At the weekend I hosted an open house to showcase my jewellery line, Charlie Delta Jewellery (http://www.charliedeltajewellery.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html). I organised an afternoon at my home with my jewellery laid out on the dining table for friends and family to view.
I have done this several times previously and have found it a great way to show my products to people who are genuinely interested in handmade jewellery. I have had many conversations with other makers about the value of selling at craft fairs. I have done quite a few fairs in the last couple of years with varying results. Some fairs I have attended have been awful with barely any people, conversely I have been to some that have had great footfall, but still not made any sales. However I have been to a few that have been successful. Unfortunately with craft fairs and selling handmade products a bit of a scattergun, trial and error approach is required to find the appropriate place to sell. The location, venue and marketing for these fairs are all important but the key is finding the right audience. I’ve found that hosting a showcase in my own home gives me the opportunity to invite people who I know are interested and encourage them to invite their own family and friends in turn to spread the word about my jewellery.
We had Buck’s Fizz, mince pies, nibbles and chocolate to get in the festive spirit and start thinking about shopping for Christmas gifts. I have to say I wasn’t as organised with inviting people this time around as I went on holiday a few weeks before. There were definitely fewer attendees than previous years, but there was a regular flow of people throughout the afternoon, all of whom were keen to view my products and I was really pleased with the amount of sales I made.
I showed some of my older pieces, but the main focus of the day was to display my newest collection. Earlier in the year I was struggling with my jewellery making and had hit a bit of a creative wall, which was part of my motivation for starting this blog. As I began to explore my creativity via other outlets such as embroidery, drawing, crafting and baking I felt re-inspired with my jewellery and decided to go back to basics. When I began making jewellery as a hobby, polymer clay was one of the first materials I worked with, which I think led to my love for introducing colour into my work and the inclusion of resin with my silver work. I think the fact that I put no pressure on myself and just let myself play with the clay allowed me to be more creative. I started by making flat beads which I turned into bracelets. They reminded me of the sweetie bracelets we used to have when we were little! I then took the three colours in each bracelet and blended them together to create marbled beads, which I then used to make necklaces and earrings.
Some people bought things as they were, but I also received some commissions as well. I really like it when customers ask for something a little different. It’s great to hear other people’s ideas and see how the jewellery can be personalised to suit their wardrobes and their own tastes. I had a request for my moon earrings in blue instead of white and ace of diamonds in green instead of red. I also took a commission for a ring. A while ago I made a ring as a gift for my friend. One of her friends had seen it and asked me to make her one of her own, however she wanted hers to be a thumb ring and blue rather than pink. I’m really looking forward to getting started with making it.