The concept of jewelry home parties is familiar enough.
You and/or a hostess get a bunch of friends together, offer them snacks, show them some handmade jewelry, and sell.
The hostess gets some gifts, you get sales, and everyone is happy with their purchases.
Or are they?
Truth be told, I’ve never been too fond of traditional home parties, as I always feel people get “guilted” into buying things, and I personally have problems with guilt-based selling tactics, especially when it’s in exchange for a few lumps of cheese and crackers and boring sales presentations. So when a long time customer of mine invited me to do a home party, I shuddered at the thought.
Sensing my fear, she looked at me real funny, and said, “Oh, but my home parties aren’t like the Tupperware parties of yesteryear….” And as she explained, I began to understand how home parties should really be done.
My genius customer, who we’ll call “Gina,” had a group of friends with very busy lives: they worked a lot, had boyfriends or husbands, and families, and little time left for themselves. Seeing a need for her friends to have some “me time,” Gina started organizing home parties for her friends, but her parties were more like Destination Events.
Instead of just having one vendor show up and selling their wares, she tailored her events around 3 complementary vendors.
The event was set up in her apartment, with three stations, makeovers in the kitchen, spa/massage in the bedroom area, and me with my jewels in the living room, near the food and booze :o). It’s a pretty great set-up if you think about it. Guests arrived and went directly to get a massage or makeover, got instant consults from their friends in regards to their new looks, had some drinks, and prettied themselves up with my necklaces and earrings.
Of course the retail component was still there, but because the event was planned with relaxation and convenience in mind, these women were more than open to buy from each of the vendors! The cosmetics company took orders from guests, who prepaid and were told when they could pick them up from Nordstom, or Gina herself would bring them to work and distribute the orders. I sold my work and took custom orders from the jewelry party room, and the massage therapist handed out cards and gained a bunch of new customers. But most importantly the women left feeling really great about themselves after spending a few relaxing hours with their friends and having some fun!