by Rena Klingenberg.
A privately owned high end beauty salon can be a great place to sell some of your handcrafted jewelry.
The clientele are usually females who spend money on themselves and if you have a tasteful and beautiful display of your jewelry in the store that they can look at while they wait, the chances are they will either purchase something or take your card for future reference.
Call the owner of the salon a week or so in advance.
Tell him or her you would like to come by and show them some of your jewelry and that you would like to present them with a gift for their time.
The gift of a piece of your jewelry will get you in the door and once you are in suggest a consignment arrangement.
Don’t be afraid to ask for prime display space for your items.
Go in once a week and maintain your display and collect your money for your sales!
Two Additional Tips:
- The salon may need you to provide a display for your jewelry.
Be sure you also itemize any displays that you leave with the shop in your consignment agreement.
- Airborne chemicals, nail dust, etc. in a salon tend to make jewelry tarnish quickly.
So you may want to provide a closed jewelry case with no-tarnish strips in it.
Change the no-tarnish strips every few months to keep them effective, and consider wiping down your jewelry with a Sunshine cloth once a month or so to keep it sparkling.
Billie/ Zu-Li Designs says:
I have an earring display at a local salon where I sell the majority of my jewelry. The beautician loves the fact that I pay her commission with jewelry. Win win situation!
cathy begun says:
I have been selling my designs over the last few months at the salon where I have my hair done, as little mini trunk shows and they have been very successful! There isn’t a space to leave them displayed in the lobby where I have my displays or in my stylists room. ( It’s a newer concept boutique salon). But I will recommend that when you have your pieces in a display case, check them frequently if they are sterling as the solutions from perms, hair coloring, etc will tarnish sterling VERY quickly, making the peices look old, unkept and not appealing to purchase – resulting in zero sales! This is from an experience at a higher end salon/ day spa a few years ago.
Glass Of Venice says:
I have a small business making jewelry. I have gone into a salon in Indianapolis, and the purchase from me wholesale and triple the price and then complain that people aren’t buying because of the prices.
I had a display in a local salon for awhile. One recommendation I might make – either have your sterling under cover or well away from the styling floor. The chemical fumes will tarnish sterling quickly! Also, away from styling sprays, etc.
Still, a high end salon is a great idea! Lots of women, and if they are going for mani-pedi’s, massages, etc. – they are the market who have the disposable income to spend on luxuries! I was only in a small local shop, (no high end in my small town!) and I had a spinner rack set up at the desk, so it could be seen while waiting, and perfect for checking out at the end of appt, while the receptionist processed the credit card! Once we feel pretty after our hair appt, it’s nice to pick up just one more little treat!
I am doing some of this. One place, very small, it went ok for awhile, but has gotten to where nothing sold in the last few months. And YES, the metals get discolored; I didn’t have sterling out, but my earwires & metal pendant had to be polished up.
I have 2 other salons that are too far away for me to do this with. That is a BIG disadvantage. One is a high-end salon in a large city. I have been concerned about this discoloration issue. Maybe I can ask them to polish them up??? The sales are going slow at both of these other salons (I have them on consignment). I’m not sure what to do.
Thanks for this great article!
I’ve tried to place my jewelry in shops and galleries but they require a closed case which I think should be lockable too. That would prevent theft and reduce discoloration from beauty products. However, it gets expensive buying those cases. Does anybody have a solution that is less expensive. thanks.
While these are good ideas, I have found my reality very different. Living in southern California, I have tried all of these things with no luck.
My goal last year was to get my jewelry out there. I did a couple of church boutiques with no success. I don’t think the general public has extra cash to spend. Most of the venders were selling $5.00 items or less. I also tried going to boutique stores and trying to put a few pieces in their stores. Thanks but no thanks. My last attempt was a holiday open house at my home. My featured items were Irish Linen Wrapped Bracelets – nothing over $20.00. I invited 40 people and 5 people came.
All this has really made me question whether I should pursue jewelry making.
Liz O says:
Hi, I have a question: When you sell in a salon, how do you keep tabs on what sells? Do the owners pay you your money after the jewelry sells? How does this work exactly?
