Monday, September 17, 2007

Last Saturday ...

We had the best spot EVER to set up ... right across the street from Radio City Music Hall! We have never seen so much foot traffic. As usual, people were very friendly and we had a blast!

Our neighbors on the left side were two Italian guys from Brooklyn selling Zeppoles ... basically deep fried balls of dough coated in confectioner's sugar. They were fresh, hot and FABULOUS. On the right we had a kid from Mexico selling hand knitted sweaters. That's what is so great about these fairs ... they reflect the NYC melting pot - so many different cultures here adding to the mix is awesome ... trying all the different foods is making me gain a few unwanted pounds but its so much FUN!

Sure, we sold some stuff ... but after talking to lots of other merchandise vendors I realize they aren't selling much either ... people come to these things to walk ... and EAT!

I think we'll be looking for a different venue to work outside next year. The experience is a good one though ... and it satisfies my curiosity about these fairs ... but they are not shopping destination events.

On another note ... we have set up two online venues off our site to showcase our handcrafted items. One of them is on a "mall" site, and the other is an Etsy shop. We will not be selling our regular "commercial silver jewelry" on these sites - just handcrafted or "altered" items.

Here they are:

Our Main Street Mall store - Closed. Not worth the time, effort or expense!

Our Etsy Shop - Still going on Etsy!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Selling jewelry on the streets of New York City ...

Well, it has been a wild summer. I really wanted to keep up with this journal, but I just haven't had the time. The street fair thing has been a real experience; we have learned a lot! Terry and I have tried a lot of ways to set up, we've tried different merchandise ... its not at all like selling online.

At first we brought eight glass and aluminum showcases. We sold very little.

So we ditched the cases. We sold more, but ... it seemed people were looking for less expensive things. A lot of our jewelry is priced in the $20 - $50.00 range, with many pieces priced much higher. People loved the stuff; they just didn't want to spend that much on an impulse buy. So we bought stuff we could sell for less than $10.00, and found it sold a LOT better. Stuff like stretch bracelets, gem chip jewelry, shell necklaces etc. Lower priced silver chains and bracelets do sell; but not as well as we thought, considering that silver jewelry is currently very fashionable. New York has always been a gold and diamond town ... silver jewelry never has sold well here. But costume jewelry sells like crazy in NYC. There is no middle ground. Jewelry has to be VERY expensive - or VERY cheap.

The fairs we're doing are basically a neighborhood "pedestrian mall" type affair. We really expected big crowds, especially in Manhattan, but the people running these street fairs don't promote them very well ... so we get mostly people who live in the neighborhood just out for a walk mixed in with a few New York visitors (tourists). I have to say people are VERY friendly - and MUCH more honest than we expected! Last week a mother and daughter came in. The daughter tried on a ring ... and forgot she had it on her finger. They talked with us for a while, then moved on. A half hour later, they came back - and returned it!

So, we are finding our "niche" so to speak. And we're having a lot of fun! We get to meet lots of people from outside NY, and have become friendly with many of the "regular" vendors. So far we've been caught in the rain twice, but the weather has generally been very good. In all, a very positive experience!


No more street fairs. Fun but a financial loss. Concentrating on our website!