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Discussions about whether beading is an art or a craft, with supporting details and elaborations

New Book By Warren Feld! Conquering The Creative Marketplace

Posted by learntobead on January 20, 2023

CONQUERING THE CREATIVE MARKETPLACE:
Between the Fickleness of Business and the Pursuit of Design

How dreams are made
between the fickleness of business
and the pursuit of jewelry design

This guidebook is a must-have for anyone serious about making money selling jewelry.   I focus on straightforward, workable strategies for integrating business practices with the creative design process.   These strategies make balancing your creative self with your productive self easier and more fluid. 

Based both on the creation and development of my own jewelry design business, as well as teaching countless students over the past 35+ years about business and craft, I  address what should be some of your key concerns and uncertainties.   I help you plan your road map.

Whether you are a hobbyist or a self-supporting business, success as a jewelry designer involves many things to think about, know and do.  I share with you the kinds of things it takes to start your own jewelry business, run it, anticipate risks and rewards, and lead it to a level of success you feel is right for you, including   

  • Getting Started:  Naming business, identifying resources, protecting intellectual property
  • Financial Management: basic accounting, break even analysis, understanding risk-reward-return on investment, inventory management
  • Product Development: identifying target market, specifying product attributes, developing jewelry line, production, distribution, pricing, launching
  • Marketing, Promoting, Branding:  competitor analysis, developing message, establishing emotional connections to your products, social media marketing
  • Selling:  linking product to buyer among many venues, such as store, department store, online, trunk show, home show, trade show, sales reps and showrooms, catalogs, TV shopping, galleries, advertising, cold calling, making the pitch
  • Resiliency:  building business, professional and psychological resiliency
  • Professional Responsibilities:  preparing artist statement, portfolio, look book, resume, biographical sketch, profile, FAQ, self-care

548pp.

Kindle, Print, Epub

OTHER BOOKS BY WARREN FELD

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

So You Want To Be A Jewelry Designer reinterprets how to apply techniques and modify art theories from the Jewelry Designer’s perspective. To go beyond craft, the jewelry designer needs to become literate in this discipline called Jewelry Design. Literacy means understanding how to answer the question: Why do some pieces of jewelry draw your attention, and others do not? How to develop the authentic, creative self, someone who is fluent, flexible and original. How to gain the necessary design skills and be able to apply them, whether the situation is familiar or not.

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook , Kindle or Print formats

The Jewelry Journey Podcast
“Building Jewelry That Works: Why Jewelry Design Is Like Architecture”
Podcast, Part 1
Podcast, Part 2

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

I developed a nontraditional technique which does not use tools because I found tools get in the way of tying good and well-positioned knots. I decided to bring two cords through the bead to minimize any negative effects resulting from the pearl rotating around the cord. I only have you glue one knot in the piece. I use a simple overhand knot which is easily centered. I developed a rule for choosing the thickness of your bead cord. I lay out different steps for starting and ending a piece, based on how you want to attach the piece to your clasp assembly.

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook, Kindle or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS:16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

In this book, I discuss 16 lessons I learned, Including How To (1) Find, Evaluate and Select Craft Shows Right for You, (2) Determine a Set of Realistic Goals, (3) Compute a Simple Break-Even Analysis, (4) Develop Your Applications and Apply in the Smartest Ways, (5) Understand How Much Inventory to Bring, (6) Set Up and Present Both Yourself and Your Wares, (7) Best Promote and Operate Your Craft Show Business before, during and after the show.

198pp, many images and diagrams, Ebook, , Kindle or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in architecture, Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, creativity, design management, design theory, design thinking, Entrepreneurship, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, Stitch 'n Bitch, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CONQUERING THE CREATIVE MARKETPLACE: What You Need To Know When Preparing A Portfolio

Posted by learntobead on January 19, 2023

Your Portfolio

Your Portfolio will most likely be the first impression a gallery, store, or collection gets of your work. You want to make it a positive and lasting one.

As with the Artist Statement, you do not want to follow anyone’s template when designing your Portfolio. This won’t serve you well. In reality, too many Portfolios look the same.

You will most likely want several versions, say 3 or 4, of your Portfolio in anticipate of different audiences and different ways you might use this. Specifically, you might want versions differentiated by one or more of these characteristics:

· Document without dates for jewelry pieces

· Document with dates for jewelry pieces

· Organized by theme

· Organized by audience

· Only those pieces representative of the brand you are trying to sell to a particular venue

· All your pieces

· Digital, including an online copy, an online copy with some graphical animations, an ebook, or a video online

NOTE: Your digital versions should be responsive. That means they are created in such a way that no matter what browser or what device (computer, tablet, phone, TV) they are viewed on, they will look good.

NOTE: I suggest sharing your digital copy with a URL link to where it would be posted online, say on your website. I suggest not sending a digital copy on a CD, disc or flash drive. I think the potential viewer might get annoyed having to set up their computer to ready it to read the digital copy off these formats.

· Print, including something you print yourself off an office printer, or something available from a bookseller as a print-on-demand.

· Presentation folder: basically a binder with plastic sheet holders, into which you can place sheets of printed images of your work and related text.

· PowerPoint slide show. Can easily be shared on a Tablet or Computer or Notebook Computer.

· With or without prices

Your Portfolio will include images, short text descriptions of each piece, its materials, techniques, and inspirations. You might include your Artist Statement, Testimonials, resume, copy of a significant press article about you. Of course, you would have all you contact information present.

Look Book is a more focused portfolio. It includes a limited number of your best pieces and pieces representative of your brand. The images are the stars. There is limited text, most often in the form of captioning or a short relevant quote. The Look Book should feel cohesive and feel like it targets a very specific audience.

Look Book by Laura McCabe, cover
Look Book by Laura McCabe, inside pages

In Print: These days it is easy and very inexpensive to develop a print-on-demand book for your Portfolio. You have many size options. It can be printed in high quality color. You can have a hard cover and/or a soft cover. You can go with a high quality paper if you want. A printed Portfolio is something that you can give away or sell. This format ups your legitimacy and credibility significantly. You only have to print one copy at a time. It is not difficult to keep the book updated.

Check out kdp.Amazon.com and Ingram Publishing for information about print-on-demand book publishing.

The print version would include,

· Front cover art, back cover art, and side binding art

· Back cover text

· Bar code

· ISBN number

· Library of Congress number

· Your content with images

Designing Your Portfolio

STEP 1: Decide who this is for.

Research and delineate who their audiences are and to which they have to be responsive. For example, a gallery and its collector patrons. Or a store and its core customer base.

Given who it is for, what format and content would they prefer? How do you want them to respond after they view your Portfolio; what action (of course in your interest) do you want them to take?

STEP 2: Select your content.

Ask yourself:

· How consistent and coherent is my content? Have I described each project from inspiration to aspiration to designed outcome to production and distribution? If it is important to present yourself as a brand, how well does your selected content support your brand image?

· Does my content clearly show and demonstrate how I think and problem solve when designing jewelry? Have I identified the design challenges for each project, and how I solved them? Some design challenges might be time constraints, selecting materials, selecting techniques, availability of technologies and tools, consistency with fashion and style expectations.

· Does my text support my images, and vice versa?

· You do not want to settle for a laundry list of projects. You want a set of projects and their related content with which you can create a story.

STEP 3: Organize your content.

Does your organization reaffirm your communication and presentation skills? Have you made clear your style, process and design philosophy? Do the substance, look and feel support an image of you as a professional jewelry designer? Does your organization tell a story, with a beginning, middle, and end, and some takeaways or learnings? Does it have a good narrative flow?

You might organize by theme or color or technique or silhouette. You might organize by price point. You might organize by the context in or types of outfits with which the jewelry might be worn.

NOTE: Cognitively, it is much easier for the reader to digest 3 or 4 pieces of information at a time. So, you might group projects into collections of 3 or 4 pieces. For each piece, you might present 3 or 4 critical pieces of information. And so forth.

STEP 4: Design the cover.

This can be all image, all text, or a mix of image and text. How well does the cover coordinate with your jewelry and brand image?

STEP 5Evaluation.

Does anything seem too vague or incomplete? Are the words you use strong, active, sufficiently descriptive and powerful? Does the narrative flow make sense, or can it be improved?

Ask yourself and some of your designer friends whether your Portfolio, given your audience and how you want them to act in response, prove that you are the right fit.

Given your audience, what questions can you anticipate that you think they might ask you? Example, what was difficult? What might you do differently if doing the piece again? Why would someone want to buy this piece? What kinds of related designs have you considered?

Some Advice

· Layout doesn’t matter nearly as much as the content and how you present your work

· Include some photos which demonstrate the scale of your work and the wearability of your work

· For a gallery, retail venue, or agency, show the retail prices you believe your work should sell for. Don’t include dates. A buyer might wonder, given an earlier date, why the piece hadn’t sold.
For other audiences, you can decide whether or not to include either prices and/or dates. You might want to show your evolution and history as a jewelry designer.

· Keep images separated from text. Don’t interrupt a series of images about a particular piece with text. The viewer will have a visual journey that is a very different experience than a reading journey.

· Keep only 1–2 images per page.

· Make it easy for the viewer to know what you are showing them: detail name of piece, materials, size, technique, price.

· You might include several SOLD pieces, clearly marked as sold.

· Back up all your digital files!

· Unless asked to, I would suggest not sending images on 35mm slides.

· A vertical (portrait), rather than a horizontal (landscape), format will work best. If one of your pieces looks best presented horizontally, take that horizontal image and embed it on a vertical formatted page.

· Include a TITLE PAGE after your COVER. Acts as a visual transition to the images of your pieces. The Title Page should have the artist’s name and some kind of tag line or catchy informative heading.

· 8 ½ x 11” is always a good size, but you do not have to limit yourself to these dimensions.

· A white background will work well, but you do not have to limit yourself to white. Be sure your font colors will easily be seen when printed on a color other than white.

· Where using text, always have a HEADING LINE, which usually is a larger font, than the text you use in paragraphs.

· Start each piece on its own page. Usually, consistency in page/text/image formats from piece to piece will be more pleasing to the reader.

· Ideally, showing 20–30 pieces is a good goal. Depending on how you intend to use the Portfolio and who your audience is, you might present more pieces, but not less than 20.

· Create a BACK PAGE or BACK COVER. This might include a photo of yourself, some biographical information, and contact information.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

CONQUERING THE CREATIVE MARKETPLACE: Between the Fickleness of Business and the Pursuit of Design

This guidebook is a must-have for anyone serious about making money selling jewelry. I share with you the kinds of things it takes to start your own jewelry business, run it, anticipate risks and rewards, and lead it to a level of success you feel is right for you, including
Getting Started, Financial Management, Product Development, Marketing, Selling, Resiliency, Professional Responsibilities.

548pp.

KindlePrint

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

So You Want To Be A Jewelry Designer reinterprets how to apply techniques and modify art theories from the Jewelry Designer’s perspective. To go beyond craft, the jewelry designer needs to become literate in this discipline called Jewelry Design. Literacy means understanding how to answer the question: Why do some pieces of jewelry draw your attention, and others do not? How to develop the authentic, creative self, someone who is fluent, flexible and original. How to gain the necessary design skills and be able to apply them, whether the situation is familiar or not.

