I have been wanting to start hosting handmade jewelry parties in my local area for a while now. I picked up the idea reading about the idea in the Artfire forums. It hadn't even occurred to me to try it. And then I started to ask myself questions about the idea.
In my quest for answers, I took it to the forums. I began asking as many artisans as I could about hosting or being hosted for handmade jewelry parties. I wanted to get an much information about it as I could.Some of the things that were plaguing me the most were how high the attendance for these kinds of parties was and also what the host/ess got in return for hosting.
The answers I got varied quite a bit. The incentives for the host/ess of the party ranged anywhere from 30% of the party sales in free jewelry to 15% of the party sales in cash. Most of the artisans I spoke to offered a percentage of the sales in credit towards their product. I was planning to offer a dollar amount in credit on jewelry in my studio as an incentive.
I also inquired about door prizes. This was interesting. Some artisans said yes, absolutely offer 2-3 door prizes for those attending. Some artisans were very much against offering door prizes but instead offered sale rpices or coupons at the door. I was planning to have 3 door prizes available and do it raffle style. For each additional person a guest brought, I would give them one more ticket for the raffle.
The guest list is usually comprised of friends, family, and co-workers of the host/ess. However, i found that alot of artisans also send out invites to those customers on their email lists in the area. This greatly ups the attendance of the party. That average of invites per party was about 50 and the actual attendance was about 20. I have a much smaller base to invite... closer to 30 people. However, if each of them brought one friend... that could up the attendance significantly.
The one piece of info that was most encouraging to me was the average amount of sales made at each of these parties. Every artisan I asked about this said they made anywhere from $400-1500 in sales! WOW! I can only HOPE my first jewelry party sales are that high. Even at the local craft shows I do I only make about $200.
I plan to host the first jewelry party at my own home to get the ball rolling. Other artisans say they offer a in home party at least once a year and can get additional bookings from that show. I also feel this would be the most welcoming way to introduce my friends and work colleagues to my work as well as the idea of hosting my jewelry in their home for their friends, family, and colleagues. I was going to try and do this party next week already but no one seems to be able to attend and I discovered I had a conflict as well. I am hoping to reschedule for the week of Spring Break and/or the week following.
So, there you have it. All the information I collected about jewelry parties. Its not a lot but it gives you an idea and it definitely encouraged me to try giving a handmade jewelry party in my are.
I would like to take this moment to thank all the artisans who contributed information to my jewelry party research:
Tali's Creations http://www.artfire.com/users/talicreations
If I have left anyone out, please let me know and I'd be happy to add you. It was hard to keep track of all the answers I got since they were so spread out across the forums and various emails.