Choose Your Venue Carefully
by Debbie Chalut.
(Kitchener Ontario Canada)
I am a beginner at selling my handmade jewelry even though I’ve been creating for four years.
I recently received an opportunity to display my jewelry on consignment in a new gift store that had opened and I jumped at it.
I ran into problems from the get go. The owner didn’t have a consignment contract, thank God I was prepared with one that I had downloaded from a website.
She would only consign my jewelry for a month and a half trial period but seeing as it was over the holiday season I figured it was my best opportunity.
Four days after I dropped off my jewelry, displays and gift boxes she went on holidays for two weeks and closed the store.
She also had a lot of children going through for school field trips and my best piece (in my eyes anyways) was broken and therefore not displayed the whole time.
As the holiday season was wrapping up I called to wish her a great season and she informed me that the store would be closing fo four months.
I guess the lesson here is select your venue carefully. A new store is a great opportunity but how full is the store, who are their clientele or do they even have any yet?
Does their location have good traffic flow to bring in the clietele and are they seasonal?
Find out as much as you can first and don’t be afraid to say NO and move on to somewhere more suitable.
In the end my jewelry was displayed for only 26 days in a low traffic store in an area where people didn’t appreciate the price of handcrafted creations.
I ended up feeling like maybe my stuff wasn’t good enough and my self esteem really took a blow.
Don’t stack the odds against yourself.
I can so relate to your “bad shop” experience!
I’m sorry you had such a careless shop owner mishandling (and not selling) your jewelry.
You wonder why someone like that thought they wanted to open a shop in the first place, if they never want to be there or sell anything!
One of the first shops I consigned my jewelry to was a frustrating experience.
It was a new gift shop, attached to a busy beauty salon. I thought it would be a great place for making a lot of jewelry sales!
The owner chose about a dozen pieces of jewelry to consign, and I went home envisioning massive jewelry sales and tons of future orders!
However, the owner called me every few days to complain that my jewelry wasn’t selling at all.
After a couple of weeks I went back to the shop to see about changing out some of the non-selling jewelry for fresh pieces that might sell better.
But when I arrived at the shop, I couldn’t see my jewelry anywhere.
I asked the owner where my pieces were, and she showed me:
She had put all of my jewelry into individual boxes, put the lids on the boxes, and stacked them all up in a pile under a huge stack of other boxed jewelry.
How on earth she expected to sell my jewelry when no one could possibly know it even existed was beyond me!
It’s hard to tell whether a brand-new shop will be a good one for you, unless you try it. It may turn out to be a fabulous outlet for your jewelry – or it may flop for you.
I’ve decided it’s best to start with a small amount of jewelry (and none of my most expensive / valuable pieces) whenever I consign to a shop I haven’t worked with before – just in case!
Choosing venue carefully
by: Bev Carlson
My first consignment store was new and has turned out to be my best one. BUT, I had four after that that turned out for one reason or other to close. One moved to another location and didn’t want consignment any more, one had a lousy location (I should have known…)one owner got sick and had to close and the other just plain didn’t have business sense.
As long as I watched the stores and what I put into them, I was able to get out before I was “burned”. But my first one is still going strong. Just be careful.
Selling your creations
by: emanda johnson
I sell most of my jewelry myself in one-to-one transactions with friends and acquaintances. However, I also have sold my creations in Museum Giftshops.
Last year there was a special exhibit coming up and I knew about it a couple of months before the shop was to open. I did some resarech and created some pieces I thought would do well then called the gift shop manager for an appointment. My pieces and I were very well received and I ended up making quite a few sales from that venue. The point is, know your venue and match your creations to the venue for best result.
Live and Learn
Hi Debbie…well written ! Yes live and learn. You are so lucky to have learned so much in one lesson. You will be more successful the next time. What kind of jewelry do you make? I know of a very successful store I could recommend but it handles only high-end jewelry….nothing like just strung commercially made beads and baubles. Everything is Canadian made and everything is hand crafted. Be happy to help if I can. Beryl
by: Janine G.
I was wary of selling my jewelry in consignment shops but I was luck my first two experiences were a friend’s shop and a relative’s salon and my friend from High school has some of my jewelry now. I am glad for that because we are helping each other out. I also know not to put really high end stuff in their displays so if something happens that don’t have to feel bad.
FYI-that is as far as I go with doing business with family and friends (another life lesson learned the hard way and another story for another day!)
Just curious, what website is the consignment contract on or does Rena have an example of one on this site? It would help me out greatly. Good luck and thanks!
by: Debbie Chalut
I unfortunately can’t remember the website but you can either give me your email address and I’ll send you the saved document or you can google free consignment contracts which is where I found mine.
I hope that helps.