Recently I was approached by a bead store about doing a trunk show of sterling silver components at her shop. Stones And Findings has some of, if not the best, sterling silver components in Canada. We design many of our own findings and carry unique designs from European jewellery component designers. So it came as no surprise that she wanted us to do this at her store. She was certain of its success and was willing to do all the preparation and tagging work. My only surprise was that we don’t do more trunk shows, especially given the current economic times and how prolific our line of designs is. This goes not only for jewellery components, but also for finished jewellery and other design goods.
The model for her “bonanza show” was this: we would ship her unusual & unmarked goods for retail, whatever she kept, she would pay for. Her show was just 1 day, held at 8pm until mid-night. She had recently completed a similar show for stone beads and it went phenomenally well. She sends out regular newsletters to a large audience of customers.
This type of trunk show, as with many other forms of trunk shows, provides a unique opportunity for the designer to showcase his or her range of designs, many pieces that aren’t regulary carried by the store because of high unit cost, or the uniqueness of pieces that don’t appeal to the mass market. After all, every business survives on turnover, and selling sterling silver jewellery components is no different. The bead store wanted to test the market for certain price points and looks, so this was the best way to do it. I’ve already written an article on how jewellery trunk shows work, “How to Put on your First Trunk Show.” It is mutually beneficial to store and the designer.
There are a few things that are vital for a sterling silver jewellery components show in order to be successful:
- The bead store must already have a large customer list they can contact about the event, otherwise, the store will have to buy a great deal of advertising. Press is usually very difficult to get, even if the event would be of interest to many people.
- The designer must have a variety of designs from which to choose from. Otherwise, you don’t get the maximum results out of the captive audience. They don’t all want the same thing, and most of them come to shows if they know there will be unique items that would not be available any other time. I think I’ll bring more items like this large leaf and some of this heavier chain. They are more exclusive and luxury items that speak to more than just the pedestrian consumer. The customer who values quality craftsmanship will understand our jewellery component designs. And I hope the show will give a stronger indication of the bead store’s customer tastes.
- It is best if the show has a theme.
- If it is finished jewellery pieces, then it must be the designs of a specific designer. If this is a prolific designer, then the lines must be edited for a clearer theme. You may choose to do more than 1 show, each with a different theme.
- It must be easy for the consumer to understand. Otherwise, they’ll be going to a bazaar. We will be focusing the show as a sterling silver jewellery components show.
All said, such shows are a lot of work and perhaps this is why there are so few of them. However, they are a lot of fun and offer unique opportunities for business growth. I will let you know how it goes with our sterling silver jewellery components show.