Thursday, September 24, 2009

Holiday Shows - Inventory

It's that time of year again, arts & crafts shows pop up all over world as shoppers seek out unique holiday gifts directly from artists and craftspeople. So let's talk inventory today.
1. Your jewelry will fit in three categories:
*Show-stoppers - those amazing, over-the-top pieces that are higher priced. These bring shoppers into your booth. Display them prominently.
*Necklace and bracelets that are mid-priced, for me those items are in the $45-$75 range.
*Impulse buys - items are usually $25 and under. Here you'll find your earrings and very simple pendants. This is always the bulk of my inventory.
2. The more impulse items you have, the better. While people may stop to see the amazing $300 necklace, they are more likely to pick up something from the other two categories. I make lots matching earrings for my necklaces and bracelets. When someone buys an item, I always point out the matching earrings.
3. Make twice as much as you'd like to sell. So if you want to make a $1000 for a day, you have to have to least $2000 in inventory.

4. Not everything has to be one-of-a-kind and you don't have to put everything on the table at once. Find a balance, too much inventory makes it harder to shop. I make 3 or 4 pairs of the same earring design and in 2-3 different colors. I replace them as they sell.
5. Gifts - think beyond jewelry. People are looking for teachers' gifts, hostess gifts, secret Santa presents, etc. and jewelry may be too personally for these occasions. Bookmarks, ornaments and ceiling-fan pulls are just a few beaded gifts you could create for your holiday shows.


TesoriTrovati said...

Perfect! This is exactly what I needed to hear today. I am gearing up for the one show that I do each year which is a fundraiser for our local Woman's Fund called A.R.T.S. Night (A Reason To Shop). Last two years I had mostly the showstoppers. But I am making a plethora (I just like saying that word!) of pendant necklaces. Still one of a kind, but fun to make and should be great sellers. Also lots of earrings. And I am mixing up my display this year. I am simplifying but also staying true to me. Thanks for the great advice as usual! Enjoy the day! Erin

Judy said...

Great advice! I am looking forward to my fall shows!

SummersStudio said...

Nice consise, too the point, great advice. Not just for the holidays, but year round. I do a monthly art market and the bulk of my buisiness is the $20 and under items. A lot of people walk into my area looking at the $100 vase prominently displayed and walk away with $20-$30 of pendants, beads, buttons, and small pottery. I still have the vase.

Alice said...

Great information Heather! In my area (rural, mostly farmers & blue collar) my highest-priced piece has been $60. Most pieces are in the $20-$40 range, and my lowest earrings are $15. I'd love to be in an area where I could sell something for $300. I'm happy if I MAKE $300at a show!

I also sell handmade soaps, some notecards, and Sunshine Polishing Cloths. I sometimes give one of these free for those who spend over a certain amount at my booth.

Today I'm setting up for a two-day show. Crossing my fingers!

Thanks for the great info!

JenniferJangles said...

Thanks Heather,
I needed a good list to follow. I am getting ready for my first jewelry outdoor artfair and I only have a week and a half to get ready. I am pretty much clueless on inventory.

Heather Powers said...

Good luck with your shows designers! It's so rewarding to see customers fall in love with your creations.

A good mix of price points has helped me so much over the years.

Alice, I feel your pain! I'm thankful to live in a city where patrons on the arts like to spend money!

Mikki said...

Great advice....and timely as I'm doing a small show next month. I decided to put my show stoppers behind glass away from the sticky fingers of children. Like you say most people will be drawn in by them but not buy them so I don't think they need to be handled by all and sundry.
The shows I've done around here (S. Utah) haven't even paid for themselves so now I look at shows as more an advertising event so any sales become icing on the cake. I have a feeling this one could be good though....we'll see.

Jen Judd said...

Heather -
Thanks for the great advice with this timely post! I am in the midst of varying my price points right now...earring central! I usually make things one of a kind, but I may go for more similarity...for ease of creation as well as display.
Thanks again!! Oh, and congrats on the Sep Bead Trends...I'm in there too!!!! I love their great photography!!!
Take care -

Patty said...

Great stuff, Heather and very timely. I'm preparing for a major 3 day show this weekend, and just realized yesterday I was woefully shy in the "impulse buy" category. I was too caught up with the "show stoppers" but am busy now getting lots of earrings and pendants together.

I agree with the notion of having a wide range of price points. I'd like my booth to have something for everyone.

Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor said...

Great article Heather! I hadn't really thought of bringing the larger pieces and using them for showstoppers. It's an excellent idea. Have them dreaming for something spectacular and settling for something wonderful!