I tried calling numerous places and one lady denied because she had tried it before and it was too difficult to keep tabs on the merchandise and to know how much they owed the seller. Thank you!
Hi Liz, I have my jewelry in 2 stores, (not salons though) and while the percentages that I earn are different in each store, I have done this with each store: ( I am very new to this)
I photograph each item with the SKU # so I have a record of it.
1. I made an itemized list of everything they receive, I have a master sheet for this.
I made 5 colums where my headings are: SKU #’s, Items Name, Materials Used, Price, Will Take Custom Orders,( i.e. change bead colors, other metal, for that item, whatever). Under these 5 headings I list the items.
I send this with my jewelry to the one store, and as a file with email. I also have a copy for myself. I have asked the store owners to keep the list handy, because customers want to know what type of stones something has, or if the metal tarnishes, etc. and store owners have no idea about that, nor pricing. So they can keep this by the cash register. Even if they keep it in a drawer somewhere, it is still good to have, unless you write tiny cards with each item, which I have done before as well, but is a pain in the neck when you have many items.
Then I put price tags on each piece of jewelry, which both stores demanded so there would be no mix ups.
1st store: I told them that when something sells, regardless what their own item number is, I would like to have the SKU #’s that I assigned to the items and what she sells, she will give me a check for. Our agreement is I get 75% she gets 25 % (she is a very good friend, I must add, otherwise I would write out a simple contract for this.)
The other store is also consignment – 40% and 60%. It is not far from me, so I go with the jewelry items that I think they have a clientel for. They assiged me a code, and then while I am there, they write up their own store item numbers next to each item, and hand me a copy. They put their prices on the attached jewelry tag, which each item has. I had told them what I need, and they added their percentage.
When they give me a monthly check, I have to give them their special code, that was assigned to my company and is then also on the check and they write down which SKU numbered items have sold. This last situation is with people that do not use a computer.
Have any of you sold in hotels, cruise lines, or spas, I ‘d be interested to know.
I have another question for everyone, LOL, subject change… Have any of you done trunk shows to sororeties? I have heard it is very profitable, – with the right items.
Maria Jenny says:
This is such a fabulous article and I really enjoyed reading through everyone’s experience. This is definitely on my list to pursue. I had sent out a postcard to a number of hair salons a year ago. This would make a nice followup idea to actually visit and discuss the possibilities. One studio at a time to see how it might go.
I just read how M.E. handles her consignments. It sounds somewhat familiar. My husband helps me with mine. I am fortunate enough to have a display in a very busy country-restaurant, where people stand and wait to pay. Maybe not so fortunate, since several of my better items have “grown feet”. They charge me nothing, since they know that half of my sales go to a Mission in Kenya.
We write up every item we take to either store, put it in a P.C. file, print out two copies, on we take along with the jewelry, one for our control. The Restaurant we go to every Thursday to see if anything sold, to straighten out the display, and to have breakfast with my hubby. We keep a tally of what sold during the month, and turn in a bill, along with a copy of our inventury, were we marked what sold,along with stapling on the ticket, to the owner once a month, they then write us a check for that amount.
The Consignment Store, fine, and beautiful items ONLY, charges us 35% The owner handles the display, etc. She sends me a check for what sold once a month, minus her commission, along with a copy of the inventury we gave her, and she marks on it what sold. This works out very well for us so far. But I am glad my husband handles the money part of the business, I’ll just continue making the Jewelry…
I’m so grateful to have found this page with such insight from you Ladies. Thank you for sharing! I’m now encouraged to go out and introduce my jewelry selections to the beauty salon industry. I’ve been hesitant due to fear of rejection.
Although I do not make my own, I select beautiful, high quality pieces that are very fashionable for woman of all ages. I usually sell at flea markets, online and at jewelry parties but I need more. I’m expanding to bring in other interests but jewelry is my main interest.
My question is, would any of you know a great wholesale site for in-store displays? I’m looking for a locked, glass unit that can be placed in the establishment.