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook , Kindle or Print formats

The Jewelry Journey Podcast
“Building Jewelry That Works: Why Jewelry Design Is Like Architecture”
Podcast, Part 1
Podcast, Part 2

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

I developed a nontraditional technique which does not use tools because I found tools get in the way of tying good and well-positioned knots. I decided to bring two cords through the bead to minimize any negative effects resulting from the pearl rotating around the cord. I only have you glue one knot in the piece. I use a simple overhand knot which is easily centered. I developed a rule for choosing the thickness of your bead cord. I lay out different steps for starting and ending a piece, based on how you want to attach the piece to your clasp assembly.

184pp, many images and diagrams EbookKindle or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

In this book, I discuss 16 lessons I learned, Including How To (1) Find, Evaluate and Select Craft Shows Right for You, (2) Determine a Set of Realistic Goals, (3) Compute a Simple Break-Even Analysis, (4) Develop Your Applications and Apply in the Smartest Ways, (5) Understand How Much Inventory to Bring, (6) Set Up and Present Both Yourself and Your Wares, (7) Best Promote and Operate Your Craft Show Business before, during and after the show.

198pp, many images and diagrams, Ebook, , Kindle or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in architecture, Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, creativity, design management, design theory, design thinking, Entrepreneurship, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, Stitch 'n Bitch, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

CONQUERING THE CREATIVE MARKETPLACE: Smart Advice When Writing Your Artist Statement

Posted by learntobead on January 19, 2023

PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES:
Artist Statement

Guiding Questions?
1. What is an Artist Statement?
2. How do I write one?

Your Artist Statement

Simply, your Artist Statement is a description of you, your work and your design philosophy. It is usually 1–2 pages, with the first 3 sentences able to stand on their own and substitute for the longer version. Note: some applications will set a 200–250 word limit.

Your design philosophy is all about how you think through the designing process. You make choices about materials, techniques, styles, silhouettes, colors, patterns, construction. You anticipate the kinds of customers who will wear and purchase your pieces. What are all these choices? Explain what you think about when making these kinds of choices. How does making these kinds of choices lead to pieces which are appealing, wearable, collectible, situationally appropriate, whatever?

When writing your Artist Statement, you do not want to follow anyone’s template. This won’t serve you well. In reality, too many Artist Statements sound the same.

Make the Statement deeply personal. You want the Statement to feel like you are speaking to a client, but maintaining a professional tone of voice. Visually, you want the look to be comparable in relation to your brand identity.

You share your Artist Statement with venues in which you want to sell your jewelry, such as a boutique or gallery. You share it with sales reps and agencies. You share it with your customers and collectors. You share it with the press. You share it in print. You share it online. It can be written from the first person (that is you) or the third person (referring to you).

Your Artist Statement tells your audience who you are, what is significant about your work, your methods and techniques.

As with most things in business, you will probably want to have more than one version of your Artist Statement — one for galleries, one for stores, one for the press, and one for submissions to juried contests, competitions, shows and other venues.

Topics which might be included and get you thinking:

1. How you got started

2. Your inspiration(s)

3. Your design approach and process and philosophy

4. The challenges you face as a designer

5. Artistic influences

6. How people understand you and your work

7. What about you and your jewelry makes you stand out from the crowd

8. The materials you use

9. The techniques and technologies you use

10.What makes your jewelry a collection?

Start by thinking about these topics, and make a long list of keywords that you free-associate with these topics.

If you have difficulty thinking of keywords, write down 5 questions you would like an interviewer or reporter to ask you about yourself as a designer and about your work.

KEYWORDS (generate at least 25–30)

Next, organize these key words into 2–3 sentences.

2–3 Opening Sentences

Next, elaborate on each thought, perhaps over 1–2 written pages.

Last, edit. Remove cliches, any jargon, repetitions, and tangents which do not fit or flow.

Strengthen weakly sounding adjectives and adverbs. Your words should be descriptive, visual, active, colorful, powerful.

Can anything be re-written or expanded up to help your audience even better understand you and your work?

Keep things focused, consistent and coherent.

You want to avoid using words like unique or best or other superlatives.

If your work is very varied, do not try to encompass everything with one particular Artist Statement.

Expect to have to generate multiple drafts before you settle on a finished Statement.

Periodically, review your Artist Statement and revise it to reflect what is currently happening in your artistic life.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

CONQUERING THE CREATIVE MARKETPLACE: Between the Fickleness of Business and the Pursuit of Design

This guidebook is a must-have for anyone serious about making money selling jewelry. I share with you the kinds of things it takes to start your own jewelry business, run it, anticipate risks and rewards, and lead it to a level of success you feel is right for you, including
Getting Started, Financial Management, Product Development, Marketing, Selling, Resiliency, Professional Responsibilities.

548pp.

KindlePrint

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

So You Want To Be A Jewelry Designer reinterprets how to apply techniques and modify art theories from the Jewelry Designer’s perspective. To go beyond craft, the jewelry designer needs to become literate in this discipline called Jewelry Design. Literacy means understanding how to answer the question: Why do some pieces of jewelry draw your attention, and others do not? How to develop the authentic, creative self, someone who is fluent, flexible and original. How to gain the necessary design skills and be able to apply them, whether the situation is familiar or not.

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook , Kindle or Print formats

The Jewelry Journey Podcast
“Building Jewelry That Works: Why Jewelry Design Is Like Architecture”
Podcast, Part 1
Podcast, Part 2

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

I developed a nontraditional technique which does not use tools because I found tools get in the way of tying good and well-positioned knots. I decided to bring two cords through the bead to minimize any negative effects resulting from the pearl rotating around the cord. I only have you glue one knot in the piece. I use a simple overhand knot which is easily centered. I developed a rule for choosing the thickness of your bead cord. I lay out different steps for starting and ending a piece, based on how you want to attach the piece to your clasp assembly.

184pp, many images and diagrams EbookKindle or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

In this book, I discuss 16 lessons I learned, Including How To (1) Find, Evaluate and Select Craft Shows Right for You, (2) Determine a Set of Realistic Goals, (3) Compute a Simple Break-Even Analysis, (4) Develop Your Applications and Apply in the Smartest Ways, (5) Understand How Much Inventory to Bring, (6) Set Up and Present Both Yourself and Your Wares, (7) Best Promote and Operate Your Craft Show Business before, during and after the show.

198pp, many images and diagrams, Ebook, , Kindle or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in architecture, Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, color, Contests, craft shows, creativity, design management, design theory, design thinking, Entrepreneurship, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, Stitch 'n Bitch, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Design Debt: How Much Do You Have?

Posted by learntobead on January 19, 2023

For most jewelry designers, the primary focus on their work is on creating pieces which are beautiful and desirable. The focus is on effectiveness. But as a business, you have to repeatedly ask yourself, But At What Cost? That is, you need to think about efficiencies in the design and production processes, if you are to make a sufficient profit and survive and thrive as a business.

Design Debt:
Something Serious Which Needs To Be Managed

In more jargoned, but eye-opening, language, things the jewelry designer can do to increase efficiency will also reduce what is called Design Debt.

Design Debt refers to all the inefficiencies in your design and production processes which add more time and effort to what you are trying to accomplish, as you are designing or producing any piece of jewelry. Design Debt continues to accumulate and increase as a project matures over time. Even after the designer has relinquished the project to the client, Design Debt will continue to accumulate if the designer fails to deal with it head on.

Design Debt includes things like…

  • Taking too much time to meet your goals
  • Having to do too much research or experimentation when figuring out how to proceed
  • Spending too much time thinking how to make a particular piece of jewelry unique or special for a certain client
  • Failure to adequately streamline the steps in the production process
  • Failure to match each step in production with the skill and pay level of the person doing it

Design Debt also includes all the good design concepts or solutions you skipped in order to complete your project on time. Design Debt includes all the additional time and effort you will have to make, should you have a backlog of projects which keep accumulating and accumulating as you are trying to finish the particular project you are now working on.

Some designers might approach the ever-accumulating Design Debt by cutting corners or relinquishing the project to the client prematurely. The designer might settle for a lower fee or less profitability. The designer might find that negative word-of-mouth is building too quickly with unsatisfied clients or demanding business stakeholders.

There are many sources of Design Debt, some very tangible, others less so. Examples of these sources of Design Debt include…

  • The designer relies on an overabundance of non-reusable materials, or too much variation in inventory, or, inconsistent styles and conventions, all difficult to maintain
  • The designer might start a project with assumptions, rather than research
  • The designer might not have sufficient time or budget to implement each choice and step with care
  • The designer might not have a full understanding of how each design element, form and component should best be arranged and interact within a particular composition
  • The designer might be working with a partner or assistant, with incomplete information passing hands, as each works on the project
  • The designer might not have a chance to test a design before its implementation or sale
  • The designer might not get the opportunity to find out what happens with a particular piece after it has left the studio and the client wears it
  • The designer might not have in place any formal or informal time and procedure for reflection and evaluation, in order to understand how various choices led to good or bad designs, or whether there is an improvement or degradation in the designer’s brand due to good or bad performance
  • The designer might rely on published patterns without the wherewithal to adapt or customize them, or otherwise approach unfamiliar situations

Ultimately, Design Debt is measured in how satisfied our clients are with the products we design, (also understood as revenues and profits) and how that satisfaction affects what is referred to as contagion — the spread of word of mouth and its positive or negative impacts on our brand and reputation (again, also understood as revenues and profits). Over time, Design Debt accumulates and becomes a great burden on any designer and design business.

Anything which unifies the design process and reduces variability in the numbers and types of choices we make as designers will help us tackle Design Debt.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

CONQUERING THE CREATIVE MARKETPLACE: Between the Fickleness of Business and the Pursuit of Design

This guidebook is a must-have for anyone serious about making money selling jewelry. I share with you the kinds of things it takes to start your own jewelry business, run it, anticipate risks and rewards, and lead it to a level of success you feel is right for you, including
Getting Started, Financial Management, Product Development, Marketing, Selling, Resiliency, Professional Responsibilities.

Kindle

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

So You Want To Be A Jewelry Designer reinterprets how to apply techniques and modify art theories from the Jewelry Designer’s perspective. To go beyond craft, the jewelry designer needs to become literate in this discipline called Jewelry Design. Literacy means understanding how to answer the question: Why do some pieces of jewelry draw your attention, and others do not? How to develop the authentic, creative self, someone who is fluent, flexible and original. How to gain the necessary design skills and be able to apply them, whether the situation is familiar or not.

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook , Kindle or Print formats

The Jewelry Journey Podcast
“Building Jewelry That Works: Why Jewelry Design Is Like Architecture”
Podcast, Part 1
Podcast, Part 2

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

I developed a nontraditional technique which does not use tools because I found tools get in the way of tying good and well-positioned knots. I decided to bring two cords through the bead to minimize any negative effects resulting from the pearl rotating around the cord. I only have you glue one knot in the piece. I use a simple overhand knot which is easily centered. I developed a rule for choosing the thickness of your bead cord. I lay out different steps for starting and ending a piece, based on how you want to attach the piece to your clasp assembly.

