September 30, 2009

Jewelry Display for Home Parties: A Novice Introduces her Jewelry Line

As an emerging jewelry designer, not quite ready for craft fairs or farmer’s markets, I decided home jewelry parties would be the easiest way to introduce my jewelry line composed of vintage findings and Nina Designs jewelry supplies. To help spread the cost and risk involved, I decided to partner with a friend who’s also a budding jewelry designer eager to introduce her work. We immediately faced two challenges. The first was to find a willing host for our home jewelry party. The second was how to easily display our jewelry in an appealing and professional way without breaking the bank.

Hosting the Party: We decided a party just before the holidays would be the perfect time. That way our host throws a cool holiday party with a unique twist! As a further incentive, we decided to offer the host 10% of our jewelry sales towards any jewelry of her choice. And, most importantly, she must be a hip fashion-conscious woman with lots of friends in San Francisco – an urban social butterfly. After some search, it was easier than we thought to find a host for our first party. We sent out free online e-vites to all of our friends. Just to make sure we had a crowd, friends and family committed to bringing at least one friend to the show.

Jewelry Display Cards

Jewelry Display Cards

(Click here to read about Yolanda’s Display Ideas)

Jewelry Displays: My main market is women in their 20s to 40s who love fine jewelry with an edge. She’s geared towards “up-cycled” fashions and is not afraid to invest in beautiful yet unique vintage jewelry with a story. In order to personify this woman through our display, we decided to emulate a hip vintage boutique! We found old cabinetry and window shutters, perfectly worn china, and beautiful antique picture frames at local junk shops. This not only minimized cost but was sure to produce the shabby up-cycled look we wanted. To further cut cost we used mirrors and vintage jewelry boxes from home. The most expensive purchase was fabric we used to make an expensive looking tablecloth to create boutique ambiance. We struggled with price tags. They take up so much space, and if you’re not careful can look so tacky, ruining your entire aesthetic! But thanks to Emily’s tips on jewelry display, we made whimsical little card stock tags that matched our look.

My last advice: Dress up, be the Person you Design for! We “dolled up” in matching feathered headpieces wearing our jewelry as creatively as possible in hopes to inspire and promote a particular piece. Our first party was a real success! We recruited new party hosts and we were able to fund our next party.

Boutique Ambiance

Boutique Ambiance

  • Kim

    I am planning a few parties for the holidy season approaching. I have just a few questions, as these will be my first and hopefully not my last!
    Do you have any ideas for games, contests, fun stuff to do to entertain the guests? I want to do more than just have an open house kind of thing. Did you take orders or was it just cash and carry? When there is only one of an item is it a good idea to take orders to make more or just have the guests take the item they want to purchase so noone else will? I usually only make one of a design and I find most people want me to design the piece as opposed to giving them too many options (they seem to get confused then). Any and all advice, ideas you can share will be appreciated!!!

  • Hello Kim,

    Yolanda is currently out at a trade show, so I will attempt to answer your questions in her absence. In terms of games and contests, I would recommend keeping it as focused on your jewelry as possible. If you can afford it doing some kind of door drawing or raffle prize would be fun. In terms of payments, I know Yolanda set up credit card payments via Paypal, accepted checks and cash, and even set up lay-away. I think in terms of taking orders vs. actually taking home what you pay for right then and there, I would aim for the second. As a buyer, I know I want what I pay for in full right then. Deciding whether to sell one-of-a-kind pieces vs. making lots of one design is a bigger decision you need to make about what your vision is for your jewelry line. One-of-a-kind pieces sold as the only one of its kind should cost more because of all the design time you need to put into each piece, rather than spreading that design time/cost over many pieces of its kind. To read more great tips for running a jewelry business from your home, I would refer you to Home Jewelry Business Success Tips.

  • Kim

    Thank You Juanita for the GREAT link to Home Jewelry Business Success Tips! I have been going there to learn something new everyday! What a valuable site!
    The advice was much appreciated as well. I am going to have an “Open House” so guests can come and go as they please. I will probably have a drawing also. I am setting up at my first outdoor event next weekend to get my feet wet. I am nervous but what’s the worst that can happen? RAIN, that’s it. I’ll fill you in if anything eventful happens. Thanks again.

  • You are so welcome! I wish you every success. Taking that first plunge is so exciting. I’m sure you will have fun. Please keep us updated. Juanita.

  • A friend of a friend is hosting a jewelry party for me, but I have never done one before and have no idea what the space is going to be like. What should I bring? How should I show my jewelry? Basically what should I do?


  • Hello Margot –

    I would definitely try to get an idea of how much space you will have. Will it be just enough for one small table, or more? Will you have wall space to utilize, or not? I would read the three blogs we’ve written about jewelry display, and then turn to the same website I referred Kim to above in Comment #2, Home Jewelry Business Success Tips. Good luck on your endeavor. We wish you every success. Juanita @ Nina Designs