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MARKETING / PROMOTION / POSITIONING: Social Media Marketing For The Jewelry Designer

Posted by learntobead on September 9, 2022

MARKETING / PROMOTION / POSITIONING:
Social Media Marketing For The Jewelry Designer

Social Media Marketing For Very Small Businesses … That Works!

Today’s successful jewelry-designers and other very small business entrepreneurs maintain a very visible presence on the internet. You must have an online way for people to find you and your products. There are many options. These options vary in terms of who controls the site, the costs to be there and update as necessary, and what limitations are imposed on the site or because of how the site operates.

They may have a website that functions simply as a billboard or business card. They may list merchandise on their site, with prices, and information about how to order it. They may present their jewelry on Ebay or other auction houses, or on sites like Etsy or Supadupa. They may let someone else promote their jewelry on-line in exchange for a commission or royalty. They may post images or videos on sites like Instagram and TikTok. They may have a business page on Facebook, Google or Bing. Or they may have a fully functioning shopping cart system on their own dot.com.

Whatever their level of involvement online, they must put into place active and deliberate marketing strategies for creating visibility for their site and their products, and for maintaining and enhancing that visibility over time. It’s all about recruiting and retaining eyeballs, whatever it takes. Take advantage of social medias’ powers for networking.

Digital marketing is not one thing; it is a set of different strategies and pathways for connecting with and influencing people. While initially a lot of what you do will be hit or miss and trial and error, you eventually want to get very organized, developing internet marketing goals, objectives and encapsulating them into a coherent plan. You want to be represented broadly across many platforms, but concentrate your energies narrowly on perhaps 2 platforms only.

You want your website and any web presence to be:

· Optimized for search engines and directories

· Attractive

· Navigate-able and User friendly

· Enticing to first time visitors as well as repeat customers

· As broadly visible and findable as possible

· Broadly bookmarked and linked to

Successful marketing of any kind means:

· Getting Seen

· Getting Known

· Getting Your Competitive Advantage Recognized

· Making the Sale

Make them stop. Make them stay.

To achieve these marketing goals online requires putting into effect various internet marketing strategies, some technical, others not.

Towards this end, I provide insights about the following:

1. Conducting an initial marketing audit of your online presence

2. Optimizing your front door and landing pages

3. Choosing and placing key words and hashtags

4. Optimizing your social profiles

5. Site usability and navigation concerns

6. Intensive site placement and linkages

7. Inexpensive things you can do to get noticed

8. Social media posts marketing

9. On-line advertising

10.Generating an email list and conducting email campaigns

11.Creating visual images and video content

12.Garner online reviews

13.Getting customer feedback

14.Competitor surveillance

15.Establishing baseline site-activity indicators

16.Have a FAQ page which summarizes all your policies and procedures

17.Have a testimonials page

18.Create relationships with online influencers to market your jewelry

You want to choose the right tools and use them in the right way. If the wrong tools, you can waste a lot of time and money and find yourself serving the wrong customers.

1. Conducting An Initial Marketing Audit of Your Online Presence

The first step is to get honest with yourself. How well do your current marketing and business strategies perform, particularly in reference to your online presence? How do they help or hinder you from achieving (a) visibility on the web, (b) credibility on the web, © customer recruitment and retention, and (d) customer responses, reviews and orders from the web?

This auditing activity involve three steps:

1. Assessing current marketing materials, brochures, business cards, stationery, listings, keywords, descriptions, click through ad campaigns, email lists, efforts and activities,

2. Assessing current web-site strengths and weaknesses, from a marketing standpoint, that is, how you are in sync with target customer needs, wants, desires and shopping behaviors, and

3. Setting reasonable and attainable online marketing goals and objectives.

Do all your printed materials reference your website and/or your email address?

Is this information prominent and readily accessible, or is it buried?

Does it convey a sense of pride in your online efforts, or shame and embarrassment?

Do you routinely mention your website to your customers or clients?

Do all your emails end with a business signature, that includes your business name, address, phone, fax, and email?

Does your website clearly and concisely express what your business is all about, and how to contact you — particularly in terms of the information on the front page, any other landing pages, near the top, that would appear in the first screen that your customer would see?

Is your navigation bar/system/strategy easy to manipulate by any customer?

Is each link labeled clearly and strategically?

Does the set of all your links clearly and easily get your customer to each section of your website?

Have you minimized the number of links it takes to get to any one of your product pages?

Is your front page indexable by search engine robots?

Is there sufficient information on this page to index?

Is the organization of keywords on your front page presented to your advantage, or disadvantage, given search engine indexing schemes?

Does your front page load relatively quickly?

Have you kept your graphics on your front page to a reasonable amount so they don’t slow down page loading or obscure any keyword information?

Does your website have the kinds of things that will encourage customers to remain on your site more than a few seconds?

Is it relatively easy to keep your website up-to-date, such as changing information, uploading new images, creating new layouts?

Is your website responsive — that is, will load and be easily readable on any browser and any device, no matter screen size or preset layout parameters?

Now, GOOGLE YOURSELF. This way you have a starting point for how visible you are on the internet.

2. Optimizing Your Front Door and Landing Pages

Your front door page (or any landing page) is your most strategic website asset. It should be optimized in form and content so that it anticipates the indexing and ranking schemes (algorithms) of the major search engines. While these schemes get altered on a regular basis, there are some pointers which will be generally helpful all the time.

1. Don’t use frames. Try to use DIV instead of TABLE html commands. Try to use a CSS style sheet along with HTML5 (or most recent version) coding. Make your webpage responsive, so that it will load up perfectly no matter the browser or screen size of the device.

2. Don’t use a visually wonderful, but indexability awful splash page. You should settle for a slightly less visually appealing page, as a tradeoff for making it more indexable and rank-able.

3. You are selling things. The average person will have the average computer system or cell phone setup. That means, you can’t use the most up-to-date, exciting website technology available. Your pages won’t load up for everyone, some may take too long to load up, and some may even lock up your device. Save the best-of-current-tech for your personal home page.

4. If you are using a template-based host’s WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) website design editor, be sure the final result will be responsive. Also be sure your website will be easy to update and maintain.

5. TITLE: Your title should be about 9 words (not more, not less), with your most important key word first. Don’t repeat the same word twice in a row; separate it by another word. Use lower case letters for your key words.

For example: “beads, jewelry findings, beading supplies — Land of Odds” is better than “Land of Odds — beads, jewelry findings, beading supplies”. [Most important keyword is first.]

For example: “beads, jewelry findings, beading supplies” is better than “Beads, beading supplies, jewelry findings.” [Here bead is capitalized once, and appears as what would be judged as twice in a row.]

6. FIRST TEXT LINE: Your first line of the page (and this will appear after the BODY tag if you are hand coding), should be about 10 words, again repeating your major keywords, not putting the same word twice next to each other, and listing the words from most to least important. Never start the page with a TABLE or Graphic file. Start with words.

7. LINK AND PAGE NAMES: Be strategic in the names you give your active links and webpages. Use your keywords in these LINK DESCRIPTIONS (link-text) and URL ADDRESSES (url-text).

For example: Call your gemstone necklace page “gemstonenecklace.htm” rather than something like “AC402.htm”.

In creating the link descriptions on your page, write something like “Gemstone Necklaces” rather than “Products Page”.

8. PARAGRAPHS: Have about 3 paragraphs of text on your front-door page. Each paragraph might have 3 or so sentences.

Your major keywords should appear in this pattern:

– At the top of paragraph #1

– In the middle of paragraph #2

– Not at all in paragraph #3

If you don’t like the look of all those words on your front door page, you can always put the paragraphs at the bottom of your webpage.

9. IMAGES: For all your images, use the ALT tag. For the ALT tag, use your keywords to describe the image. By using the ALT tag, when someone places the cursor over the image, a yellow box will appear with the ALT tag words appearing. These are also very indexable.

Make your original images into .jpg or .tif or .gif files. The original images should be a minimum of 500 x 500 pixels and 72–96 dpi resolution. Within your webpage, you can adjust image sizes. Preference for using the percent (%) adjustment rather than setting particular pixel width and height sizes.

10.HEADINGS: Set up 2 or 3 heading on your front door page, and use your keywords in the heading text. Sometimes what you code as a heading is the first thing indexed, and sometimes the only thing indexed. On subsequent pages, use more headings, if these make sense for the page.

11.COMMENT TAGS: Put in at least one COMMENT tag using your keywords. In the HTML code, comments start with <! — and end with → . COMMENT tags cannot be seen on your page. They are hidden within the code. There is a 1000 character limit to COMMENT tags. Words in COMMENT tags are very indexable.

12.DOMAIN NAME: If you haven’t already selected a website domain name, you might try to create one using your most important keyword in the URL-text. There are many sites online that sell domain names. Compare their prices which can be all over the place. Compare the amount of space they offer you, any email limits, and whether you can add a shopping cart.
For example, “beadsatlandofodds.com” would do far better than “landofodds.com” in search engine indexing.

You can also envision having more than one front-door or landing page for your website. You might have different kinds of customers, and may want to set up an entrance very tailored to each of them. From the search engine’s standpoint, they do not like to see virtually the same page used more than once. You will lose points here if this is your approach. But you can set up differently designed pages as front entrances, and based on how you get your site listed, you can use any of these as the link-reference point.

3. Choosing and Placing Key Words and Hash Tags

Generate a keyword list of 1000 characters. You can use a word processing program like WORD, which has a character counter. In this list, you would include variations on upper case and lower case spellings, as well as common misspellings.

Think about the words and phrases your customers might use to find you, to understand what you do as a jewelry designer, and how your jewelry will satisfy their needs and desires.

To research keywords, you can go to various search engines, plug in the major keywords you’re interested in, and check out what keywords other sites which pop up in the search engines search, have used. On each site’s front door page, review what words they see to use on this page. Also, you can use the browser’s VIEW button to bring up the Source Code image of a page, and check out what keywords other people have listed in their META TAGS (which are otherwise hidden from view). You can use Google’s ad words program to generate keyword lists.

Hash Tags

A hashtag is a word or keyword phrase preceded by a hash symbol (#). It’s used within a post on social media to help those who may be interested in your topic to be able to find it when they search for a keyword or particular hashtag. It helps to draw attention to your posts and encourage interaction.

If you are using a phrase, do not put spaces between the words.

You want to use hashtags that you think people will search on.

You don’t want to be too general and you don’t want to be too obscure. You can check out what influencers in your area of interest are using on their posts.

RiteTag (https://ritetag.com) : Get instant hashtag recommendations.

You should, if possible, include a branded hashtag, such as #yourname#yourbusinessname, or #nameoflineofjewelry .

Different social media platforms have different expectations for the number of hashtags they view as optimal. Use that number, not more or less, if you can.

