Getting To The Boutique’s Owner

by Marilyn.

(Commute Between UT & FL regularly)

I have been making jewelry since 1991, long before beading became widely popular.

At first it was just a fun hobby I took up using only plastic, glass and base metal materials to enjoy during my spare time (what little of it I had while rasing two children, working full time and attending college full time).

Eventually, my skills improved significantly enough that people began to pay my jewelry wonderful compliments.  I only gave away my creations or kept some for my personal use.

Over the years, I have designed many one of a kind pieces and since I’ve given just about every one I know at least two pieces and there are only so many local fundraisers I can donate my jewelry to, I have amassed quite a stock of gemstone and precious metal jewelry that is doing nothing but collecting dust and tarnishing in boxes.

I would like to start by consigning pieces to local boutique shops.

While I have read much advice on this topic, the one thing I have not found information on is how to drop it off to begin with. Many times, the owner is not present at the time you make a visit or call the shop.

I would like to leave a sample if the decision maker is not available to avoid having to play phone tag or make several visits to the store.

I know that business owners can be very busy and are probably constantly sought after by people like me that are trying to sell them something else.

Has any one ever tried to just leave a sample with success?

By success I mean where you able to actually leave a piece, get it back at the end of the trial or inspection period, get a follow up from the owner or manager and did it actually ever lead to opening the lines of communication between you and the owner or manager which then lead to future consignment agreements?

I am still a very busy person, but I’d like to embark on selling my jewelry and consignments seems to fit my busy life well except for the part where you have to hunt down the owner or manager in order to get started which I don’t have too much time to waste on.

Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated and thank you all so much in advance.



Never had that problem.
by: Rita

Consider your perspective about your one of a kind pieces of jewelry. Dropping off may not be the best way to accomplish your task. Here are some things you may want to consider first.

What type of person would likely purchase your jewelry?
What shops cater to that type of person?
What is your price point?
Find out who is the owner or buyer for the shop.
Call and make an appointment.

If you aren’t willing to “work” at getting into a shop and commit yourself you may not have much luck, business owners have a keen eye for things like that.

Your jewelry should be meticulously clean and shining.
You should be meticulously clean and shining.
You probably should have several clean and shining pieces to show.

The buyer will probably make a decision on the spot, but if the buyer asks if you can leave the jewelry, make an appointment to pick it up.

If you have to hunt down the owner or buyer I probably wouldn’t do business with them, you may not get paid on time or you may not get paid. I have never had to “hunt” a store owner or buyer. Usually they have so much at stake that they work 16 hours a day; and absentee owners are not a good thing.

You need to consider other things like what you are willing to pay the shop, etc. Do you have a contract completed; dates and amounts to be filled in at signing? How are you going to feel if the buyer says no thank you? Is it worth it to you? It’s not worth having a melt down. Are you going to continue to design one of a kind; or are you just liquidating?

Good Luck,

by: Kathy

Boutique owners or their jewelry buyers are willing to talk to you. The best way is to present yourself and your jewelry to them personally, so call ahead and schedule an appointment. I met with a boutique owner today, scheduled the appointment two weeks ago, and she didn’t hesitate to say “yes.”

by: Marilyn

Thanks for the advice. I know that the jewelry should not be tarnished for presentation, it’s just that I have been concentrating on making, making, making for the fun of it and then one day I realized how much stuff I had accumulated. Selling was not exactly a plan of mine so I never paid much attention to packaging the product and keep it from oxidizing. I still work, so trying to learn how to contact store owners the hard knock way would have taken me a really long time, which is why I decided to ask around for methods of communication that work. Sorry the picture is so tiny, I have no idea how to upload pictures in the “right format”. If I can just unload some of my creations, I could put the proceeds back into making some more things that are very suitable for the fundraisers I usually donate to.

Thanks again.

Beading prior to 1991
by: Anonymous

I have been beading since the 1960’s. As an Indigenous person, I learned from my grandparents and other elders about beading and using items from the earth as decorations for our bodies. They also taught us that our ancestors did this 10’s of thousands of years ago. The art of beading didn’t start right after you started making jewelry. You may really enjoy looking up the history of beading and jewelry. I was amazed at the amount of plastic that was used.

getting to Boutique’s owner
by: Jane J.

I would concur with the other writer, that usually the owner is there. But you have to make a split-second decision, whether to try and present your pieces right then and there or make an appointment – based on on how busy the shop is at the moment. Try going at opening time, before most shoppers are there.

If you have pieces you want to sell that you made several years ago, you might want to re-think some of them, since styles change, and frankly, for me, my standards for my own work have risen quite a bit since I started making jewelry. I happen upon something I made several years ago, and often flich at some of my work!

Are your older pieces really as accomplished as your more current ones? Of course, I don’t know the answer to that, but it’s something to keep in mind. I have a jewelry “graveyard”, where I know I can go to deconstruct an older piece of jewelry of lesser quality workmanship, and use most of the componants again.

Lastly, I have been frustrated with selling in boutiques, becase the store typically does not buy the jewelry outright. They take a 40% commission on what ever sells. This means that for me to make any money, the shop has to price the pieces fairly high. And too high, often means no sale. Pricing is a real balancing act. I currently look at the venture of selling in a shop as simply a way to get my name out there in my community (which it does), because, in the end, I don’t really make much money at it.

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