184pp, many images and diagrams EbookKindle or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

In this book, I discuss 16 lessons I learned, Including How To (1) Find, Evaluate and Select Craft Shows Right for You, (2) Determine a Set of Realistic Goals, (3) Compute a Simple Break-Even Analysis, (4) Develop Your Applications and Apply in the Smartest Ways, (5) Understand How Much Inventory to Bring, (6) Set Up and Present Both Yourself and Your Wares, (7) Best Promote and Operate Your Craft Show Business before, during and after the show.

198pp, many images and diagrams, Ebook, , Kindle or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, design management, design theory, Entrepreneurship, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

AN ADVERTISING PRIMER FOR JEWELRY DESIGNERS: How To Work Within Different Advertising Channels

Posted by learntobead on November 3, 2022

What Is Advertising?

Advertising includes all the means of communication for getting your product or service’s marketing message across to potential customers in your target market in order to attract attention, recognition, legitimacy and sales.

There are many types of advertisements. The most obvious are messages you see in print in newspapers and magazines. You also see ads on TV or on computer monitors, or hear them on the radio or streaming web broadcast. You pass by billboards, murals, banners, flags, and people twirling signs along the roadway. You may be reading articles written with subtle but intentional slants about a particular brand.

You may hear a jingle, perhaps staying in your mind as an ear-worm. Or read a slogan, perhaps repeating to yourself because it has some rhythm or metaphor that resonates with you.

Ads may involve some recognition of sponsorship for an event or program. They may be found on signs posted in stores, on lawns, on telephone poles, just about everywhere.

You might come across a social media post or pop-up or review or comment. Or several. Maybe hundreds.

You may have seen product placements in TV programs, movies or on YouTube.

The average person is exposed to over 5,000 advertisements every single day.

Ads communicate.

They influence and persuade.

They remind, reassure, explain, guide.

They focus on customer needs, benefits, problems solved or to be solved.

They may be generally targeted, narrowly targeted, or specially targeted at one individual.

Someone has to have paid for them in some say.

There is no-one-size-fits-all advertisement. In fact, you will probably be using several different kinds of advertising channels to get your message across. Go slow, however. Be deliberate.

Advertising can be expensive. So, similar to all the other business and promotion activities you do, you always want to build in an evaluative component. Given the cost of a particular ad, are you getting a sufficient return on investment? What is the unit cost of an ad — that is, what is the cost per person reached? Per person who responds to the ad? Per person, in response to the ad, actually purchases something?

If you have in any way begun to establish your business as a brand, all advertising becomes much easier and more effective.

Conversion Tunnel

In any of your campaigns, you most likely will want to plan for a series of ads. Collectively, the ads in the series build upon one another. They serve to gradually tighten up the message and narrow the target audience.

The first in the series will be very general, and the last in the series will be a very specific call to action.

Basically, you can’t hit your customer over the head with too much information, and you cannot expect your customer to respond to your ad the first time they see it. Hence, you develop a strategic series.

· Awareness: Your first ad: Gain customer awareness of you and your product.

· Interest: Second ad: Guide the customer into recognizing how you and your product meets one of their major needs.

· Desire: Third ad: Entice the customer to want to buy your product.

· Action: Fourth ad: Turn your potential customer into an actual customer.

Writing Promotional Copy

Your promotional copy should be simple, obvious and direct. It should focus on the benefits to the customer, not the features of your product or service per se. It should validate how your customer thinks about their needs, desires, problems, and potential solutions. Don’t give the customer a laundry list of things. Be sure to anticipate the customer’s level of awareness.

Jewelry purchase needs include,

· Fill out a wardrobe

· Match a dress

· Something for a special occasion

· Feel good about themselves

· Make a power statement

· Compete with someone

· Signal that you are a bona fide member of a group or culture

· A memento

· A reward for a job well done

· Make yourself more attractive

· Connect with a mate

· Wants an heirloom

· Remember a special event, moment, date, occasion

Visualize, as you are creating your promotional copy, that you are talking to a specific customer. Tell them what they need the most, and how you are the right person, business, event to fulfill that need. In your ad, validate their thinking / feelings / understandings / desires.

Next, reinforce what you just wrote. There is an important need. Yes, the customer is thinking about this need. Yes, the possible solution is an idea shared by both you and the customer. Yes, you are there to meet this need when, where, and how the customer needs you to meet this need. Again, you want highlights, not an exhaustive listing.

Print vs. Online Advertising

Online Advertising Channels

SEO Optimization

Content Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Affiliate Marketing

Radio and Web Streaming

Influencer Marketing

Email Marketing

Your own website

SEO Optimization

SEO stands for search engine optimization. All the search engines, like Google and Bing, send out robots constantly to search the internet for information that can be categorized — identified, ranked and rated. Your online presence may extend to Facebook, Instagram, a personal website, Etsy, a blog post, a comment on a post, and just about everywhere in cyberspace. But you are nothing — not known, not seen, not heard, not acknowledged — if you don’t get indexed by the various search engines.

You want to be well-indexed. This means you need things wherever you are present online which are indexable. These include things like,

· Keywords and keyword phrases

· Captions for images

· Comments on posts

· When you/your business is tagged or hash-tagged

· Links back to your website

· Listings of your business in directories

· Reviews of your business and your products

This increases the chances that when someone searches for products like you carry or businesses like your own, you are more likely to be found.

71% of online jewelry sales begin with a Google search!

Selecting Keywords and Keyword Phrases. Do some research here. You can plug in a keyword into a search engine search bar. Typically, a drop down menu will appear that shows other words that come up when people look for that keyword. These become keyword phrases. Keyword phrases (2–3 words) will have better visibility outcomes for you than single keywords. That is because as you add words to a phrase, you begin to narrow down the relevant possible sites that might get flagged and presented.

Check the key words your competitor is using. Look at their websites and what words/phrases them emphasize. Plug their name into the search engine search bar, and see what comes up.

Content Marketing

Here you write an article or review or response to an online post, or create images and videos, and place these somewhere online. This might be a social media site, a site specializing in hosting articles, your own website, or a blog. You include somewhere (top, within, or at the end) links back to you and your website or your products listed online.

With this content, you are trying to educate the reader in some way. Your content in some way is providing a solution or answer to a problem or question the reader might have.

The better connection between you and the reader, the more likely the reader is to create a link to your content. More links to your content means greater SEO optimization.

Another type of content is when you are presenting one of your products or a type of jewelry product, and you do a soft-sell. You explain how to wear it, how it was made, interesting facts about it, how it fits with current fashions, or other interesting characteristic about it. Don’t list a price. List a link to where the reader can find more information about it.

As with most things, this is not a one-shot, one-time approach. You want to post content on a regular basis, probably daily.

Social Media Marketing

You can leverage the power of various social media sites, like Facebook, Tik Tok, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram.

These sites have

· Pages you can set up a profile on (for your personal page as well as separately for your business page)

· Postings you can place.

· Postings you can respond to.

· Events you can participate in or create.

· Groups you can join or set up.

· Targeted Ad programs you can take advantage of (You might be able to target your audience by location, language, education, work, age, gender, birthday, relationship status, likes and interest).

In some cases, you can tack on a short commercial message or signature to the end of your posts. In other cases, commercial messages may be forbidden, but you can create a signature that generates enough interest and curiosity so that someone might link back to your site.

Some social media sites limit how many places or times you can use the same ad-copy-post. That limit might be 3 places or times. If you want to do more than that, you will have to modify your ad-copy-posts.

A lot of the advertising tactics you use here are free. It just takes a lot of time.

Other tactics will cost you. Targeted ad programs let you send a message to some demographically limited group which you define. You set a budget. You either pay for the number of click-throughs (someone has clicked a link in your ad), or the number of impressions (someone has visited the page where your ad appears). Some jargon: PPC for pay for click or PPI for pay for impression. You may also want to measure the click-through rate (5% is great, below 2% is not great).

You can use both your personal page as well as your business page to tell your story and get your products seen. Soft-pedalling the message will work better than any hard sell. For example, creating seven consecutive posts following you as you create a piece from inspiration to finish — of course with images — will get you better responses than creating what looks like a magazine ad for a specific piece of jewelry. A friend posted an image of her wearing a piece of jewelry she just made with her hair all messed up. She gave the image a simple caption: Bad Hair Day — What Do You Think? And sold 43 pieces in response. People feel more connected when they feel you are sharing your life with them.

Images are important. Short videos are the best.

If someone responds to any of your posts. Thank them. Always repeat their first name in your response.

You can use your personal and business profile pages to have conversations with your customers.

Think about reposting your customers’ pictures wearing your jewelry.

Or, create a branded hashtag (or two or three) and always list this at the bottom of all your posts. Think of something like: #warrensgems, or, #jewelrybywarren, or, #warrendesigns.

You want to post at least one thing every day. Most likely this is physically impossible time-wise to do this for every social media site. So, create a presence on as many social media sites as possible. Then concentrate on two of them with your daily posts.

Keep your ads short, and the messages well targeted to your intended audience.

If paying for ads, the social media site should also have some statistical information you can access to gauge how well your ads are doing.

Affiliate Marketing

Here you invite another party — referred to as third party — to drive sales for your business. This might be an influencer, a thought leader, a celebrity, another shop which sells accessories or clothing. You rely partly on the reputation and networking of some other business to advertise and advocate for your jewelry.

You might work out a co-marketing arrangement and split costs. You might pay them a commission or a percent of the sale.

Radio and Web Broadcast Streaming

Radio has always been an effective channel for advertising jewelry. It is a lot less expensive than TV, and has a loyal audience. It is very targeted at a local audience. Today, however, you might use the internet to place ads similar to the ones you might have used for radio.

Webcasts offer you an on-demand and more targeted connection to your intended audience. They allow you to reach a broader and more internet-savvy audience.

Influencer Marketing

Rely on one of the many influencers in fashion and jewelry to promote your stuff. Most established influencers have media kits to share with you so you can get an idea of the kinds of things they promote and who their target audience is.

Or, make yourself into an influencer. Create an online audience on one or more social media sites which follows you and pays attention to your recommendations.
The key to becoming an influencer is to establish a clear brand identify for yourself. Create a branded hashtag. Encourage your customers to use your hashtag when sharing images, videos and advice from your own feed.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing methods in existence. It keeps your business in front of your customers on a regular basis.

The key is to grow your email list. So you need to make your emails special in some way. Your emails might include what is called gated content. They might include special discounts. They might present advanced notice for sales or other special events. They might include content that your customers may want to save, such as explanations about what certain gemstones mean or how to clean sterling silver jewelry. You might give first access to a new product.

Be sure you have secured permissions from each contact on your email list. You can create simple forms that can be posted online on your website or blog, and simple print forms to hand out to people.

Emails are effective, but you do not want to overdo them. People get annoyed if they get too many emails in their box.

I suggest using an email service like MAILCHIMP. Not only do they make creating and sending emails easier, they offer some tracking and analytic services, as well.