Facebook (1 to 2 at most)

LinkedIn (1 to 3 at most; place them within the body of your post, rather than at the end)

Instagram (10 or 11 is best, but you can use up to 30 hashtags)

Tik Tok (100 characters maximum)

Pinterest (1 or 2 at most)

I would suggest using hashtags in all your posts.

4. Optimizing Your Social Profiles

In various social media sites, directories and other places you list your business, you want to have a great, professional social profile about yourself. Think about…

Username: This is the identity of your business in one simple or compound word. If you have the opportunity to verify your name within any site, do so. This builds trust.

Biography: You want a short introduction to yourself and your business. [Refer to your Getting Started Story in an earlier chapter.] List important information about yourself and your business. Tell the reader how you and your design work solved problems for them. Establish some indicators of credibility and legitimacy. Make your business sound approachable.

Photos: Get a good headshot of yourself and another shot of your working at making jewelry. Get another image that defines your business, such as store front, store displays, or a group of employees serving customers. Last take some appealing images of some of the pieces you make and which represent your brand or style. Include photos showing someone wearing your pieces. Photos should be in .jpg format, 500×500 pixels minimum size, and 300dpi (for print) and 72–96dpi (for screen).

Headline or Tag Line: Usually you have an opportunity to add a short line of text after your name or the name of your business. 7–9 words is good. This line should suggest your keywords and hashtag words. This line should be catchy. Test out a few examples and see which ones get the best reactions.

Content: A lot of informative content on your profiles is always a plus. Research what other jewelry designers are posting on blogs and on Facebook for ideas.

When you update your social profile, let all your followers know. This is a good way to keep them engaged with your business.

5. Site Usability and Navigation Concerns

How usable is your website to:

– New customers

– Returning customers

Websites need very clear Navigation systems.

Websites need strategies to keep them from becoming boring. After someone visits a site a few times, and it only takes a few times, the sites become stale and boring to them.

Websites need all your contact information — address, phone, fax, email — right on your first page. Or at least a very visible link/button to CONTACT INFORMATION. Don’t make your customers hunt for contact information.

Navigation System

There is a series of research about the Magical Number 7 plus or minus 3. When people are confronted with 7 or more choices, they psychologically need to re-categorize them, such as into one group of 3 and another group of 4, in order to deal with all this information. Otherwise they get paralyzed and stumped. People can easily handle 4 pieces (7 minus 3) of information, but start to get uncomfortable with 7 pieces, and can also be forced to deal with 10 separate pieces (7 plus 3) information, but that’s pushing it.

From a website design standpoint, you do not want to make someone have to travel more than 4 links to get to the product information they want. As the required number of links to click on gets greater than 4 clicks, your customers will begin to get paralyzed, and not make the next click. Wherever you find you have more than 4 clicks to get to a product, you can re-categorize, so you have fewer links to navigate.

For example, suppose it takes 5 clicks to get from your section on Jewelry to your section on Amethyst Beaded Necklaces:

PRODUCTS — click 1 to — JEWELRY — click 2 to — NECKLACES — click 3 to — BEADED NECKLACES — click 4 to — GEMSTONE BEADED NECKLACES — click 5 to — AMETHYST BEADED NECKLACES.

You might reduce the number of clicks the customer has to travel by reducing the number of webpages they have to traverse:

PRODUCTS/JEWELRY — click 1 to — NECKLACES/BEADED NECKLACES — click 2 to — GEMSTONE BEADED NECKLACES/AMETHYST.

On the PRODUCTS page, you list all your types of products. On your NECKLACES page, you list all your types of necklaces. On your GEMSTONE BEADED NECKLACES page, you list all the types of gemstones.

Avoiding Boredom

Websites get stale fast. Unfortunately, to keep things re-designed and very fresh takes a lot of time and effort. So, you want to come up with some simple, less time-consuming tricks that you can do to keep your website appearing fresh.

One trick is to put something on the page that moves. Build in some kind of “movement” on your front-door page. You can use a .gif animation file, or create mouse-overs and other simple fun things which move using Javascripts.

Another trick is to create a sense of Interactivity — forms, polls, message boards, chat lines, email sign-up, email link, contests, games, ezines, links/resources page listing other sites of interest.

A third trick is to run specials and/or have a What’s New section.

Contact Information

Preferably on the first page, include your address, email, phone, fax, and other important identifying contact information.

If you have a separate CONTACT PAGE, be sure that the link/button to the page is prominently displayed at the top of your front door page.

If you use a CONTACT FORM, I think it is also helpful to list your email address on this same page, as well. If concerned about robots collecting email addresses off websites to use in spam, you can write you email address like this: warren (@) landofodds (dot) com .

Many of your regular customers or clients will begin to use your website like a rolodex entry. Make it easy for them.

Caution: many anti-spam programs reject emails that begin with Info, Contact, Shop and other very generic terms.

6. Intensive Site Placement and Linkages

It is important that you get listed with all the major search engines, directories and social media sites, as well as specialty directories associated with your specific business.

To make this process go as quickly as possible, it is important to have all your information together in one place, where you can cut and paste the information into the online forms, as requested.

Type out your landing page URL as http://www.mysite.com . If you are using a shopping cart system, your URL will most likely start as https://www.mysite.com .

Type out your email contact address: warren@landofodds.com

Besides having about 12–20 of your most important keywords or keyword phrases handy, also have about 12 hashtags ready. You will also want to create 25-word, 50-word, 100-word and 200-word descriptions of your site, heavy on keywords, but no side-by-side keyword repetitions. One more thing: have a 7 to 9-word part description / part tag line for your business. Make this catchy.

Do NOT pay for or use any of the multiple submission services. Take the time to submit your site to each search engine and directory, one at a time. A site submitted through a multiple submission service can get assigned a low ranking by the search engines.

You can use Yahoo or Google or Bing to find specialized directories. Get listed in as many as these as possible.

Many search engines and some directories now charge you for a listing, either as a flat fee, or as a click-through rate. You may not be able to afford all the opportunities, but you might want to follow through on the major ones.

Some search engines will let you buy key words. When someone searches on a keyword, a link to your site will appear. If someone clicks through on that link, you’re charged a per click fee. Google ad words and Facebook ads work this way.

Also, link up with web-rings, web-malls, and other affinity arrangements online. You might create your own affinity arrangement with others businesses you know.

Social media sites, newsgroups, forums, and message boards are great places to get visibility. While you usually can’t put a blatantly commercial post on these, you can (a) respond to existing posts, and put your business signature information at the end of your post, (b) suggest a jewelry-making tip, or other similar tip, and add your business signature information to the end of your post, and © and similar things.

There are many sites which list local resources. Get listed. Facebook’s Graph Search allows you to search for businesses both by location as well as friend’s recommendations. It shows you which businesses your friends have frequented. Yelp and Trip Advisor are critical for local businesses.

You can do a search on the URL web-address of your competitors, as well as on their names, to see where they are listed.

Some of your suppliers may list you on their websites. Some of your customers or clients may list you on their websites.

To get a high ranking, search engines do three things:

a) CATEGORIZE your site in relation to certain keywords, by indexing words on your site,

b) RATE your link-popularity, by checking how often someone clicks on a link to your site, and

c) RANK the link-relevancy of your site based on how long the person stays on your site, once they’ve clicked on their way there.

So, the more places that maintain a link to your website, the more likely someone is to click through to it. The better designed your website is, the more likely someone is to hang around awhile. The better indexed you are (called SEO optimization), the more visible you are in any search.

7. Inexpensive Things You Can Do To Get Noticed

There are many low-cost or free things you can do to increase your visibility online. Some suggestions:

a. Get reciprocal links — “I’ll list you if you list me.” There are your friends and personal associates; other similar businesses; affinity sites such as shopping malls, specialized directories, awards programs.

b. Create educational and information content. Share it with other sites in exchange for a link back to your site. In fact, there are Free Content sites online that act as a repository and exchange for free content articles. Submit your articles there.

c. Respond to people’s questions in forums, newsgroups, message boards, reviews and the like. Start each of your responses by repeating their first name. Include a business signature with a link back to your site at the end of your response.

d. Write articles for online ezines, newsgroups, forums, specialized portals and the like.

e. Join affinity groups.

f. Include a lot of explanatory and how-to information next to each of your products.

g. Run a contest.

h. Set up a group and form your own community within one or more of the social media sites.

i. Set up a business page on one or more of the social media sites, as well as the major search engines such as Google and Bing.

j. Create your own online newsletter.

k. Post images on all the social media sites.

l. Post short videos to You Tube, as well as other social media sites, particularly Instagram and Tik Tok. Videos will generate more interest than images.

m. Create a blog. Keep it active. You can also use micro-blogging posts to lesson your workload. Micro blog posts are short links to other websites or posts online you find of interest. Here you make a statement about why the reader should pay attention to this link. Write the link. Suggest that the reader come back to your blog and offer some feedback.

n. Create an email campaign for your email-opt-in customers.

o. Send birthday wishes to your followers; include an image of your jewelry; tag the follower.

p. Create both business and personal profile pages on various social media sites.

q. Run promotions and discount offers.

r. Bundle 2 or more pieces of jewelry and run a promotion.

s. Shine a spotlight on your employees.

t. Show off your space.

u. Run a contest.

v. Re-share content from other sites.

w. Recognize loyalty; feature your super customers in blog posts or posts on social media channels; give them first access to new products; create a brand loyalty program.

x. Invite customers to react to and test out new ideas before you implement them.

y. Reward referrals.

z. On social media, position yourself as a subject matter expert.

aa. Use social media to find cross-promotional partners.

One thing I do NOT recommend is to send mass e-mailings where your target audience has not previously opted in to receive emails from you. Mass e-mailings generate a lot of positive responses, but they generate a lot of negative responses, as well, from people overwhelmed with spam.

There will always be new tools every year to take advantage of. Sharing text, image, video and audio will always remain in style.

However, you decide to attract attention and increase your visibility, you will pay with either your time or your money. At first, you will probably take a shot-gun approach — that is, trying everything. But in the interests of time and money, you will want to narrow your efforts.

8. Social Media Posts Marketing

Post everywhere. React to other people’s posts. Answer queries. Suggest how-to solutions. Include an image with your post, 1–3 hashtags, and a link back to your website or online presence.

Create a presence on all social media sites, and post to them all. However, select 2 of them to concentrate your marketing efforts.

Things which improve responses to posts: touches of humor, quality of information, your excitement, something weird, something the evokes an emotional response, a feeling of connection.

Keep your posts short. Yes, you are marketing yourself and your designs, but more subtly. You do not want to sound salesy.

Engage your viewer. For example, ask “Which of these 3 is your favorite?” or “A and B are perfect together — Agree?”.

If at all possible, end each post with either a CALL TO ACTION or a TAKE-AWAY / LESSONS LEARNED.

Share photos of events. Share photos of what’s new?

