Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Open House/Jewelry Party Notes

A few weeks ago, I had my first ever Open House for my jewelry. I was scared. I almost canceled it. But I didn't and it was a BLAST! I had so much fun (once it got going) and am so thankful to everyone who came.

My personal tips down past the pictures.

Me and the table... I'll be doing the cliche New Year's resolution of diet and exercise...
 Earrings on chargers and a raffle. I had made a display using canvas but didn't finish it in time. I was kicking myself the whole day because the earrings kept sliding around. 

I love love love the idea of using cups for displays. Especially pretty plastic ones.
 Close-up of the necklaces. That's PVC piping, folks! Probably cost me less than $6! I'm going to paint it for next time.

A magazine I was published in with the piece that was printed!

My older nephew picking something out for his mama.
Nephew paying...
 Nephew and mama!

My family.

I think that this was an excellent "first show." I had control of everything, pretty much. The turn out was ok... mostly family but it was still so much fun. The few friends that did show up hold a special place in my heart for coming by to support me.

And now! For tips!
  • Try and give yourself at least a month to let people know about your event. And try not to schedule it during a holiday weekend. Mine was on Thanksgiving weekend and I'm guessing everyone was pretty shopped out. Also, I really just decided at the last second I NEEDED to do this and put it together in about 2 weeks. The more time you give yourself, the better.
  • Don't just use Facebook to get the word out. Try and hand out paper invites or, if you're brave enough to have strangers come by, post flyers in cafes or the library. 
  • Build a good cash box! Unless you have a way of taking credit cards at your house, most people will be paying with cash. Depending on what your lowest item costs, you will want anywhere from 25 to 40 $1 bills. Don't forget some $5s... maybe even a few $10s. And don't forget rolls of change!
  • Snacks: Keep it simple! Don't worry about it too much. A veggie platter, some cheese, and one or 2 bottles of wine will probably be enough. If you decide to serve snacks, don't forget to have plates, napkins, and cups.
  • Speaking of wine, don't drink while you're selling your pieces. I know it sounds a bit harsh but you want to make sure you're focused. Besides, do you drink at work usually?
  • Build your table up and then out. I don't think people like crouching over tables.
  • Put business cards all over your table. I used plastic wine glasses and had them at 3 different spots on the table.
  • Mirrors! Don't forget mirrors!
  • If you've been published, show it off! I had my magazines opened on the table with the pieces laying right on the magazine pages.
  • Think about having some simple music playing.
  • I didn't have a table cloth on my table and I think it was a great idea. I think that it would have gotten pulled on by one of the kids. If your table isn't a pretty wooden one like the one I was fortunate enough to get to use, buy some pretty paper (wrapping paper or long sheets of art paper) and cover the table with that.
  • Do have a raffle. You could have a sign-up sheet for your newsletter as the raffle sheet but I think in general, it's a good idea. And advertise it on your invites!!!
  • Have a few different size merchandise bags available. I used craft paper bags hand stamped with pretty designs.
  • Give them the option of buying gift bags or boxes. Or maybe give them away with the purchase.
  • When making pieces for your show, have a nice range in prices. I had studs for $4 and some earrings for $25. 
  • Remember to thank everyone who came by... even if they didn't buy anything. Make sure they leave with business cards!
  • Don't forget a camera... with a charged battery! I almost forgot this tip! Lol. I forgot my camera and my sister-in-law took pictures for me. Maybe even have a notebook to make notes for future shows!
That's all I can think of for now. Hoping to do my first craft show next May. This was such a blast!

Do you have a tip for jewelry parties?


  1. Sounds like you had a good time! Good tips for the rest of us.

  2. Good thing you didn’t cancel it! I think your event was a blast, and the photos are proof how successful your event was. And the firsts are always the hardest, especially when you are in this kind of business. Your customers will judge your quality of work and give some ideas and remarks about your products. Thanks for the tips, by the way. This is really helpful particularly for people who are considering having the same event.

    Paige Low