Your Own Website

Build a site that supports your business. Be sure it is optimized for search engine indexing. Decide whether your website serves primarily as a billboard — a place to find you. Or decide whether you want to include a shopping cart system and make your website an ecommerce site for your jewelry.

You can have your own domain name, or be part of a larger web-hosting company which may or may not allow you to use your own domain name.

Having your own website gives you credibility. It allows people to more easily find you and contact you. It gives you another channel for selling your jewelry.

Be sure to add an analytics package to your site. Some will be available for free. You always want to build in evaluative components with whatever you do.

____________________

FOOTNOTES

Arias, Aaron. Six Ways to Advertise Your Online Boutique. 12/7/21.

As referenced in:
https://www.hostpapa.com/blog/business/how-to-advertise-your-online-boutique/

Hamel, Gregory. Online Advertising vs. Print Advertisements. Small Business Chronicles.

As referenced in:
https://smallbusiness.chron.com/online-advertising-vs-print-advertisements-41549.html

Hill, Andrea. Here’s How Writing Good Ad Copy is Kind of Like Dating: It requires focusing on just one need at a time. Instore, 6/6/2022.

As referenced in:
Here’s How Writing Good Ad Copy Is Kind of Like Dating (instoremag.com)

Pahwa, Aashish. What Is Advertising? — Examples, Objectives, & Importance. 8/2/2022.

As referenced in:
https://www.feedough.com/what-is-advertising-advertising-objectives-examples-importance/

Responsival. 6 Digital Marketing Ideas For Local Shops and Boutiques.

As referenced in:
https://www.responsival.com/post/6-digital-marketing-ideas-for-local-shops-boutiques

Web FX. Print Ads vs. Online Ads.

As referenced in:
https://www.webfx.com/digital-advertising/learn/print-ads-vs-online-ads/

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook , Kindle or Print formats

The Jewelry Journey Podcast
“Building Jewelry That Works: Why Jewelry Design Is Like Architecture”
Podcast, Part 1
Podcast, Part 2

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams EbookKindle or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

198pp, many images and diagrams, Ebook, , Kindle or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in Art or Craft?, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, Entrepreneurship, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

INFLUENCE AND PERSUASION: How The Designer Gets Others To Make The Choices The Designer Wants Them To Make

Posted by learntobead on October 14, 2022

I

Abstract:

Designers need to get the approval of and payment from their clients. That means the client has to recognize and share the choices the designer made when creating the piece of jewelry. It all comes down to two aspects of marketing: persuasion and influence. Marketing is about creating persuasive arguments which can influence a person’s beliefs, attitudes, motivations, intentions and behaviors. Influence comes with knowing what the best outcome that the marketer should seek. Persuasion includes the tools you use to get there. Persuasion can take many forms. The marketer’s success depends on a handful of persuasive factors. Marketing strategies follow one or more of eight universal principles of persuasion. Information within any successful persuasive argument is best presented in a certain order.

Influence and Persuasion

Marketing is about creating persuasive arguments which can influence a person’s beliefs, attitudes, motivations, intentions and behaviors. The marketer wants to be able to persuade the client to focus their attention on the jewelry product line, to approach it, touch it, try it on, buy it, exhibit it, share it with others, then, moreover, to further persuade these others (thus making the marketing message contagious) to want to buy it. Influence comes with knowing what the best outcome that the marketer should seek. Persuasion includes the tools you use to get there.

When we are trying to persuade someone, we might be trying to get them to change their mind about something. We might want them to change the weight, ranking or priority they give one thing over another. We might want them to see the interrelationship among two or more otherwise unrelated things. We might want them to re-evaluate the cost and reward calculus they use when deciding to make a purchase.

When trust is present, influence increases and persuasion ends in more positive outcomes.

Persuasion can take many forms. It can be…

· Coercive, done aggressively through direct commands, threats, fear mongering, shaming.

· Informational, spread as biased in some way towards a particular position or idea.

· Leveraging a belief by appeals to logic and reasoning.

· Leveraging a belief by appeals to feelings and emotions.

· Establishing a high level of credibility or character.

A marketer or jewelry designer is not born as persuasive. It is something to be learned, practiced, applied and applied again. The strength of the marketer’s influence centers on a handful of persuasive factors, such as:

1. Commonalities: People like people like themselves.

2. Logic and Rationality: When you see data, it tells a recognizable story.

3. The Target Audience’s Needs, Wants, Values and Desires: It is important to pay attention and hone in on these.

4. Attractiveness: Attractive people are more persuasive.

5. Confidence / Charisma: Confident /Charismatic people are more persuasive.

6. Preparation: Learning, Practicing and Preparing are how you place yourself in a powerful, persuasive position.

Persuasion and Marketing

Persuasion in marketing involves the ability not just to influence people’s actions, but their attitude as well.

Persuasion is a matter of establishing mutual trust or shared understandings. You develop that sense of trust in your client. That means, they believe that you will deliver on any and all your promises, and that your product will solve their problems, needs and/or desires. The marketer presents some type of evidence which the client must interpret as relevant and valid for themselves, whatever that might mean.

Marketing campaigns are various strategies attempting to influence, direct or change client behaviors by eliciting reactions. Marketing campaigns rely on imagery and word associations tied to emotional responses.

To be persuasive, the marketing message must have value and relevance for your target client. She or he might see a reward or a minimization of costs and agree to change their behavior. She or he might be trying to shield themselves from anything which refutes their sense of self and self-esteem. She or he might derive pleasure when they can align their self-concept with that of the emotional message associated with the product. She or he might find that they can meet their needs for understanding and control by finding out more information about your product.

In response to any marketing campaign, the client can do one of three things:

1. Accept

2. Non-commit or remain indifferent

3. Reject

And it is important to think of persuasion as a continual process. You might be able to persuade someone to purchase your product once, but will they purchase your product again?

The Designer As Marketer Should Have A Detailed Familiarity
With Everything Involved With Consumer Behavior

What causes clients to purchase certain products and brands, and reject others? It is important to begin to document client shopping behaviors, motivations and their psychological and sociological underpinnings.

The marketer will want to get a handle on the target audience in terms of

· Psychological Factors: How assumptions, perceptions, understandings, values and desires affect responses to the marketing message.

· Personal Factors: How demographic characteristics, such as age, culture, profession, gender play roles in forming responses to the marketing message.

· Social Factors: How socio-cultural groups, such as income, geographic residence, education level, affect shopping behaviors and responses to the marketing message.

How Can Marketing Affect Client Shopping Behaviors?
The Eight Universal Principles of Persuasion

Persuasion works when the client feels that, by purchasing your product, you and your product have made a positive contribution to their life. There are different ways or principles marketers follow for establishing that sense of positivity.

There are eight universal principles of persuasion the marketer can resort to in order to influence client shopping behaviors. These are,

1. Reciprocity

2. Commitment

3. Consensus

4. Authority

5. Affinity

6. Scarcity

7. Visibility of Consequences

8. Information Exposure

Reciprocity

If you do this for me, I’ll do this for you.

People tend to feel the need to return the favor. You offer or remove incentives and play with client’s natural tendency to be grateful and want to do something for you in return. You might offer them discounts or a free sample. You might put them in a frequent shopper rewards program. You might do a special customization. You might offer them a gift. You might offer something special to first time buyers or to clients who register for your email list.

Commitment

I am a loyal customer.

Once someone is engaged with something, they are more likely to stick to it and commit. They become loyal to the designer, the designer’s business and the designer’s brand. The marketer would do those things which enhance customer loyalty. You might have a special showing or trunk show. You might include them on your email list. You might make them aware a way ahead of time of some deals or opportunities.

Consensus

If it’s OK with them, it’s OK with me.

Sometimes this is referred to as the herd response. If the client sees others doing it, they are more likely to do it as well. The marketer here would demonstrate the popularity of their products with other clients and client groups.

Authority

If such-and-such expert tells me it’s OK, I’ll think it’s OK.

Clients are more likely to listen to an expert they trust, than anyone else. The marketer would have the marketing message put forth by trusted experts who could be seen as authority figures. These authority figures are seen as having already established proof of their knowledges and beliefs. Authority might be actual or implied. Thus, their advice is recognized as trustworthy. You might seek endorsements from well-known figures. You might create an ad where the expert is delivering the message. You might rely on influencers online to spread your marketing message.

Affinity

She bought it, and she’s a lot like me, so I’ll buy it as well.

The client is more willing to follow through on the marketing message and goal if she or he knows someone who is similar to themselves who bought the product. Similarly might be by gender or age or economic class. Similarly might be people who belong to the same church or shop at the same store or attend the same events. The marketer would emphasize shared interests. The marketer would present reasons why conformity is the best choice here.

Scarcity

I better get it right away, if I’m to get it at all.

People tend to want what they think they might not be able to have. When something is scarce, clients tend to assign it more value. Defining the context becomes very important for this principle of persuasion. It might be something that is exclusive. It might be in limited supply. It might have some sense of rarity. It might be subtle clues provided in how the products are displayed to make it seem like you are running out of stock (such as, a very large container with a few items left in the bottom). The product might not be available from any other competitor. The product might be temporarily on sale or only available for a limited amount of time. The marketer might emphasize that this product does what no other product can do. The marketer might emphasize that if the client doesn’t act quickly, the likelihood that they could ever purchase the product will be very low.

Visibility of Consequences

I know what will happen when I purchase and use this product.

The client is more likely to purchase a product if they can anticipate the consequences of their choice. Every purchase is a risk. Will it work? Will it hold up? Will it be appropriate? Will I get the reactions I want? Here the marketer would highlight evidence which makes the consequences obvious, and then more evidence which minimizes the likelihood that any risk and uncertainty might occur. The marketer might emphasize the positive results, and minimize any negative ones. They might point to past successes of this or similar products. They might present the pros and cons and comparative imaging of future outcomes. They might present the pros and cons by comparing antecedents. They might explain that the client will have emotion regrets of they don’t make the purchase.

Information Exposure

I was told it was important now to act.

Clients often have to make choices when they have more limited information upon which to rely. How and when the client is exposed to certain information, prompts, triggers and cues may affect their choice whether to buy a product or not. The client might be distracted. There might be time / timing / seasonal considerations where they pay more attention, say to holiday merchandise during Christmas season, than at other times of the year. Some information may have increased salience, depending on the context. For example, what the jeweler says when standing behind the jewelry counter may have more salience than what that same person says about the same product when randomly meeting that person on the street.

The marketer might present or withhold information based on timing considerations. The message might be different presented during the day from presented during the evening. It might be different in the Spring from the Fall. The marketer might try to connect positive emotional information the client already holds to the product the marketer is trying to sell. This could be a positive memory such as a song or image or experience. The marketer might stress how even with this limited information the client can still anticipate a level of success. The marketer might emphasize negative information about a competitor or competitor’s products. The marketer might use popular phrases and words that have a particular emotional or cognitive association with the target audience.

The Persuasive Argument

Whatever principle of persuasion the designer follows, the presentation of information in their persuasive argument follows a pattern. That is, informational content, when presented in a certain order, makes for a more persuasive argument. This order is presented in the table below.