If someone responds to your post, respond back to them. At a minimum, thank them for their post. Remember to cite their first names in your responses.

Pay attention to the number of responses you get, and whether you get more or fewer responses depending on the site, the day of the week or the time of the day.

Plan to make posts on a regular basis. You might plan to use the same posts on different media sites. If using the same post for placement on the same social media site, say in several interest groups on that site, try to limit the same post to, in this example, 3 interest groups.

Instagram has been especially useful, productive and responsive to jewelry maker posts. With Instagram, I suggest planning to post at least once every single day. Remember that those captions are important and you want to make them clever or very personal in some way.

Quality will matter more than quantity.

9. Online Advertising

There are many opportunities for online advertising. For each opportunity, you want to carefully think through the costs and benefits. How many impressions (# of eyeballs) will your ad achieve? For each impression, how many of those people will follow through (click-thru rate) and link to your site? What words, keywords, terms seem to influence people to click-thru more often? What is a reasonable cost per click through?

The first types of advertising you should do are the basic, cheap and obvious. Include your website address and/or email address on your stationery, business cards, business checks, brochures, other handouts.

You add some marketing highlights, address and email as your “signature” for all the emails you send.

You might send out a Press release to your local papers and magazines, or to regional and national publications pertinent to your business. You will want to approach them with a good angle, that you think would be of interest to their readers.

Many search engines, like Google, directories and social media sites sell keywords. You pay a certain amount of money for each click thru to your site. You can set a limit to how much you want to spend each month. It could be as low as a few dollars, or as high as you want to go. When one of their visitors does a search on the particular keyword (or keyword phrase), your name appears with the search results, with a clickable link back to your site. You pay when someone clicks on that link and visits your site. Using a keyword phrase of 2 or more words, rather than a single word keyword will narrow your target audience, but at the same time increase the chances one of these people will click through.

Instead of using keywords, you might also be able to target customers by demographic data, such as age, gender, and geographic location.

You might purchase a banner ad to place on other people’s sites.

You can also purchase ad space or sponsorship listings on various online ezines, magazine and websites.

You can place classified ads. Many search engines have classified sections. There are many specialized websites hosting classified ads.

In a similar way, you can post several of your products on Ebay or other auction sites. Marketing on Ebay is very similar to taking out an ad, but probably more effective.

Note: Social media sites and search engines tend to favor paid posts and ads. These sites probably have applications which help you narrow your target audience, thus maximizing your costs-per-click-thru.

10. Generating An Email List and Conducting Email Campaigns

It is critical to generate an email list of customers. You want them to very formally and visibly opt-in to the list. You can generate sign-up sheets, online forms, and the like towards this end.

You can run your own campaigns, or use an email client like MAILCHIMP (https://mailchimp.com ) or CONSTANT CONTACT (www.constantcontact.com ).

You can segment your email list into smaller, targeted groups.

A monthly contact is reasonable.

Caution: many anti-spam programs reject emails that begin with Info, Contact, Shop and other very generic terms.

11. Creating Visual Images and Video Content

Images: Images get better responses than text. Make your original images into .jpg or .tif or .gif files. The original images should be a minimum of 500 x 500 pixels and 72–96 dpi resolution. Within your webpage, you can adjust image sizes. Preference for using the percent (%) adjustment rather than setting particular pixel width and height sizes.

Show images of your finished pieces. Of you at working making things. Of someone wearing your pieces. Of the inspirations for your pieces. Of works in progress. Of close-up details of your pieces.

Encourage customers to share images of them wearing your jewelry.

Create a slide show of a series of images to tell a story.

Infographics generate lots of discussion.

Write captions for all your images. Don’t just tell them what the image is. Tell them how and why what is photographed will be important to them. Try to use humor and irony. Make the captions authentic. Bring out your personality in the captions. For example: “The bracelet you always wanted to go with that blue dress,” or, “One of a kind necklace which will no longer be available after the 1st.”

More examples:

“My color-picking frustrations paid off this time!”

“Need to finish this ASAP. Didn’t even take the time to brush my hair today!”

“So tribal … What do you think?”

“I think I’ve made a necklace to match the picture I hung in my room. Didn’t even think about that. Or did I?”

“I made all this jewelry today, and now have to leave it to do some vacuuming. I can’t stop looking at it though.”

Videos: Videos are the best way to get attention on the internet. They catch the eye. They can convey emotions. They make demonstrations easy to follow.

There are many formats. The safest one to use is MP4. When you upload to a site, like You Tube, the sites convert your video to their format. Consider purchasing video editing software. For the most part, keep your videos short — either the 1–3 minute version or the 10–20 minute version.

Each social media platform has its own rules and pros and cons for hosting videos. Check out: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, You Tube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tik Tok, Snapchat. Most require a screen resolution of 1920 x1080 pixels, and a widescreen (16:9) format. You would set up a page or channel on each site. It’s a good idea to create a short introduction video explaining what your page or channel is all about.

You Tube: Host all your videos. On You Tube, you can also live stream video. This is useful to make spot announcements, present new products, and the like. Videos available to everyone. People most often look for “how-to”, “demonstrations”, “product reviews.”

Facebook: Videos can only be seen by your friends and followers. People on this site want videos that are entertaining or inspirational. 85% of viewers watch the videos with the sound off. Video size recommended is 1280×720 pixels.

LinkedIn: People like career-oriented videos as well as corporate and business promotions and interviews and conference broadcasts.

Twitter: Videos are very, very short. Usually off-the-cuff remarks shared by cell phone.

Instagram: Videos are square by default. Optimal size: 1080 x 1350 pixels. You want your videos to tell a story, with a beginning, middle, climax, denouement and conclusion.

Pinterest: Similar to You Tube.

Tik Tok: The standard video length is 3 minutes, though you can go up to 10 minutes. Sound is essential. The orientation is vertical, so you want the size of your video to be 1080 x 1920 pixels.

Pointers:

· Keep the viewer in mind. Aim to meet their needs, whether seeking to solve problems, learn something, be entertained, or be inspired.

· In the first 5–10 seconds, be sure the video content is an attention-grabber with a solid hook. Get your name out and your purpose out. Viewership drops dramatically after 10 seconds.

· Make the video mobile-friendly. Make any text large enough to be seen on a small cell phone screen. Make sure there is good contrast between text and the background it is imposed on.

· Always add either a CALL TO ACTION or a TAKE AWAY / LESSONS LEARNED before the video ends.

· Add captions to your video throughout because many people view videos with the sound off.

· Embed all your posted videos on your own website as well.

12. Garner Online Reviews

Online reviews will always be important.

I widely post links throughout my online pages and emails to the various review sites like Google, Yelp, Facebook and Travel Advisor. Periodically I send out an email to my customer list asking them to post a review.

Respond to every single post, positive or negative. Always begin your responses by writing the reviewer’s first name. Real and authentic responses, rather than canned responses, keep the conversation going and allow you to glean more valuable insights from your customers.

Occasionally the reviews might be negative. I know it’s difficult not to take negative comments personally, but it’s only personal if you allow them to be. Still, even negative comments are opportunities for dialog. Respond to them in a sensitive, understanding way, perhaps suggesting something like, (a) a future discount or reward, or, (b) being grateful for calling something to your attention — that this will change your behavior in the future. Thank them for their review.

One contributing factor to a higher search engine ranking is the number of positive reviews for your site.

Make sure you have set up business profiles on Google and Bing so that your customers can see the reviews posted on either search engine site.

13. Getting Customer Feedback

It is important to get customer feedback about your website, your marketing efforts and your products/product mix. Regularly connecting with customers will help you retain them. It will help you keep their information updated. Asking for feedback will get them more invested in your business. It will help you uncover any customer issues which need to be resolved.

When people email or call you, you might ask some evaluative questions of them, while you have their attention. Also ask them how they found you originally.

You can set up a free poll or survey online. There are many websites that offer free online polls and surveys.

Ask your customers for leads.

14. Competitor Surveillance

The internet provides myriad opportunities for you to view your competitors’ marketing strategies. You can analyze specific competitors you know of in your immediate environment. Or you can focus on 3–5 competitors that are prominent in your business.

Think about what they are doing and their performance relative to what you are doing and your performance.

In the search engine locator box, you can:

– Type a keyword, and look more closely at the first 3–5 competitors whose websites pop up

– Type in the name of a specific competitor, and see which websites mention their name

– Type in the URL address of a specific competitor and see which websites maintain active links to them, or have reviews of them

You can:

– Analyze their website and product line

– Determine what keywords are important to them

– Find out who lists them and links to them

– Check their visibility and rankings

What is their business model?

What assumptions do they make about the market for their products?

Where do they think their customers are?

How do they think their customers will find them?

Where do they advertise?

What is their product mix?

What kinds of pricing strategies have they put into action?

Listening tools (from LinkedIn Share): Some online sites which help you monitor competitors, blogs, comments, videos, tips and the like:

Bing: Internet Search

Commentful: Monitors comments on blog postings

BlogPulse: Identifies daily blog post patterns

Complete Blog: Monitors how people use the internet

Cotweet: Monitors discussions about businesses and their brands on Twitter and Facebook

Digg: Members vote on which web content should be shared

Feedky: Scans and indexes video websites

FourWhere: Finds tips and comments on Yelp, Foursquare and Gowalla.

Google News: Highlights news items about businesses and brands

HootSuite: Customized analytics relative to various social media sites

Klout: Rates and ranks brands based on engagement levels in various social media sites

OpenBook: Searches real-time posts in Facebook

SamePoint: Enables you to connect your business to various social media sites

Sideline: Topic search application for Yahoo

Technorati: measures particular position and influence of any website

Trackur: Lets you watch your reputation, mentions, and promotional campaigns

Trendpedia: Monitors social media sites and what people are saying about you and your brand

UserrnameCheck: Find where your username has been registered

Website Grader: Measures the marketing effectiveness of your website

Yahoo Pipes: Helps you aggregate information from all over the internet

15. Establishing Baseline Site-Activity Indicators

It is important to track the activity on your website, and to try to gauge whether this activity level is affected by any marketing effort you might launch.

There should be a statistics package that comes with your website. You can also link to Google Analytics or other available statistical packages online.

From this information, you should gather the following stats:

· # of unique visitors

· Average visitors per day

· Average length on site per vistor

· # of sales per week

· Average doll per sale

· Percent of unique visitors resulting in actual orders

· # of abandoned shopping carts

NOTE: You can easily find out similar information for all your competitors using many apps available online for this purpose.

16. Have a FAQ page which summarizes all your policies and procedures

Create one page, called a FAQ page, which summarizes those policies and procedures relevant to your customer base. Anticipate the kinds of questions your customers will ask you, and provide the answers here.

