Jewelry Business: Expert Advice from Lara Holland on How to Sell Jewelry at a Jewelry Show
Lara Holland, owner of Niyol Jewelry, has spent years building her experience selling jewelry at jewelry shows. Attending a wide range of shows all over the country, she has taken the opportunity to share with us what she has learned. From what shows to attend to planning the booth, products, and marketing, Lara gives her expert advice on how to successfully sell your jewelry at a jewelry show.
Picking Shows and Planning Ahead
Q: What type of shows do you typically attend, and how many shows do you attend per year?
A: I attend a variety of shows. I’ve done everything from high-end art shows to craft markets. I also do a lot of yoga conferences. Last year I did a little more than sixty shows, but this year I’m trying to scale back.
Q: What goes into planning for a jewelry show?
A: Every show is slightly different. The majority of my shows are out of town, so I have to deal with the logistics of transportation and lodging. A lot of planning and effort go into ensuring that I have enough products—and a key point in product volume is wholesale accounts. I rarely do a show of any size that doesn’t generate at least one new wholesale account. I like to accommodate new wholesale accounts without having to pull from potential retail sales. Having quality goods to offer is my number-one priority, but booth design and display are also important—because if no one comes into your booth to see your goods, your product quality is irrelevant.
Planning Production and Marketing
Q: How much lead time do you need for each show? How far ahead do you start planning and making products?
A: I typically do one or more shows per weekend, so I’m constantly making product. As for planning, I currently have each week mapped out for the next six months, with shows booked and logistics planned.
Q: How much inventory do you prepare for each show?
A: It depends on the show, but I like to have 100–200 pieces per show.
Q: What kind of marketing do you do for a jewelry show?
A: Social media and my newsletter are the best ways I’ve found to keep people informed. I have a lot of repeat customers.
Q: What percentage of your sales comes from shows?
A: I get about 60 percent of my sales from shows.
Q: Do you have a standard booth setup, or does it vary depending on the venue?
A: I wish I had a standard booth setup! But I have so much fun playing with my booth design that it’s constantly evolving. I also feel strongly about staying ahead of the curve. As art shows become more popular, I like to have a new face with the same branding.
Holiday Shows and Other Advice
Q: How are holiday jewelry shows different from the other jewelry shows you attend throughout the year?
A: To put it simply, there are more holiday shows, and more people attend them, which equals a lot more stress!
Q: Do you have any additional tips for other artists who would like to get involved in jewelry shows?
A: Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have a bad show. Not every show is great, and not every demographic will be yours. A single show’s success has no bearing on your overall level of success or the quality of your product.
Photos courtesy of Niyol Jewelry
Jewelry Photos Courtesy of Dawn Muncy
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