Jewellery Parties - How to Make That Party a Success

Jewellery parties are all the rage in the UK and the US over the past few years. While it's true that many of these parties focus on hand made jewellery - often made by the host or hostess - significant numbers of party organisers are either working as 'consultants' for organisations such as Virgin Vie or Lia Sophia, or buying their own stock direct from wholesalers. In many cases, hand made jewellery collections are augmented by 'bought in' pieces to provide a broader range of stock for party goers to choose from.

As so many of our customers are jewellery party planners, we thought we'd put together some tips on how to get the most from your parties, how to keep your customers happy and coming back for more, and how to maximize your profits.

There are three key areas you need to focus on in order to make the most of your jewellery party business - Stock, Presentation, and Professionalism. Before looking at these in detail, ask yourself why you are in the jewellery party business in the first place.

Are you running a business? Or are you simply getting together with friends, having a few drinks, and hoping to cover the costs by the end of the evening? If you are serious about your business, and want to maximize profits over the long term, then there are some simple steps you can take to help make that happen.

The single most important element to hosting a successful jewellery party is to source your own stock. This cannot be emphasised enough. If you work on some sort of 'commission' for a party planning company, and buy or lease all your stock from them, you are limiting yourself in terms of what you can offer your customers, and you are setting yourself up for very narrow profit margins.

You do not need to work for somebody else, and you do not need to buy all your stock from a single supplier. Shop around. Check out Jewellery Wholesalers on eBay and on the internet. Order a few items to begin with until you are comfortable with the quality of stock they provide and the prices they charge, and work up from there. There's nothing like building a good relationship with suppliers to keep your stock levels constant, fresh, and exciting.

Do not rely on a single supplier.

Suppliers restock with varying frequency and at different times of the year. Fresh, new stock is essential if you want the same people to come again and again to your parties, so you must find suppliers who update their stock regularly. How many of you have had one or two good parties to begin with, only to find attendance figures and sales dwindling as the months go by? I recently read a blog post written by a Jewelry Party organiser in the US, where she bemoaned her slump in sales and the state of the business in general. Her first party took in $2000, her second $700, and her third, a paltry $75. She was quitting the business.

What do you bet she was attempting to sell the same stock to the same people at all three parties?

Aim to restock every three months, introducing brand new lines that your party goers have never seen. Carry a wide and varied selection, in different price ranges - something cheap for those who had no intention of buying anyway, or for those with a few pounds left over; mid-price pieces that will prove to be the bread and butter of your business; and more expensive items that make everything else look like a bargain.

If you encounter a slump in sales as time passes, then chances are you need to take a long, hard look at your stock, and see what you can do to improve it.

Presentation - displaying your jewellery at its best

Not long ago, I was walking through one of the busier weekend markets in Ireland, and noticed a man selling jewellery in a dark corner. He was set up on a small table, and all his jewellery was sitting, one on top of the other, in a big pile in the middle of the table. He was selling necklaces, shrink wrapped as if they'd just been pulled out of a box. It was only when I looked more closely that I realised they were all much sought after Ikita necklaces and earrings.

It was a busy market, with a young, vibrant crowd, and he had no customers.

Fashion Jewellery Display

Having good quality stock that your party goers will love is not enough. That stock needs to be displayed at its best, and to do this, you must invest some time, and a little money (not too much) in props. In this blog post I outline how to get the most from your jewellery displays, describing the various necklace mounts, and ring and earring stands, that will present your stock in such a way that people will want to buy.

As a brief summary, remove everything from its packaging, mount as many items as possible on stands that show how it will look around someone's neck or on their wrist, and display as much of your stock as possible. It's no good to anyone sitting in a box under a table just because you don't want to have to repack it at the end of the evening. Leave it hidden away, and you can bet you never will need to unpack it!

A fold up table or two is essential. If you are hosting a party in someone else's home, you cannot rely on them to have a suitable environment for you to set up in, so you must be prepared by bringing your own tables. These can be bought very cheaply in any large DIY store such as B&Q, and fold up easily so they fit in the back of your car.

Your tables should be covered, preferably with black fabric, as this helps draw attention to the items on display. The 3 pictures on this page are good examples of what can be achieved with a few simple props, a plastic table, and a plain black fabric background.

Two or three of these tables spread around a room, filled with different lines of stock, all displayed on professional stands, will make your jewellery party stand out from the crowd. And if that stock is different at every party, there is no reason the same people will not return time and time again, and bring their friends along too.

Professionalism - jewellery party business or jewellery party hobby?

Your jewellery party business IS a business, not a hobby, and it should be treated as one. While it's true you are selling from fold up tables in someone's home, the quality of the goods you are offering will in many cases rival or surpass those on offer in high street stores. With that in mind, there are a number of simple steps you can take to give your business a more professional look and feel:

Sterling Silver and Amber Jewellery Display
  1. Price everything individually. A hand written price tag attached to each necklace or ring stand will enable your party goers to browse, try things on, and decide what to buy without needing to question you on every item. No one likes to ask how much something costs and run the risk of finding it beyond their budget, especially not with their friends standing by.
  2. Make sure you have sufficient small change. This would seem like it goes without saying, but you would be amazed how many party organisers turn up with a few coins and five pound notes. Think back to your own jewellery parties - if your first two customers buy a £12 ring each, and offer you £50 notes, do you begin to panic? Not being able to offer correct change is about as unprofessional as it gets, and there is no excuse for it.
  3. Invest in tasteful packaging. Dropping a pair of necklaces into a Tesco bag is not going to impress anyone. In the blog post referred to earlier, I talk about the different packaging options available to you, from bags to boxes designed specifically for necklaces, bracelets, and rings. A little investment here can go a long way. Remember, many people at your parties are buying for other people - often as Christmas or birthday gifts. An attractive box can often make the difference between buying from you, and heading down to the jewelers on the high street.
  4. Bring a hand mirror or two. This is critical, and cannot be stressed enough. Would you really expect someone to buy a necklace without seeing how it looked? And how would you feel if you were told to use the mirror in the bathroom, because the home you're selling from does not come with a mirror mounted in the hall or living room? Details of this kind are what marks you out from the amateurs, and gives party goers an experience they will talk about to their friends.
  5. Display your business cards. If you do not have a business card, then get one today. Templates can be downloaded from the internet and prepared for printing in minutes, and simple stands can be purchased from the printers for a pittance, allowing you to display them on each table next to your display. When your party is a success, people will come again, and maybe they would like you to host a party in their home. With your business card in their hands, you're only a phone call away.

If you want your jewellery parties to be successful, not just the first and second time, but every time, then you must focus on sourcing good quality stock from selected suppliers, presenting that stock in the best manner possible, and behaving as a true professional.

Remember, jewellery parties are a business like any other, and if you treat them as such, you WILL reap the rewards. On the other hand, if you treat your parties as a 'hobby', as a way to get together with friends over a few bottles of wine, then a hobby is all it will ever be.

The range of jewellery we offer is updated frequently, and with a very small minimum order size of only £75, you can sample a wide range of our stock very cheaply. We ship daily to jewellery party organisers and small shops in the UK, USA and Canada, and offer simple payment options such as PayPal.