Q&A on Selling at Shows with a Friend/Jewelry Maker

Q. I make and sell jewelry with a friend of mine. We usually do shows together and display our jewelry at one booth. Her jewelry is priced much lower than mine. We almost never sell the same amount – at some shows her jewelry does really well, and at some shows mine does. Do you have any advice on whether or not we would be better off displaying our jewelry separately?

A: Making jewelry with a friend is a great way to enjoy your jewelry making passion!

It cuts down on the isolation many jewelry makers experience, and it gives you someone to discuss ideas with.

The downside of selling together is that, as you’ve seen, you’re appealing to slightly different markets and possibly "cannibalizing" each other’s sales. (Cannibalizing is when one company markets two products, and sales for one come at the expense of the other.)

Here’s an idea that won’t impact your overall income from shows, and might even boost it: Decide in advance whose jewelry will be "featured" at that show, and then you would both sell it.

Might be you one show, and her the next.

The idea is that you’ll match the jewelry to the audience. That’s what is happening anyway just through the natural "selection" process at each show.

You’ll have to be more proactive about finding out what price points will sell best at targeted shows, but if you sell at the same venues each year you will have figured that out. As a bonus, learning how to sell your partner’s jewelry will help you become better at selling overall!

Good luck!