Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Trunk Show

Cynthia, owner of Nail Emporium, hard at work!

I am a trunk show jeweler. I also hold private showing for select clientele and have an on-line store, but a majority of my business comes from trunk shows. A trunk show is a simple concept whereby a retailer sets up their jewelry for display and purchase in a related retailer’s place of business. Jewelry sales seem to do the best in places such as salons, women’s clothing and spa locations. These are places that cater to women so jewelry is a natural. The business owners I work with consider my visits a customer service bonus. Many of these businesses are women owned and this is empowering for other women. A recent survey by Discover Card ® has shown that women are making a majority of purchasing decisions for their households. I guess that means more women are holding the purse strings.

While women have always been influential in shopping, it is now becoming apparent to more retailers that it is a good idea to cater to women. I know this is true from personal experience in shopping for my own household. I purchase all the grocery items, clothing and gifts. When my mother in law received flowers for her birthday she called and thanked me for the flowers. She kind of knew that I handle all the administrative duties in our house. This is why it is important to market to women when you have a jewelry business. Women know when, how and why a purchase is being made, women are behind the decision and generally, women know what they want.

A display of my jewelry at a recent trunk show
This is also why I love to hold trunk shows. A trunk show held at a day spa is a women only environment and this helps to relax women and make them more receptive to browsing. I never try and push anyone to purchase, it’s just fun to see other women admiring my pieces and asking questions. I am a bona fide jewelry junkie and showing and talking about my jewelry is very rewarding.  I love to see how different pieces will look on different women. The feedback is huge and when you can get women to talk about their likes and dislikes you can learn a lot of valuable things. Such as the other day, someone mentioned that I should post pictures of my shows on my Facebook page. So recently I took a couple of pictures with my iPhone.

This is when I found out I needed table cloths. Since I began I’ve shied away from anything that will add another step to my set up. When I have private showings it is usually in someone’s home and a small selective group of pieces are brought for viewing. I bring few displays and keep it very simple. But the pictures I took the other day revealed that I definitely need table cloths. So this week I ordered some and while I am still waiting I am holding out great hope that these table cloths add just the right touch of elegance. Trunk shows can be tricky because you have limited space and limited time for set up and teardown. You do not want to have extremely elaborate displays that take a lot of time for assembly. This will cut into the time you have for customer service.

 A real need for a table cloth

Customer service is important at a trunk show. The locations where I set up are places where women are having some “me” time and I do not want to take away from that experience. All women want to be appreciated, a visit to a salon and browsing through some beautiful jewelry can make any woman feel a little extra special.

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