STELLA & DOT – PART TWO
RUNNING A SUPER DUPER TRUNK SHOW
As promised, I am back with part two of my Stella & Dot X-Factor series to help inspire the wonderful Stella & Dot community of women to do what you love, share your fabulous jewels with as many women as possible for the festive season and beyond! I just hope some of my experiences in running fashion training & classes offers up some good tips for y’al!
So, your surrounded by fabulous jewels, excited women and lots of chat! What’s not to like, right? Well, we all know anything that involves standing up and selling yourself and your product can be tough. No matter how much you love the jewels, sharing that with a group can be daunting. This blog post is dedicated to helping you to make your Stella & Dot trunk show the best it can be.
Although I don’t claim to be a trunk show expert, I do know a thing or two about what it takes to organise a group of women, bring everyone together and then have enough belief in yourself and your product to get the results you want. I also had some help with this post (to make it as relevant as possible) from the wonderful Stella & Dot stylist, Elaine Bradley Ryan. So, let me take you through the little things I think will help you!
Style Yourself and Your Hostess in Stella & Dot
What better way to showcase your jewels than by wearing them yourself?! Wear something that will allow you to showcase lots of the jewels (a nice open neckline) during the trunk show. Choose a piece also for your hostess to wear. Change your jewellery during the night. The more you show, the more people will like it!
Create a Trunk Show You Would Like To Attend
Build up your collection of nice candles, lights, table cloths and displays to add something special to your trunk show. Help make the process as simple as possible for your hostess. It is up to you as the stylist to create the Stella & Dot experience you want your ladies to enjoy. Although people don’t see the trays. It is the trays that sell the jewellery! You are creating a stylish, clean, easy to visualise way to inspire your customers around the jewels. You don’t have to buy all Stella & Dot trays but you should think creatively about how you are showing your jewellery. Investing in a retail bust is a great piece to use as part of your intro to allow you to mix and match different jewellery and scarves quickly and easily. Try websites like Etsy.com or you could also try McGregors on Wicklow Street in Dublin. Vintage markets are also a good one to try. The Vintage Fashion & Decor Fair is taking place in The Royal Marine Hotel in Dun Laoghaire on November 22nd.
Always display the food and wine in the same room as the jewels. Best to keep everyone and everything together!
Arrive with your hostess 1 hour before guests
You need time to set up, help your hostess and to make sure you are relaxed and ready to go when the first guest arrives. When your guests arrive both you and your hostess should be at the door to greet guests. That way, you can give a clear picture to women that the party has started and they are free to try on the jewels! Give a warm welcome and point people in the direction of the jewels. Women can be slow to touch things when in someone else’s home so make it clear the party begins from the moment they walk in!
Give all your guests a ‘Mini Look Book’
This looks professional, slick and gives your guests an instant way to experience the brand and all that the current season has to offer. In the build up to the party – provide the hostess with a bunch of look books so that if people can’t come, your hostess can give them a look book so they are not missing all the fun (or so she can encourage them to come and she can buy even if she cannot make it!)! You want your hostess and your guests to know orders can be made with the hostess or you before and up to 3 weeks after the event. Your hostess can reap the rewards of hosting all during that time so it is in her interest to hand out those look books!
Your Group Hello – Say THANK YOU To Your Nerves!
It is never easy if you are not used to talking in front of a group. I will never forget standing up and teaching my first fashion classes. I was so nervous, I was literally shaking! But after each class I felt so excited and rewarded at what I had just done and each time it got easier and more relaxed. In my experience, the nerves are always slightly there because you care about what you do and you want women to have a great time! It’s normal and I always thank my nerves before I get up to talk because how special is it to be doing something you care about so much? The best advice I can give is to accept the nerves. Everyone is in the same boat and simply feel proud you are bringing women together in such a fun way and know each time you practice, you will enjoy it more and more!
What to Say?
First off, wait until you think everyone is there! A great intro piece should last about 7 minutes. Think of it as your chance to get people excited about your beautiful jewels!
- Thank you’s – Everyone for coming & of course your lovely hostess! It can be good to thank them for all the nibbles etc that are laid on but remmeber that all it takes to run a trunk show is a few ladies, a few nibbles and a room so make this clear also!
- Introduce yourself - When did you join Stella & Dot? What do you love about your job? Why do you love the jewels? What makes Stella & Dot special for you? Things like Stella & Dot jewels are exclusive to stylists. You won’t find S&D in any retail outlets. You love the quality of the pieces and the fact it supports so many women doing something they love!
