Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sometimes Smaller is Better

Yes, it was good to go a little bigger with the stone jewelry -- it works better that way.  But not all that's bigger is better, as evidenced at the craft show we did this past Saturday.

For some odd reason, the organizers put a lot of the jewelry vendors in the same area.  Across the aisle from me, there were 3 jewelry vendors side by side.  I was on a "corner" so across the aisle to our side and 2 spots ahead of us was another, and 2 spots behind us was yet another.  Within 4 spaces of my booth in all directions, there were 9 other jewelry vendors -- pretty heavy saturation.  

The show was slow ..... I mean sssslllllllooooooowwwwwww.  There were few people, and those who were there were conservative in their spending.   The show hours were 9 to 3 and like most shows, packing up early was strongly discouraged.  But at 1:30, one of the jewelry vendors behind me was packing up -- can't say for sure, but suspect they weren't selling anything.  At 2, the lady from across the aisle came over to chat -- she was SO discouraged -- hadn't had a sale all day.  As we were packing up, we chatted with some of our neighbors about their day -- the guy next to us (selling gorgeous photography) only made 1 sale and the couple selling jewelry across from him only had 1 sale.  The lady who came to talk to me did have some activity around 2:30 -- looked like she made 1 sale.  The guy right behind me selling foody stuff (YUMMY) said that this was the worst show he'd ever done.  Another jewelry vendor said her day was "horrible .. disheartening". 

My day wasn't fabulous, but it wasn't bad either -- I was satisfied, particularly in light of how other vendors had done.  So what made the difference?  I mean, I'm selling jewelry ... and there are tons of us out there.  I've been making changes to my display these past few months and tweaking things in my business ... so on the way home, my husband and I discussed what we thought contributed to our success.  I don't want to mess with something that's working!!

We came up with a list.  I'll share more of that list next week -- because I also want to take some photos this weekend at a show we're doing to post with the points.  I looked around at other vendors and compared -- I wasn't trying to be critical but I definitely wanted to analyze why my sales were reasonable when others were doing so poorly.  I have 5 trays of little earrings that I offer.  Each tray  holds 50 pairs of earrings on 1x1" cards.  The earrings are very simple and small and all the earrings in the trays sell for $5 each.  Most customers think nothing of dropping $5 for an item at a craft show.  I'm pretty sure that a lot of them end up being for girls, and some get purchased by older women who don't like dangles.  They are good for complimenting another piece of jewelry -- when you've got to have earrings but don't want them to detract from a stunning necklace.  Teen athletic types seem to like them -- they have to keep their jewelry small, as do many in medical professions.  Last Christmas, one lady, who was the head nurse of a unit bought a pair for each of her crew -- 13 pairs!  Big earrings are trendy and I see jewelry crafters offering a lot of bigger items -- but at a show where many vendors weren't selling enough to cover their booth fees, those little trays of earrings were turning me a profit!


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad this was a learning experience for you and that you didn't do terribly. I do think that people are watching their wallets these days. Can't wait to hear what your other thoughts are...maybe you have some pics of your displays? Would love to see how you set up!