A pearl party is a modern-day Tupperware party. Friends gather in person or tune into live streams of hosts who open oysters to reveal colorful pearls inside. Bring fun and elegance to your social circle with a delightful pearl party business!
As with any craze, it’s best to join while the demand is high. With video streaming and current technology, you can host a pearl party from anywhere, at any time. Old and new friends from all around the world can join your pearl party and have fun from the comfort of home.
How Does it Work?
A pearl party follows this basic formula:
- The host opens dozens of oysters, which were purchased by attendees
- Attendees get the pearl inside their oyster in return for the fee
- The pearls are measured and assessed before being shipped to the attendees
- Some companies optionally offer to set the pearl in jewelry for an additional fee
The pearl party host is seen as the go-to person to assess and evaluate each pearl before sending it to attendees. Knowing the pearl process will help you grow your business exponentially.
What Do I Need to Start this Business?
Pearl parties are not free; there are a few investments that you will need to make before starting this business. As the host and owner of the business, you will be preparing everything yourself. This rings true for both in-person and virtual pearl parties.
Think of yourself like any business owner. Sometimes, you will need to make large investments for your business to run smoothly. Here is what you will need to begin your pearl party business:
1.Learn to Be a Pearl Consultant
As someone who is evaluating the pearls for their clients upon opening, you will need to know a lot about pearls. As a pearl consultant, you will need to accurately estimate the market value of each pearl to your clients. You can learn about pearls by studying them, reading books found at the local library, doing online research, asking jewelers, and consulting a pearl expert.
You can also join a multilevel marketing company that is already in the pearl industry to learn more about pearls. MLM is not for everyone, so be sure to research before getting involved with learning about pearls in this way. All of these elements will teach you about pearls, which will help you gain credibility when dealing with clients.
2.Decide On Venue
In-Person Pearl Parties
If you have been to a Tupperware party, the principle is simple. Attendees will have purchased one or more oysters before starting the party. Then, the host will open each oyster, revealing the color, size, and shape of each attendee’s pearls in front of guests.
Party guests can then take home their pearls or have them made into jewelry either through the pearl company or through another service.
Online Pearl Parties
You may have seen pearl parties filling your Facebook live feed, and for good reason. Virtual pearl parties are fun and easy to host during periods of staying at home. The Covid pandemic brought on a need for at-home social gatherings, explaining the burst in popularity for virtual pearl parties.
For an online pearl party, you must secure your spot and pay the fee for the pearl before the start time. The party will meet via the live stream or a private link for private parties. These can be hosted via the same platform, or even video meeting apps such as Zoom.
Then, the host will virtually open each oyster for each attendee, displaying the size and shape of each pearl over the live stream. The host will send the pearls for processing before having them sent to each attendee.
3.Decide Which Pearls You Are Going To Sell
The first item to think about in this business venture is what type of pearls you would like to sell. You can choose from freshwater or saltwater. The choice will depend on the quality of pearls that you would like to provide to your clients. Once decided, you will have to find a reliable supplier of oysters containing pearls that meet your business standards.
Which is More Expensive – Freshwater or Saltwater?
Saltwater pearls are generally more expensive than freshwater pearls. A strand of freshwater pearls can range from $50-$2000. Depending on where they’re from, a strand of saltwater pearls can range from $300-$25,000. Some of the best sea pearls are from the coast of Tahiti or Japan.
This will depend on how you plan on how you are hosting your party. The options are in-person parties or online parties.
What Color Pearls are the Most Expensive?
Pearls can vary in size, shape, and color. Certain jewelers will seek out one color over another, so it is a good idea to have multiple relationships with jewelry makers. Luckily, with online shops like Etsy, you can sell to smaller jewelry makers and still make a good living.
White and gold pearls are currently the most sought-after colors in the pearl world. They are most commonly used to create expensive, elegant jewelry sold at a very high markup. You will likely find a lot more colors than these when hosting your parties.
