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looking at maybe opening a shop????

(18 Posts)
CherryMonster Wed 07-Sep-11 11:21:43

i am a jewellery designer, and would love to open my own shop but have no idea at all. anyone who can offer and tips and advice please?

TalkinPeace2 Wed 07-Sep-11 18:46:05

B&M - DONT
start on ebay / website / facebook

Saffra Thu 08-Sep-11 09:56:34

Agree with Talkinpeace - I would say online initially and only then go to B&M once you have developed your business/brand. But only when you know that your business can comfortably afford the fixed costs.

Have you looked at Not on the High Street and Etsy? These might be better than ebay for more beautifully crafted pieces. Customers are likely to be less price conscious and appreciate design.

mistlethrush Thu 08-Sep-11 09:59:12

Also say don't open a shop, at least at first. You could also consider doing parties - good before christmas - get 'host' to invite lots of friends to come and have a glass of wine and look at your jewelry - she benefits with discount or some free gifts from you.

CherryMonster Thu 08-Sep-11 11:45:39

thanks guys, i am looking at doing jewellery parties, and am trying to get my mate to hold one. have a website already, and not had any joy there, tried etsy, sold one piece on folksy and one set on ebay. not looked at not on the high street, but isnt that somewhere where i would have to make lots of pieces the same for them to sell?

mistlethrush Thu 08-Sep-11 11:49:39

CM - I would say that depends on the outlet you see - lots would be keen on individual items rather than lots the same. Look for up coming craft markets, christmas sales etc and try to get a table at them....

CherryMonster Thu 08-Sep-11 11:52:13

yeah am looking already, but there dont seem to be a lot round here. did a stall at my sons school fete in july, and sold a fair bit, but that was all recycled plastic jewellery, now i have branched into gemstones and silver i dont know if they would sell at school fetes.

mistlethrush Thu 08-Sep-11 11:55:35

If they're good, on the run up to Christmas, yes, they'll sell. In my experience, the fairs don't really start until November, Late Oct at the earliest. What about contacting local charities and finding out if they might have an event that you could come along to and let them have eg 10% of the takings that night? If necessary, bite the bullet and set an event up yourself - get stallholders to rent a table etc (money up front) - make sure that there's good publicity.... Will be a lot less expensive than renting a shop.

funnypeculiar Thu 08-Sep-11 11:58:00

Shops are ridiculously expensive - unless you are really top end, just not a starting place. Agree with others - set up online/get a following locally (find out all the local school fairs (check out private schools too); craft/community fairs; toddler groups; look at parties (esp good now in the run up to Christmas). NOTHS would need you to make specific pieces, not one offs as far as I know.

What sort of price points are you selling at? Oor local school fair/pamper night (state) can support quite high price points (£30-£50) IF products are premium enough. A mate (who sells on NOTHS) also does a big sale once every 6 months which she invites everyone she's ever met to - free bubbly & everything is discounted, but cash only. I know she always does very well with those.

funnypeculiar Thu 08-Sep-11 12:01:21

Oh, & always make notes after each sale as to what sells/gets interest & what doesn't - very helpful in range planning. Some things will fly out of the door at x school, but don't get a sniff at y school etc.

missmehalia Thu 08-Sep-11 12:05:21

If you want high st exposure, look for an art gallery/co-operative business where your stuff is on show along with the work of others.. Christmas fairs etc can be great if you want an annual 'push', but the costs of even those can be unbelievable. (I looked at doing Christmas Market in Bath for this year, you need to fork out at least £3k for a basic stall. There will be others around, of course that are more low-key and far cheaper.)

There are beautiful gift shops around that have jewellery cabinets - you could approach one of those to see what the response is like. They'll know what their customers would go for, normally. If they want to stock your stuff, see if you can negotiate on what percentage they would take on sales. It can be a lot.

I ran retail premises for a while, it's a huge drag, to be honest. The expenses are massive, it's a huge tie if you've got a family and want time for them. If you're dead set on going into premises, choose v carefully. The leases can tie you in for a long time, and the wrong location could lose you a lot. You sometimes need to spend an enormous amount of money on shop fittings, too before you even open the doors. Depends how much stock you've got too.

Sorry to sound so gloomy! It's horrible when someone wees on your fire about a business idea. I bet your stuff is fab, it's just finding the right outlet.

What do you enjoy the most, coming up with new designs? Making the jewellery? Or selling it face to face? If you like the making the most, you won't enjoy running a shop, the domestics of running a business take up huge amounts of your time.

missmehalia Thu 08-Sep-11 12:06:28

PS I know someone who recently investigated NOTHS, and do beware of what you're committing to. You are expected to financially contribute to advertising on a regular basis, otherwise your exposure will be limited. There are other things too... maybe Google it?

CherryMonster Thu 08-Sep-11 12:18:44

thanks ever so much. yes will look into the fairs, most of my prices are between £10 and £30, and i use genuine gemstones and sterling silver. am looking into a display in a local contemporary gallery, and have phoned all the jewellers where i live but nothing as yet. wont go with NOTHS i think, sounds like too much of a faff. will deffo try to get a date for a jewellery party. would love to do workshops too, but not sure if i am good enough for that yet. x

mistlethrush Thu 08-Sep-11 12:28:53

CM - the jewelry parties are something that you could, if you got it going, do two or three a week if you wanted to and got the network going. Don't rely on friends - do yourself some leaflets and have them with you at all times. I did Pampered Chef for several years, so Pm me if you want more details on how they did theirs and how they went about getting more parties (not going to tell you here as don't want to fill up thread with potentially useless info)

CherryMonster Thu 08-Sep-11 12:55:05

thanks mistlethrush, i would love some info on parties x

peachybums Mon 12-Sep-11 20:11:14

You mention your website isnt doing anything? How many backlinks do you have? What posision in google are you? Have you tried optimising your keywords? It ok to chuck a site up but you really need to know a little about SEO or get someone who does to give you some tips. Im not saying you dont know anything, i dont want to sound bitchy dont get me wrong lol but there is a lot of money to be made online if you know how to get your traffic. Doing cards, leaflets etc is also a good idea as well as local advertising. Most people say their best source of advertisement is word of mouth so tell everyone!

SootySweepandSue Wed 14-Sep-11 12:35:51

I have bought a lot from the Hannah Zakari website. She may stock your items also.

tiddlerslate Fri 23-Sep-11 22:39:53

Try approaching some small independent shops and see if you can sell wholesale to them. Then you can see what sells and what doesn't without the commitment and cost of a B&M.

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