A Few Cautions

When marketing your products, you have a professional responsibility not to cross the line between influence and manipulation. You might be successful in manipulation in the short term, but this will probably spell disaster for you mid- and long-term. People are willing to be influenced and persuaded, but resent getting manipulated. And if manipulated, they usually find out.

Don’t present yourself falsely in any way. Don’t claim to be an expert when you are not, for example.

Last, don’t over emphasis economic factors — price, discounts, and the like — in your marketing messages. Rely more on one or more of the universal principles of persuasion where you play towards emotions, perceptions and desires.

_________________

FOOTNOTES

Abelson, Herbert I. Persuasion: How Opinions and Attitudes are Changed.
Spring Publishing, 1965.

Clements, Jon. The Power Of Influence and Persuasion in Business.

As referenced in:
https://metamorphicpr.co.uk/power-of-influence-and-persuasion- in-business/

Davis, Suzanne. 7 Sensational Hooks That Grab Readers’ Attention,
7/14/2022.
As referenced in:
https://www.academicwritingsuccess.com/7-sensational-essay-hooks/

DeFalco, Nicole. Influence vs. Persuasion: A Critical Distinction For Leaders, 10/30/2009.

As referenced in:
https://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/influence-vs-persuasion-critical-distinction-leaders#:~:text=Influence%20is%20having%20a%20vision,earning%20their%20sincere%20buy-in.

Druckman, James N. “A Framework for the Study of Persuasion,” Annual
Review of Political Science, 2022.

Feld, Warren. Health Planner Influence. 1979.

Miller, Michael. The Art of Influence and Persuasion in Business.

As referenced in:
https://www.mindwhirl.com/entrepreneurship/business-mindset/the-
art-of-influence-and-persuasion-in-business/

Peek, Sean. The Science of Persuasion: How To Influence Consumer
Choice, 8/3/2022.

As referenced in:
https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/10151-how-to-influence-
consumer-decisions.html

Vatz, Richard E. The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion. Kendall Hunt,
2013.

Wikipedia. Persuasion.
As referenced in:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persuasion

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

The Jewelry Journey Podcast
“Building Jewelry That Works: Why Jewelry Design Is Like Architecture”
Podcast, Part 1
Podcast, Part 2

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

198pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in architecture, Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, design management, design thinking, Entrepreneurship, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Selling Your Jewelry In Galleries: Some Strategic Pointers

Posted by learntobead on October 1, 2022

About Working With Galleries

Typically, an art gallery is a small business which exhibits and sells art. Galleries attract different kinds of clientele. Some people who purchase art might want to have something to hang in their home or business. Others would be considered art enthusiasts and collectors. They purchase art as investments. The profits the gallery takes in need to be sufficient to cover the cost to run the business, and have money left over to live on and play with.

The gallery owner, in effect, curates what is shown. The gallery will want to have some variety, but also some consistency in what is shown. Galleries tend to have reputations around what they specialize in. The gallery owner is typically very knowledgeable about art and how art connects with the current culture. Many galleries are biased against jewelry because jewelry is not understood universally as an art form. When you research galleries, you will want to document which ones would be more amenable to carry your jewelry pieces.

Most galleries have physical store spaces, but with a website presence. There are also digital galleries and online sales platforms. Some are open to all artists; some specialize in gallery shop membership. There are auction houses both physical and online. Also places like Amazon and Ebay have fine art and collectibles sections. Most sales are conducted in physical spaces, but more and more online.

Before you approach any gallery, be sure you have answered two important questions up front:

1. Does your work and your needs fit the gallery? Do some research. Look at the lines represented, the artists represented, how things are organized. Contact some of those artists and ask about their experiences with the gallery and how exhibiting there works for them.

2. What benefit(s) does your work offer the gallery, in other words, why should they represent you? It is important to establish and define your professional relationship with the gallery. Determine what the gallery needs from you to make things work out for both of you.

When you work is represented by a gallery, regular communication is important. Be on time with deadlines and materials needed. In a big sense, your relationship is a collaboration.

Gallery representation will increase your reputation, credibility and legitimacy. It will lead to you getting higher prices for your work. It will increase your visibility. It will enhance your brand.

Your Goals

The gallery needs to represent and promote you when you are not around. They will need to know a lot about you, and feel good about you as a designer and as a person.

That means your goals will be to:

· Research galleries which are a good fit between you, your jewelry, and their clients.

· Research artists/designers they represent and visit their websites; make note of their selection, styles, pricing and possible pricing formula they might have used.

· Create a strategy for presenting yourself and your work.

· Make your pitch to the gallery.

· Place your jewelry in a gallery for sale, priced so that you receive a good return.

· Create a collaborative relationship with the gallery owner around how best to serve the gallery’s clientele and collector base.

· Maintain good and frequent communication.

· Create jewelry for the gallery which has a high degree of consistency and coherency with you as a designer and the brand you are promoting.

· Have a high enough level of productivity so that the gallery can be confident you will always have enough jewelry (usually 30–35 pieces available at any one time) for them to sell, particularly if they want to replace pieces which have sold.

First, A Self-Assessment:
Is Selling In A Gallery Right For You?

Step back for awhile and answer these kinds of questions about you as a designer and your work. Be honest with yourself.

1. Is your jewelry consistent and cohesive? Have you developed a distinctive designer style and is this consistently reflected in the jewelry you want to place in a gallery?

2. Is your jewelry made of quality materials?

3. Have you implemented the best standards of technique, technology and craftsmanship?

4. Are your pieces appropriately finished from end to end?

5. How marketable are your pieces? Which are most marketable?

6. How should you refer to your jewelry style and aesthetic in marketing when talking with galleries and collectors? What labels would you give these? How accessible are these labels to galleries and collectors?

7. Where should you concentrate your efforts to find galleries and promote your jewelry to them?

8. Would your pieces fit in the highest-quality surroundings?

9. Are your presentation materials — portfolio, artist statement, business card, jewelry displays — professional and engaging?

Do this simple exercise. Imagine who the typical collector of a particular gallery might be. How does your jewelry look through their eyes? What would the collector think and feel and see when trying on a piece of your jewelry? What are their needs and desires, and how does your jewelry help them to meet these?

Make a good list of anything you can do to improve.

Also, you might get an objective opinion, say from another jewelry designer, or even a gallery representative. What kinds of things do they see which could enhance the appearance and marketability of your work?

Build Consistency Into Your Work

Consistent work makes it easier for the gallery owner to represent, market and sell your work. It makes it easier for the collector to connect with your body of work and purchase it. Consistency means that your jewelry is immediately recognized as designed by you.

Consistency can mean many things. If you are consistent on 3 or 4 factors listed below, then you have some wiggle room with the others.

Consistency can be conveyed by:

· Color, pattern, texture

· Use of point, line, plane and/or shape

· Theme

· Forms

· Rhythm, balance, volume, size/shape distribution

· Medium

· Materials

· Techniques and technologies

· References to history, time, place, situation, culture

· How your pieces are finished off

· Signature elements, like a certain bead or tag, included with your pieces

· Comfort, movement, drape and flow

· Predominant silhouettes

· How your pieces feel and look when draped on the body

· Size adjustability

· Selection of clasp and design of clasp assembly

· Display and presentation

Getting Your Portfolio and Presentation In Order

You will be bringing several pieces of information with you when making your pitch, whether in person, through email or online. At the lease, these will include an Artist Statement, a Portfolio, and a business card or resume or biographical profile, and sample pieces and or images.

Some pointers:

1. Everything should be well organized and reaffirm your designer style and brand

2. You should have very clear images of your pieces; in a few of your pictures you want to demonstrate the scale of your pieces, such as sitting them next to a recognizable object or being worn on the body or laying on your work bench as you construct it

3. You want to have up-to-date information about pricing and sold works

4. In your portfolio, you may want to include current prices, but you also may want to leave off dates; track the dates for yourself in other records not to be shared with the gallery; always refer to your prices in retail values, not wholesale

5. Your pricing strategy should be consistent from piece to piece; it should be based on both the cost of creating a piece as well as your current brand value; it should be based on a simple formula that can be explained to others.

6. The images in your portfolio should represent you as a jewelry designer today

7. If visiting in person, you want to always have samples of your work with you. The samples should be representative of the kinds of things you would want to place in this gallery.

Have A Clear Image About The Typical Buyer Of Your Work

You should be keeping good records of your buyers.

Who are they?

· Average age

· From particular neighborhood, city, area

· Buying for a business or for personal

· Situations in which they wear your jewelry

· Price points they favor

· Income / wealth

· Married / single

· Male / female

Why would your buyer come to a gallery rather than another setting to purchase jewelry?

Why would they come to this particular gallery you are targeting?

Some Notes About Pricing

Use a formula. Keep it simple and explainable.

Don’t undersell your piece. You need to make a profit.

Don’t underprice your piece. This disvalues it.

Keep your prices competitive with those of other designers you are competing with.

In a gallery setting, you want national or international prices. If you live in a lower cost locale, you do not want to base your prices on their expectations.

Don’t overprice. You won’t get repeat business that way. Keep your prices competitive.

Review your pricing regularly.

As you make more and more sales, adjust your prices upward for all your pieces accordingly.

It is better to suggest pricing to the gallery owner rather than ask their opinion of what prices to set. In this way, you come across as a more established, experienced designer. Depending too much on the gallery owner to set prices might make you come off as a novice with unproven market value.

Finding Target Galleries

Do online searches. Ask other jewelry designers.

Begin with galleries that are nearby to you. Do not limit yourself to the most prominent galleries. If at all possible, visit each gallery in person.

You want to answer for yourself these kinds of questions:

· Is the location good, bad or indifferent?

· Are the staff friendly and approachable?

· Are the staff knowledgeable about the pieces in the gallery?

· Do I like the way the pieces are displayed and labeled?

· Would the gallery be a good fit for my work?

· Does your work fall out of the general pricing of other jewelry in the gallery?

Making The Pitch

You can make your pitch by email, phone, online, or in-person. In-person is the best, if possibleCreating a personal connection with a gallery will make them more likely to want to work with you. Getting recommended to the gallery by an artist, designer or collector can often open doors for you.

Emailing:

Start your emails by asking them if they are currently seeking new jewelry designers.

In your first email, do not include attachments. This makes it too easy for them to reject you. Instead, use this first email opportunity to establish a personal connection. If you get a positive response, follow-through with attached documents.

Galleries can be overwhelmed with emails, so this is probably your weakest strategy for contact. It is easy for the gallery to send a thanks-but-no-thanks form letter in response to an email.

Online Submission Through Their Website

The gallery will present you with guidelines and a form to fill out. This helps them weed out designers who might not be a good fit. This helps the gallery discourage designers from approaching them. It may get you some attention, but do not depend on this approach.

In-Person:

Make sure ahead of time that the gallery is a good fit for your work. Otherwise this will be a waste of time.

