Too Much Competition At Your Local Craft Fair? Focus On Niche Marketing Instead!
Are you feeling like a little fish in a big sea when it comes to selling your jewelry designs?
Well, you’re not the only one!
Over the last few years, competition in the handmade jewellery and bead making business has gotten fierce. A few years ago, if you sold your own handcrafted jewelry, especially polymer clay beads, at a craft fair… you were the only one. Now you are one of many.
Yesterday, I received a comment about that very problem from Tina Holden, a veteran in the polymer clay bead industry. Her comment was in regards to some tips I published for home based jewelry business owners to beat the bad economy.
Great advice Cindy! As always, your experience and tips are not only helpful, but positive and uplifting.
I just wrote an article in a beaders group about the negative side to beading, how much competition there is today, compared to just 10 or 15 years ago.
My focus was mainly on the Corporate magazine industry, how they create more subscribers, how much they know about their subscribers, and how many more new beaders they create on a regular basis.
It’s very hard to stay ahead, not just with the down-turn of the economy, but keeping up with the competition. Galleries, shops, markets and fairs include more jewellers than ever. Beads are a drug! lol
I know exactly what Tina is talking about and have also been concerned about the increasing levels competition in the marketplace. So what are some things you can do to survive and even thrive?
Well one way to compete is to NOT compete at all! Obviously I’m saying that kind of tongue in cheek. But it is to make a point.
So how do you NOT compete? One way is to market at venues and shows where the theme has nothing to do with jewelry. This way it is unlikely there will be other vendors at the event with anything remotely similar to what you are offering.
Contrast this to traditional craft fairs where there is pretty much guaranteed to be lots of direct competition.
But you have to play it smart. And by this I mean you have to create niche products that will be of interest to those attending the event.
Some examples would be: Selling dog theme jewelry at a dog trade show; Grapes and vineyard fashion accessories at a wine tasting event; Golfware at the driving and putting expo; Gardeners things; Herbalists; Travel Industry; etc., etc., etc..
You can even narrow your niche down further by choosing to only make jewelry for Chocolate Lab puppy owners, for example. Can you imagine how successful you would be as the only seller at the Chocolate Lab Convention with earrings that look just like the attendee’s pets?
If model trains are your thing, how about making polymer clay image transfers of vintage steam engines for pendants and key chains to sell at the next train conventions? Really the ideas are endless if you start thinking outside of the box.
One of my students knows very much about the successes you can have making beads for a niche market. Being a rose enthusiast, Bren sells her rose pendant jewelry to other rose enthusiasts with great success. You can read about this success story here: Selling Rose Pendent Jewelry On Etsy
Some venue ideas for selling rose spoon pendant jewelry such as the one pictured above, are: Flower shows, antique furniture sales, or even in a specialty tea shoppe.
Why not sit down and take a good look at what you make as a jewelry designer and see if there is an interesting niche that you could fit into. Let me know what you come up with, by leaving a comment below!