and zodiac designs. Whatever month the show is in, I make extra stock for the following month or even 2 months. For example, if the show is in March, I have extra birthstones on hand for April and May and I always have a birthstone and zodiac chart handy. That way when a customer mentions a friend or loved one’s birthday is coming up, it’s a great lead in to show them your birthstone pieces. Most people know their own birthstone but rarely know others so the customer will also remember you as the person who helped them pick out “just the right gift”! :D

    • avatar

      dalecgr

      December 22, 2010 at 12:10 am

      Awesome Kathy! Thanks so much for sharing – this is a really good idea.

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