Saturday, January 21, 2012

Studio Saturday - Trunk Shows

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

Congrats Carol D. you are the winner of the Humblebeads' owl pendant from last week! Please email me with your mailing address so I can send your necklace out to you!

Well, hello there again dear friend.  Hopefully next week we'll be back on track visiting the studios of the rest of our blog team.

What have I been up to this week?  I have been slowly but surely refilling my bead boxes getting ready for two awesome bead trunk shows over the next few weeks.  (Click to view my upcoming events.)

You'll have to excuse my Ipod photos, no glamour shots today! 

I love doing trunk shows. I've done a few where I've sent a box of goodies to shops and some where I get to go and sell my beads in person and visit with everyone.  Of course, I prefer the second. I love meeting people who are excited about beads, you are my tribe after all!  I've had the privilege of meeting so many great people over the last few months during trunk shows and book events.

Trunk shows are a great way to start a relationship with a business.  If you live in a town with a boutique you could set up a trunk show once or twice a year to show off your latest goods.  The best way to start if you don't already know the owner is check out the shop where you feel like your work would be a good fit.  I'm a little shy myself, so if I didn't know the owner I would probably see if they have a website and facebook page and then I'd muster up the courage to send a quick introductory email with a link to my website.  I'd let them know I am booking trunk shows for the spring and would love to bring in some of my work to show the owner and see if they would like to set up a date for a show.  NOT that I've done that with jewelry, but if I was feeling ambitious, that is what I would do. 

A trunk show is nice because it's a fun way to build up excitement about your work, you don't have inventory tied up in a consignment situation and it's a nice way for a store owner to see how well your work does without her making any big financial commitments.  Of course, follow up with the store owner after the trunk show if you sell your work wholesale. 

Make sure if you do a trunk show your terms are spelled out clearly.  What percentage is being taken by the shop, who is collecting the money, what advertising is going to be done, what materials will you need to provide for marketing, will you need to bring your own tables and display items?  You can never ask too many questions when hammering out the details.

Don't wait for events to happen, create your own! 

So you know the drill, each week we ask a question and give away a prize.  This week you can win one of my new flower pendants in a bright and cheery orange design inspired by this month's challenge.

My question:
What is one brave thing you'd done lately when it comes to your business or creative pursuits? 

I can wait to read your stories.


Juliette Williams said...

Brave events to help my goal of becoming a professional jewelry designer: Putting myself out there at the opening last Friday to an artist I admire. I suggested that perhaps we look into a collaborative project, and he agreed!! Whew. :D That's hard for me to do, but I think maybe I was feeling so happy that night, not sure. In any rate, I'm hoping it will help me gather more courage in future. I adore these new pendants, Heather!

Andra said...

My one brave thing I have done lately was signing up for an online designer's challenge on Facebook. The designers had to purchase a Lisa Peters Art kit from Bead & Glass Boutique in Pitman, NJ, create a piece of jewelry, then the finished piece was posted on the Boutique's Facebook page. I stressed the entire voting time and was overjoyed when my necklace was voted the favorite. This single act of courage on my part has led into my starting a blog, then signing up for Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Party. I was lucky to get chosen and now a new challenge- picking out my partner's soup! It has also given my the courage to start setting up an Esty site and hopefully selling my jewelry on-line. This year is starting out to be a lot of fun and full of new creative challenges and pursuits.
P.S. I would love to win one of your flower pendants.

Alice said...

I love your beads and the display!

Just a few weeks ago I spoke about my jewelry at a ladies group. I'm a very shy person and tend to get tongue tied and forget what I should be saying when all eyes are on me. But I made it through and even made a few sales.

AntiquityTravelers said...

I wrote about a recent challenge I pushed myself to do with making a line of vintage pieces. My story didn't turn out as well as those above! But I got some great blog material! Loving the flower pendants

Marie Cramp said...

I recently invested money we did not really have into a very promising website linked to a series of trunk shows I did last year. The shows were a HUGE success for me, so I did not want to miss out on the chance to get in on the ground floor of this exciting project.
Let's hope it pays off!

helenejg said...

I recently did my first art show by myself. I had to get the whole set up because I was starting on the ground floor. Happily it was a success and gave me a bit more confidence.

Elaine said...

I just sent applications into what will be the largest - by double the fee - shows I've done yet. They are quality, long-running, hugely popular shows. I'm terrified :)

I got brave and listed beads that are different from my norm - made them years ago then stopped when a colleague criticized them. Happily they've begun selling.

Rebecca said...

