by Carol Owens.
(Wiley, Colorado USA)
I have been making jewelry for a while now. I have opened up a small shop out of my home and do shows.
I have run ads in all the local papers and have a sign out front:
I don’t know what else I can do to bring in customers. So many still say, “I didn’t know where your shop was.”
I have held events here at the shop. On those days I do well.
I have fliers in all the local motels and restaurants.
I do well at the shows but to get the customers here I don’t know.
I have tried Etsy with no luck. I also have a blog:
A few thoughts for you
Since your events held at your shop do well, why not schedule them at regular intervals throughout the year? Such as once each season, or even better – before each of the major gift-giving occasions throughout the year.
Holding the same event at about the same time each year can help you grow a group of customers who will start to plan on attending your annual events to do their gift shopping.
Also, what about inviting other non-competing businesses to participate in your shows? If they invite their friends, family, and customers, it can help you get more clientele and grow your mailing list.
You may want to consider taking your shows “on the road” locally, by doing trunk shows at other local businesses.
Also, if you haven’t joined your local Chamber of Commerce, you should do so right away. It’s an outstanding way to get new customers and do the valuable networking that helps your business grow faster.
No One Knows I’m Alive
I think facebook helps get the word out — and I’ll link to your blog & you can link to ours. This is the way the word gets out with no money expenditure.
I aggree that doing local shows has helped us. We have people sign up for an email list, then use that if we have an event.
We will also post all events, sales, etc. to facebook, offering a percent off if they mention facebook at the time of their purchase.
I think social networking is here to stay and since most of it’s free, why not take advantage!
Rotate your display to keep the locals coming back. And I agree to hold events linked to an occasion is great – Mother’s Day is coming up!!
best of luck – your pieces look beautiful!
Beads in a Box
Something for Everyone
Community Action Partnership of Mid-Nebraska
Just a quick thought…Since you already have that big sign, you should incorporate more details! By the name, I would have no idea what you sell. And I also would never call the phone number. You should add a tagline saying what you sell, and also an address for your website/etsy shop. I would definitely check out a website before I would ever call a number on a sign, that I had no idea what was even in there. It would give your potential drive-by customer a preview of what they can see in your shop! Good Luck!
Carol – I love your stuff!
Carol, I think that Facebook and Rena’s Social Networking e-book is key here. You have beautiful jewelry. Don’t give up. OK? Stay here with Rena.
You go, girl!
Another idea for getting your shop known locally
You may also want to work toward having a presence at as many local events as possible.
For example, any fairs, festivals, expos, fundraisers, chili cook-offs, etc.
Consider being there and showing your support and love for your community, with a booth or a small table if possible. Have a banner advertising your shop – possibly even with a picture of your shop on it and the shop’s address, so people realize that you have a physical store they can go to.
At each event you participate in, hold a drawing for an item from your shop (which can also help you build your local mailing list).
If you’re appearing at a fundraiser, be sure to let folks know a percentage of their purchases go to the charity.
When your local folks start seeing how much you support the community, they will very likely want to come to your shop and support your endeavors as well!
by: Carol Bradley
To me, “Country Treasures” sounds like antiques and vintage items. I would add “Handcrafted Jewelry by Carol Owens” to the sign.
Since it is also your home, it may not be clear to people that the shop is inside your home. They may think you call the number to find out where the shop is. You could clarify the location by having an arrow pointing toward the house or adding the line “sold here” to the sign.
I have one final thought. You might want to put your shop hours on the sign, so you don’t get people stopping by earlier or later than you would like.
Keep up the good work and hang in there. Your jewelry is lovely!
Hi! Your jewelry looks lovely! You are so lucky to live in an area that will let you sell from your home and put a sign in the front advertising it!
I do notice that perhaps the sign is located a bit low — and is that a wall in front of it in the picture? It may be that it is difficult to see from the road.
I agree, also, about the title of the business. I would assume, seeing the name, that it would be a furniture, quilts, etc. business. Adding the jewelry information may be helpful.
Best of luck to you in your business!
Discovering “Country Treasures” in your home
by: W in Atlanta
Thank you for sharing the photoof the sign and your yard. I loved to browse in shops that have the words like “treasure” in the name. I go in expecting to have to search for things not knowing what I may stumble upon and a lot of victorian, refurbished items. Honestly, to help, and not hurt, I think its the sign in the yard. The sign may be misleading as to what’s on it and what the name implies and what you actually sell that includes jewelry. I still suffer with what to really end up calling my jewelry adventure when it becomes a business. I don’t want to sound critical so I’ll leave it at that.
