Net Profits: Jewelry Artists’ Secrets for Saving Money on the Road

Ever wonder how other jewelry artists can afford the travel involved with doing jewelry shows coast to coast? Even established jewelers struggle to keep costs down on the road. Most spend time researching travel deals, working loyalty programs, and trying to maximize frequent flier miles.

ABOVE: Photo: Getty Images.

Nebraska-based jeweler Sydney Lynch has been doing the show circuit since 1983. She crisscrosses the country several times a year, booth setup and inventory in tow. To cut costs on all that travel, she does a significant amount of online research before every show. “I spend a lot of time comparing prices,” Sydney says. “But with business travel, there isn’t much schedule flexibility, so I just compare airlines and prices.”

Jim Dailing has a studio in Bend, Oregon, where he designs custom wedding rings and teaches jewelry-making workshops.

  • Favorite airline: Alaskan Airlines
  • Business credit card: Alaskan Airlines Visa Signature, which earns him three miles per dollar spent on the airline, gets him a free checked bag, and a free companion ticket each year.
  • Jim’s flight tip: Find an airline that uses your airport as a hub and goes where you’re going. Then build up reward points through their loyalty program and credit card. “We’ve been doing a major trip abroad every couple of years using frequent flier miles,” Jim says.

Niki Grandics of ENJI Studio is based in San Diego, California. Along with trunk shows she can drive to, she sells in Vegas during Jewelry Week, at Metal & Smith in NYC, and at ACC San Francisco, among other shows.

  • Favorite airline: Southwest
  • Business credit card: Capital One Spark, which earns her two miles per dollar charged, redeemable on any airline.
  • Niki’s flight tip: “Since I mostly fly with Southwest in the U.S., I am part of their loyalty program and take advantage of their sales. If I’m not flying Southwest, I’ll check Kayak, Expedia, and other discount sites for flights.”

Sydney Lynch works out of Lincoln, Nebraska. As a jewelry artist, she sells her jewelry all over the country, often with her husband and partner Craig by her side. She does the ACC shows, The Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show, the Smithsonian Craft Show, Craft2Wear, the Philadelphia Museum Craft Show, CraftBoston, and SOFA Chicago.

  • Favorite airline: Southwest
  • Business credit card: Capital One Spark. She collects two points per dollar on her business card and 1.5 on her personal card.
  • Sydney’s flight tip: “Southwest is especially good for show exhibitors who have to schlep stuff, because you can check two free bags.”


Cathleen McCarthy has written about jewelry and jewelry business for Town & Country, Art & Antiques, Washington Post, and her own site, The Jewelry Loupe. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

NET PROFITS is a regular feature about using the Internet for jewelry selling, of special interest to jewelry artists with a home-based jewelry business, that appears in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more about jewelry artists traveling for shows in “Flight Patterns” in the March/April 2018 issue. Don’t miss a single Net Profits column. Subscribe to Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist.

Get more jewelry business information and Net Profits in every issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist.

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