If feasible, you might shoe-horn yourself into their operations. Be around. Visit the gallery. Attend their openings. Strike up conversations. Talk to the designers they represent. Ask them how they came to be represented by the gallery. Talk to the clients walking around the gallery and looking at the pieces, particularly the jewelry. Ask them what they particularly like about the jewelry they are viewing. Casually mention you are a jewelry designer looking for galleries in which to place your work. Don’t be sales’y. Perhaps email them after a visit thanking them for the showing or giving your take-aways about the show.

If cold calling or making a specific appointment, be sure your portfolio and presentation are in order. Make the talk very conversational. Try to elicit things which connect you and your experiences to those of the gallery owner. Be prepared with several questions. Also ask the gallery owner for feedback on your work and on your presentation.

NOTE: It is easier for the gallery to reject you if you try to make an appointment by phone, and more difficult to ignore you if you cold call.

Hand the gallery owner your portfolio. Give them space to review it. Don’t do a running commentary as they page through this.

Always make eye contact. Don’t be shy. Don’t look away or look down when you are speaking with someone. Use their first name and repeat it during your conversation.

The gallery owner, if interested in your work, will ask you a series of questions. Always be upbeat in your answers. Keep your answers short and to the point. Often the style of how you answer will be just as important as the content of your answer.

Depending on where your target galleries are, you most likely will be making your pitch in all these different ways. So your materials have to be adaptable — file structure, size, both digital and print files.

One thing the gallery, if representing you, will want to do is tell your story over and over again. Part of your pitch will be some subtle introductory training of them towards this end. Your story should be easy to understand and easy to repeat.

Emphasize the consistency in your work.

Show how your work will fit with other designers the gallery represents, yet at the same time offer something different and special. Tell them how your work can be distinguished from your competition.

Demonstrate your in-depth knowledge of their clientele and their needs and desires. Explain how your jewelry will meet their needs and desires.

Demonstrate that you are serious about your work, and are always striving to improve your technique and further hone your style.

Even if you get a positive reaction to your work at one gallery, do not stop approaching other galleries until you have a firm offer.

Be persistent.

After each interaction, send a thank you note.

Now Your Work Is In A Gallery
What Do You Do Next?

Maintain frequent communication with the gallery.

Keep the gallery informed of your new work. New work often sells best.

If your pieces are in more than one gallery, rotate them from gallery to gallery.

If you have ideas for the gallery, such as changes in displays, offer them as suggestions, not demands.

Frequent thank you notes are a good strategy.

If your pieces are getting a lot of positive responses, you might ask the gallery owner to do a show or special event for you and your work.

Ask the gallery for a letter of recommendation. The gallery owner should mention how great you are to work with, how buyers appreciate your work, and how sales of your pieces have done for them.

____________________

FOOTNOTES

Denter, Carlin. Between Commerce and Art. About Galleries and Market. Art Jewelry Forum, 01/29/2019.

Horejs, Jason. A Post For Gallery Owners | How To Work Successfully With Artists. RedDotBlog, 10/4/2021.

Horejs, Jason. “Starving” To Successful. The Artist’s Guide to Getting Into Galleries and Selling More Art.

Volpe, Christopher. How To Get Into Galleries.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

“Building Jewelry That Works: Why Jewelry Design Is Like Architecture”
Podcast, Part 1
Podcast, Part 2

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

198pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in architecture, Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, design management, design theory, design thinking, Entrepreneurship, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

SELLING YOUR JEWELRY: How To Define Your Competitive Advantages

Posted by learntobead on September 22, 2022

What Is A Competitive Advantage?

Your competitive advantage (one or more) is what influences someone to buy something from you rather than one of your competitors. Do you make something of higher quality? Or less cost? Or especially noteworthy. Or use rare materials? What is it that sets you apart, or as Heather Bunker puts it, what is your secret sauce?

Competitive advantage is your ability to outperform your competition. It is you way to design, create, produce, distribute, market and/or sell products and services better than anyone else. It is something that cannot be easily replicated, or, if it is at some point, you can build back better.

There are all types of competitive advantages. Businesses might emphasize one, or several. Some examples of competitive advantages that jewelry design businesses might claim:

1. Authenticity and honesty

2. Rarity

3. Individuality, tailor-made, custom

4. Material quality

5. Technical prowess

6. Access, Location, Visibility

7. Timeliness

8. Special occasions (ready for those …weddings, etc.)

9. Financing, payment plans

10. Innovation

11. Extensive knowledge about materials and techniques

12. Environmentally friendly, sustainable

13. Socio-culturally friendly, sensitive

14. Prominence / reputation of designer

15. Mass quantity production

16. Service Orientation: repairs, custom work, style consultation

17. Pricing, discounts

18. Concurrently maintaining both quality and prices

19. Use of technology

20. Unusual designs

21. Brand loyalty

22. Ownership of copyright

23. Where differences from your competitors, such as different product mix or material use or better craftsmanship, might make you appear superior to them

Why Is Having A Competitive Advantage Important To You?

Competitive advantage is what makes your products and services more desirable to customers than any of your rivals. When you customers recognize these competitive advantages, you are more likely to make sales and more likely to be profitable. You are more likely to grow your business and enjoy greater customer loyalty.

The jewelry design business is very saturated worldwide. On Etsy on any day, there are over 6,000,000 (that’s 6 million) pieces of jewelry for sale. Don’t see this as a defeat. See this as a challenge. Your competitive advantage will help get you that edge, and make you more memorable.

Your competitive advantage is something that you can repeat or allude to in your business name, how you name your jewelry and jewelry lines, your tag line, your elevator pitch, your domain name, your marketing and branding strategies. It might influence how you design your products, distribute them, and put boundaries around your target market.

What Are The Components Underlying Any Competitive Advantage?

You use your competitive advantage as a means of communication. As such, to establish any competitive advantage, you must know 3 things:

1. VALUE PROPOSITION

2. TARGET MARKET

3. COMPETITION

1. Value Proposition

You must clearly identify what attributes of your products or services make them desirable to your customers. What is the value to them? Why does this value motivate them sufficiently to touch, wear, buy and/or collect your jewelry? What things might further get them to show off and talk about your jewelry to their friends, acquaintances and relatives?

2. Target Market

Your advantages will not be seen and understood equally by all people. And you don’t really care about all people. You care specifically about your more narrow market audience or market niche focus. What does your advantage look like to them? Why will it motivate them? What evidence are you using to know this?

You might take the time to ask some of your customers why they buy from you and not your competition?

3. Competition

Your competitive advantage is always in reference to some other business or designer. It is comparative. It differentiates you. It influences a choice of you over others. You competition might be traditional. It might be non-traditional. It might be emerging.

How does your competition look like from your customer’s viewpoint?

How Do You Determine Your Competitive Advantage(s)?

First, think about your strengths.

Second, think about the strengths and weaknesses of your major competitors. These competitors might be in your same geographic location, or they may be online.

Search on Google and Etsy for jewelry makers. How do they present themselves? What qualities do they emphasize? What competitive advantages do they claim? Based on what evidence? How do they link their idea of competitive advantage to their assessments of customer needs, wants and desires?

Last, list what things you are better at than your competitors.

____________________

FOOTNOTES

Bunker, Heather. What Is Your Handmade Business’s Secret Sauce — Or Differentiator? 5/6/2020.

As referenced in:
https://www.heatherbunker.com/post/what-is-your-handmade-businesss-secret-sauce-or-differentiator

Peterdy, Kyle. Competitive Advantage. 8/9/2022.

As referenced in:
https://www.heatherbunker.com/post/what-is-your-handmade-businesss-secret-sauce-or-differentiator

Twin, Alexandra. Competitive Advantage Definition with Types and Examples, Investopedia, 5/22/2022.

As referenced in:
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/competitive_advantage.asp

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

198pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in Art or Craft?, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, Entrepreneurship, jewelry design, jewelry making, pearl knotting, professional development, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Success or Failure? Some of my jewelry design students’ experiences at business

Posted by learntobead on July 29, 2022

I’d estimate that 25–30% of my students are in the jewelry making /design hobby to make some extra money. Some see a way to supplement their income. Some see it as a retirement strategy. Others see it as a career transition. Whatever their goals, some have been successful, and others less so. Here are some of their stories.

Cindy

Cindy saw it as a career transition. She made and sold jewelry, went to craft shows and church bazaars, put her stuff on consignment all over the metropolitan area, did home shows, whatever.

After about two to two-and-a-half years, she took the giant leap and quit her full-time legal aid job to be a full-time jewelry artist/entrepreneur. She was successful because she knew how to promote herself, and was very comfortable at this.

Her designs were fashion-current, but not bizarre. One business that had her stuff on consignment told me how great she was to work with.

My only concerns were that she often short-changed some of the quality of materials, and perhaps pushed the pricing a bit too high. But I marvel at her success. if you stick to it, and are confident in yourself, you’ll get there.

Mona

Mona refurbished old pieces into new. She took old brooches, fixed them up, restored missing stones, polished or colored damaged edges. She turned them into pendants, and then created necklaces with the same sensibilities, colors, textures, bulk, and patterns to go with them.

Sold like hot-cakes. She took old, gaudy belt buckles, glued on Austrian crystal rhinestones, found leather belts to go with them, fashioned some tpe of bail, and voila! She had great stories to go with each piece. She also was great at self-promotion. She was very confident. And she got her pieces into all the major stores in the area. She also formed great connections to power-fashion-players, including many people in the music business.

Sharon

Sharon made lampwork beads, and turned these into necklaces and bracelets. She was shy. She tried to sell them to friends and family. She tried to get them into one store on consignment. She tried selling them on EBay. She’s still trying.

Yanxi

Yanxi made Native American style earrings mostly, but some chokers and bracelets, as well. She relied on traditional bead weaving styles of Peyote and Brick. She used traditional materials including Czech seed beads, beading thread, sinew. She used traditional colors and designs. She sold in stores. She sold at markets. She was doing very well for many years.

Until around the later 1990s. Chinese businesses began copying Native American jewelry, and selling their pieces at prices so low, that Native Americans could no longer afford to make a living at making jewelry.

Yanxi’s business faded away to nothing. She was unable to adapt to the changes in the business environment. She could have gone more upscale in the choice of materials and the elaborateness in the designs. But she did not recognize that as a pathway.

Veronica

Veronica made high-end clothing with an edge to her designs. At one point, with her clothing, she decided to create accessories, including jewelry. Necklaces out of old men’s ties. Bracelets out of leather suspender straps from Germany. Odd beads which always catch your eye dangling from old, antiqued, large-linked chain.

She had an acute sense of what jewelry women — of all shapes, ages, sizes, body shapes — could wear to empower themselves. Attract that kind of attention which borders on admiration.

At first, she sold her jewelry pieces to individual stores in various cities she visited. They sold her pieces very quickly. In response, she began working in more of a production mode. She sent these stores boxes of her pieces to be sold as special trunk shows. That idea worked well.

She then worked on setting up a shop-within-a-shop. Several stores were eager to have her store-within-a-store. She envisioned taking over a 6’x8′ area. She created display cabinets, display pieces, and an organizational plan for displaying her pieces. She went to hotel foreclosure sales and purchased old odds and ends to use for displays, such as old wooden clothes hangers which had the hotel logo or name etched in them.

Her jewelry lines overtook her clothing lines.

