Thursday, 23 February 2012

And some sales (in December anyway)!

At the pamper evening I attended at the end of September I got chatting to one of the other stall holders who said she was organising a charity evening for the girl guides group she works with and asked me if I wanted to be involved. I said yes of course, another marketing opportunity, and this one was in November so I was hoping to pick up some interest for Christmas.

Before the event I felt that although I had a number of bracelets and necklaces available, I did not have very many pairs of earrings and that earrings might sell better for Christmas. A handy factor in making extra earrings for the event rather than other items is earrings do not contain very much sterling silver so do not need to be hallmarked.

The evening turned out to be very quiet because it had been organised for the same evening as Children in Need, so turnout to our event was low. But, I made 2 sales so I was over the moon. My first sales to people who were not friends!!

One of the items I sold was my “Seaside sunset” lampwork bead pendant about which I blogged a while back (Sept 2010), this is it:

Seaside sunset

This sale produced an odd feeling in me – I guess that although I had set up my website with the intention of selling what I had made, I’d never sat down and thought about how I would feel selling what I make to strangers. It turns out I felt slightly uncomfortable, and had to stop myself pointing out the flaws I thought there were in the piece! I think part of the reason I felt odd about selling the piece was because I had made it so long before it was sold and I had worn it myself sometimes. Also, as I said earlier, it was my first sale to a person who was not a friend, my first sale to someone who was buying the piece because she saw it and picked it up and liked it enough to pay good cash for it! She said it was going to be her Christmas present from her husband which was fine by me.

The second sale was of a pair of sterling silver and green aventurine earrings that I had made especially for the event. Because I’d just made the earrings and never worn them myself, selling them turned out to be much easier than selling the pendant. Mind you, it was also the second sale of the evening so maybe I’d already got over the “selling panic” hurdle earlier making it easier the second time around.

I recently got asked if I want to do another "pamper evening" like the one in September, I said "yes" so we'll see how it goes, this time it is timed to coincide with Mother's Day in March.

Until next time

Sunday, 19 February 2012

It's been a long time coming!

Having just checked, I know that my last post was March 2011. I’d like to say that the gap has been caused by my just being too busy to blog – but that isn’t the true of course.

For a long time in 2011 I could not find any enthusiasm for making jewellery or even anything to do with jewellery making or my fledgling business.

Before my last blog posting I visited the Spring Fair at the Birmingham NEC in February 2011, while there I bought a number of new beads which at the time I fully intended to use in new pieces. But, although I have lots of unused sterling silver wire in the house I have not been able to summon up the enthusiasm to make any of the items for which I have drawn sketches.

In early September I visited IJL in London and again I bought more beads that I intended to use but still the lack of enthusiasm continued.

Then a friend of mine suggested that I join her as a stall holder at a “pamper evening” that was taking place at the end of September. The idea made me a bit nervous but I said yes to the suggestion. I didn’t think that I’d sell any items but I knew it would be good experience for the future, and maybe even a good marketing opportunity.

I had plenty of sterling silver pieces available to sell on the evening but since it was being held in a primary school I wanted to have more pieces made from gold or silver plated wire as I thought there might be an opportunity to sell to girls as well as their parents. So I spent some time making cheaper selling items. As it was, it turned out to be a parent’s only evening and my extra work was for nothing which was slightly disappointing.

But the evening itself was fun, I spent time talking to some of the other stall holders and trying to get the hang of selling my own goods. I’ve helped out at sales before but never when it’s been items I have made on the table so it was a whole new experience for me. Although I didn’t sell anything, I did get some nice compliments about some of my sterling silver items so that was great.

I found that suggesting people take business cards was hard to do, and not very rewarding as no one picked up a card. I had put out some postcards I'd had made, but again no one seemed interested in picking them up. So it did not turn out to be the marketing opportunity I thought it might. But it got me back into thinking about selling jewellery for the first time in months.