So, at the least, your customers will ask about:

· Ordering procedures

· Turnaround times

· Shipping time and costs

· Customization

· What to do about lost or damaged merchandise

· Repairs

· Returns and exchanges

· Backorders

· Copyrights, Trademarks

· Disclaimers

· Lead content or other information about materials

· Gift certificates

· Discounts

· Minimum orders

· Exchanging links

· International orders

· Security of site for online payments

· Other payment methods

· Sales taxes

· Wholesale orders or arrangements

17. Have a testimonials page (also can include pages for Press Articles, List of Retailers Who Sell Your Jewelry, Upcoming Events)

Periodically, gather testimonials from your customers who have purchased your product. Set up a webpage listing all these testimonials.

18. Create relationships with online influencers to market your jewelry

There are many people online that function as influencers. Many will market and promote your products in exchange for something. Sometimes this is money. Sometimes this is product. Sometimes this is some other reciprocal arrangement. [See chapter on INFLUENCERS for more details.]

They might share images of your jewelry. They might wear it. They will create a buzz for it.

Start by creating a relationship with an influencer who is relevant to your product line. Follow them everywhere. Interact with their posts. Show that you are interested in what they have to say.

Then pitch a collaboration.

______________

FOOTNOTES

Amin, Arshad. 16 Social Media Optimization Tips You Need To Know, medium.com, 1/18/22.

As referenced in:
https://arshad-digital.medium.com/16-social-media-optimization-tips-you-need-to-know-1a66c20b4564

Gillespie, Chris. The Ultimate Social Media Video Guide. 8/4/2021.

As referenced in:
https://www.vidyard.com/blog/social-media-video/

Hill, Andrea. When Marketing, Be Clear Who You Want To Reach and What You Want To Sell. Digital Marketing Decisions, 2/11/2021

As referenced in:
https://instoremag.com/when-marketing-be-clear-who-you-want-to-reach-and-what-you-want-to-sell/?oly_enc_id=8486A9291356F6C

Less Everything. Unconventional Marketing With No Money, Chapter 5: Business Guide: Run Your Business. Don’t Let Your Business Run You.

As referenced in:
http://lesseverything.com/business-advice/unconventional-marketing/

Main, Kelly. 18 Jewelry Marketing Ideas to Drive Sales Without Spending a Fortune, 12/13/2021.

As referenced in:
https://fitsmallbusiness.com/jewelry-marketing-ideas/

_______________________________

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 bead weaving, beads, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, pearl knotting, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MARKETING / PROMOTION / POSITIONING:

Posted by learntobead on September 4, 2022

About Marketing Strategies For Jewelry Designers

Abstract:

As a marketer, you will be developing and organizing a series of communication strategies and tactics. You will also be combining things into coherent marketing campaigns with defined goals and methods for collecting evidence from which you can evaluate success. This article discusses the importance of spreading word-of-mouth and some ideas towards this end. Also discussed are some additional marketing ideas workable for the designer.

Marketing Strategies

As a marketer, you will be developing and organizing a series of communication strategies and tactics. You will also be combining things into coherent marketing campaigns with defined goals and methods for collecting evidence from which you can evaluate success.

Your strategies will hone in on the 4 P’s: product, price, promotion and place.

· Product: serves a need not being met or provides a novel experience

· Price: set a fair price both to you as well as your customer

· Promotion: your marketing message and how you get the word out

· Place: where your product is available and your distribution arrangements

Whatever marketing strategies and tactics you resort to, remember this.

· You need to be different and refreshing.

· You need to do something your target audience(s) will talk about.

· You need to make your product approachable, accessible, and memorable.

· You need to enhance the emotional connection among client, product and designer.

· You need to be patient and focused.

· You need to be creative.

· You need to be authentic.

· You need to be market-driven, not product-driven. [It might be a great product, but there needs to be a market for it.]

Some marketing tasks you will direct and take charge of yourself. With some, you will work with an agency and turn over responsibility to them. You might rely on online influencers and bloggers. Some things will be in print. Some will be images and/or posts online. Some will be messages to your email followers. You might coordinate your marketing with similar or complimentary products of other businesses (called co-marketing). You might donate items to organizations which will publicize your donations. You will have business cards, brochures, jewelry name cards, guest books, packaging, letterhead stationery, websites, domain names. You might be able to get articles written about you or invitations to participate in podcasts.

You will find that, with jewelry, you will need to use a multi-method approach to your marketing. Any one particular approach won’t be sufficient to reach enough potential clients and influence enough buying decisions to keep you in business.

The Importance of Word of Mouth:
The Biggest Source of New Customers

If your client has had a positive experience with you and your products, it is highly likely they will share this with someone else. This is called word of mouth. Word of mouth might result from a conversation. It might result from an online or print review. It might be generated from comments to an online post. It might be a mention in an article. Word of mouth usually accounts for 3 of every 4 jewelry sales in the United States.

Things which drive word of mouth:

· Thanking your customer

· Asking your customer if they get compliments on your pieces they wear, and if so, can they mention that in a review or post online

· Ask your customers to talk about you, such as mentioning you on Facebook.

· Offer a discount to a customer who refers another to you.

· Image and Video posts on Instagram and other social media sites, and concurrently responding to all LIKES and COMMENTS. Note: Always repeating the person’s first name in our response comments.

· Join social media sites groups, and comment on various posts.

· Hold a customer appreciation event.

· Do some co-marketing with similar businesses in town.

· Follow-up on sales to make sure customers are happy.

· Bring a friend campaign.

· Give out business cards.

· Show something special to clients which I know they will want to tell others about.

· In-store giveaways.

· Be involved in the community.

· Supporting nonprofit fund-raising events, usually by offering a gift certificate or a showy piece of jewelry

· Create how-to handouts and/or post videos online (or other educational content) you can give to customers for free.

Some Marketing Ideas

1. Educate with your content

2. Personalize your marketing messages

3. Be data driven

4. Keep your messages and content updated

5. Be visible in your community and online

6. Manage active and frequent email campaigns, along with implementing strategies to expand your email list

7. Rely on credible influencers

8. Concentrate on one, perhaps two, social networks only, and give it your all

9. Create opt-in offers

10. End all your marketing and promotional messages with a call to action

11. Be a strategic user of key works in webpage designs and promotions

12. Teach

13. Do repairs

14. Survey, listen and learn

15. Sponsor a charitable event

16. Donate products or services to a charity event

17. Co-market with other small businesses

18. Do presentations or webinars to enable your audience to get to know, like and trust you

19. Provide free consultations or demonstrations

20. Write articles

21. Build a website optimized for search

______________

FOOTNOTES

Coursera. The 4 Ps of Marketing: What They Are and How to Use Them. 8/10/2022.

As referenced in:
https://www.coursera.org/articles/4-ps-of-marketing

Hill, Andrea. When Marketing, Be Clear Who You Want To Reach and What You Want To Sell. Digital Marketing Decisions, 2/11/2021

As referenced in:
https://instoremag.com/when-marketing-be-clear-who-you-want-to-reach-and-what-you-want-to-sell/?oly_enc_id=8486A9291356F6C

Koshy, Vinay. 18 Powerful Marketing Stategies To Grow Business Faster, 1/14/2022.

As referenced in:
https://www.engagebay.com/blog/powerful-marketing-strategies/

Less Everything. Unconventional Marketing With No Money, Chapter 5: Business Guide: Run Your Business. Don’t Let Your Business Run You.

As referenced in:
http://lesseverything.com/business-advice/unconventional-marketing/

Main, Kelly. 18 Jewelry Marketing Ideas to Drive Sales Without Spending a Fortune, 12/13/2021.

As referenced in:
https://fitsmallbusiness.com/jewelry-marketing-ideas/

Smith, Lisa. The 16 Best Marketing Strategies to Try This Year.

As referenced in:
https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2020/01/07/best-marketing-strategies

_______________________________

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 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 »

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 »

Often Unexpected, Always Exciting: Your First Jewelry Sale

Posted by learntobead on July 28, 2022

How many times have you heard a jewelry artist say…

I can’t bear to part with my pieces.

My jewelry is too precious to me.

I only give a few pieces that I make away as gifts to friends and family.

I’ve never sold anything.

Selling would take the fun out of it.

And then, someone offers to buy a piece she is wearing, and the rest is history. A sale! Sold! They paid so much more than it cost me! Right off her wrist! Gotta make another! That was so fast! That was so easy!

My friend Connie used to make things only for friends. She always wore the things she made. At one point, she was repeatedly approched in various stores around town by women who wanted to buy the pieces aroundher neck.

At first, Connie quoted them, what she thought were outlandish prices. No one hesitated. Connie was awe-struck, but didn’t say No. I don’t know if she secretly wore a sign on her back — JEWELRY FOR SALE — or, somehow stuck out her cheek in such a way, as if asking to be kissed, that people came over to her, but she was getting quite good at attracting buyers. At TJMAX, at TARGET, at MACY’s, at DILLARDS, at SEARS, at KROGERS and PUBLIX. She kepy upping her prices each time, and no one had yet to blink!

Jona had made many things before, but had never sold anything. Then she had one of those weeks. It started in a Dalt’s restaurant. The waitress had to have them. She had to have Jona’s earrings. She had to have them now. Any price. So Jona suggests a price, the waitress laid the money on the table, and Jona slowly removed each earring from each ear, and said a silent Good-bye. Later that week, one of her friends was desperate. The wedding was this weekend. The piece of jewelry she had purchased for herself went lost. She remembered one of Jona’s pairs, and asked for it, and insisted on paying for it.

Elizabeth wanted to show her best friend at work the kinds of jewelry she was making. One day, she brought a box of jewelry in with her to work. At lunch time, they spread all the pieces out on a table. All of a sudden, the table was mobbed by other women in the lunch room. They were grabbing, trying on, and throwing money down right and left.

Ingren had a box of her mother’s jewelry stored away in a closet. She didn’t particularly like these pieces, and would never wear them, but knew they had some value. She took pictures of each one, and placed them on EBAY to see if she could auction them off. She sold all but one within a week’s time.

Those first jewelry sales can result in a big high. They are thrilling. Exciting. Very motivating. Selling that first piece feels like it can change your life.

But it’s that second sale that begins to determine if you can make a business out of it. Can you do it again? Is it as much fun? Now all of a sudden you have to think about record keeping, government forms, tracking inventory, maing enough product, adequately pricing your stuff, and marketing to recruit and retain customers.

The situation doesn’t seem quite the same anymore.

But believe me, it’s not as onerous as it might appear at first.

And selling your jewelry keeps getting better and better and better!

_______________________________

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 »

DESIGNWORKS: Getting Credit Terms For Your Business

Posted by learntobead on July 15, 2022

Getting Terms

Whenever possible, I suggest trying to get net terms with your suppliers. Net terms is a form of trade credit. Instead of paying upfront for your supplies, your suppliers will give you some predetermined period of time to pay for these goods. You get your supplies right away without having to pay until an agreed-upon future date.

