Trunk Show Copy

How To Host A Trunk Show

Trunk Show
For Indiepreneurs, there really is nothing better than person to person sales. Hosting a Trunk Show is an old-fashioned idea that works.

Begin with the invitation
Include quality photos of your newest pieces as well as vital information such as when and where. A wide range of time allows more people to fit your show into their schedule. Here’s an example of Alison’s invitation.

You’re invited to
Alison Kelley Designs
Spring 2008 Trunk Show
Come See My New Spring/Summer Collection!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. (stop by anytime)
555 Street Address, San Jose, CA
Don’t forget to bring a friend!
(You and your friend will get 2 extra raffle tickets! That means you’ll get 3 tickets just for coming!)
I’ll be raffling off a pair of Earrings and a Bracelet! You don’t have to be present for the raffle. I will have someone pick the winning tickets at 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. so make sure you get your tickets in before the raffle times.
Earn more tickets: get 2 tickets for RSVPing, 3 tickets for making a purchase, and 5 tickets for booking an AKD party.
Special Announcements!
I am starting a Birthday Club. For the Birthday Club, I would like to give you 25% off one item during your birthday month, just remind me! (If I have missed your birthday month already this year, let me know.)
April is my birthday month and I would like to celebrate with you by offering everyone 15% off all jewelry until April 30th, with the exception of any custom design work.
Last but not least…
Host an Alison Kelley Designs Jewelry Party Of Your Own!
To entice you to host an Alison Kelley Designs show of your own, you will receive 50% off any item at this event with your booking!
Thank you and hope to see you soon!
Alison Kelley

Your invitation is the key to having your show be successful. If I feel that I haven’t gotten the word out enough or that I’m not sure too many people are coming than I will do a reminder email as well as post cards for those who don’t have email.

Choosing a Date

Consider what will work for your customers, friends and family. If the show will be hosted by someone else, you will want her to do the same with their date choice. I usually have a Back to School Trunk show. I have found that Tuesday’s or Thursday ‘s are ideal days.

I have teachers that are my customers and I do two time sessions to give me a small break in between the times and also to give the teachers a wider opportunity to stop by.

Once a date has been chosen either by you or a hostess then you will want to give them something to remind guests of that date. I like to do a save the date note by email or snail mail. Two to 3 weeks prior to the show, send out the actual invitation.

Preparing for the Show

You can never have too much product. For my first show, the last necklace I designed ended up being my biggest seller! You just never know.

Plan your displays. Consider what kind of displays you need and order them. I like displaying my jewelry on busts as well as just laid on a table. People like to see necklaces hanging on a bust, but they are less inclined to pick them up. Items on the table allow them to pick up and touch. I’ll switch pieces around as the Trunk Show goes on.

I make sure that my own attire is neutral so that I can model pieces for guests who are unwilling to try pieces on themselves.

Greeting Your Guests

My front entry becomes check in area. I ask guests to sign in – name address, phone, email address and whether they’d like to join my email list. I also ask who referred them.  During check-in, I give out raffle tickets.

Consider serving light appetizers and snacks. Consider also accomodating children that may accompany your guests. Set up a play area to give mom a break to shop.

Check-Out Area

I set up an area with my invoice book, calculator and any other information about my jewelry. I also show off my packaging in this area so that they can see that the packaging is ready for gift giving.

As you can see by the above invitation, I like to raffle off a few items. It’s great incentive to stop by. The Birthday Club I started is a great hit as well.

I have hosted a few Trunk Shows at my house and at other people’s homes. I’m always pleasantly surprised how well  the shows do and the great response I get from people.

Contributed by:
Alison Kelley

  1. Gayla Harrington06-16-2011

    I have just purchased a bridal shop and am preparing for a trunk show in July. I have found several web sites with the basic information, but was trying desparately to find a detailed “to-do” type check list for preparing for a Bridal Gown Trunk Show, specifically wording for invitations to send out. Any help that you could give would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Lin Betancourt03-27-2011


    I wholesale my items to some stores in the USA. I am going on a trip in a month and wanted to offer one of the stores that I sell to “A trunk show”. I am just now sure how I would run it.

    Would I just keep an invoice for each person’s purchase and then present it to the store owner at the end of the show and she can pay me then before I leave?

    What would I want on the invoice? Buyers name? What they purchased? I would not list a price as I am guessing they would check out with the shop owner.

    What if our invoices do not agree?

    Any suggestions?

    I appreciate your help.


    • Lovely04-01-2011

      Well, I need to make a few assumptions. First, you’re the wholesale rep, correct? Then, the shop owner should get retail price from any customers you sell to – is that right? I would just work out prices in advance of the trunk show. I’d also use the shop owner’s invoice since customers would return to her for more of the product.

  3. Alison Kelley03-06-2009

    Hi Zdenka,

    Here are the benefits that I give to a hostess when doing a party:

    Benefits for you and your guests include:
    • Earn 10% of your guests’ total sales in free merchandise.
    • A free pair of earrings of your choice * (any pair up to $25 value)
    • A half-price item of your choice * (charm bracelets excluded)
    • Your guests receive a special 10% off discount of retail prices.
    • $10 additional merchandise credit for each party booked. (Credit applies after the booked parties are completed.)

    As far as retail stores, it really varies depending on if they are purchasing your items wholesale or if you are on consignment. I am currently selling my jewelry at a craft boutique, I pay a monthly rental fee and they take 10% of my sale.

    Hope this helps, if you have more question please feel free to contact me.

  4. zdenka kiric11-04-2008

    Can you please advice a procent given to the hostes of the show at home,if not me hosting it, as well as ritail store comision on sales at trunk show.

    thank you
    warm regards


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