Well, I'm planning on submitting to a couple of new magazines, so I'm currently working on some new designs! That will certainly be pretty scary when I get round to sending them in. I'm also planning on finding some more up market juried craft shows that I can apply to, as the single one I took part in last year was the biggest success for me in terms of craft shows. I am still to brave approaching a shop itself however!

Erin S said...

Probably the bravest thing I've been doing lately is embracing minimal design. This is my natural style, but I seldom submit minimal designs for publication because they look too simple and they aren't flashy, so they don't get accepted much. I think its actually harder to design a good minimal piece because it really has to stand on its own without a bunch of the typical foof to catch your attention.

CinLynn Boutique said...

I agreed to do a home show. I agonize over that!! These are my friends and I don't want to take advantage of them. I also don't want people to think they have to buy from me. I worry about my prices! Will I have an ulcer before I do this? Hmmm, I wonder. Now I'm being asked to consider another home show! That's my latest.
P.S. I wish I was getting ready to submit to a magazine like some of the rest of you, but I'd probably agonize over that too. LOL
I wish you all the best!

Cynthia said...

I finally submitted some photos to a beading magazine. I have wanted to for a long time, but just couldn't do it (too scared). What if my designs are "not good enough"? Happily, 2 of my designs were selected and I will be published this year!!! I am over the moon about it!

Susanm said...

After many months of rumination, I started a blog. While the blog is focused on my experiences parenting a challenging child, I also plan to post the occassional craft project - all part of my new "live in the moment" mantra. I like the creative aspects of making jewelery, cards, etc, but it is also a way of also re-charge my batteries and keep myself balanced, especially during stressful periods.

Meadowland Designs said...

Wow, everyone is doing a lot of brave, new things.
For me:
Opened an Etsy shop just a few months ago, which leads to:
Getting ready to launch some updo accessories
Prepping handmade jewelry supplies to sell
Working towards submitting designs to a magazine
Writing out the details of several customizable designs for the shop
AND looking at selling in a craft show {aren't I crazy?}

Oh well.....I love your flower pendants and the color is one that my sister would wear....

indigo heart said...

i have been selling my jewelry for six years now and feel very comfortable with that, but three months ago i actually started making beads(!) and set up my own little etsy shop for them(!!!). scary. but also brave.

Sharyl said...

My hardest step was my first step into selling my jewelry. I started by selling wholesale to a local salon/spa/giftshop. I had my hair cut in the salon once before, and had been in the gift shop a couple of times, so felt a little braver there than in some places. That day though, I put on some of my pieces, stopped in to chat with the person who cut my hair, and she introduced me to the owner. The owner took a close look at the pieces i was wearing and said she was interested in seeing more. I set up an appointment and brought in LOTS of pendants, bracelets, and earrings to choose from. She bought quite a lot that day, and it really boosted my self-confidence to continue trying to sell!

Aside from that has been starting a blog and hoping people would read, opening an Artfire studio and hoping people will buy, and starting a Facebook page and hoping to gain interest! So many challenging firsts!

Cynthia@Ornamental Style said...

Congrats to all the commenters above for stepping out of their comfort zone. As for me, I submitted three necklace designs to Bead Trends and one was accepted! Whoa! I found out on Jan. 2. What a way to start the year. So look for me in the June issue.

The other thing outside of my comfort zone is that I'll be taking Barbara Lewis' Painting with fire workshop in St. Pete on Feb. 5. Woo hoo!

Dandelion Dreams said...

I entered an online contest that involved me putting myself out there creatively. And I asked my husband if he would help guide me through setting and keeping goals etc for the business I would like to have. I do sell a few things here and there but my head stays so in the clouds from a creative standpoint that I find it very difficult to stop and do what it takes to be successful on the business side of things. I'm really going to try that this year and have actually been doing the steps he's instructing me on. It might sound like a simple thing to most people, but I really have a difficult time merging the two worlds and minds. I just want to create, as they say. I really hope I am able to focus and do it well without ruining the release creativity brings for me. It's a tiny bit scathe, but really exciting too.

CreationsbyKari said...

In January, I completed and posted my second online group "challenge." Since I don't have a blog and am mostly local, it was very intimidating for me to post my pieces with all of the "big name" designers who I follow, see in the beading and jewelry magazines, and admire their spectacular work! I finally told myself "you have to start somewhere" and posted my pics. I still felt intimidated when I saw what the other designers had made, but that's ok, at least I put myself out there! I am doing another challenge this month and am still having to face my fears and insecurities, but I am not going to let it stop me :)

Anonymous said...

I sent my mailing address to the email given so I could receive the necklace I won. Have never heard back though I emailed twice. Carol D. csdillman at gmail dot com.