Usually, you would get Net 30 terms, meaning you would pay within 30 days. Sometimes, if you have not paid within the terms set, you might get assessed a penalty fee.

To apply for net terms with any supplier, you would submit a Credit Sheet.

CREDIT SHEET

You will want to prepare a Credit Sheet which lists the following information. You give this sheet to businesses where you want to apply for terms.

When you buy things from businesses, you can pay cash (sometimes check or credit card) — this is considered Pre-Payment.

You can pay COD (cash on delivery), but there is usually an extra COD charge tacked on.

Or you can pay on terms or “on account”, usually signified as Net 30 or Net 10, where you would have 30 or 10 days to pay your bill. If you don’t pay within that time, the business may take away your privilege to buy on terms, or charge you a late fee.

___________________________________

FOOTNOTES

Fundbox.com. Trade Credit: Everything you need to know about net terms for your business. n.d.
As referenced in:
https://fundbox.com/resources/guides/trade-credit/

_______________________________

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:

Resiliency: Do You Have The Most Important Skill Designers Must Have?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Backward Design is Forward Thinking

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Part I: The First Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: Is What I do Craft, Art or Design?

Part 2: The Second Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Should I Create?

Part 3: The Third Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Materials (and Techniques) Work Best?

Part 4: The Fourth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?

Part 5: The Firth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Know My Design Is Finished?

Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Pitfalls Designers Fall Into…And What To Do About Them

Part 1: Your Passion For Design: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?

Part 2: Your Passion For Design: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?

Part 3: Your Passion For Design: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

__________________________________

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 »

Getting Paid: The Designer’s Challenge and Some Strategies For Overcoming This

Posted by learntobead on July 15, 2022

Getting Paid

Getting paid for your work can range from the straight-forward to the nightmare. People love your work, but often, you will find that people will be slow or resistant to pay for it. You run into this with consignment shops. you run into this with custom work for clients. You run into this with retail shops to whom you’ve offered net 30 terms. You run into this with contract and grant work, particularly with government agencies and non-profits. You run into this with people who pay you by check. (NOTE: I don’t accept checks for payment in my own design work.)

You need to get paid so you can move on to the next project.

No money, no inventory, no once-in-a-blue-moon fancy dinner.

Structuring Payments

If you are doing a lot of custom work, your clients will probably pay you in increments, say 50% up front, and 50% upon completion.

If you are doing a lot of consignment, the shops may pay for anything of yours that sells perhaps quarterly. Beware that often consignment shops are slow to pay their consignees.

If you are selling wholesale to other retailers, you might have extended them terms, say Net 30, where you expect to get paid at the end of the term period. If you extend terms to someone, get them to complete a credit application ahead of time.

For each piece sold, or for several pieces sold at the same time, you will be generating some kind of invoice.

Each month, you might also be following up with your customers with a statement form, showing what has been paid, and what still needs to be paid.

INVOICE or STATEMENT FORMS (2-part forms — one for you and one for your customer). You can get a blank pad at a local stationery store, or have these pre-printed with your business name, address and phone.

More Advice

1. Establish a clear payment policy, put it in writing, post it on your website.

2. Find out in advance when the client or business will pay you.

3. Ask if the client needs a W9 form from you in order to pay you.

4. Be clear on whom in the company is responsible for paying you, and be sure to send your invoice to that particular person. If there are also special procedures for you to follow, in order to get paid, get clarity on these right up front.

5. Don’t be shy about using a collection service — even if this means you’ll only receive a portion (say 50%) of the money originally owed you.

6. Invoice your customers promptly.

7. Stay on top of your receivables. If a customer is late, send a reminder note. If a customer is very late, assess a penalty, say 1.5 or 2% per month. Be sure if you charge penalties that these are clearly specified in your written and posted payment policies.

8. Don’t worry about losing the customer. If you are polite but firm, the customer will probably stay with you. If the customer is a dead-bead, then you do not need to continue to do business with them.

9. For large orders, you might ask for a deposit, say 25–50%.

10.Accept multiple payment options. If someone is having difficulty paying you on time, perhaps they can pay you with a credit card.

11.You might offer early payment discounts.

12.Do not payout any commissions or royalties to sales or design staff until the full invoice is paid by the customer.

_______________________________

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.

My ARTIST STATEMENT

My TEACHING STATEMENT.

My DESIGN PHILOSOPHY.

My PROFESSIONAL PROFILE.

My PORTFOLIO.

_________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Resiliency: Do You Have The Most Important Skill Designers Must Have?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Backward Design is Forward Thinking

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Part I: The First Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: Is What I do Craft, Art or Design?

Part 2: The Second Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Should I Create?

Part 3: The Third Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Materials (and Techniques) Work Best?

Part 4: The Fourth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?

Part 5: The Firth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Know My Design Is Finished?

Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Pitfalls Designers Fall Into…And What To Do About Them

Part 1: Your Passion For Design: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?

Part 2: Your Passion For Design: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?

Part 3: Your Passion For Design: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

__________________________________

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, pearl knotting, professional development, Stitch 'n Bitch, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Posted by learntobead on July 14, 2022

SO YOU WANT TO DO CRAFT SHOWS

16 Lessons I Learned Doing Craft Shows

Check out this new book by Warren Feld
Ebook or Print

Doing craft shows is a wonderful experience. You can make a lot of money at craft shows, you meet new people, you have new adventures. You learn a lot about business and arts and crafts designing.

IF… you do your homework when selecting them,
and verify all information

IF… you are very organized in preparing for them,
setting up, selling and re-packing up

IF… you promote, promote, promote.

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.

Table of Contents

What You Will Learn, p. 1

Intro to Book and Acknowledgements, p. 3

LESSON 1: Not Every Craft Show Is Alike, p. 13

LESSON 2: Research All Your Possibilities, p. 27

LESSON 3: Know Which Craft Shows Are For You, p. 31

LESSON 4: Set Realistic Goals / Determine Break-Even
                     Point, p. 39
LESSON 5: Get Those Applications In Early, p. 71

