Desert Shine Jewelry on Etsy

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Having Fun with In-Home Shows

While we're traveling this summer, I've been doing some in-home shows. I was surprised how many of my friends were willing to do a show for me. And I have to say, we've had so much fun!

The last one I did was hosted by my Daughter Carrie. (We're staying in her driveway in our RV right now.) She wrote up "Jewelry Open House" announcements and sent them to a few people that she doesn't see often, including a card in each that gave the person 10% off any purchases at the show. She posted on FB that she was hosting a show and giving people the opportunity to "See Lynne's latest designs before she leaves town". Then we turned her living room into a jewelry shop. I placed my tables around the perimeter of the room and set up shop just as if I was doing a booth at a craft show.

Carrie asked if I would be willing to do a door prize; of course I would! So she made up entry forms for each attendee to write their name, phone number, email and a box to check if they'd like to be notified of any specials I have in the future.

We had about 10 people come in and out that night and had a great time. Everyone loved being able to wander around the room (sometimes over and over) to look at everything. They especially loved the "10% off everything, tonight only" offer. We had refreshments, we laughed and talked about the items I've made, the origin of the stones I use and about the materials used in my jewelry. I had 9 sales and received 3 special orders that night totaling several hundred dollars.

One thing we didn't anticipate was how many people said they wished "my Mom" or "My friend" could see the jewelry. I overheard Carrie say "well, don't worry, because we're going to leave this all out for a few days; you can come back tomorrow and bring anyone you want." What a GREAT idea! I've had several other people stop by and buy since that night. I know that this idea isn't an option most of the time, but it started me thinking that maybe I should do the same thing at home once in a while.

If you're thinking of doing in-home shows, give it a try. You don't have to put everything on display and can make your show as small or large as you like. It takes some planning and is work, but it can really be fun.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Traveling With Beads

When we retired and moved to AZ, we promised the kids that we'd come back up to WA every summer.  Okay, so that sounded easy.  Until I decided to take my jewelrymaking seriously and start selling.  Now, we have an RV full of beads, display items, wire, our show tent, tables....  My Hubby keeps reminding me that we have a weight limit.  But I've discovered that it IS possible to carry around my supplies and inventory; and still have room for our clothes and food.  THE KEY IS ORGANIZATION!  (I'm yelling that because I have to constantly remind myself that I have to stay organized.)

It's so easy to spread out in an RV when you stay in one spot more than a few days.  For instance, right now, I'm typing on my PC at the dining table.  The computer takes up about 1/4 of the table.  The rest of the space is covered in half-finished projects that I have to complete before Thursday night's in-home trunk show.  Not so organized, huh?  But the good news is that my inventory is organized in clear containers, clearly labeled.  My beads are stored in drawers in a small metal cabinet with locking wheels that I picked up at Ikea.  It's just the right size to fit at the end of our bed and has 6 drawers that are perfect for small containers of beads.  My wire is neatly stored in one of those plastic accordian type file folders.  I love that because I can label the different types of wire and keep them easily accessible.

My wirework tools (torch and related fun stuff) have been banished from inside the RV.  Hubby is afraid I'll catch us on fire....I only dropped a little piece of melted wire on the throw rung once!  Geesh!  The compromise is that I can easily set up a table outside - and he's put everything in a storage compartment that's right up front next to the door.

Pliers, nippers, and anything I use daily is stored in one of those stacking boxes with the handle on
top.  I can pack that with me anywhere but keep it on one of the dinette benches where I work. 

Now...if I could just figure out what to do with this stuff on the dining room table!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Square - Check it out.

Do you have an Iphone, Ipad or Android phone?  Check out the Square!  This great little gadget allows you to take credit card payments.  Signup is free and there are no monthly fees.  There is a 2.75% transaction fee instead, which is much more feasable for those of us who have sporadic sales.  It's a great little tool to have at shows.

You simply download the mobile app, complete the short signup process, link the square to your bank account and within a few days, you'll receive your square in the mail.  It's only about an inch square (hence the name) and attaches to the top of your phone in the headphone jack.

Here's a link to find out more info.