My thing is pricing my stuff too cheap. I’ve had people tell me “oh girl, I just went up to __________ and paid $10 for a 5 strand necklace and it was real stones too!” I get so sick and tired of people like that taking up my time even to inquire about my jewelry. But I say to them, yes–and when it breaks will they repair it for you? Or if you loose a bead can you get another in its place? This is another type of blog topic.
Your work is sophisticated and lovely.
The name Country Treasures sounds like you could sell ceramics or quilts or woodworking or even antiques. I would never expect such sophisticated jewelry from you name.
Now, for the sign. I think is is great to help people who are specifically looking for you to know they have arrived. I don’t know how many people would actually stop, if they weren’t actually looking for you, however. Would you stop at a home with a sign that didn’t really give you any idea of what is there?
I agree that having regular shopping events is a great way to create clientele. Absolutely have an email list of customers/visitors and use it. Announce anything new, even offer layaway. Now with layaway, they give you 20% down, you keep the jewelry and they get 30 days to pay it off. Write this down on a receipt and you both sign it. It gives them a way to work into their budget, and even better, they have to come back a second time, maybe with a friend.
When I had a small gift shop and things were slow, I sent out a notice for a customer appreciation sale. Even if I only got a few sales, they were often my most loyal customers who came for any sale. I also put “free refreshments” in announcements, but keep it simple. It creates an atmosphere of hospitality. In cold weather I offered chamomile tea which I made by the pot. In hot weather iced tea or lemonade. A small plate of cookies,( and you don’t have to bake them) was enough. You never want food to be the focus of your visitors, it is a little perk for them.
You want to grow your customer base, so you might offer a special incentive. Maybe $1.00 or two off for every guest they bring, adult guests, that is. You might want this to apply to purchases over “$25” or whatever you feel works with your price range. It’s a thank you incentive. This lets your repeat customers know that you really appreciate them coming back and sharing you with their friends.
Craigs list is a great way to get the word out free and so are press releases. You can do your event as a fund raiser for the food pantry or some other local charity. A little off if they bring a donation, perhaps? The local papers will put in a small article for free, and maybe a photo of your jewelry too. They want to publish news, and you’re doing part of their work for them. You stand a better chance of getting it published if it is a charity supporting event.
Your work is very nice, don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up! It takes time to grow a business. Best of luck!
by: carol owens
Thank you all for your comments. Yes my shop does have antiques quilts, country primitive decor along with the jewelry. I will try the idea of putting on the sign or somewhere we have jewelry and may be antiques and the hours we are open thank you all very much it was helpful
by: carol owens
Starting on May 1st and every 1 st Saturday of the month I am having a event here in front of the shop. Vendors are coming into set up.I am charging a small fee for them to set up and it is being given to our local food pantry plus taking donations of non pershiable food, baby food formula diapers and personal hygiene items. The local papers are running a story on what I am doing and I will be able to get on the radio and talk about it. should be a lot of fun. Plus I have a few show lined out for the year.
Don’t get discouraged!
by: Erin Prais-Hintz
Social networking is a great way to start. Also, why not offer your service to the local newspaper to write a weekly column…about accessorizing, jewelry design, care and tips. I would agree to hold regular events. Partner with businesses that reach the same clientele…like a Pampered Chef to provide the food and you the jewelry. Or a local beauty shop to do makeover tips or a fashion show for charity and provide the jewelry to go along with it. I would also look at your sign. It is large, but really doesn’t speak to what you do. And don’t get discouraged. You have to start somewhere! Enjoy the day! Erin
I was once driving down a road and saw a sign,on a home, for an art gallery. I wouldn’t have stopped BUT she had attached red balloons to the sign and had the hours clearly marked, which happened to be right then.
Honestly, it was the red balloons that did it. I feel uncomfortable going to someone’s home,even if they do have a sign out.
In another city I lived in,a person had a shop like yours in her home. She always sent out email invitations of open houses that were usually 3 days long, always before major shopping holidays and,just like Rena said, her reputation got around, people planned their shopping at her place and her email list grew and grew.
For what it’s worth.
Sounding professional when writing
This is just the teacher in me…but while reading your blogs, I noticed some grammar errors and wording/spelling errors. To look professional, it’s important to make sure spelling is accurate, sentences are worded correctly, etc… A few examples I found were…”The jewelry hanging on the board just don’t look as nice on a board, that it does on a neck.”… “Its not over crowd everything is at eye level” Also you used “will” instead of “well”. Just my 2 cents worth.
First, your work is lovely but your sign doesn’t reflect your work.