LESSON 6: Promote, Promote, Promote, p. 83

LESSON 7: Set Up For Success, p. 87

LESSON 8: Bring Enough Inventory To Sell, p. 121

LESSON 9: Sell Yourself And Your Craft At The Show,
                     p. 125

LESSON 10: Make A List Of Things To Bring, p. 141

LESSON 11: Be Prepared To Accept Credit Cards, p. 145

LESSON 12: Price Things To Sell, p. 147

LESSON 13: Keep Your Money Safe, p. 151

LESSON 14: Generate Follow-Up Sales, p. 163

LESSON 15: Take Care Of Yourself, p. 167

LESSON 16: Be Nice To Your Neighbors, p. 169

Some Final Words Of Advice, p. 173

Helpful Resources, p. 175

~~~~~~~

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

198pp, many images and diagrams
Ebook or Print

______________________________

_______________________________

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:

Resiliency: Do You Have The Most Important Skill Designers Must Have?

Disciplinary Literacy and Fluency In Design

Backward Design is Forward Thinking

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Part I: The First Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: Is What I do Craft, Art or Design?

Part 2: The Second Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Should I Create?

Part 3: The Third Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: What Materials (and Techniques) Work Best?

Part 4: The Fourth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Evoke A Resonant Response To My Work?

Part 5: The Firth Essential Question Every Designer Should Be Able To Answer: How Do I Know My Design Is Finished?

Doubt / Self-Doubt: 8 Pitfalls Designers Fall Into…And What To Do About Them

Part 1: Your Passion For Design: Is It Necessary To Have A Passion?

Part 2: Your Passion For Design: Do You Have To Be Passionate To Be Creative?

Part 3: Your Passion For Design: How Does Being Passionate Make You A Better Designer?

__________________________________

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, Resources, wire and metal | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

NAMING YOUR BUSINESS A Video Tutorial By Warren Feld

Posted by learntobead on April 26, 2021

SCHOOL HOME PAGE:  https://so-you-want-to-be-a-jewelry-designer.teachable.com

CLASS HOME PAGE:  https://so-you-want-to-be-a-jewelry-designer.teachable.com/p/naming-your-business

FREE PREVIEW PAGE:  https://so-you-want-to-be-a-jewelry-designer.teachable.com/courses/naming-your-business/lectures/22712033

It really is difficult to pick a business name.

Your choice of name can make your business the talk of the town, or doom it to obscurity.

Coming up with that great name for your business takes a little work, some organization, some thinking, some getting opinions from several other people, and some reality-testing.

Some of you may be selling pieces of jewelry to your friends and acquaintances.   Others may be selling at craft shows or home shows, or selling wholesale or consignment in stores.  Some of you may be planning to go into business but haven’t gone very far yet.  And some of you may have store fronts or online businesses through which you sell your jewelry.

Whatever your jewelry making business, the basic goals, strategies and steps for naming your business are the same. You want a business name that

  • Works for you
  • That your customers can relate to
  • And that makes your business a success

What is important are:

…how your business name looks and sounds

…how your customers recognize and respond to your business name, and

…how appealing it is today, but also how adaptable it is over time, as you grow or change your business

In this video tutorial, I go step by step, in great detail.  We cover a lot of ground together to get you thinking and critically evaluating your options for naming your business

In this video tutorial, these lessons work for all jewelry making businesses, whether you have already gotten started in your business, or are still in the “I’m thinking about starting a business” stage.

We will be examining the pros and cons of different types of business names. We will be doing some self-marketing analysis. We will rehearse a best strategy for brainstorming and for filtering.

We also are going to review other critical business and marketing tasks which you can do, given the research work you have done generating a business name. These include,

  • registering your business, trademarks, copyrights
  • creating a tag line
  • working on an elevator pitch
  • naming your jewelry and jewelry lines
  • writing short descriptions of your business, as well as a short story to use with your marketing plans.

This class includes 14 video modules (over 2 hours of materials), plus 11 practice exercises, and a downloadable handout summarize all the materials in this course. 

FREE PREVIEW PAGE:  https://so-you-want-to-be-a-jewelry-designer.teachable.com/courses/naming-your-business/lectures/22712033

Warren Feld
warren@warrenfeldjewelry.com

Posted in Art or Craft?, bead weaving, beadwork, business of craft, creativity, design thinking, jewelry design, jewelry making, Learn To Bead, professional development, wire and metal, Workshops, Classes, Exhibits | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

WHEN RELYING ON OTHER PEOPLE TO SELL YOUR JEWELRY:  6 Things To Be Sure To Do Which Will Improve…

Posted by learntobead on March 11, 2021

The Trunk Show

The women were so excited about the jewelry. Trying it on. Adjusting it to see if they could wear it a different way. Changing up the silhouettes. Pretending they were wearing different outfits to visualize what the pieces would look like. It was a very versatile line of jewelry, and all the women noticed that very quickly. They could wear necklaces as bracelets. Combine bracelets into necklaces. Take one bracelet, add it to a necklace, and create a longer piece. They could purchase different pendant drops, all as add-ons as they wished or none at all. And the drops easily converted into earrings. Imagine that! And the awe and glee and elation and animation — yes, these women were more than happy to have found this jewelry designer and her custom pieces.

I was there that day. In the store. At this one-day trunk show. I saw it all. These women were purchasing almost every last piece. It was the right aesthetic. Contemporary but conservative as well. An individualized look but not outlandish. Easy to wear. Easy to adapt. Easy to visualize what it would look like with different outfits and in different situations.

The jewelry designer was very attentive. She demonstrated the flexibility of each piece in the line. She, at first, asked the women individually a lot about themselves and how they liked to wear jewelry. Then she subtly shifted the conversation a bit so they were talking about themselves and how they would want to wear her jewelry.

At one point, I slowly looked around this upscale clothing, accessories and jewelry store. There were seven store associates standing around. Standing around. A glazed look on their faces. The enthusiasm and energy before them somehow foreign. After the trunk show, when the designer was no longer there, they would be the ones to represent her and her jewelry.

They stood there with blank faces. As if watching a movie they found uninteresting. None of them stepped in. None of them stepped up. Even though the jewelry designer was mobbed with seven or eight women at any one time. They obviously were unable to empathize with the crowd. They had no clue how to sell the pieces because these were pieces of jewelry they didn’t wear themselves. They were somewhat clueless about how to suggest how these store guests could put things together in a stylish, wearable way.

At the end of the day, the jewelry designer was very happy with her sales. But it hit her. Her jewelry would remain at this store for the next several months. But she would not. She would be leaving that day. And she was worried. She thought that over the 10 hours, her purpose was not only to sell to customers, but her purpose was also to model for the sales staff the smart ways for working with these customers and selling her product.

Had the store associates been reliable deputized partners with the jewelry designer that day, all would have made many more customers happy, and made a lot of money and commissions for store, sales staff and designer. Going forward, the designer now had doubts.

Jewelry Designers Often Have To Rely On Others,
 The Designers’ Success Relies On Their Whims

Most jewelry designers do not own their own shops. They rely on other people to sell their stuff. They might put their jewelry in a clothing, accessories or jewelry store on consignment. They might be represented by a gallery or sales representative, with their jewelry spread out in many stores. They might package their jewelry into trunk shows or pick boxes where they send out their jewelry to various stores. These other venues can pick and choose and sell what they want, then return the rest.

The success of sales becomes the whim of who sells it. Their understanding of the designs. Whether they like the pieces or not. Their motivations to keep things clean, neat and displayed well. If they can see themselves or their friends or spouses wearing these. Their sense of style, knowing what things might work well together with what fashions. How well they communicate with their customers. Perhaps even IF they communicate with their customers. If they follow-up with their customers.

Designers Must Take The Lead In Preparing Others To Sell Their Jewelry

The designer must play a leadership role here. The designer as leader must effectively influence, persuade, train and convince whoever will be selling their jewelry how to sell it. As best as possible, the designer must build shared understandings about the product with those who will sell it.

Passive assumptions won’t work here. The designer cannot assume that store owners and their sales staff, because they supposedly want to show a profit, will be good at their jobs. More likely, they are not — particularly when it comes to selling someone else’s stuff. The consequences of poor salesmanship are virtually invisible until many months, even years, later. That’s too late to wait.

To add to the difficulties, the opportunities in terms of time, resources, and follow-up are very limited. The designer may get just one shot to build shared understandings and accomplish several goals. Ideally this should happen in person. Often, it is not. Often it is reduced to shared emails, some printed materials, and some phone calls.

Six Key Shared Understandings

There are six key understandings which the designer must influence others to share. These include,

1. The Key Product Details

2. The Primary Product Benefits

3. The Smart Ways To Use The Products To Build Customer Relationships

4. What Rewards The Sales Staff Should Expect For Themselves, Based On Their Performance

5. At All Times, How To Maintain The Optimum Inventory and Product Mix

6. How To Routinize Timely Feedback

1. The Key Product Details

Think of every line of jewelry as its own culture with a group or tribal identity. Which three to six words or simple phrases encapsulate what that identify is all about? What were the key, primary design choices made which give this line of jewelry its character and resonance? How would anyone know that any piece of jewelry was a part of that group or tribe?

These key words or details might relate to materials and techniques. They might reference fashion, style and taste. They might be things about the designer or about jewelry design in general. There will be lots and lots of details which can be conveyed, but the list of details will need to be severely culled.

People have what is called finite rationality. They can only handle and remember between 4 and 10 pieces of information at a time, with 7 pieces of information usually the upper limit for most people.

Don’t confuse the sales staff. Don’t let them confuse the customers. Limit that descriptive words you use when explaining your jewelry, your design choices, and your design goals. Keep these descriptors simple, un-jargoned, devoid of business babble and clichés.

Keep repeating these 3 to 6 things. Repeat them in ways you want the sales staff to learn them, understand them, and be able to repeat these 3 to 6 things to their customers when you are not around.

2. The Primary Product Benefits

It is not the features of your jewelry that result in sales; it is the benefits people perceive the jewelry will provide for them. People do not focus on what the product is. They focus on what the product means to them.

People buy things to solve problems. These problems might relate to needs and wants. They might relate to achieving status and position. They might resolve emotional desires.

What problems for the potential customer does your jewelry solve? Think carefully about this. Make lists.

Then reflect awhile on how you think your jewelry solves these problems for your customers better than any of your competitors. What are your competitive advantages?

Convey to store owners and sales staff the results of your thinking and synthesis. You do not only want to list for them what customer problems your jewelry solves for them. You do not want your explanation divorced from the actual selling situation. You are not presenting an academic assessment; you want to present a marketing assessment. You want to convey how your jewelry resolves customer problems better than anyone else. This is a little more difficult to do and get the words out, and requires some practice.

And, again, remember that people have finite rationality. Don’t talk about everything. Focus on the couple of primary competitive advantages your line of jewelry has.

As best as possible, make your benefits concrete and specific. Think of which benefits would most readily stick in people’s minds.

3. The Smart Ways To Use The Products To Build Customer Relationships

Any sale is an interaction based on communication. The sale is not the only result. The building of a relationship also results. Too often sales staff performance is rated based on number of sales, and too rarely rated on building relationships. But it is in the building of relationships where we get those repeat sales and bigger sales and broader sales and better word of mouth and more new customers and, you get the idea.

Ideally, if you get the chance, like in the trunk show described above, you can model these relationship building behaviors in front of the sales staff. You can demonstrate how you elicit customer needs, wants and problems to be solved, and how you gain their awareness and trust in how your jewelry will meet these in an advantageous way. If there are other types of products in the store, you can demonstrate how to co-market, such as your jewelry with the store’s clothing.

Absent the in-person approach, you can provide ideas in periodic emails. You might do some simple one-sided-page images and short descriptive content. You might create a fun video that you can share.

You can also work with store staff in developing customer lists detailing the who, how to contact them, the what they bought, the dates, the follow-up sales, customer preferences, any descriptive information about the customer to help future sales.