Debby

Debby made beautiful, elegant, dainty jewelry from bracelets to necklaces to eyeglass leashes. She put them in a few stores. She had been an airline stewardess, and frequently brought her jewelry with her to sell at get-togethers and conventions with past and current airline employees.

Everyone loved her pieces. Everything she made sold. She was reluctant, however, to place them in many stores. She was afraid people would copy her designs. One person, in fact, had copied some of her designs.

Debby wanted to mass-market her pieces to high end boutiques and department stores. She spent years making contacts and connections, which she was very successful at. But she couldn’t reel in the opportunities. Her fears overcame her — people would copy her designs, or they would not manufacture her pieces to her quality expectations, or the manufacturers wanted to make pieces with more mass appeal.

There was always something that got in the way of her making a living by making jewelry. She built walls. She couldn’t climb over them.

Larry

Larry approached Barneys New York about his line of jewelry. He had a personal connection there. He had a marketing strategy for them, which included explaining why the lines of jewelry they currently carried, were not working for them.

He showed them a very full line — jeweler’s tray after jeweler’s tray after jeweler’s tray of jewelry.

With each tray he showed them photographs of jewelry which were carried by their major competitors in New York, as well as fashion spreads in major magazines.

He kept making the point: His jewelry is better, and this is why. His jewelry is better, and this is why. His jewelry is better, and this is why.

Success!

Kiki

Kiki wanted to sell on-line. She knew she needed a web-site with a shopping cart. But she shied away from the $50.00 per month price tag. She knew she would have to hire someone to design her website, but again, the $500.00 quoted price seemed daunting to her. She spent year after year researching web-hosts and web-designers, each time finding something that made her more and more uncertain.

Virtual jewelry, virtual business.

Rosie

Rosie lived in the wealthiest part of town — Belle Meade. She custom made jewelry for the rich for them to wear at special occasions. Her biggest obstacles to overcome: many of her clients were not sure that anyone could actually make jewelry. Jewelry was something that you bought in New York. Not Nashville. Somehow it could only be made in New York and probably by machine. Her clients hesitated, not sure how anyone, let alone anyone local, could actually make jewelry for them.

She took their naivete in stride. She made the making of jewelry seem straightforward. She made the custom designing seem specialized and right up her alley.

She made a necklace and earring set for someone to wear at the Swan Ball.

She made a very unattractive, yet very appreciated by the customer, necklace to wear at a horse race. the colors had to match the specific colors in the horse’s blanket — navy, white and rose. The rose was a special color rose associated with some Queen’s rose somewhere. On the face of things, navy, white and rose don’t usually result in something rich, elegant and status’y looking. But Rosie did a fabulous job. She would not, however, have ever worn this particular necklace herself.

She made a lariat for someone to wear on a cruise. Plus, 5 different sets of earrings, each coordinating with the lariat. Plus, 10 different bracelets, each having a different clasp, and again, coordinating with the lariat.

Rosie’s willingness to adapt to the peculiar needs of her customer base made her a success. And to her customer base, money was no object.

Alejandro

Alejandro didn’t want to design jewelry per se. He wanted to find jewelry designed by others and find places that might sell this jewelry. His mom had gotten breast-cancer (she’s a survivor). And he had this brainstorm.

He visited the Dallas Merchandise Mart. He found about a dozen vendors who represented lines Alejandro thought would do well in the various fundraising events the state’s Breast Cancer Society sponsored.

From these vendors, he gathered information about the products, the minimum units which needed to be purchased at a time, the unit cost, and the suggested retail price.

He determined what kind of commission he needed to make this work and wanted to get.

He sat down with the marketing executives at the Breast Cancer Society. He showed them pictures of the various products and the numbers. He negotiated a deal and a plan.

This is what you call a Win-Win-Win. The vendor wins. The client wins. and Alejandro wins.

Getting Started In Business

You need to look yourself in the mirror, and be very, very, very honest with yourself. Getting started in business is a big step. It’s not all fun and games. There’s paperwork, repetition, tradeoffs to be made. Be honest with yourself.

Ask yourself:

o Why do I want to start a business?

o What type of business do I want?

o What kinds of things do I want to sell?

o What kind of time and energy commitments do I want to commit?

o Where will the money come from to get started?

o Where will I work — kitchen table? craft studio? at a store?

o What will I name my business?

o Where will I get my jewelry making supplies?

o Do I want to do this alone, or with a partner(s)?

There are many different kinds of jewelry you can sell. Necklaces. Bracelets. Earrings. Eyeglass leashes. Name badge jewelry. Rings. Anklets. Ear cuffs. Body jewelry. Jewelry for dogs and cats. Jewelry representing social causes. Beaded jewelry. Wire jewelry. Polymer and metal clay jewelry. Fabricated jewelry, such as with silver smithing techniques. Lampwork jewelry. Blown glass jewelry. Micro macrame and hemp jewelry. Jewel-decorated objects like pillows, lampshades, dinner ware.

There are many different approaches and venues for selling jewelry. these include selling to friends, co-workers and family. Selling at home shows. Selling at craft shows or trunk shows. Selling online. Selling in stores and galleries, either retail, consignment or wholesale. Selling in a truck, driving from city to city, parking, and opening your truck doors for people to come into your mini-showroom. Selling in print catalogs. Designing and/or selling for promotions and events, such as a fund-raiser for breast cancer. Doing repairs.

Whatever the approach and venue, you need to step back, and be sure it is on a solid business basis. This means delving into some bureaucracy and administrivia. You can’t get around this.

Yes, you can make money selling jewelry. But you have to be smart about it.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

198pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in Art or Craft?, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, creativity, Entrepreneurship, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Visit To Jewelry Artisans, Galleries and Bead Shops in Barcelona, Spain

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2022

Before the pandemic, I was trying to arrange some Enrichment Travel tours. One was to Rome. This was part of the itinerary. If any group wants me to lead a Jewelry Discovery Tour to Rome or elsewhere, I would be happy to talk with you about this.

BARCELONA

1. BEAD STORE SHOPPING

There are about 11 bead shops very close to each other on Carrer del Call / Carrer de la Boqueria off the Rambla in the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gotic). Most of these stores specialize in gemstone beads, and some of these stores specialize in jewelry findings and stringing materials. Some have finished jewelry. Most allow retail sales, some are primarily wholesale, where I would use my wholesale license. (3 hour walking tour; less than 1 mile; begin at 3pm (any day except Monday or Sunday) when these shops are most likely to be open)

BARCELONA 2. ART JEWELRY GALLERY TOUR

Visit prominent art jewelry galleries in Barcelona, including those shown below. About 5 hours with lunch break. Need bus. About 6 miles between furthest points.

A. Masriera Gallery
Passeig de Gracia, 41) (hours mon-sat, 10am-8:00pm)(

The Bagués dynasty has bejeweled Barcelonians since 1839. While they stock much that glitters, the Lluís Masriera line of original Art Nouveau pieces is truly unique; intricate flying nymphs, lifelike golden insects, and other easily recognizable motifs from the period take on a new depth of beauty when executed in the translucent enameling process that Masriera himself developed.

B. Klimt02 SL Gallery (Carrer de la Riera de Sant Miguel, 65) (Hours Tues-Fri, 5–8pm)

The gallery show in Barcelona the work of the best international jewelry artists; as well as showing it to the international community, thanks to our gallery website. Avant garde artists. It is owned by Amador Bertomeu and Leo Caballero and has become an influential and informative source of information for everyone interested in contemporary jewelry.

warren@warrenfeldjewelry.com
www.warrenfeldjewelry.com

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

198pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in Art or Craft?, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, craft shows, creativity, cruises, enrichment travel, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, Travel Opportunities | Leave a Comment »

Is Beaded Jewelry Art? If The Critics Say It’s Not … What Does That Say About Me?

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2022

The other day, I looked up some quotes that Art Critics and Art Theorists have had to say about beaded jewelry and jewelry artists. What do you think?

(1)

“Anything done with beads is not art.”

Here the art critic equates “beads/beadwork” with the canvas of a painting, and not the painting itself. To the critic, beads are merely decoration. In this point of view, it is impossible to use beads in any way so that the finished project would be seen as art.

(2)

“Beading speaks for that branch of culture which is too homey, too functional, too archaic, for the name of ‘art’ to extend to it.”

To this reviewer, art is associated with clarity of choice and purpose, a sense of presence, and the evoking of an emotional response (or unleashing psychological content). To this reviewer, these kinds of things are not associated with beadwork and jewelry. In fact, to this reviewer, they can never be. Thus, beadwork and jewelry are not “art.”

(3)

“Beading as Art Brut — The work of children, asylum patients, and others untouched by artistic culture.”

My local paper in Nashville — The Tennessean — refuses to cover anything that is not fine art in their art pages. Many galleries and museums refuse to display bead art, often justifying this by saying there is no audience for bead art.

(4)

“Objects may only be valued as ‘art’ if they have a link to the academic setting.”

Many galleries and art critics only recognize the art of those artists with formal credentials. The reputation of the schooling of the artist is directly related to the judged “artistic” value of their work. However, there really are very few academic programs in beading/jewelry making. These are mostly involved with technical training, rather than theory and investigation. There are no professional journals where ideas and theories are proposed, discussed, tested and proven. In this model, beaders/jewelry makers stand little chance of getting judged as true artists.

(5)

“An object is ‘art’ if someone is willing to pay for it as ‘art’.”

In this sense, making a distinction between craft and art, or trying to blur the distinction between craft and art, becomes irrelevant. Within this definition, a lot of what gets sold as beadwork and jewelry, which many people would not value as ‘art’, will get included within the concept. When a piece of jewelry can get labeled as ‘art’, and retain this label, it becomes more valuable. It can sell for more. More people will indicate that it is good, rather than not good. It (and the artist) have more power.

(6)

“There’s nothing conceptual about jewelry. It’s mere hedonism.”

Jewelry is seen as visual spectacle. There are no self-reflective qualities to jewelry. There is no artist’ hand involved in its creation.

It seems that the more beadwork mimics painting or sculputre, the more it gets acceptable as ‘art’. A beaded tapestry or a beaded art doll is much more readily accepted as art, than jewelry.

(7)

“The object is ‘art’ if the object shows the artist’s process of conceptualization in its final form.”

Somehow, we must be able to recognize how the artist conceived of the piece, and how the artist implemented his/her conceptions. How did the artist tewst the limits of the materials — in this case, beads? How did the artist exploit the possibilities through the use of beads? How did the artist compose and design the piece?

Within this framework, all the parts of the jewelry — the center piece, the fringe, the strap, the bail, the surface embellishment — are critical to the appreciation of the jewelry as an object of art. Each of these elements of the piece of jewelry require the artist to exploit the possibilities of the material — the beads. Only with this fuller understanding of the piece in its entirety than Classical Art Theory would allow, can the artist, through the jewelry, create something where the whole is more than the sum of its parts. And this, then, is jewelry as art. In Classical Art Theory, the strap, fringe, bail would have to be seen to be subservient to the centerpiece.

Should I Still Call Myself An Artist…
…If The Critics Say I’m Not?