How Can You Tell a Real Pearl from Fake?
To see if a pearl is real or fake, you will want to first rub the pearl against your teeth in a left to right motion. If the pearl is real, you will feel the jagged edges of an imperfect pearl against your smooth teeth. If the pearl is not real, it will be smooth against your teeth. This is because fake pearls are made with glass or plastic, which is a totally smooth surface.
Decide How to Take Payments for Pearls
You will, of course, need to be paid for your services by your clients. Deciding on a merchant processing service, such as PayPal, to collect payments for your pearl parties is very important.
Most participants may want to pay via debit or credit card, so you can get a card swiper app and attachment for your tablet or phone. It is acceptable to take cash or check as well. You will need an app like QuickBooks to track your sales, payment methods, and monitor your business growth.
4.Find a Reliable Jeweler
As the host, part of your duties includes sending the pearls off for jewelry making. You will need to have a good relationship with a reputable jeweler. A good jeweler will make beautiful jewelry from the pearls you reveal, leading to happy clients and customers after the pearl party.
You can also find jewelry makers online via shops like Etsy. Many at-home jewelry makers need to source quality materials, which you can provide. Having a few jewelry makers in your contact list will allow more options for jewelry making to your clients.
Where Do I Source the Pearls?
If you are a part of a multilevel marketing pearl company, you can likely source the pearls through their services. The companies sell the oysters in kits, including starter kits for those just beginning their own pearl party business. Starter kits can vary in price, anywhere from $30 to $100, with the quality of pearls varying from oyster to oyster.
Being a part of an MLM pearl party business has its advantages. The initial start-up is very low-risk. As we can see, the initial costs are fairly low. You also have a low operating cost since you are the only employee in your business. In addition, you have freedom with your schedule with great potential income if your business is successful.
If MLM is not how you want to conduct your business, there are plenty more options for sourcing pearls.
Importing Your Own Pearls
You might want to source better quality pearls than what MLM companies typically provide. That’s okay, too! You will need to import the pearls yourself in this case. Be sure you follow all of the guidelines provided by the US Fish & Wildlife Service for best practices if buying within the United States.
Importing from outside of the US will come with a few more requirements. To import from another country, will you need to be approved for an import/export license. This permit has a $100 yearly fee attached, plus a $93 fee for each import. The fees may or may not be worth the increase in pearl quality. That is for you to decide. After all, you are the business owner!
If you are just starting, it is best to begin in small quantities before moving onto larger parties. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so it is okay to start small and grow your business.
5.Create Social Media Accounts
If you are not already on social media, you will need an account across multiple platforms for your pearl party business. Platforms with streaming capabilities are crucial in this business. Some platforms commonly used at Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram. You could also host via Twitch, which is a live streaming social media site.
If you want to host private parties and find clients via special media, that is also an option. Download a group meeting or hang-out app such as Zoom and host your private parties there. This does not allow new people to join in as Facebook does, but you can control how many clients you are dealing with at once.
Familiarize with your target market before choosing your social media platforms. If your target market aligns with one platform over another, pick the platform that caters most to your market. This will help you to grow within the demographics of your choosing.
6. Market Your Business
As the owner and host, it is your responsibility to source participants for your pearl parties. You can do this within your social circle, especially if you already have a lot of friends or fans on social media. This is a great idea to start but you will need to branch out eventually.
Here are some best practices to source good clients:
Market Your Actual Pearls and Products
Show off what you have! On your business page, be sure to showcase inventory by taking flattering, well-lit photographs of your stock. Show multiple good examples of the types of oysters and pearls you have in your stock. This will show clients that they have the potential to gain these pearls by participating in your parties. Also include jewelry design options from the reputable jeweler you are working with.
By showing what clients would receive from your service, you are more likely to find a loyal clientele. If you need to hire a professional photographer to highlight your pearls, go for it. These costs will be offset by how much business you gain from simple smart marketing.
