Saturday, 12 October 2013

How to Set up your Stand and How to Deal with your Christmas Customers

Setting up your stand and dealing with your Christmas Customers

Having prepared and decided which events to attend, we're now heading towards the busiest time of the year - Christmas!  So, it's important to get your stand set up as attractively as possible and enable your customers to make their Christmas gift purchases.

1.  Height.  You won't want them to get bad backs looking at your handmade wares, or in my case jewellery.  So it's vital that you give your display some height.  Perhaps a display case?  Stands to raise it to their eye level or even boxes with your table cover draped over them to raise your display to a reasonable height.  However, do make sure that you're not hidden behind your display as you will still need to interact with your potential purchasers.
Here's an example of a stand that I had set up many years ago when I first started my business. I have since designed and have purpose made stands.   I was able to sit to the side of this table and therefore was completely free to chat to my customers.  I had boxes in the centre over which I draped my table cloth.  Have a look at the pendant display, they are on a board and are most definitely eye level

Here's an example of a flat display.

Albeit this display is on a smaller scale, which stand would you notice more?

2. Light.  Both the first and the second  images are well lit.  Especially for silver jewellery, they need light to bounce from the silver.  But you don't know if you're going to be in a dingy hall and in which case you will definitely need some form of lighting to allow your customers to see your goods.  If there is no electricity, you can have battery powered light.  The lights on the two black boards are solely battery powered.

3. Make your goods accessible.  If they can't touch / feel - unless they're overwhelmed with the beauty, you won't get many sales.   Do have a selection which is available to be touched.  As you can see on my silver pendant board (image 1), customers can lean forwards and touch them if they so wish.

4. Security.  It's unfortunate, but theft does happen.  Put more expensive items in secure cases if needs be and have your cheaper items at the front. I always put my silver and gold jewellery in a case.  If you have cases, have the ability to lock them, so when you need to nip to the rest room, you can leave the most valuable items safely.  Always ask the stall holder next to you to 'keep an eye out', but don't rely on it.  If they get a customer themselves - they won't be paying attention to what's happening next door!

5.  Enjoy it and Have fun.  Don't get stressed or look downcast - who would buy from someone who looks miserable? - interact with visitors and enjoy their company.  They will be buying you first of all, then they'll take a look at your goods and if they like them take out their purses.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

How to Prepare for a Craft Fair | How to get Ready for a Craft Show

Having just spent a very enjoyable 5 days at a Craft Show, I thought this would be an opportune time to write a post helping other crafters with an idea of how to prepare for a craft fair and getting ready for a craft show.
Each year I take part in the Dorset Arts and Crafts Association Exhibition.
The first thing to consider is whether to undertake the event or not.  So, from experience here's a list of questions to ask the event organiser.
1.  How many events have you organised?
2.  How many visitors do you expect?
3.  What other stands will be at the event?
4.  How many of each type of craft will be displaying
5.  Is there an entrance fee?
6.  Is it outdoors or indoors |where is it?
7.  How is it advertised?
8.  How much does a stand cost?

These questions will give you a good idea of whether to spend your hard earned money and time in the first place.

1. If they have never organised an event before - it's likely that you won't get a great deal of attendance and they won't know how to set up and advertise the craft show - they are orgainising it, to perhaps raise money for their chosen charity - in which case, they are just making their money on the entrance fees|stall fees and don't care whether you actually sell any of your goods or not.

2. If they struggle to answer this question or 'fudge' the answer then you know they haven't considered this and again, don't care if you sell anything or not as they're making their money from the stand fees initially

3 &4. Firstly you need to ascertain if the stands will be CRAFT or if they will be anybody and everybody who's willing to pay an entrance fee!  If, like me you'd be selling silver jewellery and there's a stand at the event with imported "handmade silver jewellery" then I'd never attend.  The imported handcrafted silver jewellery isn't hand crafted!  It's machine made and a worker in the 3rd world or somewhere has used a pair of pliers to add a jump ring.  There is no way I could compete on prices because it'll be "cheap and cheerful" and it also shows that the organisers don't care about craft - they just care about making  their money.  Then, if they are only accepting legitimate craft at their fair, then make sure they're not having too many of one type.  How many times have you attended an event when every other table is selling beaded jewellery?  So, double check (a) how many jewellery stands as a percentage of the overall show there is and then (b) check how many of your particular craft are displaying.

