One of the most important parts of exhibiting your handmade jewelry at craft shows is preparation. Everything needs to come together perfectly for the show to be a success. It takes planning and proper execution that comes only with experience.
Design your handmade jewelry booth for quick and easy set-up and tear-down. Displays that fold together, stack or pack in well fitting boxes will decrease damage and reduce the amount of time needed to pack and unpack. Plastic containers and waterproof covers are a must if you are participating in outdoor craft festivals.
We always displayed our handmade earrings on padded boards or in frames that could be packed as they are with many earrings so we did not have to individually package each pair. We grouped the earrings into sections and included the price so we were ready to start selling handmade jewelry. We covered the entire board with sponge to prevent any damage to the earrings and put into thick plastic bags so just in case an earring fell off it was always in the bottom of the bag. Depending on the booth setup the handmade earrings board had either a hook for hanging or a hinged support for table top.
For handmade bracelets we had wood cases made to hold the bracelets upright perfect for display and easy to pack 20 bracelets at a time. Each tray held a different style of cuff bracelet in the full range of designs. We actually came up with the idea from doing wholesale jewelry shows. Each space was labeled with the handmade bracelet code number to make restocking much easier as well.
Handcrafted necklaces were bulked packed as well in a roll. Get a piece of material that matches your display, velvet is excellent, and make a necklace pad, attach the necklaces with u-pins, set up the distance between each necklace so that it is attractive and then carefully roll the fabric from the top down to pack up. This works well for chains with pendants. Roll from the side for bulkier necklaces.
Handmade rings were displayed in ring trays. There really is not anything better than the standard foam ring displays that are available from wholesale suppliers. Cover the display with sponge and plastic bag for added protection.
During the last hours of the craft show when it slows down, replace any sold items so your handcrafted jewelry displays are full and ready to go for the next show. Handmade earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings should have their own boxes for extra stock which can be restocked in between shows knowing that your handmade jewelry displays are full. We stapled the bags of the same designs together so it was easy to see which designs were running low.
For many years we traveled to outdoor craft fairs and art festivals. It is a fun and exciting way of life. There were however several times that the weather did not cooperate and quick packing was necessary. By setting up your booth display in a way that items can be packed and unpacked quickly you will not only save time but avoid costly damage to your handmade jewelry. It takes years of experience to learn how to display handmade jewelry at craft shows to make the best impression on your customers.
After twenty-five of experience, I still think that the best way of selling handmade jewelry and handcrafted unique gifts is to participate in art and craft shows. You can sell much better if you meet people and talk with them. So they will know you the artist better and they will have a better feel of your handmade jewelry creations. Touching your jewelry, learning how it is made and putting a friendly face behind it is going to make the world of difference in selling. The jewelry will have more value to them in an emotional way.
We have done craft shows for many years and we also wholesale our work. The best selling strategy is you. Your personality is your advantage over all the other handmade jewelry out there. Online no one knows the real you but at craft shows your individuality shines. People are drawn to not only the unique handmade jewelry on display but to your friendly smiling face. The conversation that develops will leave your customer with a great feeling of knowing the artist personally who created their favorite pair of handmade earrings.
For handmade jewelry artisans just starting out there is no better learning experience than craft fairs. Meeting your customers face to face, knowing what they are looking for and what they want is the foundation of a successful handmade jewelry business. You will quickly learn what your target market is and what niche market you should focus on.
There are many, if not thousands, of craft shows throughout the United States. Starting out local shows are great because they are usually cheaper and more convenient to do. You will discover the best way to display your handmade earrings, handcrafted necklaces and handmade bracelets as well as meeting other local craftspeople. If they have been doing craft shows for a while they will know all the shows in the area that are worth doing and steer you away from the fairs that are a waste of time.
Once you are ready you can venture into juried shows and national shows. These are very competitive so make sure your handmade jewelry is of the highest quality possible. Juried shows are more expensive to exhibit at but these shows attract thousands of people who are interested in all types of handmade gifts. After doing these crafts shows for a few years you will begin to have your own following of regular customers.
Larger craft shows are also a great place to meet local store owners who would like to buy your handcrafted jewelry and handmade gifts to offer to their customers. You will have to decide if you would like to wholesale jewelry as well. It depends on the type of handmade jewelry you are making and if you can produce enough handmade earrings and handmade bracelets at a reasonable price for store owners to sell well in their shops. Although you do not make as much profit per piece, you sell many more pieces at a time. If you make really unique jewelry that has high quality and good prices, you will be able to make much more money overall if you decide to offer your handmade jewelry to the wholesale jewelry market.
Lately I have noticed a lot of handmade jewelry artisans on the internet. While it is relatively easy and inexpensive to make your own handcrafted jewelry website, it takes a great deal of time and effort to rank well in the search engines. You need to learn how to market handmade jewelry online. A lot of jewelry artisans are not making any money and getting frustrated online. My advice is craft shows. There is nothing better than having someone ooh and aah over your handcrafted jewelry, not just leaving a comment to get a back link. At the end of the day you have some money in your pocket and a great sense of achievement that will energize you to create the most unique handmade jewelry ever.
This is an original article by Jennifer Hisir of Handmade Jewelry by Copper Reflections