Teaching Classes and Having Fun!

by Phyllis Churchill.
(Deltona, Florida USA)

I am a crafter, and I sell at craft shows and biker (motorcycle) shows, where I sell my jewelry and other beaded items, almost every weekend.

Anklets are very popular!

Anklets are very popular!

At this last show I made a simple flyer offering to teach people how to make their own beaded jewelry, bracelets, or necklaces, or earrings, just about anything beaded. For a small fee , you get (me) for 2 hours, (2 bottles of wine gift from me) and all the information I can share! LOL.

Mens Jewelry is very popular - I Never come home with one left :)

Mens Jewelry is very popular – I Never come home with one left 🙂

I had 2 different women set up classes right at the Show, prepaid and everything, and no flyers left at the end of the Show! It was amazing!

Since then, I have now booked a total of 5 “wine & bead” parties, and I have them set up geographically so I can do 2 per day, and one the next day. I can only do them on weekends (in the summer) TOO HOT in Florida to be outside, and my only requirement is Air Conditioning, and comfortable seats.

Some soft and pretty, like wearing nothing

Some soft and pretty, like wearing nothing

I go to them, and my first class is this weekend. I am taking kits I made to sell at the shows ( good sellers), and will also set up some of my Unique Jewelry for them to get ideas, and/or purchase ( smile) at the end of the class!

I pay for the wine ( built into my fee) and have a disclaimer about responsibility and no one under 21 to drink. I’m not selling the wine and it is purely optional, but it is a nice “touch” and seems to be well received.

Drop earrings one of my most popular kits

Drop earrings one of my most popular kits

If the wine isn’t opened, I will bring it home ( and then I can have a glass, lol). I will let you know how it goes! I’m very excited about added this new avenue to my life love of beading!

Just a side note: Rena, you ARE a treasure to share all this with us! I am hoping o expand this venture into more classes, as I love to teach!

Phyllis Churchill
Uniquely Phyllis!!!

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  1. Phyllis, thank you so much for your lovely compliment! 🙂

    Your enthusiasm for jewelry-making is contagious, so I’m sure your parties will be fun, relaxed and enjoyable. You’re right, providing kits makes parties so much easier – and having extra kits to sell is also a good idea, as those who love making the jewelry will surely want to make more. Wishing you all the best, and much fun with this new facet of your jewelry business! 🙂

  2. I am interested in teaching.. I would like to make up kits for them to make but I dont know how much to charge for 2 hours.. Can you give me a price to charge?

  3. Beaded Birch says:

    Phyllis, I love the idea of the class flyers at a show! I teach in a shop in TX where we winter, but I’d love to do the same when we are up north too. This is a great way to get the word out.

    Janet, I charge $18 for a simple project (earrings), $24 for a more difficult project (bracelet with crimps), and $28 for a necklace project. The bracelet and necklace always include earrings.

    Phyllis, I too would like to know your pricing strategy. Thanks!

  4. Phyllis C says:

    Thanks for the nice comments 🙂 I am still finding my way through all of this new facet of jewelry making, so I’m certain I will keep making changes ( Heck, I change my BOOTH layout every show – why would this be any different??, LOL ) I charge $50.00 for the 2 hours + travel expenses ( this includes the wine) and my students can make earrings, bracelets, necklaces, whatever we can fit in the time frame. I bring kits for each, and provide to the hostess what each person must/should have, of their own, in order to do simple projects. I have started bringing extra bead boards with me, and will sell them along with the kits, if they don’t have their own, or some way to keep the beads corralled ( nothing is worse than beads ALL over the Floor 🙂 ) Of course, anyone wanting to take the class should have: round nose pliers, flat nose or needle nose pliers(2 pair), wire cutters, wire, crimp beads, beads ( of a color they like). I send the hostess a few “suggested” pictures of what they could make, in a 2 hour stretch, and what supplies are needed. I always have extra seed beads with me, in case they are needed, and some head pins, eye pins, jump rings, crimp beads, ear wires ( all in one compartmented box); but the kits are what most everyone ends up getting so they don’t have to go and buy everything separately. I always have my tools, and since we never have “just one” of any tool, in my little bag, I have a couple of extra sets they can use if they don’t have any. The kits are moderately priced – after all THEY are doing the making :), and I try to get a feel of what colors might work. Black, white, purple, red, pink, blue are the most popular; also fun to note my kits containing pearls (not matter what size or color) sell out every time ( guess I need to make more pearl kits than I have been 🙂 I also have some charms if needed, and if I don’t have what they want with me, I will send to them later, if I know I have it at home.

    Currently I am only doing bead stringing classes, but will probably expand into wire wrapping, or metal stamping as time, and energy permits. I’ve started asking my students what other classes they might be interested in, so I can gauge what might work.

