Had a jewelry show this past Sunday, one I was invited to and sort of "had" to go to...friends of my parents so on and so forth....and following with my theme of lessons learned at jewelry shows, here are lessons learned from a baaaad jewelry show....
1. Always find out if there are any charges in advance, and what they are for. When I first signed up (ok, technically my mom signed me up) the cost was $20 to help cover rental cost of the hall. Shortly thereafter I received an email from the lady stating it would cost us $75 each.
We were also all splitting the cost of advertising.
2. When splitting the cost of advertising, find out exactly WHAT kind of advertising they mean - radio ads, flyers, newspapers etc. Shortly after I received the $75 a piece email, I received another saying the price had gone down to $35...much better...little did I realize that they didn't just get a deal with the newspaper...they changed the size of the ad to "small". very small. reaaaaaaaaaaaaally small. They also did no radio ads, no flyers and were not even mentioned in the free "please place your ad here" column of the community events. About my only customers were ones I invited personally.
3. Find out who else is going to be there! In a big show it wouldn't matter so much, but with only 7 of us there, having 3 jewelry vendors wasn't a good idea....the one was a "line" of jewelry, so it was quite different from mine...the other was handmade jewelry a lady was selling in addition to her candles. Just a little something extra she threw out there to "see if it would sell". I think we over-jeweled the guests.
4. Ask how many tables you get...seems obvious I guess, but at all the other ones I've been to I was allowed to have however many I wanted...
...so when I was told I could have one
table...I snorted. I asked if I could possibly have 2...yes, she didn't think that would be a problem....once I got there I could have had 4 or 5...there were tables and tons of open space just waiting to be had....but she liked the "airy" feeling of the place ....I personally thought it looked more "empty" than "airy"
5. Never situate yourself next to a beauty products line. They were giving away free hand spas, hand lotion, hand oil etc....well by the time they'd greased up the customers like a pig and sent them over to my 2 little tables they couldn't touch or try on any jewelry. The poor women stood there with their hands behind their backs....I convinced a few of them to try on things, but most wouldn't, didn't want to get the jewelry greasy. And yes, there are a few pieces I'm going to have to polish the fingerprints off of before putting them back in the bags! Who'd a thunk of that one???
6. Bring more than fat free fig newtons and water if you're going to be there for 5 hours. Chocolate is a not just yummy - it's a necessity.
7. Even if DH doesn't want to come, make him do it anyways. Sitting there by yourself looking sad and abandoned while trying to wipe off greasy jewelry is just tragic.
8. I've invented a super fast and easy take down method for someone who has just had her first bad jewelry show, who somehow managed to live on fig newtons and water alone for HOURS...and who is just exasperated with the entire situation.....if you take all the jewelry stands off of the tables, put them in your tote, throw the ends of the tablecloths up over the jewelry and roll it all into a sausage, you can take down in a matter of 5 minutes or less.
The faster to get home to that vodka lemonade that is just calling your name.
9. When the Tastefully Simple lady and the Pampered Chef lady invite you over to taste their little goodies, they really mean only ONCE...when you try to sneak your third or fourth handful of carmel corn they aren't so friendly anymore.
10. Find a silver lining. The home decor lady next to me brought her daughter with her, and such a well mannered little girl i've never seen before. she went through my pendants, oohed and ahhed over the little girls jewelry, talked her mom into buying a pendant for her teacher and was just a joy to have around. At the end of the fiasco, er, i mean jewelry show, I gave the little girl a hannah montana pendant and a penguin pendant...i said my bag was too full and those two wouldn't fit in, would she mind taking them off my hands? i winked at her mom, picked up my 2 jewelry sausages and walked out feeling like a million bucks floating out the door on that little girls smile.
So while I didn't lose the farm, I didn't make enough to make it worth my while either. The Tastefully Simple lady and Pampered Chef lady will probably never appear in another show near me again and if they ever do pop into my restaurant I probably should placate them with a free piece of cheesecake. =) DH was suitably sorry when I got home about not coming along and while I probably have 2 days worth of unrolling jewelry sausages and re-inventorying ahead of me, by golly that take down was the most satisfying I've ever done. And I made a little girls day. So even if it was a jewelry catastrophe, all was not lost.