An eclectic blog about beads, beading and beyond

Monday, November 16, 2009

Selling beyond Etsy (1) - 40 creative options for selling beadwork, can we make it 50?

I was at my local Gem and Mineral Show at the weekend. It’s a relatively small affair run by the local Geelong Gem and Mineral Club ( each year. I found some lovely cabochons made by club members for sale at very reasonable prices. I was also surprised and delighted to find several folks selling beadwork. I thought – why didn’t I think of that? I don’t think a table at the show would have been very expensive and there were lots of people buying beads and beadwork. Prompted by this and by the recent conversations by the Etsy Beadweavers Team (EBW) (see links to their work below) about the challenges of generating online sales I’ve been reflecting on other creative options for generating beadwork sales. Below is a list I’ve generated from several online sites that talk finding outlets to sell craftwork. At first site, some suggestions might seem odd (e.g. dog shows) or unrealistic (chain stores) but on reflection they might not be. For instance, I’ve seen some delightful earrings with images of dogs on them made by the EBW team - here's a Beagle earring by Fantasy Beader of EBW
( and there's more than one article around on how to make beaded dog collars.

So, just like the creative beading challenges run by EBW and other bead groups I can see lots of creative challenges in thinking about what stock to take to a bird show or boat show. Here's some sweet boat earrings that show the possibilities. They are by Carosell Creations from EBW.

Love to hear how you might respond creatively to these suggestions, your experiences of the pros and cons of different venues or any other suggestions you have about creative venues to sell beadwork. I’d love to get the list to 50 with your help.

40 creative venue options for selling beadwork
1. Airport and hotel gift shops attract travelers in transit.
2. Antique shows
3. Apparel shows
4. Arts and crafts co-ops
5. Arts and crafts galleries
6. Baby / children’s expos
7. Bath / kitchen shows
8. Beauty shops sometime display jewelry items or let their customers know they have them for sale.
9. Bird shows
10. Boats / yachts shows
11. Bridal / wedding shows
12. Campgrounds at national parks and tourist areas often sell craft gifts from local artisans.
13. Cat shows
14. Chain stores
15. Dog shows
16. Ethnic events / festivals
17. Farmers’ markets
18. Fashion shows held locally
19. Festivals and bazaars
20. Fishing / hunting expos
21. Flea markets and swap meets
22. Gems /jewelry / lapidary shows
23. Gift and souvenir shops
24. Gift shows
25. Gift stores can also be found at marinas in coastal areas.
26. Gourmet stores stock food and gift baskets.
27. Heritage events / demonstrations
28. Home / garden shows
29. Home decor shows
30. Horse shows
31. Horticulture expos
32. Interior design shows
33. Landscaping shows
34. Mail-order outlets
35. Museum and hospital gift shops as well.
36. Museum gift shops
37. Open houses and craft parties
38. Sidewalk arts and crafts exhibits
39. Specialty shops
40. Wine festivals


Etsy Beadweavers Team


Rose Works Jewelry said...

I love your blog posts :) They always make me think and are so informative... So lets look at this list...

5. Don't think I'm ready for galleries - but some day :)

8. I have my stuff in a beauty shop and I'm thinking of trying for a second one :) But it's not my bead weaving...

11. I would LOVE to do a wedding show - planning on approaching a wedding boutique...

17. Hoping to do farmers markets this summer.

19. doing bazaars :)

35. I have a friend who does a museum ... never thought of trying it myself...

Ok - so I didn't see bridal stores themselves, or specialty boutiques - like maybe that target prom dresses and/or ball gown type places?

Lisa Crone said...

Attend local chamber of commerce meetings/events. :)

Fantasybeader said...

Wow, thank you for posting my earrings :-) Also thank you for all the wonderful information, never thought about most of those places before.


Marsha Wiest-Hines said...

My community publishes several glossy mini magazines with articles of local interest and the advertisers are often local boutiques. These mags seem to feature and appeal to a moneyed set. I have thougth several times that I should visit the boutiques that advertise in these things to see if they would want to show a few of my pieces. I don't know how you's add that to your list. You are such a clear thinker Glenda!

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