It's been a month now since I opened my Etsy shop, and I've had no sales as of yet. I read on the Etsy community blog The Storque that the average time before the first sale is one month, so I won't take it personally yet. In the meantime, there are other things I'm doing besides my Facebook page and this blog to promote my shop. I made a business card on Publisher. Now that's a program that takes some time to master. If there was ever a reason to buy a Dummies book, that program is it. But I managed to figure it out, and the business card turned out really nice. I got 500 made, and I'm handing them out to anyone who comes near enough. Since I'm a teacher, I work with mostly women and have access to many moms, so I've been able to give away tons of cards. My business card also has info about the beading parties I do. I had my first booking recently, for a Girls' Night Out beading party with a bunch of women. I charge $30 per guest, and the guests can make either a necklace or a bracelet and earrings. That includes your choice of beads, gemstones, spacers, findings, use of tools, and instruction. The hostess for this party is providing the munchies and drink. If this were a regular booking, I would offer her a choice of some of my inventory, or maybe something custom made for her. I wonder what percentage I should offer? I would appreciate feedback on this, and any advice or hints anyone can offer on this topic.
I also offer beading birthday parties for kids. For many years, I ran a beading club at school as an extra-curricular activity, so I know what to expect from kids' beading parties. For these parties, I'll limit the choices a bit. Kids prefer shiny, sparkly beads rather than gemstones anyway. I charge $20 per guest for 5 - 10 guests, and $18.00 per guest for over 10 guests. The birthday girl gets a free pair of earrings or bracelet in her favourite colour. I plan to market these parties at school if they'll let me. It's a small private school, with a family atmosphere, and I've been teaching there for years and years, so I think it'll be OK.
So although I've not had much success so far, I'm not discouraged because I've got plans, and the journey is exciting.
This blog is meant to be a record of my adventures as a new home-based business owner. Starting my jewellery business was one of the most daunting things I've ever done, next to giving birth. Especially since I was (am?) pretty technically stunted. In this blog I will describe the trials, tribulations and, hopefully, eventual successes I experience while navigating the world of (really, really, really small) business. I also plan to use this blog to talk about all the aspects of jewellery design that fascinate me, keep me addicted, and cause me to spend thousands of dollars (What, honey? No, I didn't say thousands...) on gemstones, beads, findings, etc. I welcome your input, ideas, and stories of similar experiences in beading, jewellery design, or running a handcrafts business.