To help guarantee that sales staff keep these lists and fill them out completely, you can ask to see them periodically to review. You can encourage sales staff to communicate with customers pre-, during, and –post sales. Based on your review, you can suggest specific items in the line that each customer might like to see, and possibly buy. Even though you are not physically present, you can still show how building relationships can generate sales and profits.

4. What Rewards The Sales Staff Should Expect For Themselves, 
 Based On Their Performance

It is helpful if you not only generate commissions and sales for the store, but also some kind of reward for the sales staff each time they sell one of your pieces. Show you recognize their efforts and appreciate them. If sales staff get paid no matter what they do, they may not give your line of jewelry the attention and promotion it deserves.

Besides some reward, perhaps a thank you note, or giving either a monetary extra commission or a piece of your jewelry, you most likely also want to reward the sales staff’ customer follow-ups, without actual sales, such as sending thank you notes or calling them when you send new pieces to the store.

5. At All Times, How To Maintain The Optimum Inventory and Product Mix

Do not assume that the store will maintain the optimum inventory and product mix of your jewelry at all times. There will always be other companies, other designers and other product opportunities competing for any store’s attention. So you will need to step in and capture that attention on a regular basis.

Create an easily update-able plan for the store that details the ideal mix of product — types of jewelry, price points, color, finishes and textures.

Reduce this to a simple product inventory sheet to give the store.

Contact the store periodically to update the inventory, compare to your plan, and make inventory suggestions accordingly.

6. How To Routinize Timely Feedback

You need to get feedback routinely, say at least every 3 to 6 months. You need regular feedback on your jewelry, on the sales process, on other things you can do to help sales staff become better at selling your jewelry.

If your jewelry is not turning at least twice a year, the particular store is probably not right for you. It might be the inattentiveness of the sales staff. It might be a lack of fit with the store’s customer base. But, if you are not getting a minimum of 2 turns a year, this location is not working either for you or the store.

You might formalize requests for quarterly results. You might call the store or any of its sales staff periodically to get information feedback. You might send a questionnaire to customers who have previously purchased your jewelry.

It helps the feedback process along when you provide rewards. This might be in the form of refreshments, such us sending an evaluation form with a box of cookies. This might take the form of adding some free pieces of jewelry to be sold, or one-time discount on purchases.

______________________________

FOOTNOTES

James, Geoffrey. 6 Ways to Persuade Customers to Buy. Inc.com, 2020.

As referenced in:

https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/6-ways-to-convince-customers-to-buy.html

McLeod, Saul. “Short Term Memory,” Simply Psychology, 2009.

As referenced in:
 https://www.simplypsychology.org/short-term-memory.html#:~:text=The%20Magic%20number%207%20(plus,it%20the%20magic%20number%207

Sales Motivation: 18 Tips To Keep Your Salespeople Happy.
 As referenced in:

https://www.pipedrive.com/en/blog/sales-motivation-tips

_____________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Should I Set Up My Craft Business On A Marketplace Online?

The Importance of Self-Promotion: Don’t Be Shy

Are You Prepared For When The Reporter Comes A-Calling?

A Fool-Proof Formula For Pricing And Selling Your Jewelry

Designer Connect Profile: Tony Perrin, Jewelry Designer

My Aunt Gert: Illustrating Some Lessons In Business Smarts

Copyrighting Your Pieces: Let’s Not Confuse The Moral With The Legal Issues

Naming Your Business / Naming Your Jewelry

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

To What Extent Should Business Concerns Influence Artistic and Jewelry Design Choices

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Getting Started In Business: What You Do First To Make It Official

So You Want To Do Craft Shows: Lesson 4: Set Realistic Goals

The Competition: Underestimate Them At Your Peril!

___________________________________

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.

Add your name to my email list.

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

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

Posted in Art or Craft?, bead weaving, beadwork, business of craft, craft shows, jewelry design, jewelry making, professional development, Stitch 'n Bitch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

YOU INHERITED SOME JEWELRY … NOW WHAT?

Posted by learntobead on December 23, 2020

Bags and Bags of Jewelry

She came to me overwhelmed. She had bags and bags of jewelry, some in perfect condition, some not so much, some broken. Her aunt had died, and left her a lot of jewelry. That was years ago. Her mother had died more recently, and left her a lot of jewelry, and a lot of half-finished pieces and components and parts. Her mother had dabbled in jewelry making. And regrettably, three more family members, including a grandmother she was very close to, had recently succumbed to the corona virus. And each had left her more bags of jewelry.

She tried sorting these herself, but frustration got the best of her. She knew there were pieces she would wear herself. Other pieces she wanted to keep for sentimental reasons. Parts of pieces she thought she could do something with, re-purposing them. And lots and lots of fine and costume jewelry she wanted to sell.

She felt she needed some more help in sorting and evaluating what she had. She needed to know, What she should do, How she should do it, and Where she should go to do it.

Our consultation covered these considerations:

1) Etiquette

2) Organize and Sort

3) Clean, Identify Areas of Wear, Refurbish

4) Establish Value

5) Keep and Wear, or Keep and Store

6) Re-Purpose

7) Recycle

8) Sell

9) Donate

10) Throw Away

1) Etiquette

Her name was Danali. She was named after her grandmother and a great aunt. Danali felt very guilty and a few other awkward feelings as she thought about giving away or selling all this jewelry. She repeatedly asked herself, “Should I keep all of it?”

Did she have to keep it all? It was important to have this conversation up front. I told her she did not necessarily have to keep everything. The various people who gave her their jewelry would want her to be happy. She needed to do the things which made her happy, whether this meant keeping things, reworking things or selling things.

Was it her decision what to do with the jewelry, or should she involve other members of her family? Her brother asked her for some of it so that he could give it to his wife and daughter. Her step-father wanted to give several pieces to his second wife. I advised her to consider herself first. Some families have a tradition of passing down jewelry. What was her family’s tradition? Was giving some of it to her brother something she wanted to do? Since she wasn’t related to her step-father’s second wife, I told her that I found his desire to be a little unusual, maybe even creepy. Bottom line: the jewelry was passed down to her to make her happy. That had to be the guiding principle here.

She wanted to remake or sell some of the jewelry. Would she be violating someone’s legacy here? Again, I pointed out that she should do what makes her happy. That’s the legacy. Her deceased relatives wanted her to be happy and get pleasure from the jewelry which they had worn or created. Getting pleasure meant both financially and/or aesthetically. They left their jewelry to her because they trusted the decisions she would make. But that did not mean that every piece had to be preserved exactly or stored in some warehouse or safety deposit box or not be sold or shared with others.

Danali needed to talk about giving herself permission to make those particular choices which would make her happy. She needed to acknowledge to herself what she wanted to wear, what she wanted to repurpose, what she wanted to give away, and what she wanted to sell. This was important.

2) Organize and Sort

The next thing she and I worked on was to organize and sort all the pieces. There were a lot of pieces, and this took many hours spread out over several weeks, typically a 2-hour session at a time.

We went one bag or one box at a time. Within each bag or box, we went piece by piece by piece at a time.

For each piece, we created a simple written record:
 a) Description of piece to best of her and my ability
 b) What she preferred to do with the piece:

– keep and wear,

– keep and store,

– repurpose,

– cannabalize the parts,

– recycle,

– share with someone else,

– donate,

– sell,

– throw away

These became the sort categories for her jewelry.

c) What I thought the full retail price would be for the piece, if sold in a store. [More about establishing value later.]

In our descriptions, we examined each closely and paid particular attention to these factors:

1. The condition, both top-side and back-side, and whether both top and bottom sides of the piece were finished and detailed, or just one side

2. The type and quality of materials used, such as differentiating fine from costume jewelry, gemstone from glass from plastic, type of metal and if there was an accompanying stamp (like .925 or 14KT or GF), and the like

3. The craftsmanship, especially for hand-made pieces

4. For pieces with better quality gems, then their cuts, their visual qualities, and whether the gems alone were more useful and valuable than the piece as a whole

5. The quality and condition of the clasp and other connector features

6. Looked for evidence of the designer or brand, such as a signature or stamp

7. If there was any paperwork associated with the piece, from designer sketches to valuations to certificates of authenticity to insurance policies to sales receipts

8. For some pieces, we listed a style or decade or era it might be associated with, and wrote down the evidence we used to draw these conclusions

The GOOGLE LENS app will let you take picture of anything, and then search its image database. This was helpful in locating similar pieces, and seeing how they were described and valued. Sometimes we took a picture of the clasp or a particular cut of the stone to see what similar things and information we could find through Google.

With each piece, I had Danali ask herself these questions:

· Did you like it?

· Like it enough to want to keep it?

· Did she have space for it?

· Were other things very similar and duplicative?

· Would a photo of the item be a sufficient keepsake rather than the item itself?

· Could she create or recreate or repurpose something of pleasure and value from any of the parts?

3) Clean, Identify Areas of Wear, Refurbish

A lot of inherited jewelry needs some cleaning, and perhaps some refurbishing and repair. It is important to consider whether you think any particular piece will benefit from this extra effort. This is true whether you want to keep the piece or sell it.

Some jewelry will benefit from a soap and rinse with warm water and mild dish detergent. Other jewelry might need some polishing up, especially if it is made from sterling silver. Of note, plated materials will not polish up and be a shiny color again. Sterling silver will.

Typically, some stones are missing and need to be replaced. A clasp might be missing or might not work well any more. The stringing material may have deteriorated. Some parts of the piece may have chipped or broken off. It may be missing a part, such as the clutch for an earring post. Old rings may need new shanks. Chains may need to be soldered.

Costume jewelry will be particularly difficult to restore. The parts are usually made of materials that cannot be re-soldered. The materials used — beads, stones, findings — may no longer be available, or available in the particular colors available when the jewelry was first made. If the piece was plated, this plating has probably worn away. Re-plating may be difficult or too expensive, given the material value of the piece.

4) Establish Value

It is important to establish value for each piece. It is equally important to use a measure of value that can be standardized for all pieces, and that is understandable.

The value of any one piece of jewelry is not one particular number. It depends on the context. The value could be the price someone would pay for it in a store. It might be the price someone who sells jewelry is willing to pay for it, so that a profit could be made. It might be the value of the materials themselves, irrespective of the design. It might be the value people are willing to pay for pieces made by a particular designer. It might be a value at auction. It might have value only for the person who owns it.

There are several standards for establishing value. Four prominent ones include the following:

1) REPLACEMENT PRICE

2) ESTATE VALUE AT RETAIL

3) ESTATE VALUE AT WHOLESALE

4) INTRINSIC VALUE

Replacement Value. If you bought the same piece new today, what would its price be? This gives you the highest valuation. It is not the value of the piece itself. This value is the least accurate standard. However, it is a number that people can easily relate to. I like to start with the replacement value, because it is so meaningful to the client. And I give the client what are called multipliers — that is, a number to multiply the replacement value by in order to estimate what value they might really be able to get for their pieces, given where they are trying to sell them.

Estate Retail Value. This is the price a piece of jewelry would be sold at to an individual who is looking to purchase the used jewelry for themselves. This value links directly to the jewelry item. These individuals expect to save money compared with buying a similar item new.

There are many sources of estate jewelry. These include people who sell used, older or vintage jewelry through Craigslist, Ebay, various auction houses, garage sales, flea markets, or other online sites. There will be quite a variety here in pricing and pricing strategies. For price comparison purposes, I like to use prices I find on Ebay. I tell my clients to use a multiplier between .40 (representing a 60% reduction in value) and .70 (representing a 30% reduction in value), with .60 or 60% as a reasonable average estimate. So, they would multiply the Replacement Value by .40 to get at the Estate Retail Value.

If the Replacement Value was $100.00, then a reasonable estimate of the Estate Retail Value would be $100.00 times .60, or $60.00. This would be $40.00 less than the Replacement Value. Stated another way: if a similar new piece was selling for $100.00, then someone would expect to pay $60.00 for the used jewelry when purchasing that jewelry for personal use.

