Craft show moment of clarity (as a jewelry seller)

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Original Post

I had a craft show this weekend that really woke me up after the last few months of focusing on developing my Etsy shop. In one day, I sold about half of my inventory (and my inventory was probably 4 times bigger than what was in my Etsy shop, with 112 items). I was so excited, and I realized that while Etsy is lovely, nothing compares to selling jewelry to people who can handle it and try it on.

Selling jewelry on Etsy is a tough business. Because of my craft show experience, I plan to refocus my efforts. I will be looking for more venues to show my stuff in person, and just keep my Etsy shop open as a side effort. I’ll be spending less time fussing over views, hearts and sales on Etsy!

I have to mention that I got so many great tips on doing craft shows; many from this thread:

Here’s the few that I put into place that really helped:
Not crowding my displays and just putting more jewelry out gradually as things sold.
Making levels of displays and getting things up to eye level.
Running a give away for a $25 gift certificate to my shop in return for their contact info.
Making a clearance sale area with older items (they went like crazy!).
Taking my tools and findings with me and making custom changes on the spot (silver for gold, remove a pendant, etc.)

I know I see many jewelry sellers complain of the market here being oversaturated. It's true! I'm using this experience to change my focus, and though I'm not leaving Etsy, I'm going to take a deep breath and not worry about it.

Posted at 9:27am Sep 28, 2009 EDT


Thank you for sharing this. I'm going to be doing at least one craft fair this fall/winter (possibly two), but have considered signing up for more for that reason. I was actually a little worried that jewelry would be an over-saturated market at a craft fair too, so I'm glad to hear that, at least in your experience, that isn't the case.

I have a question though. With the drawing for their contact info, what do you plan to do with it? Email newsletters or new listings or...?

Thanks again for posting this!

Posted at 9:35am Sep 28, 2009 EDT

Thanks so much for sharring, blackrock!

Great info.

Posted at 9:37am Sep 28, 2009 EDT

Wow what a good post!
I am hosting an open house style craft show for my shop so my friends and family can look! It is in a couple of weeks, I am starting to get nervous but very excited:)
I feel the same way you do I can sell my jewelry to people when they can see and touch it try it on but online it seems like a waste of money to list over and over again! I think that I will probably slowly take my jewelry off and focus more on my greeting cards and crochet products!
Thanks for the positive note this morning!

Posted at 9:37am Sep 28, 2009 EDT


Thank you for sharing and well done you!

Posted at 9:40am Sep 28, 2009 EDT

iktomi says

I hear you! I used to sell jewelry here and finally gave up. Now I do much better with my clay sculpture and actually make a profit.

Posted at 9:41am Sep 28, 2009 EDT

Well done on your craft show experience! I'm doing my first show this weekend and i'm looking forward to seeing how it goes and whether it's wirth doing a few more shows before Christmas.

Posted at 9:42am Sep 28, 2009 EDT

CraftTwins says

Thank you for a great post. We have 4 craft shows coming up this fall/winter. We will be focusing more on our shows than Etsy. It is true that people buy when they can see and touch your products. Etsy helps sell your products but it is not enough. Good luck with everyones craft shows.

Posted at 9:46am Sep 28, 2009 EDT

I have 3 more shows for the fall, and unfortunately my day job doesn't allow me time during the Winter holidays. I find that etsy does allow me the feed back through the winter/spring time that is necessary. Yes, the shows help, but a balance of Etsy and art shows is necessary.
(I did get accepted this weekend with one of the high scale art galleries, the next level beyond shows and etsy)

Posted at 9:52am Sep 28, 2009 EDT

Tessyla says

Wow.. that's great! I'm very happy for you! I've been thinking about doing a craft show for a while now. Where can i find them? How do you go about finding the shows, submitting yourself, etc.?

Posted at 9:55am Sep 28, 2009 EDT