I think you really need a whole new sign, one that is more professionally made. And as suggested before the name doesn’t tell anyone what you do, so if you renamed your business with something that reflected your jewelry business it would attract the clients you want.
Good luck and let us know how it goes.
Ideas to ‘get found’ as a local business
Another suggestion is to make certificates for other businesses to give to their clients. For instance, make a certificate that states it’s from a specific shop for $5 or $10, or whatever you’d like. Some related businesses would be beauty salons, bridal shops, I’d even take them to barber shops, cigar shops, etc. so men can get a clue where to get a gift his lady will love! It’s not too late to do this for Mother’s Day.
And of course, you can always have gift certificates for them which include the certificate from the other merchant (the merchant gives their client a $5 off coupon, the client comes to you, doesn’t know what to buy so you provide a gift certificate which includes that offer… the man buys a $20 gift certificate, you make it out for $25).
Include a gift certificate with each purchase for $5 off the next purchase over $20 (or whatever amount you choose).
Offer jewelry-making parties for kids and adults. Have kits already made up for purchase. I suggest making them all the same price, so all a guest has to do is choose their favorite color, or spot a special bead or theme. Price them so you are making a profit on the materials. Include one of those $ off on next purchase certificates discussed above in each kit. This could be an idea for birthday parties, slumber parties, girl scout troops, baby and bridal showers, or just for fun! (Ladies Superbowl Party anyone?) Remember, boys like to make jewelry too so don’t forget them.
Best wishes. I’d love to know of any of these ideas work out for you.
in the end hard work pays off
well you got my heart with your tag line ”NO one knows i am alive” your work is lovely and it sounds like you work your tail off. so, i can say for me, that it has taken time very hard work and a lot of luck. i am a sculptor by profession, i won an olympic award for the U.S. in 2008 in china.
how did I get there? as a woman, there are maybe 10% who make it into the world off art, i was lucky, BUT HERES THE THING ….NEVER DOUBT YOURSELF AGAIN, or your self worth. because it is not just luck.
people do come, do know you. it is time to take the next leap….. catch them the way you got me with your statement
share your heart, have a bead group come to your store every 3rd thurs….
CHANGE THAT SIGN .
PAINT IT A GREAT COLOR, FRAME THE PAINT WITH A BORDER in ,PAINT, then paint FLOWERS AND JEWELS ON IT [[ GET A STENCIL IF YOU CANNOT DRAW]] PUT YOUR HOURS on the sign. PUT WELCOME ON IT. CLEAN UP AROUND SIGN, PLANT FLOWERS, FIND A BENCH AND PUT A POT ON IT AND PAINT THEM CHEERFUL COLORS.
CREAT A NAME FOR YOUR BUSINESS. put it on the sign with all info. MAKE PEOPLE STOP AND LOOK, BECOUSE IT IS CUTE AND PREETY . YOUR WORK IS GREAT.
JUST REMEMBER SO ARE YOU.
To LAST post Anonymous
Your post was great! I LOVE your attitude! I agree with what you said about the catchy title: No One Knows I’m Alive. I say, if she can do just that, she can do just about anything, especially with a sign that YOU sculpture!
Great advice, whoever you are. You must be THAT good, if you are anonymous. Share some sculpture photos with us….please?
19 years in party
by: J. Schmierer in Elizabeth, CO.
Even though my experience has been in direct sales party plan for 19 years (the company has closed) I am now seeking a different party plan to earn additional income in retirement, I totally agree with all of the ideas. I especially liked the re-do of the sign in your yard and the catchy colors with flowers and bench. True the sign does not reflect on your obvious talents that your “jewelry clearly shows”. I found that my hostesses(as well as your visitors) would probably feel more welcome with a soft, alluring fragrance from a fragrance warming pot. I would like to suggest some velvet (lace-depending on the jewelry piece) and vary the height of the easles.By using different sizes and shapes of boxes or pieces of wood blocks then drape the material over this would give the same effect. REMEMBER- If its to “BE” it’s up to “ME”. I only knew my babysitter and built from that a network of hostess in my case. Good luck! Plan your work and work your plan!!!!
Don’t Give Up
I have a full time job that I love but want to do something extra since I have alot of time. Let me add that I am divorced and my son is married so rather than sitting around and watching alot of television, I want to do that because I love to buy jewelry myself. I have also been encouraged by my Supervisor alot lately. She knows I would do good. This weekend I was out and about looking at jewelry.
I am going step by step before I start and asking those questions. But I know that I want to start selling at Church Bazaars and passing out business cards to my co-workers then creating a website. Eventually get exposure.
Don’t give up, your already making the jewelry. Hang in there.