5. It's interesting to note if they charge for entrance - if they do, then question 7 is vital.

6. consider if the show will get passing trade or if it's somewhere where people would go out of their way to attend.  If it's outdoors, what arrangements are in place to protect you and your goods from adverse weather?

7.  If it's not advertised - then how will people know it's on? Have they advertised it in plenty of time before the event?  Have they considered all the options that you know are available locally to you - e.g. local radio / free newspapers / posters / craft shops / local magazines - signs showing where the event is on the day.  Check thoroughly how they intend to get people to come to see you

8.  The deciding factor.  If it only costs a small amount for the day and you aren't comfortable with some of their answers - well, it might be worth the risk for a day out and to gain experience of doing a craft fair.  If it costs a lot of money - then you'll want to be sure that they've given good, solid answers to your questions.
The other option craft show organisers can use is a percentage of your takings and no stall fees.  That perhaps is a good one to consider - after all if you don't make any money - neither will they!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Great New This Last Week- A Charming Jewellery Idea | New Jewellery | A Good Sense of Humour| Latest Outlet

Wonderful news this week with the birth of Prince George to William and Kate - I'm sure we wish them all the very best.  Perhaps the baby would love this bracelet with the children's charms?

Lots of New Jewellery in my Latest Additions Section on my website since I last wrote a blog too - here's just one to tempt you and whet your appetite.  She really could have had a boy or a girl and these silver stud earrings would have been suitable
This is an hilarious letter I discovered - whilst I obviously have a lot of love on my website with plenty of gifts for men and women - sometimes it does unfortunately go wrong....Enjoy!

Oh dear - she has got a good sense of humour!

A warm welcom to my latest outlet / stockist in Shewsbury who is selling my handmade jewellery (which is all made in Dorset UK).  I wish Jacs every success with her sales and it's very pleasing that having already made some great sales, she's bought some more.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

New jewellery for summer and latest news

I've neglected my blog for a little while, so it's time to catch up with all the latest news and designs from the start of this year.  Summer is on its way and the wedding season will be upon us very shortly too.

So, what's been happening in 2013 so far this year?
  • My handmade silver jewellery is now being sold in some new areas of the UK. 
All the Stars in the Sky from London is a retailer of my designs
Silver Seagull Ltd in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter has a wide range on sale too
I have also been approved by the prestigious Jewel Street and many new designs are available with them

  • For the 3rd year running, I am a Craft and Design Selected Finalist
Lesley H Phillips - Finalist for Jewellery and Precious Metal
  • Many new designs  / new trends this year
Bracelets and charms are proving to be exceptional in their popularity.  Men want to look good too, so it's not only the ladies who want to wear quality and unique items.
Silver Charm Bracelet

Hammered Star Catcher Bangle
Chunky Silver Bracelet for Men

  • Wedding Jewellery

AAA Grade Pearl Earrings
I hope you enjoy this small selection!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

New Year's Resolutions and New Jewellery Ideas

Where did January go?  Apart from disappearing in a flurry of snow!  I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and a great start to the New Year.

What have you been doing?

I've spent the beginning of 2013 redesigning the home page of my website and starting a new Collection of Jewellery.  The Bliss Collection is currently being uploaded to the website and includes a charm bracelet with two fixed charms (a flower and a freshwater pearl).  Available in three different sizes - children's, women's and plus sizes.  Three charms are already live, with more being added over the next few days and weeks.  The charms can be clipped anywhere on the bracelet, as I've designed them with a bolt clasp which makes it easy for you to just add and swap around to suit their mood.  These charms will fit my charm bracelet or indeed any bracelet which has rings attached to enable it to accept charm additions.  Alternatively if a bracelet has links which allow the 1mm opening of the bolt clasp they could also be attached.

Two new heart designs have also been added to my Je T'Adore Collection, together with designs to the Coastal and Green Collection.  Take a look at the Latest Additions to see all NEW designs as they are added.

I've been nominated in the Craft and Design Selected Awards again this year.  Last year voters were also entered into a competition to win a crate of wine - now that would be a good start to 2013 wouldn't it?
The voting section is further down the page
and I'd really appreciate your vote for my jewellery.  I can assure you that you don't get any spam emails at all from Craft and Design.
Here's the Link:
Craft and Design Awards - Lesley H Phillips