I’ve been on both sides of the maker market scene. For six years I ran two Etsy shops with all the heart and hustle I could muster. I would schlep my wares, pitch my canopy and endure the hot Georgia sun in hopes of selling all the things. I’ve even shipped my entire inventory across the country to participate in markets in Los Angeles. Twice. I’ve done indoor shows, outdoor shows, small shows, giant shows that promoted the event on billboards and attracted celebrity shoppers. But no matter where I was – around me were no less than 4,216 jewelry vendors.
Ok – maybe that’s an exaggeration. But seriously, think about it. The last time you attended a maker fair, how many jewelry vendors did you see? I bet there was a ton. Perhaps because there are so many different mediums. I mean, there’s metal jewelry, tiny delicate jewelry, essential oil jewelry, crystal jewelry, fine jewelry, costume jewelry, big giant gemstone jewelry – I’ve even seen jewelry that carried a little succulent for you around your neck. (Sorry not sorry for the Bubba Gump vibe.)
Anyway – this lightbulb moment sparked the idea for today’s Three Things blog post. So we called up our friend / Craftcation Conference Alum / Patchwork Show vendor, Bridgette from Lavender Crush and asked her the question we’re all dying to know the answer to: How does a jewelry artist stand out in such a saturated market?
She’s put together three tips on how you can stand out amongst the crowd. And while this post is specifically about her experience as a jewelry artist, these guiding principles will transcend into other art categories and help us all stay top of mind in a sea of other makers.
Click the links at the end of the article to follow Bridgette online. Oh! And be sure to sign up for her Crush Club and receive a FREE gemstone guide!
P.S. – If you’re inspired to take your craft show game to the next level be sure to check out our online workshop: Craft Show Success: Make Sales and Build Your Business, Confidence and Community Through Selling at Craft Shows, this post on Ten Ways to Boost Craft Show Sales and our friend/ Craftcation Conference presenter Mallory Whitfield’s book How to Make Money at Craft Shows: Art Market and Craft Fair Tips & Tricks.
Alright, enough from me. Let’s get to Bridgette!
xo, katie mac
I’ve spent over a decade manning booths at both wholesale trade shows and craft fairs, and have managed to learn a thing or two about how to stand out in a crowded marketplace along the way. I’m excited to share a few of my tips as a jewelry artist!
1. It’s all in the merchandising.
Markets are such a visual experience that merchandising is key! Where do you want your customers’ eyes to go when they enter your booth? Do you have a specific group of products that use the same material, color, technique, or another common theme? Group those together so it’s easy for customers to quickly process your offerings.
I also often get comments from customers about how they were drawn to my booth by the different textures in my display – trays of beans to hold stud earrings, furs, crystals, succulents, wooden shelves, etc. As long as they are cohesive with your brand, choosing displays with different textures and a range of heights will create visual interest and attract customers.
2. Anticipate the flow of traffic.
Are you in a location where people will mostly be coming from one direction? Angle some of your displays toward that direction and place some of your top selling pieces on that side. Do you have a corner spot? Use the side of your booth to grab your customers’ attention before they even get to your booth.
3. Create connections.
Smile & greet every single person who comes into your booth. If you really love the bag they’re carrying or the top they’re wearing, tell them! It seems simple, but sometimes just starting a conversation will create a connection that makes people want to support you and buy your jewelry rather than the 15,083 other jewelry brands out there.
About the Author
Bridgette Tritz is a jewelry designer creating bohemian inspired jewelry out of her home studio in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her collection, Lavender Crush, uses mantras and crystals to encourage women to infuse meaning and inspiration into their everyday lives. In a previous life, she worked as a wholesale sales rep in Los Angeles’ Fashion District, and has spent over a decade of combined selling at wholesale trade shows and craft fairs. Her jewelry has been featured in Glamour UK, Etsy Favorites, and on The Today Show, among others. When she’s not cleansing her crystals, you can find her practicing yoga or planning her next beach getaway.