Thank you for any input.
I’m wondering what how to handle displaying items in a salon or other place? I have been intimidated to approach places but I know that I must find the courage to do so. If a display is required can someone make some suggestions on what type and where to purchase? Thanks!
One thing I would like to mention is to have in your contract that the store (what ever type of store that may be) will reimburse you if your displays are lost. Also, on your itemized sheet of what you bring in, make sure to write down what you paid for that display. I had a number of displays go missing but luckily the shop that I sell at is wonderful Also, I started selling there when we we both just getting off the ground and it has been a learning curve for both of us. When my displays went missing, since I had bought everything online, she just had me look up what the replacement cost was (which was a couple of years later and I’m sure they were more expensive but I sure was glad!!) and she gave me my money in my next check. Also, for the first year, I never had anything stolen, but then at about 18 months, about 7 or 8 pieces, including a $75 pearl necklace, my most expensive item, had been stolen!! I was horrified, as was she. I asked what happened in that situation and she not only reimbursed me, but I didn’t have to wait for the next check, she mailed one out the next day! She now has these policies in our contracts and I firmly suggest that you have them in your contracts as well. I had a short lived relationship with another shop and when I stopped in to see how the jewelry was displayed (she said she would provide the displays and display them herself), my items were not out. She told me she had never seen me before and never had my jewelry!! I had my rinky dink contract (although it wasn’t a good onw, but thos was in the very beginning and I didn’t know any better) and she tried to say that it wasn’t her contract!! I was furious!! I tried to stay as calm as I could and told her I wanted my pieces back. In the back she found a tangles hand full of necklaces and one earring. Most of the necklaces were broken, and it’s not because they weren’t well made, these things had been pulled on HARD and obviuosly had something very heavy set on top of them as many of the swarovsky crystals were broken! Pieces were missing which she refused to believe. I showed her my inventory list and she refused to believe that she had signed it!! She was not going to give me ANY money!! I started to get a bit loud and the shop was busy. Some people left. I started saying things like, “this is how you treat your vendors? you pretend that you don’t even know me? your lie that this isn’t your signature? She finally gave me money for the missing pieces but not the broken ones or the earring that one was missing. Boy did I learn a big lesson. I know that was a long comment, but I see that a lot of you are just starting out selling and I want you to learn from my mistakes.
Oh, and I really don’t recommend getting angry and loud. Many of the shop owners know each other. But I was very happy to see that the next time I happened to drive by her shop, which was about a month later, she was out of business!
Sarah B says:
Diane – thanks for sharing this and I’m sorry about what happened to your pieces. That’s awful that someone could treat another’s handmade work with such disrespect. I’m glad karma came around for that shop owner!
Hi, i have been making jewelry a while. I posted on this page last week, regarding how hard i find it to sell my jewelry. The jewelry market i stated is over saturated. I had my jewelry in a salon. I took pictures of all of my jewelry and wrote down each item. I kept a the original and gave a copy to the co-owner. My jewelry did not sell that well, but what got me was that someone in that shop not only stole my earrings, but also the stand that they were on.
When i first brought my jewelry in, one of the ladies commented on how she would love to own that pair of earrings. She loved them. I had my jewelry in a glass show case, which once the jewelry was placed in the case, the case had to be close down, and in order to put the jewelry in the case, it had to be opened like the trunk of a car. Also once the case was closed, there were items that was put on top of the case, so you could not opened it unless you took the items off of the top first.
Then there was a couple of my items that were missing. I asked the owner to go over the list and that i could tell her which items were missing because i took a before and after picture of how the items were staged in the case. It took a couple of weeks in order for the co-owner to contact me, but they finally paid me for the items that were missing. And i knew who took the earrings. Since no one could open the case but the employess, not customer, it does not take rocket science to know who stole my beautiful earrings.
To say all of that, this is a hard business. I work with Swarovski Crystals, Metal Stamping, Sterling silver, various beads. I take great pride in making my pieces, but when i see people buying jewelry for 25.00 and under, i have to question sometime, is it worth it for me to keep doing what i do? i thought it was just me.
