Friday, November 14, 2008

Hosting Home Parties- Focus On Jewelry Parties-Part 2

This is part II of Hosting Home Parties - See Part I here

Party set up

Start with creating a nice display with your items on a table in the center of a cozy room, use your creative abilities for this one. With the holidays coming you may want to set up a display with faux snow and some other holiday decorations.I would not advise doing anything too elaborate; you do not want to overshadow your handmade creations.

Make sure you have some order forms for taking orders. You can buy carbonless ones at Wal-Mart or any office supply store, one copy for you and one for your guest. Make sure their copy has a stamp with your name and number on it and be sure you get their name, number & address and ask if it’s ok to follow up, or add them to your mailing list.

If at all possible it would be helpful to bring a portfolio of your work. This should be an album of photos of your work, past and present. For items you can recreate, assign them a stock number so you can easily write down the number for orders and revert back to it when filling orders. If you make rings, make sure you bring a set of sizers.

Organize a fashion show.

To further focus the attention on your products, get together some friends and organize a fashion show of your best selling or favorite pieces. Time the fashion show for after everyone arrives and has had time to circulate, look at the display and get some food. Customize the fashion show to match the tone of your jewelry.

Refreshments- This isn’t a pampered chef party, it’s a jewelry party so quit freaking about food! They aren’t expecting a meal. It would be very classy to have a wine and cheese themed party; everyone spends more when wine is involved. You can also find a ton of great wines now for under $15 a bottle, just google it. Other great ideas for refreshments could include hot beverages like tea, coffee or hot cocoa and holiday cookies. This is a great way to get people into the mood for holiday shopping. For summer parties, fresh fruit is always great with iced tea or sangria, try to cut the fruit into pieces and put them on toothpicks for easy eating. Keep in mind that greasy foods will for sure lead to fingerprints on your jewels.

Keep in mind that many people will bring cash to spend at the party so make sure you bring along a change box so you can give change to people who purchase. One thing that can increase the amount of each sale is to accept credit cards, there are many ways to do this. If you have access to a computer at the home of the party you may just want to use paypal. If you have a merchant account set up already for craft shows, use that. Keep in mind that people who weren’t planning on spend much may not bring that much cash or the checkbook but if they see something they like they WILL pull out that credit card. You want to be able to make that happen! Read up and research beforehand to make this a streamline process.

So it was a success! Here’s what to do now!

Create and deliver your orders. Better yet- make sure you collect everyone’s mailing address and save yourself some gas. Pop your orders into a padded envelope and use paypal shipping to print your labels. Most often you can send a piece or two of jewelry locally for $1.52, insurance adds a bit extra. Seriously do this and save yourself a TON of trouble and money.

Make sure your packaging is fabulous! Doing something as simple as printing off clear labels to personalize your boxes is a really professional touch that people enjoy. Take it a step further and order some ribbons from at a really amazing price and tie a ribbon in your signature color onto your boxes. Make sure to include a couple business cards and maybe some type of coupon to encourage them to shop with you again. Enclose a little note on hosting their own party and the benefits.

For the hostess- If you’re not hosting your party, make sure you have something set up for the kind lady who hosted the party for you. Give her a choice of a discount on her products, a free product, or an allotment of $ for her to spend on products of her choice. This is all according to how much the total party sales are. With that kind of incentive she’s going to make sure her friends spend that little bit extra. Make sure her guests are well aware of this so they will want to book their own parties.

I know this ia a lot of information to digest, but I hope I have given you an idea of where to start on hosting your own at home jewelry party. It is very easy to have one booked for every weekend and people are always willing to have a get together and earn free stuff! The same principles can be applied to parties for any product line, from candles to hats and scarves.

About the author: I'm Julia Catherine from Julia Catherine Jewelry. I live and work in NJ, im very familiar with all aspects of jewelry creation, sales and even repair. I enjoy creating new jewelry items in my spare time and also work as a jeweler as my day job. My specialty in SASsy is listing creation and tagging, but am willing to give help in all aspects of etsy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Join in the Fun

Some SASsy team members have been showing up in the Virtual Labs lately, offering their two cents worth of advice for shops just getting off the ground.

