I’m sitting next to our Christmas tree polishing off the last few Christmas cookies, the last vestiges of the holiday season in our home, as I write this. We celebrated at home this year surrounded by family, lots of good food and holiday cheer. It was a big change for us after spending the last three Christmases traveling to Southeast Asia. I do have to admit, I miss having a tan in January…

I was busier than normal filling holiday orders and preparing for my first holiday shows. I didn’t know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised at how positive the whole experience turned out to be. It helped that I began preparing for the holidays in October, steadily knitting up my inventory well into December.  Being organized certainly paid off, as I was able to fill most of my holiday orders with stock on hand.

In action at SFMade
(photo courtesy of Anne-Marie Kavulla)

My first show, SFMade’s Holiday Gift Fair, couldn’t have gone better. There was a steady flow of people from beginning to end. It was fun to see people’s reaction when they saw my jewelry and what they gravitated towards. I loved talking with my customers and demonstrating the versatility of my designs. People loved that most of the pieces could be worn in multiple ways. After eight hours on my feet and talking non-stop, I was both exhilarated and exhausted.

With boothmates Jen & Naz of Michael James Milton

Jewelry boxes ready for gift-giving

I had just enough time to replenish my more popular pieces for the next show, Renegade Craft Fair, on the following weekend. I was happy to share my booth with another local designer, Michael James Milton, for this two-day show. As it was closer to Christmas, shoppers here seemed more focused on buying gifts rather than shopping for themselves. My gift-wrapping was a big hit for that reason, especially my new jewelry boxes. It was also interesting to see which products sold better at the different venues- excellent market research!

With two successful shows under my belt, I realize how important it is to get in front of my customers- not only to interact with them and get invaluable feedback, but also so people can touch my jewelry, try it on and experiment with it themselves. I am looking forward to doing more shows in the coming year and meeting more of my customers!