by Kristal Wick, Author, Designer, Instructor and Swarovski crystal Ambassador,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Whether you want to start a business selling your jewelry, or you just want to pay for your habit, where and how to sell your own creations is one of the hottest topics in the DIY arena. Etsy and eBay have made it easier than ever to get started, and it seems like everyone has jumped on the .com bandwagon. But what about other venues that are less saturated, yet affordable and easily accessible? Here are a few ideas:

Office Open House

This was one of the first ventures into the world of selling my jewelry when I worked in a "cube farm." Since I wore my jewelry every day and many of my office mates commented on it throughout the year, I decided to have a mini trunk show in my cubicle right before the holidays. I sent everyone in the office an invite for an open house in my cube, during lunch and for an hour after work. It was a very low pressure/low cost way to get my jewelry out there and everybody loved checking folks off their holiday gift-giving list during their lunch hour! I found earrings sold the most so I stocked up on them. Eventually the crowd got so large, I moved the trunk show to a conference room! This is still one of my fave ways of selling my baubles!

You can also offer a mini trunk show to your buddies' offices. Offer them a commission or free jewelry to bring your trunk show into their office. This is a great way to sell your jewelry; you don't have to be there and your friends will love free jewelry! Make sure everything is clearly priced and have a simple way to keep track of your sales. The easier you make it on your friends, the more excited they are about the event.

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My ex-in-laws were huge St. Louis Cardinals fans so I made them Cardinal jewelry; a necklace for her, key ring for him. They were simple strung projects with Swarovski crystals and adorable lampworked tiny red cardinal birds. She loved it and wanted a bracelet to match. So I took my materials with me to make her charm bracelet when we all went to the game. As I was working on her bracelet, the curiosity factor rose all around me with loads of questions from the fans about what I was doing. To my amazement, I ended up with a handful of orders for Cardinal jewelry from our fellow spectators!

Thinking along those lines, consider working on jewelry while watching your child's soccer practice or while waiting in the bleachers with the other moms. Add some sports-themed charms to a project featuring your kids' school colors and watch the sales ring up!

Country Clubs

Country clubs can be a great venue for selling your jewelry. The members come to golf, tennis, and socialize. Of course shopping is always one of the membership perks! Sponsoring a trunk show with a door prize and a portion of your sales going back to the club is a win-win for everyone. Contact the events coordinator or go through a member for an introduction (if you know one). You may not make "golf jewelry" but consider incorporating a theme that relates to the country-club environment. This can result in big sales; key chains with a golf tee charm, backpack dangles for their kids, etc.

Resort/Hotel Gift Shops

Resort areas love to feature local artisan jewelry, greeting cards, and artwork. Nature inspired work and local themes are popular, as tourists are always looking for a special token to remember their trip. Customized pieces with the resort or town/state name on it always sell well. Go into the locations personally and check out the resorts you have in mind to see what they offer before approaching them with your work to make sure it's a good fit and your price points are in alignment.

Spas/Beauty Salons

Many beauty salons sell jewelry and their check out counter is a prime spot for impulse buys. If they don't carry jewelry on a regular basis, suggest a trunk show on a busy Saturday. Offer door prizes and give a portion of your sales to the salon. You can offer a special package such as an ankle bracelet with each pedicure for a nominal fee to introduce yourself to the clientele or Buy One Get One (BOGO) offer. Many times you'll sell as much jewelry to the staff as their customers!

Brainstorm outside the box to think of other sales venues than the usual jewelry or craft show to offer your products. At some point Aunt Trudy simply cannot wear more of your jewelry without looking like a drag queen! You need to branch out to other customers. Always capture your potential customers' info and have them sign up for your mailing list so you can notify them on your next trunk show or sale.

I hope these suggestions spark new ideas for your selling success. I'd love to hear about them!

Design with ...

Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article "Non-Traditional Ways of Selling Your Jewelry," as featured in an email newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

"Nice article, I enjoyed some different suggestions on selling jewelry. Thanks,"
- Lynn

"Thanks for some great ideas! I found, quite by accident, that there was a lot of interest in themed jewelry through the Bird Club I joined. There are so many great "bird" elements to incorporate, and a bird theme just cries out for COLOR!! I guess ANY club is populated by "avid fans", so this hint is broader than we think!! (Garden clubs come to mind...)"
- Anonymous

"Shows and markets have been successful for us, but the most fun we have is hosting a Holiday Open House in our home on the first Saturday in November. Guests can browse through products from 10 or more crafters. We have free refreshments, including fresh-ground coffee from a local coffee roaster (who also sells her bags of coffee) and free samples from a local caterer (who took orders for holiday parties). This past November we had wine-tasting from a local winery and this November (2012) we'll have a local Santa Claus here to greet everyone. While there is a large variety of crafts available, the top sales always go to our jewelry line."
- Jim

"Awesome article! Thanks! I look forward to trying out some of these ideas."
- Alex

"Hi, I enjoyed the article on different places to sell, but most of the ideas don't apply to someone like me. I don't work anywhere any more, so taking my jewelry to work is out. I moved to Las Vegas, where I know no one! I live on my social security, so I don't have money to buy displays, etc. The only thing I can think of for me, would be to talk to my senior apartment manager and see if she would let me sell in the community room. Problem is though, I don't get around too well, can barely walk that far, so not sure how I could transport my jewelry over there. Plus, I don't have nice price stickers, I like those kind that stick to themselves, but can't afford them. And, last but not least, I'm on the shy side and don't know how I would be as a sales person! What a pickle! I've been putting my stuff on ebay, then post to Facebook, and so far I've only had one, single customer that wasn't a "friend"! It's really hard to sell jewelry on ebay... apparently. This is not really a question, but just my point of view, if you'd be interested. By the way, I'm a big fan of Kristal Wick, I think she's awesome."
- Anonymous

"Very Good Article. The ideas were creative, yet do-able. I can see myself making jewelry at these venues. It's obvious Kristal is experienced! These kind of articles keep me going."
- Margie

"Very informative and got me thinking! Thanks"
- Robin

"Thanks, good ideas, simply stated."
- Colleen


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