Everyone is welcome, so please join us there. You can pop in for a chat today at 4:00p.m. Etsy time for live shop critiques with Kits & Caboodles (me!).

Anna over at The House of Mouse is on the schedule for Nov. 16th @ 12:00p.m. and also Nov. 19th @ 9:00a.m.

The Labs are a great place to come if you're a newbie (or not so new!) looking for advice and shop ideas. Around 5:00p.m today, Daniellexo will be showing you some cool packaging ideas. She'll be showing off some examples of easy packaging you can make yourself, and you can even get a sneak peak at what my own packaging looks like! Danielle is often in the Labs giving On the Fly Critiques, which are a ton of fun.

Watch the schedule in the Virtual Labs for more SAS dates and more!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sneak Attack!

As Andrea (KitsandCaboodles) has previously mentioned TeamSASsy is sponsoring a sneak attack over at once a month.

Tomorrow is our first 'attack' as a team - and it would be great for it to be a success!

The sneak attack will be starting at 7am EST tomorrow (November 5th) (For those of us in Europe, it equates to 12pm UK time). **UPDATE - this will now be at 7pm EST (12am UK time)**

From the website:

"What's a Sneak Attack? Every weekday at an appointed time, an Etsy shop with few or no sales is announce on this site. As many people as possible then buy items from that shop, resulting in a frenzy of surprise business to the unsuspecting shop! ...

To participate, show up on this site at or soon after the time of the next attack and you'll see the chosen shop name. Then go to that shop and purchase an item, making sure to include the words "Sneak Attack" in the "message to seller". The shop owner will also be informed of what is happening so they know just what is going on."

Take a look at the website to get an idea of how it works, and please join in! The shop I've chosen has really cute stuff and something for everyone!

There'll also be a forum thread tomorrow morning to get a wider range of people involved!

Hope i'll see you tomorrow morning to make someone's day :)

Zoe (lishlash)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Etsy Forum - in's and out's

This blog post will be one of a series, as etsy forum etiquette can be quite complex! However the thing that I want to address right now is ‘calling out’. If you frequent the forums you will have seen this term before and likely have an understanding as to what it means.

For those of you who don’t know, this is when you speak badly of another shop or buyer, directly or indirectly. Etsy’s definition of calling out is as follows:

  • The classic example of calling out is to mention another user by name (or link) in a negative statement. "WhateverfaceCoInc sells mass-produced junk. Whatshisname took my money and never shipped my item!" This is the most obvious method of calling out, but not the only one.
  • Posting to complain about negative or neutral feedback you gave or received is – yep, calling out. With just a few quick clicks, crafty amateur detectives can figure out exactly who you're complaining about.
  • Ranting about what someone posted elsewhere on the Forums may be deemed calling out, if it's easily determined who is the target of the complaint.

Seems pretty simple, right? You would think so, but every day I see new and seasoned etsians being accused of calling out by well meaning, but over-zealous posters. If it doesn’t fall under the above criteria, you can discuss it as much as you like – for example:

  • If you have a problem with your shop, that isn’t related to a transaction – this is fine to discuss in the forums!
  • If you have a question about rule breaking, ask away – just make sure you don’t use real examples.
  • The exception to the above is if the shop in question is your own – you can’t call out yourself!
  • If you have a problem with etsy itself, this is fine – you can’t call out etsy!
  • If you want to discuss a positive transaction, this is great – and absolutely allowed, it’s great to share positive experiences.
  • you want to talk about something off etsy – this is ok, but do use common sense.
  • If you want to discuss a theoretical problem, this is okay (but not if you are just talking about a real problem that is occurring in a theoretical way).

If you have a problem that you feel you can’t discuss in public forums but you still need an answer – no need to panic! You can contact an advisor via convo to discuss the problem privately, or you can contact admin who will also be happy to help you!

To read more about calling out you can take a look at this storque article here.

About the author: lishlash runs an etsy store selling cards and jewellery, based in London UK. You'll often find her lurking in the fora!