So, I am having my first show of 2010 up here at law school. I have really gotten a great response from my classmates about my jewelry. This type of feedback is something that has been not necessarily missing but has stepped to the side for a few. A friend was admiring my work today and she was telling me how my work looked very professional - I am thankful for honesty and compliments! I have really been pleased with the response about my show, people are excited and I am even more excited to have a show again.
This show will be held at a friends house Friday afternoon and I think her location will be good because she has some couches, chairs and her place is really comfortable and inviting. Her step-mom and friend are even coming into town for it! I am thankful for her generosity in letting me have an event at her house. I must say, I have missed going to events and shows where I can expose my jewelry to the public. I am going to try to make a few more pairs of cool earrings before Friday, as I think those are an easier commitment than my necklaces mostly because they are more affordable.
I think of the steps I used to go through when I would go to a festival. Do I have my EZ-up? Do I have enough change? Did I remember my business cards? Did I bring my calculator and inventory list? Credit Card slips? Mirrors? Table cloths? It was quite a production to get things organized, priced and loaded into the back of my car. But organization really is the key to a successful show - that and CONFIDENCE. Something that I started to do at shows and festivals was talk about the pieces as if I was simply a seller, not that I made the items myself - it was a way to step outside my own fragile ego and sort of relax when talking to people. I don't talk in the third person or anything crazy like that but if I take it personally if someone says "OMG that is expensive" well that's taking down my defenses and I don't need that. Something essential to handmade businesses is to focus on the quality of material (if you use it). Now you don't have to shoot down any competitors or larger businesses that make a similar product - karma will bite you in the ass for that at some point (ha!). What I tend to do is try to make the customer feel valued and unique. I am also honest, even if it takes away the sale of something, if I don't feel like it is vibing with your skin tone or hair, I might suggest something else, even if it is less expensive. One of the worst things you can have is an unhappy customer. I wouldn't want someone to buy something and then regret it or think oh she let me get this but it really doesn't work for me. No. That is why mirrors are SO KEY to have with you. MORE THAN ONE MIRROR! The uniqueness factor is something I strive for in my business, I might make similar designs, but unless requested, I never try to make the same exact piece more than once. This makes the customer feel unique and that they have bought a one of a kind item. I find that this is important to anyone, even myself when I am a consumer, if I am going to spend my hard earned money on something I want it to mean something to me.
I know everyone has a slightly or drastically different approach to how they sell, their set up and their attitude. Confidence is key though. Without confidence in your product or art, well it just doesn't work for anyone.
Would I love to have my pieces still in a gallery or boutique - absolutely. Right now, my main focus is law school but perhaps this summer I can work on getting some of my pieces in a few boutiques. Who says you can't have two dreams at once?
6 months ago