I had a very successful home show last year (although with three
other jewelers) and will try to answer your questions.
What drinks or food do you serve?
This is really a matter of choice (and I’m sure tastes are different
in SE Asia than Los Angeles) but we served - for drinks - fruit
juices, bottled water and a juice/champagne punch (we wanted the event
to be low-maintenance so we rejected hot drinks) and - for food -
cheese and crackers, nuts, candy and cookies (nothing really messy;
after all, we didn’t want greasy fingers all over our jewelry). Also,
keep in mind that there were four of us sharing the expenses; if I’d
been doing it alone, I probably would have had less variety.
What type of music to play (has anyone researched yet which
music helps sales??)
We had no music. We felt there would be enough noise and activity
without it and there was. However, if you want music, my gut says make
it something like melodic, soft jazz and keep the volume down.
How and who to invite? How many people is enough?
All four of us had developed mailing lists from doing shows and that
was the basis for our invitations. Keep in mind that you’ll be lucky
if 5-10% show up so invite as many as you can, although invitations to
strangers who’ve never seen your work are generally useless and
potentially dangerous. In other words, don’t borrow someone else’s
list; it probably won’t work.
Has anything ever been stolen?
No, but the possibility always exists and you must be prepared for
it. Ask friends and/or family members to maintain a presence as a
deterrent in every room where you’re displaying jewelry. (Perhaps you
can give them a small gift in appreciation for their help.) If your
jewelry is materially precious (lots of diamonds and gold, for
instance) you might even want to consider having someone in uniform
who looks imposing.
How to sell, as in can they take home and give an IOU if they
love something but don't have enough money on them?
Absolutely not, at least as far as I’m concerned. They know they’re
coming to a jewelry show so they should be prepared to pay for
purchases. At the most, you can offer a layaway plan where they pay
you in nonrefundable installments and you hold the piece until it is
completely paid for. Make sure all the terms are spelled out on the
invoice. (Taking credit cards is really the easiest way to deal with
this problem but I assume from your question that you’re not set up
How often have you had one?
I’ve had two - one a long time ago and one last November - and I’m
planning another for this year.
How have you advertised?
We had a color postcard made that showed a piece from each of us.
One of us is a good-enough photographer, so the only costs involved
were film development and postcard printing (which, in the States, is
quite inexpensive). The postcards were sent, about two weeks in
advance of the event, to the combined mailing lists mentioned above.
If you don’t have a cheap postcard maker that you can use, I suggest a
simple flyer with, perhaps, a snapshot or color xerox of your work
Hope this helps and that you have a very successful venture!