Kathy Lanni says:
I have had some success in the small salon that I go to but since it is small and my hairdresser has the same group of women each month – I have to continually feature something “new” in order to hold their interest. I had a setup in a high end/high volume salon for about two months. When I brought in the pieces, everyone, including customers, were full of comments. Since I am still fairly new to this (little over a year), I keep my costs low by not using sterling. After all of those compliments, I was so disappointed when NOTHING sold – not even $10 earrings. I used the approach of sending a letter, colorful and detailed brochure about me, my designs, lots of photo’s and a sample bracelet. I explained that I know they are busy, wanted to introduce myself and provide them with a sample that they could keep send asked if they would be interested in setting up a personal meeting. One response was a “no thank you – do you want your bracelet back” and two others no response at all. I am not good at walking into a store cold or even calling and asking. I donate to many fundraisers and get many compliments from the organizers – but no follow up inquiries. I did a juried show for the holidays (week before Christmas) – it was poorly attended but I did well for the number of people there. I no have a displaying a gift shop where the owners take 20%, which is low. It has been two months and nothing has sold – I asked the owner what feedback she could give me and she said “lots of lookers – everyone thinks it is beautiful” ….. Yet not one sale. Nothing is over $30. I am doing another juried festival in August but will have to invest in a tent. I have over 950 FB likes – send only 2 sales. I am getting so discouraged yet love nothing more than sitting at my jewelry table – creating!
Great timing on this article! Presently four local gift shops carry my jewelry. Each location has a different style only available at that shop. I did a number of Holiday Bazaars and my jewelry was well received.
The owner of the salon that I use asked if she could carry my jewelry in her shop which I am due to deliver next week.
She really likes my copper work . . . and now I’m wondering about how the chemicals will react. Thanks for that tip. I definitely will drop in on a regular basis to keep an eye on them.
I use a system very similar to M.E. describes above . . . and use an Excel spread sheet, with the control number, description, price and location it is placed. I also have code for the materials used and degree of difficulty. That way I can see at a glance if there’s ever a need to ‘discount’ or change the price.
Love the great ideas here!!!
I enjoyed reading all these helpful posts, and yes, I too have debated whether I can compete with the flea market, imported necklaces and bracelets that retail for less than $20. Most of my necklaces have a material cost of $20+ and then I add $$ for my time. The formula I use is for whole sale price points. If I priced retail and considered all of my time, I would surely be priced out of the market. I did 5 shows this year including a sidewalk sale, yard sale, indoor flea market, and 2 indoor craft fairs. The overall result was a net loss even though I did fairly well at the sidewalk sale. I have return customers that really boosted sales including a large consignment order at Christmas time. I agree with all the comments posted. Many compliments, lots of lookers, huge competition (especially with the import products). I have an Etsy site which produces nothing, but I maintain it because almost everyone asks for a web site…and the Etsy website is on my business card. This year I will reach out to some high end salons and spas, and organize Saturday trunk shows which I will host. In 2015 I plan to participate in the sidewalk sale and one indoor craft fair, and gear my products to those venues. I have considered organizing a shopping night in a restaurant with a few other vendors. Has anyone tried that? Thanks everyone for the valuable information.
Kathy L says:
I had my jewelry in a couple of salons. I was amazed at what bad businesswomen the owners were. I sent them inventory sheets with the numbers of the pieces and gave them triplicate receipt books so there would be copies for the owner, the customer, and me. Most of them never bothered to make out a receipt, let alone give me the numbers of the pieces sold. Most of them couldn’t find the inventory sheets when I came by, either. I had to go through the entire inventory each time I went there to see what had sold so they could write me a check. It was a huge investment of time for the small amount of sales. One of the owners didn’t even know what a resale license was or that she was supposed to collect sales taxes on anything she sold in her shop — including the shampoos and other products she sold. I have pulled my jewelry out of all the salons and am currently rethinking where to sell. I have jewelry in an art gallery and I do home parties and craft shows, but I do need a more steady income stream.