Home parties are big business these days! Did you know that the home party business was almost a 30 billion dollar business in 2004? Even some of the larger, more traditional retailers have jumped on the home party bandwagon in a big way. And why not? Home parties can be the perfect medium for selling handmade jewelry. Why is this so? A home party gives your potential customer the chance to touch and try on your pieces in a fun and relaxed environment. No other form of marketing will gives such an intimate and tactile approach to jewelry marketing. Plus, your customers avoid the traffic and hassles of making the trip to their local mall to shop for jewelry. It’s the ultimate combination of shopping, socializing, and entertainment!
When I was in college, I earned extra money through a home jewelry party business called Lady Remington. I’m sure this line is now defunct but at the time it was quite lucrative. Although the jewelry was a bit overpriced for costume jewelry, it had an enthusiastic market. Once party participants tried on the jewelry pieces, they were often eager to purchase. Plus, many wanted to host a party themselves once they found out they could earn free jewelry that way. Those jewelry parties paid for alot of textbooks!
A friend of mine who hosts jewelry parties for her own handmade jewelry has been extremely successful with her home party business.. Her sales average around 0 per show. Her holiday boutique shows are particularly well attended and she often triples the number of jewelry pieces she sells, particularly around Christmas. This shows the massive potential for this type of jewelry marketing!
There’s also the potential for making money hosting custom jewelry making parties. You bring your beads and findings to the party and allow your customers to design their own jewelry. You would then put together their jewelry designs using your jewelry skills and present them with a finished piece.Be prepared for lots of jewelry making! It might be a good idea to bring along an extra person who can help with the jewelry assembly in case you’re overwhelmed. People love the idea of having a custom jewelry piece designed just for them!
To make your home party business a success, you’ll want to recruit other people to host parties for your handmade jewelry. Once your participants see how fun the parties can be, they’ll be enthusiastic about potentially hosting their own. Plus, they’ll want some of your jewelry either free or at a discount.
How might you best compensate your party coordinators? You could use one of the following methods:
1. Free handmade jewelry of their choosing
2. A special designated piece of jewelry that you’ve picked out.
3. A percentage of sales
4. Merchandise credits
I really like the merchandise credit option the best. This allows your hostess the flexibility to choose her own pieces which makes her happy and you’re not having to give up a percentage of your profits.
Here’s a general outline of the steps you might go through to host a home jewelry party:
1. Select a friend or acquaintance to host your jewelry party. Have her compose a list of potential party attendees along with addresses and phone numbers.
2. Send out invitations to the list about 2 weeks ahead of time. Make sure the invitation emphasizes the party is being hosted by the above acquaintance and there will be friends, food, and fun. The invitation should be festive and compelling.
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3. Have your hostess follow up with a phone call to her list 7 days ahead of time for confirmation. You should have at least 10 people at a party to make it worth your time as well as the time of your hostess.
4. Have a small portable display prepared to show off your jewelry. I would recommend having a display that allows the pieces to be elevated. You don’t want to display jewelry items flat on a table. Get to the party one hour early to set up your display and handmade jewelry pieces.
5. As the guests start arriving, greet each one warmly and sincerely.
6. As the party opens, present your hostess with a piece of jewelry to thank her for hosting the party. Let the other participants know that they too can host a party and get free handmade jewelry of their own.
7. Start the party off with an icebreaker. When I was with Lady Remington we would play a brief game at the opening of the party with the prize being a piece of jewelry. This is a great way to get people in a buying mood.
8. Introduce people to your handmade jewelry by telling them a little bit about yourself and your jewelry. Show them your display and allow them to pick up and try on the jewelry. Have lots of mirrors available!
9. As people explore your jewelry, circulate around and make suggestions on how to wear your pieces.
10. Stop for a refreshment break.
11. Wrap up the party by writing up orders and packaging people’s purchases.
12. Include one of your cards and brochures with each purchase showing how the customer can host their own handmade jewelry party. Let them know verbally as they checkout that they can get free jewelry of their own by hosting their own.
13. Have a book available for participants to fill in their name, address, and phone number. You need this information to potentially contact people in the future who may want to host a party. Try to get one of the guests to commit to a future party. (without being pushy, of course)
14. Always thank your party participants and the hostess for sponsoring the party.
14. Stay around and help the hostess tidy up a bit. Tell her you’ll be glad to host another party with her in the future.
Congratulations, you’ve just completed your first home jewelry party! I hope you’ll find it a lucrative way to give your jewelry business a boost!
Written by Kristie.Leong.M.D
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tags: Home, hosting, Jewelry, Money, Parties