Psychic Selling

Even with her psychic connection, Morgan Hill Jewelers owner Laura Petersen could not have predicted the success of her first trunk show, which sold $5,400 worth of jewelry in two hours.

The occasion was the launch of a new line of jewelry ($19 to $99 retail) featuring ancient symbols and talismans by world-renowned psychic Sylvia Browne. Much of the jewelry is sterling silver set with marcasite and colored stones including topaz, citrine, peridot, amethyst, mother-of-pearl, pearls, and turquoise.

Petersen first took on the famous psychic’s collection with 15 pieces, four of which sold right away. “Sylvia has many followers here,” says Petersen. “People typically purchased more than one piece of jewelry.”

The intimate nature of Morgan Hill, Calif. (population 34,000), allowed the event to “go viral” the old fashioned way—word of mouth. Petersen posted fliers in local stores and made phone calls to attract 150 people to the event.

Petersen added party space with a tent and combined a wall case and an 8-foot display case to accommodate Browne’s jewelry. Wine from her husband’s vineyard minimized liquor outlays.

Watch brand Skagen joined the trunk show. “The vendor showed some watches and agreed to give away some pieces for the drawings held throughout the night,” says Petersen.

It’s hard to know which was the main attraction—Browne, a best-selling author who’s appeared on Larry King Live and other talk shows, or her jewelry.

“It was amazing just being around her,” says Petersen. “Obviously many people asked Sylvia questions about their lives, but she also has a good sense of humor and is passionate about her new line of jewelry.”

Browne sells her collection of 150 pieces at personal appearances and online. Says Petersen: “Any jeweler in any town could duplicate the success of this event given Sylvia’s 72-year history as a psychic.”