- Why do so many people love Stella & Dot? Well designed, versatile, well priced, something for everyone with half the collection under €50. What stylists, bloggers and tv presenters have been spotted wearing jewels? Could you create a fun celebrity board with images of your favourite celebs wearing the jewels to show? Having things like this to put the focus on can make it easier on you!
- Styling piece – pick a couple of your favourite pieces from your display and offer a couple of quick styling tips. Always use your favourite pieces and ideas, that makes it a lot easier to get into it!
Getting Things Going!
Finish by saying again how delighted are with the turnout. Explain that you are starting your business, how much you love it, how passionate you are about the jewellery and how delighted you are to share it with the group and encourage people to have fun! Be very clear about how people can order during the evening and after the event itself. Remember, your guests won’t know how Stella & Dot trunk shows work so keep it simple and clear so everyone knows how it works! Get people excited about how they receive their beautiful jewels (all the pieces here are samples. Beautiful gift boxes will arrive in your hosue in 3 or 4 days. If you decide your wishlist is bigger than your budget. Anytime in the next three weeks your hostess or myself can take your order). Never assume, always explain!
Encourage people to go outside their comfort zone.
Fashion and personal styling is all about creativity and showing people new ways of doing things. A huge plus in bringing a room of women together is everyone can be encouraged to try something different. A different colour and a different style. When you get confident you should be able to read the room and the ladies and see when you can step in and encourage someone to try something new or simply show her all the different ways it can be worn.
Trust first, sales second
Building trust with your group of ladies by showcasing your passion for the jewels, how to wear them, your favourite pieces and showing your passion for fashion is much more powerful for your business than trying to get a quick sale. Always, remember that people buy from people they trust and it is much better to give honest advice.
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
Check out this very cool TED Talk by Simon Sinek called ‘How great leaders inspire action’. I have looked at it many times and it never fails to get me back to the ‘why’, the reason I do what I do and what makes it special. Your ‘whys’ (and they will be unique for each of you) form an important part of your reason for being part of Stella & Dot, running your trunk shows and selling your jewels. Each one of you is unique and you need to embrace ‘you’ and what you bring to your trunk show.
Make the show your own
Create things that help you to conquer your fear of talking, leading and hosting! I love using things like colour vision boards where I create A4 boards with images from magazines (could include Stella & Dot Jewels). An example would be a board showcasing the biggest colour trends for the season ahead or for Christmas some of your favourite party dresses from the high street. I laminate them and use them to give me something to focus on when talking and because people love to look at nice things it takes the pressure off you! It also could be created in a way that helps to prompt you as to what you want to talk about next.
Always go the extra mile
It can be so easy in the hustle and bustle of the evening to forget things. With so many people talking to you and wanting to ask questions, my advice is to find a system that works for you to make sure things don’t get left undone. Always aim to surpass your customers expectations. Is there a piece gone out of stock that someone is looking for after your trunk show? Does another stylist have this to sell to you? Going the extra mile is what people remember.
From One Happy Hostess Comes Another
Make sure your hostess knows how much you appreciate her. I would advise you to order her jewellery for her and make the whole experience a beautiful one for her too. From one happy hostess comes another! During your group hello or during the evening ask the ladies at the trunk show to think about the free jewellery they would like to earn explaining they can become hostesses too! Encourage your hostess to ‘style’ friends too. After all, she knows her friends best of all! But ultimately make sure your group knows how easy and rewarding it is to become a hostess themselves.
Keep it real
Make it human and flawed. Talk about yourself, your favourite jewels, what you find great value for money, the most versatile pieces, the best for the season etc. Women relate to other women and so don’t ever feel you have to try to be someone else or ‘perfect’. I get that a lot in women asking me about training in personal styling. Women say things like ‘I’m not stylish enough’. Rubbish! If everyone of us was the same wouldn’t the world be a boring place. Be kind to yourself and enjoy every moment of getting to share such beautiful jewels in a way that you love.
Using all the tools open to you.
That’s the great thing about being part of a big company like Stella & Dot. You have lots of great trunk show tools to help you. Make sure to bring your monthly Trunk show exclusive offers (TSEO’s). A great idea is to keep it beside you where you are taking orders that way you get to give your customers a change to see all the biggest specials on offer that month before they make their purchase.
Hope you have enjoyed this piece ladies, as always you can email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or Elaine Bradley Ryan from Stella & Dot who helped me put together this piece. Check out my Spring 2016 Personal Styling Diploma course dates here.
Next Installment will be called ‘Booking more Trunk Shows’.