Engaging with your audience is crucial in building business relationships. Social media makes it easy to do this from the comfort of your own home. Be sure to join online groups for pearl business owners or jewelry makers. Do this from your personal account so that you become a familiar name within the community. Once you build relationships and connections with folks in the groups, you can share your pearl party business page. Then, you can invite new followers of your page to your next pearl party.
You can also seek out groups about jewelry making. Many jewelry makers need pearls and building a relationship with them can be mutually beneficial for both of you. Let clients and buyers know what they can receive through your parties and this will drive your participation through the roof.
Use Social Media Ads
This is another area where you will need to spend money to make money. Facebook ads cost money but they will be marketed to your target audience. Because of the algorithm, Facebook and Instagram will only show your ad to people within your demographic who have shown interest in jewelry. The ads are based on data collected from users via the platform. Since the ads are targeted, you are more likely to gain loyal participants since they have already shown an interest in what you are selling.
Host a Giveaway
One of the most effective ways to gain fans and followers is to host a pearl party-related giveaway. Social media users who want to grow their base often host a giveaway to engage and gain followers. You can choose what prize to give away, but be sure it is nice enough to entice followers to engage. Just like ads, this marketing technique will also cost money, but the return should be great.
The usual process to begin a giveaway is to engage your fanbase by asking a question. Posing a question to your followers is how to initiate the process. Fans can then be redirected to your business profile. To participate, they need to follow your page and “like” the giveaway post. Winners can be announced via a pearl party or a separate post.
7.Provide The Best Customer Experience
Having great customer service skills is going to be imperative for running your own business. Knowing how to deal with people both in person and virtually is a skill that is necessary for a pearl party scenario.
You want to have a nice, calm demeanor when engaging with your following. Leave the political views and controversial topics out. You want to please as many people as you can.
In addition to being friendly, you should also always be willing to engage with your following. Social media does not have a “9 to 5”, so to speak. You will need to be available for your following for responding to messages, comments, and tags to not leave your following in the dark. Owning your own business is a 24-hour job, so repeated social media engagement is key.
How Much Can You Make From a Pearl Party?
Your revenue will depend on how much your pearls are worth. Many pearl party business owners will purchase less expensive oysters, leading to less expensive (but still beautiful) pearls. You will sell those pearls for an upcharge to make sure your costs are covered. All pearls, expensive or not, will have an upcharge.
You can also sell your pearls directly to clients or jewelers. You may opt to supply more expensive pearls to your clients, leading to a higher client fee. Once you open each oyster and know what pearls you’re selling, you can easily sell them for market value or higher without actually hosting an event.
Either way, each pearl party can generate $100-$3000 in revenue depending on the types of pearls and how many participants you have.
Is Pearl Harvesting Sustainable?
Extracting a pearl from the oyster does not kill or harm the oyster. Because of this, pearl extraction is one of the most sustainable practices when it comes to jewelry making. In addition, pearl farmers are extremely careful when dealing with their oysters.
After all, each oyster has the potential to make them a lot of money. Most harvesters use tools reminiscent of surgical tools to extract the pearls and save the oyster.
If you wish to be an entrepreneur and have a passion for customer service, starting a pearl party business is right for you. You will need to educate yourself on pearls, how to extract them, and how to properly appraise them.
Having a following on social media will give you a head start, and hosting a giveaway on your page is a great way to gain more followers. Once you have a steady following, you can host in-person and virtual pearl parties, showcasing the beautiful pearls you have in your collection. Selling your pearls directly to jewelers is also an option.
No matter what, make sure you follow your passions in life. Become your own boss, make your schedule, and start a pearl party business today!
Ruben has been doing online marketing for the last 4 years. Prior to that, he spent 15 years managing different brick-and-mortar businesses, in the home improvement and logistics industries. Overall, he has 20 years of business experience under his belt. Recently, he added SEO, affiliate marketing, and link building to his business skills.