A friend of mine is a jewelry maker whose style is very different from mine. We both want to sell at the same local arts event, and she suggested we split a booth and sell together to save money. I'm not sure if I should take her up on this offer because of any hard feelings if one of us sells more than the other.
It takes a special kind of trust to make this work well. The good part is it can be fun to sell with a friend. You can learn more about each other's jewelry and cover for one another in case one gets busy or needs to leave the booth for some reason. Also, you can try some cross-promotions that result in more for both of you! You can also make it fun by "commissioning" each other on the jewelry you each sell for the other. There are things to watch out for. Make sure you agree in advance how to handle it when each customer approaches the booth. Decide in advance how you'll take breaks. Discuss what to do if someone wants to buy pieces from both of you, as it may be awkward to ring up two separate sales. Talk through how you might feel if one does really well and the other doesn't. If you challenge and support each other effectively, you might do better as a pair than either one alone. Finally, you might agree in advance that if it doesn't work well for either one of you, you'll get separate booths the next time.
- Dr. David Weiman
Dr. David Weiman is a respected expert in the field of marketing and selling handcrafted jewelry and a well-read contributor to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads "Ask the Experts". He is the author of Introduction to Marketing and Selling Jewelry, The Jewelry Selling Answer Book and The 5 Keys to Selling Handcrafted Jewelry. A free newsletter on selling handmade jewelry is available at his website: www.marketingjewelry.com.