Classical Art Theory is often at odds with my self-image as a jewelry artist and designer. It often denies the very essence of my artistic being, relegating what I do to some secondary status. Who is more right, I often ask myself.

Classical Art Theory holds that if, when talking about a piece, you talk or focus to much on ‘technique’, your piece is not Art. It’s Craft.

Craft is seen as having nothing to do with aesthetics. It is merely a creative engagement with materials.

With paint, the technique to apply it, is seen as virtually irrelevant. What matters with painting is what it says, not how it was made.

If the sense of ‘technique’ supersedes an object of art’s ‘statement’, then the art is really craft, thus a failure… and an embarrassment. Craft is an affront to art.

Art is exploring the expressive qualities of the medium, stoking the imagination of its audience. In fact, crafters supposedly do not play to an audience; art does.

Art critics would want us to talk about beadwork or jewelry making without speaking about technique. With a minimal reference to functionality. With a focus on the central part of the piece, not its strap or fringe or other noncentral embellishment. Apart from our audience as they are wearing our pieces.

The prominence of these are critics and their ideas and beliefs are some of the key reasons people are more willing to pay $5,000 for a painting, but not for most beadwork. They are why these critics see something special about the artist, but nothing special after the craftsperson. There is the pernicious assumption that the jewelry maker does not have to exercise judgment, does not have to worry about presentation, does not need to bring a high level of care and dexterity to the project, uses technique but not really skill, and does not need to take many risks.

Of course, I don’t buy into any of these Classical Art Critics and what they have to say. I know I am an artist. I know my pieces should be judged as a whole, and judged as the pieces are worn.

It is the process of linking the technique to the materials that is “art.” A successful process of jewelry making and design requires an understanding of the intrinsic values of the materials. It requires an understanding of how to manipulate the materials to elicit a positive response from others. It is expressive, intuitive and evokes emotions. The critical focus is not on the techniques. The critical focus in on the linking of technique and material to create something that others emotionally interact with.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

198pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, creativity, design management, design theory, design thinking, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Coming Out As A Jewelry Artist

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2022

At what point did I first begin to call myself a Jewelry Artist?

Coming out as a jewelry artist is similar, though not exactly the same, as someone coming out as gay. It is fraught with fear and dread. It means very visibly presenting yourself with a new public identity. It means preparing your ego to receive some negative comments, critiques, reviews, perhaps doubt or disbelief, and in some rarer instances, rejection or denial. It means asking others to accept and support you in your new role as Jewelry Designer.

There is a betwixt and between aspect to this coming out process — a rite of passage. And the unknown time and feelings and situations, between the before and afterwards, is often a span of uncertainty too great for many an artist to transcend. Many who want to be jewelry designers, are somewhat afraid to present themselves as such. These closet artists tell their family and friends such things as, “I dabble in this and that, including jewelry-making.” Or, “I consider myself a bank teller slash jewelry artist (and you can substitute whatever profession you are in for the words bank teller).” Or, “I’m making some things for fun or gifts, but not selling things.”

There is some hesitation. “I am a jewelry designer.” Can’t quite get the words out.

“I am a jewelry designer.” But I wasn’t trained and educated to be one. It was not my original passion, though I am passionate about it now.

“I am a jewelry designer.” Keep wanting to say “but” or add some qualification, so other people don’t say, with mocking and astonishment, “You’re a what?!@#$” “Can you make a living at that?”

“I am a jewelry designer,” you whisper to yourself over and over, but don’t tell anyone else.

When you step out of the closet, however, you show others you want respect. As a jewelry designer. You demand from others an understanding. As a jewelry designer. You present yourself as someone with self-esteem and confidence. As a jewelry designer.

After multiple levels of transition, I realize that the only thing that would diminish me as a jewelry artist is if I turned my back on it.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

198pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, craft shows, creativity, design management, design theory, design thinking, jewelry collecting, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tapping Into That Creative Element Is Such A High

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2022

Translating thoughts, feelings, emotions into color, form, structure. Can never get enough of this. But where does all this creativity come from?

I remember in college — way back when — I took a physiological psychiatry class with a professor name Ina Samuels. Dr. Samuels was one of my mentors. She discussed what was new-thinking then, how the brain is this self-actualizing entity. Thoughts reside less in certain defined areas of the brain, and are more a collection of organized chemical-electrical pathways traversing the brain, all around and within it. Memories are more defined pathways that get traversed a lot.

The brain has the ability to invent, and re-invent itself. It is self-stimulative. The brain pleasures itself with creative thoughts over and over and over again each day. Sexy. Sensual. The act of creating is almost masturbatory. The brain discovers, organizes, reinforces and remembers.

Of course, I did not wax so eloquently on my final exam in Dr. Samuel’s class. She gave me a C, and I was embarrassed to have performed so poorly. I got carried away with creatively building upon my understanding of neural pathways, synapses, and thinking — too much so, that my thoughts were way off course. I carried the discussion to mechanics of three way connections and power boosters and revolving tracks — all ideas never before expressed in texts or classes or on final exams.

Yes, I let my creativity carry the day. While it didn’t earn me a good grade at the time, it sure was fun. To be wrapped up in my insights, imaginations, and good ole fashioned, solid in an organizing way, brain sex.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

198pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in Art or Craft?, art theory, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, creativity, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, wire and metal | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Don’t Price Yourself Out Of Business

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2022

Parts, Labor Overhead

One of my clients, Jan, had taken a few of my classes, was very excited about beading and jewelry making. She began selling her pieces to the people she worked with. She was a traveling salesperson for a health care company, and met lots of people on her travels. And everyone wanted her pieces.

Week after week, Jan would return to the shop and buy a few hundred dollars of beads. and week after week, she enthusiastically reported that she was selling her pieces right and left. After several months, she remarked that she needed to take my Pricing class. As she continued to talk and elaborate about her pricing strategies, she remarked that she typically added $15.00 to the cost of her materials, and that sometimes, her prices were probably lower than the cost of her materials.

Hmmmm….

So if she paid $55.00 for the materials in her piece, she might price it at $70–75.00. A great deal for her customer. But not so great for Jan. I told her to raise her prices.

…And sign up for my online video tutorial about Pricing and Selling Your Jewelry.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

198pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in Art or Craft?, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, professional development, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why Some Jewelry Sells and Other Jewelry Does Not

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2022

My niece’s 6-year old daughter told me the other day, “Warren, I wish I could get a job where I can make bracelets all day!” How cute! She definitely would have a lot of fun making jewelry. She most certainly could make money doing it. But I don’t think she was old enough to appreciate the amount of work, strategic thinking, and marketing and good business sense involved, in order to succeed.

But maybe she did. Jewelry making tapes into our creative souls, our artistic essence. The fact that you can make money at it, moreover, serves to heighten the experience.

Two girls — one 12 and one 13 years old — were determined to make money that summer. They had had some experience setting up a lemonade stand last year, but they were ready to make the big bucks. So they turned to jewelry. They created an attractive shelter along the side of the road, and posted clever signs — REFRESHING SPARKLES — to catch drivers going and coming in either direction. Instead of lemonade, however, their customers found cool earrings, and breezy necklaces, and yummy bracelets. And the two girls found success!

While there are many business challenges for jewelry designers, — young and old, alike — you can most assuredly answer the question — Can You Really Make Money Selling Jewelry? — with a resounding YES! It takes some planning. Some Moxie. Some start-up money. Some marketing. And some luck. But it can be done.

For people who sell their jewelry, their art is both a business as well as a source of creativity and self-expression. To be successful, they need to bring an understanding of business fundamentals to the business, and they need to find enthusiasm for business in similar ways to how they found their passion for jewelry. There will be ups and downs, as the economy changes or fashions and styles change. They will wear multiple hats — designer, distributor, manufacturer, retailer — and not always be sure which hat to wear when. They will need to understand marketing, pricing and selling. They will need to have a feel for reading and understanding people.

Successful jewelry design businesses today share several traits. They have a focus on what they do as a business model. They are comfortable working long stretches in a production mode — even though this can be very boring for the artist. They have some comfort level with both bricks and clicks. I don’t think you can have a successful business today without both a real physical presence somewhere and some on-line visibility as well.

Jewelry businesses today also must learn to quickly adapt to competition. This is not only competition from other local, regional or national jewelry designers, but from overseas, as well. Remember in the 1970s, when Asian manufacturers started selling low cost Native American jewelry, they almost put the Native American jewelry makers out of business. Today Chinese lampwork companies are wiping out the opportunities for low-end, simple, basic lampwork glass beads made in America. And adapt is the key word here. It may mean having to specialize in higher quality items, or relying on materials or designs unique to your locale. It may mean having to provide more educational and informational materials with your products to give them a competitive advantage.

Your market today may be international. if you have images of your pieces on-line, then someone in Taiwan or France can view posted images just as easily as someone in Nashville or San Francisco. They may buy your designs. They may copy your designs. Reality, what a concept here.

Successful jewelry designers keep their work fresh and relevant. They build in evaluative components into their business. They do a lot of product and ideas research. They experiment with concepts and other markets. They acutely know their competition. They strive to create a brand identify for their pieces. Branding not only best secures your client to you as a designer, but makes it that much difficult for other jewelry makers to copy your work and present it as their own.

_______________________________

Thank you. I hope you found this article useful.

Also, check out my website (www.warrenfeldjewelry.com).

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft Video Tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.

Follow my articles on Medium.com.

Subscribe to my Learn To Bead blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Visit Land of Odds online (https://www.landofodds.com)for all your jewelry making supplies.

Check out my Jewelry Making and Beadwork Kits.

Add your name to my email list.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Saying Good-Bye! To Your Jewelry: A Rite Of Passage

The Jewelry Design Philosophy: Not Craft, Not Art, But Design

What Is Jewelry, Really?

The Jewelry Design Philosophy

Creativity: How Do You Get It? How Do You Enhance It?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Becoming The Bead Artist and Jewelry Designer

5 Essential Questions Every Jewelry Designer Should Have An Answer For

Getting Started / Channeling Your Excitement

Getting Started / Developing Your Passion

Getting Started / Cultivating Your Practice

Becoming One With What Inspires You

Architectural Basics of Jewelry Design

Doubt / Self Doubt: Major Pitfalls For The Jewelry Designer

Techniques and Technologies: Knowing What To Do

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

The Jewelry Designer’s Approach To Color

Point, Line, Plane, Shape, Form, Theme: Creating Something Out Of Nothing

The Jewelry Designer’s Path To Resonance

Jewelry Design Principles: Composing, Constructing, Manipulating

Jewelry Design Composition: Playing With Building Blocks Called Design Elements

Contemporary Jewelry Is Not A “Look” — It’s A Way Of Thinking

__________________________________

SO YOU WANT TO BE A JEWELRY DESIGNER
Merging Your Voice With Form

588pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

PEARL KNOTTING…Warren’s Way
Easy. Simple. No tools. Anyone Can Do!

184pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

198pp, many images and diagrams Ebook or Print

___________________________________________

Posted in Art or Craft?, bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, creativity, jewelry design, jewelry making, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »