Anything I can do…

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A series of interviews with ordinary people making extra cash a reality.

This month Julia Langstone tells us about her jewellery business.

How do you make extra cash?

I make jewellery which I sell party plan.

How easy is it to do?

It’s quite easy for me to do.  I started making jewellery for myself and friends as a hobby and had so many positive comments from people that I decided to make some to sell.

What sort of profit do you make?

It depends on your mark up.  The better you are at putting together really nice designs and presenting them in an effective, professional way, the more people are willing to pay for your jewellery.  If you just throw a load of earrings on a table like you’re setting up a jumble sale then don’t expect to make much money!  I use some really simple marketing and display techniques and package the products nicely to maximise impact and sell-ability of the designs.

What are the advantages of earning money this way?

It’s my hobby and it earns me cash.  What could be better!  Plus, I get to go and meet loads of new people all the time when I am doing party plan which really suits me.  I work from home most of the time so it’s nice to be sociable for a change.

What are the pitfalls of earning money this way?

Jewellery is all about personality.  If you are the sort of person who wears big earrings and gordy necklaces, you need to remember to cater for the type of person who wears subtle pearls.  It took me a little while at first to realise that I needed a good variety of designs to take to a party.  I found that only about half the people were buying on any given evening and that was because I had nothing to offer them that they felt drawn to.  Having said that, I still stick to my signature style in the main.  After all, if I don’t like my designs then I can’t expect anyone else to.  It’s all about getting the balance right and being adventurous at times while staying true to yourself.

What are your tips for someone who wants to start earning money in this way?

Think about what you enjoy making and what you are good at.  Ask friends to be brutally honest about your designs before you spend several hours and lots of cash putting your stock together.  There’s nothing more disheartening that getting some well meaning advice after you have made up 20 pairs of earrings in a design that needs more work.  And when you are preparing to go to a party, call the hostess a couple of days before to confirm.