    I get to wherever I am teaching early (30 + min), and set up my display table, with kits ( and finished results of the kit) other beaded items ( ideas for them to make another time or to buy$$ now if they would like), flyers for them to take home if they want to have their own “wine & bead party” ) and business cards with my contact information. I also have pictures of some of the other type things I sell, and a clipboard for them to add their name and email to my EXCLUSIVE email list.

    This is still very much a learning experience, but my first few class sessions have been a ball, and I always make notes of what I need to tweak for the upcoming classes. I have a COMMENT sheet I give out at the beginning of each class, and ASK my students to please fill it in, so I will have a feel as to how things went from their perspective; I also give them the option of being added to my EXCLUSIVE email list, and so far, (if they have an email address at all) everyone has been added. I collect the sheets just before we clean up to go, but although I glance at them (who wouldn’t) I save them to read, and record, when I get home.

    For this upcoming fall/winter season, I have to spread classes out, as this is my show season ( in Florida), so most weekends are totally booked ( until the week before Christmas),but will still have classes at least one night a week, if it isn’t too far from home.

    If teaching is something you enjoy, this might be a good additional avenue for you. Some classes I make a lot of extra sales, which is great!, and I add at least 4+ people to my email list each time… I have started taking pictures I can share with my EXCLUSVIE email list, and doing so has gotten me several inquiries about possible class interest.
    I can add to this post as I try new things, if anyone would like to know more 

  5. Do you use stone, glass or plastic beads for your kits? Also, do you require a certain number of people to attend? If you bring 2 bottles of wine, furnish beads, plus your travel & time. I am like Janet, have considered doing this but didn’t know what to charge. Thanks.

  6. Phyllis, I am curious, are you supplying the jewelry tools for all to use at the “wine & bead” parties?

  7. Phyllis C says:

    Pam – usually glass beads are what I put in the kits. The small seed beads (filler beads) are glass too; and I only bring them out if there isn’t enough in their kit as they want to change the design or length or something . I charge for the beads, so it all works out 🙂 BTW, if they are buying beads, or items or whatever, I have a receipt book; I make out a page for the person, add whatever they want to buy to the page, and settle up all at once ( near the end) that way, there isn’t any pressure, and most folks will add on a little more , or find they want another kit, or an anklet, or another bracelet, 🙂 I have found this is VERY good too, for the items I bring to “show & sell” as we put a little note beside it, says SOLD to “sally”, but it STAYS on the display table to the end of the show. First “party” people bought things, and took them right away, so others never got to see the various possibilities, Only ONCE did we let THAT happen.

    Carolyn, the tools are what we normally use, pliers, wire cutters, crimper, etc. Some ( not many) will bring tools, so this also lets me talk about tools, and what they should look for when buying, at least what I think. I usually will have several bead boards & I always carry several pkgs of bead bugs, or bead buddies, or whatever they might be called in your part of the world 🙂 the little spring to keep your beads on the line, but don’t want to get into the market of selling tools because of the inventory , etc. Of course, I encourage everyone to have their own tools, and I list what tools are needed to finish the projects, but with beginners…………3/4 of the time they don’t know ( nor want to incur the expense) of the tools; I don’t either for them; if they want to continue beading, etc THEN get the tools. I guess, when I have another party and some of the same people show up, I would HOPE they have gotten their own tools by then; tools are our best friends IMHO, and I also seem to need something in the tool line. Also, if there are several people, and they have to share tools it is a GREAT ICE Breaker, and people are talking to each other, and having a right GOOD TIME :)!!! I also have first name paper badges, and ask EVERYONE to wear one ( so I will know who I am talking to) and sometimes if they aren’t too familiar with each other, this helps too!!! The whole point is to (A) have fun ( B) make something pretty/handsome/useable or whereable (C) learn something (D) ask for referrals and (E) Have fun!!!
    Of course, having my time & travel paid for, selling most, if not all of the items I brought, and the KITS I brought for sale, only having 2.5 hours ( not counting travel time) out of my day, staying cool in A/C, and meeting all kinds of nice people too boot – what’s NOT TO LIKE ?? 🙂

  8. This is so great that I came across this article, as I’m beginning to research doing these in-home jewelry making parties as alternatives to teaching at stores and local facilities. Pricing strategy was stumping me though. I’ve gathered 5 tool sets, 10 bead boards, 10 bracelet boards and I’ve got an entire bead store in my office…so making kits would be easy. What do you tend to price your kits at? I’m thinking $5 for earrings, $15 for bracelets and $20 for necklaces? The wine aspect is a nice idea, but I don’t drink it…so maybe I could suggest that be the role of the hostess? Interested in anymore suggestions you have! Thanks again for this article!!

  9. I volunteer at different nursing and senior living homes in my area. We make stretch bracelets from free kits that I provide. It is so rewarding when I see the pride and joy on their faces. They come up with cool designs. I love doing it.

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