(St. Clairsville, Ohio USA)
I learned a new jewelry making technique and only have a necklace with matching earrings, and a separate bracelet.
Making this type of jewelry is a very time consuming process, and I was thinking of displaying those pieces and taking orders.
But after reading your Jewelry Booth book and seeing where people want to think they have the original piece and there are no others like it, I wondered about the success of this.
I wanted to do a photo book of items that I weave that could be ordered to suit the customer’s needs of color, etc.
Is this not a good idea? This is my first jewelry show. Is taking orders a bad idea?
Taking Custom Jewelry Orders at Shows
I don’t think it’s a bad idea to take custom orders at shows – especially for your specialty items that are more time-consuming to make.
I’ve wound up receiving custom jewelry orders at nearly every show I’ve ever done.
These orders usually come about when a customer likes your work but wants a specific color or size that you don’t have on hand; or they see that you have cameo jewelry and they want to order one with a picture of a cat, etc.
So, yes, custom jewelry orders can and do happen at all kinds of shows.
However, in my experience, the majority of the folks who come to my booth want to buy something they’ll take home with them right away.
So you may want to be sure you have plenty of ready-to-buy items for those folks.
And of course, the best way to find out what works for your particular jewelry designs and customers is to just try your custom order procedure and see how it works out.
You will probably get more custom jewelry inquiries if you have a nicely visible sign next to the display of jewelry that you want to custom-design for people.
And like most things related to you business, you’ll probably evolve your custom order-taking procedure after each show, to keep making the process more smooth and error-free.
It may be helpful to make forms you can fill out as you take custom orders – for example, for the customer’s name and contact info, the color, size, etc. of the piece they’re ordering.
I wish you much success with your new jewelry line, Darcy! Let us know how it works out for you! :o)
a balance in what you offer
by: Ann Nolen
Just like Rena, I usually get custom orders when I do a show and for the exact same reasons. I struggled a little with where to start when I first started making my current line of jewelry. The best advise I got was to make things that pleased me… that is, to create as though I was making it for myself. I found that if I was pleased with it, it sold. Also, when someone asks for a custom order, I keep in mind that my vision may not be theirs. So, if it is completed and they don’t seem as excited as they should be, I offer to put it in inventory to sell, and try again. That may seem ill advised, but so far it has always worked out. The customer was very appreciative and I have always gotten it exactly right the second time around AND the first item sold to someone at the next show.
So, I show up ready to sell everything I make, and then to offer custom orders for those not finding what they want. I have found that no matter what you make, someone will love it! So, just make some up and they will sell. Rena is right, many of the purchases are something they want to take home. If you don’t offer that, you often won’t make the sale.
Ann of AnimalCoin.com
by: Janine Gerade
I just did a home party and got 3 orders. One person saw a necklace a friend was wearing (she got it on a trip to Italy) and wanted me to re-create it. I used my laptop’s camera to take a picture of it, studied it and wrote down notes such as guesstimates of bead sizes and got back to her when the sample of chains and pearls came in (it wasn’t easy- the components were nothing I have seen around here1!)
The other was a bride who wanted to get her bridesmaids necklaces and another one was someone who wanted a necklace just like the one I had but with pink crystals instead of blue. I love custom orders, especially when they are a challenge. Take your custom orders on with pride and best of luck to you on your show!