Estate Wholesale Value. This is the price a business which sells used jewelry is willing to pay. Businesses have to take into account many more costs — overhead, rent, maintenance, staffing — than individuals buying used jewelry. So these businesses will only be willing to purchase used jewelry at a considerably lower price than the Estate Retail Value. The jewelry these businesses need to purchase have to be resalable at a cost customers are willing to spend, and which also covers their operational costs plus a profit.

Businesses like antique stores, estate jewelers, pawn shops, even some boutiques, may purchase inherited jewelry for resale. You can anticipate that they will want to at least double, and probably triple, their cost to set their own price for their customers.

The Estate Wholesale Value is probably the best value for resalable jewelry which has been inherited. This assumes that most of the inherited jewelry will be sold to a business where that business intends to resell it.

The multipliers I suggest here are between .30 (70% reduction) and .50 (50% reduction), with .35 (65% reduction) as a reasonable estimate.

If the Replacement Value was $100.00, then a reasonable estimate of the Estate Wholesale Value would be $100.00 times .35, or $35.00. This would be $65.00 less than the Replacement Value.

Intrinsic Value. The value here is set by the value of the raw materials, usually less a small processing fee. This value yields the lowest price. This price may be lower than the actual price you might be able to sell your item, so think carefully. Typically the Intrinsic Value is the value of the raw metals and the gems. Style, condition, brand, market demand, among other factors, are not taken into account.

Refineries, Cash-for-Gold businesses, some fine jewelry stores will pay intrinsic value for inherited pieces. Be certain up front, with pieces made up of both precious metals and stones, whether the purchasing business will pay for both, or just one or the other. You may have to remove any stones before taking your pieces into these businesses.

There will be different payment rates for different metals, all based on weight. An average scrap rate for gold or sterling silver will be around 85% of the current market value less a processing fee, say $50.00. They will take the total weight of the metal, calculate the current value, multiply this by .85, and subtract a processing fee. This becomes the Intrinsic Value.

The intrinsic value for any gemstone is based on the wholesale price of the gem less any cost for re-cutting, re-polishing or otherwise refurbishing the stone.

Intrinsic metal prices are well publicized online. Intrinsic stone prices are not, and there will be a wide variation on this, so it is wise to shop around.

Other Value Considerations

There are other factors which may come into play:

– Whether the piece is currently in style or not

– Whether something makes it rare or coveted, such as by a particular designer or brand (look for stamped mark or engraved signature), or is an unusual design or uses particular stones

– Metal and gemstone prices fluctuate quite a bit, and you may be hitting the market at a low (or at a high) point

– The condition of the piece

And just because the piece is costume, not fine jewelry, is not a reason for dismissal. Many costume jewelry pieces are coveted and highly valued today.

OnLine Services

There are many online services which will value your pieces for you. Their fees and reputations will vary widely. Check their online reviews.

There are several national associations for appraisers. These require their members to adhere to a high standard of conduct. You should make sure your appraiser either is a member, or, if not, you know that person to be highly knowledgeable and reputable. This is because anyone can present themselves as an appraiser. There are no federal and state licensures.

An appraisal will

· Clearly state the value and the type of value

· Describe the item in detail

· List the procedures used to determine the value

· Specify the appraiser’s qualifications

· Have the appraiser’s signature

You will also find scrap metal calculators online which will be useful.

5) Keep and Store, or Keep and Wear?

Keep and store. For some pieces, you may want to keep them, even though you do not plan to wear them. They may have some sentimental value. They may have a personal story to tell. You might see yourself wearing them at some time, just not now, and are not ready to part with them.

I suggest keeping at least one piece from each loved one from whom you inherited the jewelry. Pick a piece they may have worn a lot, or worn on a special occasion, or represented their personal style.

You can also display pieces you love, but are not interested in wearing, say in a shadow box you hang on the wall.

Keep and wear. There are most likely many pieces you can see yourself wearing. It’s great to mix old and new pieces together with any outfit. Everything is a matter of styling and your personal taste.

6) Re-Purpose

A brooch becomes a pendant. A pendant becomes an earring. A necklace is remade into two bracelets. A very long necklace or a multiple strand necklace made into two or more necklaces. A shoe-clip becomes a clasp. There are many ways to re-purpose jewelry from one type to another.

You might also repurpose a pin into a curtain pull. Some earring drops into push pins or refrigerator magnets. Use in a mosaic. Embellish a cross stitch canvas. Create a bookmark. Decorate some sandals or sneakers. Use as drawer pulls. Decorate your cell phone. Add some pizazz to a purse or strap.

Lots of ideas. You can also do a search engine search, like on Google or Bing, using the keyword phrase “old jewelry into new” or “grandma’s old jewelry”.

7) Recycle

Sell your scrap. There are places, like refineries, cash-for-gold stores, jewelry stores, and the like, which will buy scrap for its intrinsic value. For metal scrap, they will weigh your pieces and you will get paid, depending on the weight, metal value, less a fee. For stones, places will evaluate their wholesale values, less costs for reconditioning or refurbishing, and less a fee.

Cannabalize the parts. You can break up the pieces of jewelry and reuse the components, beads, clasps and other parts in other jewelry making projects. The parts may have more value as parts than as part of the piece as a whole.

8) Sell

There are many places, both where you live, as well as online, where you can sell your pieces.

Locally, you might contact antique stores, boutiques, jewelry stores, salons or pawn shops. Most likely they will take your items on consignment (that is, you will be paid when the pieces sell). You might try a local flea market or marketplace. You might hold a garage sale.

Online, you might check out Ebay, Craigslist, Rubylane, Etsy, The Real Real (focuses on high-end jewelry), Worthy.com (diamond rings), Tophatter and other jewelry-specific auction sites. Take high resolution photos, at least 500 x 500 pixels in size. Provide good and thorough descriptions. You need to establish, through how you present your items, a high level of trust and credibility.

Ebay especially is a useful source for researching the prices your items might sell at. If you have several items which might only sell for a few dollars each, you can group them together into a “lot,” and sell them as a “lot”.

Be sure to list…

· Description, including anything of particular interest, using words your potential customers will connect with

· Condition, any flaws, any functionality issues

· Color

· Brand

· Size and dimensions

· Estimated value and the basis for that valuation

· List price, as well as minimum acceptable price

· Photos, at least 3 (front, back and side), and use a white background

· Shipping requirements, limitations, instructions

These online sites will take a 10–15% of your sales price as a fee. There may be some other small fees involved. You should anticipate these fees, when setting your prices.

9) Donate

Let’s say you have a lot of jewelry you like, but doubt you would ever wear it. You don’t want to deal with selling the pieces. So you might think about donating them.

First, think about any friends or relatives who might appreciate these pieces. You could even hold a party and let people pick out the things they like for themselves.

Second, think about donating pieces to charity or nonprofit thrift shops like Good Will or Salvation Army. Other sites, I Have Wings Breast Cancer Foundation; Dress For Success; Support Our Troops; Suited For Change; New Eyes.

Make sure you get a donation receipt.

10) Throw Away

Of course, your last option is to throw the jewelry away.

You do this only after you have exhausted all other options.

_______________________________

USEFUL AND INFORMATIVE LINKS

https://tracymatthews.com/what-to-do-with-inherited-jewelry

https://recyclenation.com/2014/07/recycle-jewelry/

https://www.leohamel.com/blog/index.php/2018/02/what-to-do-with-inherited-jewelry/

https://www.callagold.com/antique-or-inherited-jewelry/what-to-do-with-your-inherited-jewelry/

https://ask.metafilter.com/29181/What-is-the-proper-etiquette-for-dealing-with-my-deceased-Moms-jewelry

https://sixtyandme.com/give-yourself-a-legacy-gift-by-repurposing-meaningful-jewelry/

https://www.worthy.com/blog/loss/inheritance/selling-inherited-jewelry/

https://whatsyourgrief.com/sorting-through-belongings/

https://www.foxfinejewelry.com/blog-post/what-do-i-do-with-inherited-jewelry

https://www.samuelsonsdiamonds.com/insights/how-to-determine-estate-jewelry-value/#:~:text=The%20only%20way%20to%20truly,consider%20during%20the%20appraisal%20process.

https://www.mygemologist.com/learn/selling-jewelry/how-to-value-inherited-jewelry/

https://truval.com/blog/steps-determine-value-vintage-jewelry/

https://www.worthy.com/blog/knowledge-center/jewelry/how-much-is-my-jewelry-worth/

https://tdcjewelry.com/what-to-do-with-old-inherited-jewelry/

https://quickjewelryrepairs.com/articles/inherited-jewelry-value-and-refurbishing/

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/100115/how-value-jewelry-inherited-loved-one.asp

https://susanjane.com/inherited-jewelry/

https://sabrinasorganizing.com/places-to-donate-jewelry/

https://askinglot.com/what-can-i-do-with-unwanted-costume-jewelry

https://premeditatedleftovers.com/naturally-frugal-living/7-ways-to-turn-unwanted-jewelry-into-cash/

____________________________________________

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Oy Ve! The Challenges of Custom Work

The Importance of Self-Promotion: Don’t Be Shy

Are You Prepared For When The Reporter Comes A-Calling?

Don’t Just Wear Your Jewelry…Inhabit It!

Two Insightful Psych Phenomena Every Jewelry Designer Needs To Know

A Dog’s Life by Lily

Copyrighting Your Pieces: Let’s Not Confuse The Moral With The Legal Issues

Jewelry, Sex and Sexuality

Jewelry Design: An Occupation In Search Of A Profession

Teaching Discplinary Literacy: Strategic Thinking In Jewelry Design

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

Beads and Race

Were The Ways of Women or of Men Better At Fostering How To Make Jewelry

The Bridesmaid Bracelets

How To Design An Ugly Necklace: The Ultimate Designer Challenge

Cleaning Sterling Silver Jewelry: What Works!

What Glue Should I Use When Making Jewelry?

I hope you found this article useful. Be sure to click the CLAP HANDS icon at the bottom of this article.

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

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

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online. Begin with my ORIENTATION TO BEADS & JEWELRY FINDINGS COURSE.
 
 Subscribe to my Learn To Bead
blog (https://blog.landofodds.com).

Add your name to my email list.

Posted in Stitch 'n Bitch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SETTING UP YOUR BUSINESS AT CRAFT MARKETPLACES ONLINE

Posted by learntobead on June 14, 2020

I recently posted an article I had read about selling on Etsy (http://www.today.com/money/etsy-nomics-lets-sellers-stitch-together-living-new-pattern-2D11591368) . There was a big response, so I thought I’d do a little more research. I have been selling online with my own websites for almost 20 years now, but have not had much experience with selling through these online marketplaces.

I have found that many people get frustrated with these sites, in that sales can be minimal, or the numbers of people they are competing with seems daunting. But I have found these same people not doing all the necessary “good business” tasks, such as some intensive and persistent marketing of their wares, and smart photo and text detail for their pieces.

Question: WHAT KINDS OF EXPERIENCES HAVE YOU HAD, and WHAT KINDS OF TIPS CAN YOU OFFER?

Here’s some of the things I have found.

First, there are many, many online marketplaces to choose from. Some let you set up your own website, and others show your merchandise as part of a larger marketplace. Each has pros and cons. Perhaps one lesson is:
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

My list of these sites include:

Etsy
Zibbet
Artfire
overstock.com/mainstreet revolution
tophatter (an auction site)
Ebay (an auction site)
storeny
luulla
bigcartel
meylah
madeitmyself
handmadeartists
createinventandsell
thecraftstar
rubylane
dawanda
copious
1000markets
silkfair
ecrafter
supermarkethq
goodsmiths
freecraftfair
folksy
notmassproduced
market.poppytalkhandmade
jewelrywonder
ave21
jewelspan
artflock
bonanza
lilyshop
icraft.ca (Canada)
shophandmade

The PROS for any site:
– low commission on sales
– good traffic
– ease of setting up your shop
– having a lot of control over how your shop looks; how customizable it is
– no monthly fees
– web host does a lot of promotion
– site has a good search function
– site has good statistics, and lets you easily track traffic and what has sold, at what price point, and when, for both of your specific merchandise, as well as for all merchants with similar merchandise

The CONS for any site:
– high commissions and/or fees
– when site is too big, may be difficult to get noticed
– host limits how you list and present your items
– host restricts your contact with your customers

Other types of questions to ask:

– Does site handle the billing and payments for you?
– What kind of marketing does the site do?
– Is it relatively easy to set up your site and keep it updated?
– Are there are limitations on the numbers of items you might list at one time?
– Are there any limitations on the number or size of photos you can include on your site?
– How and where will your items appear in a search listing on the host’s site?
– What payment methods/options are allowed?
– Does the site restrict items to “Handmade” only, and how is “Handmade” defined? You do not want to compete with cheap, imported, machine made jewelry.
– How easy is it to contact customer service? Do they provide a lot of easy-to-follow tutorials for setting up and managing your site?

Different types of fees that might be assessed:
1. Listing fee
2. Sales commissions, usually as a percent of sale
3. Renewal fees (when listings are time limited)
4. Monthly site maintenance fees

Some Tips and Advice:

(1) Your items should be different enough from others to set you apart, and get you remembered
(2) If your items are similar to others, you might consider competing on price
(3) Do NOT depend on the host to promote your site; you must actively — that means, almost every day — do things to promote your site.
(4) Don’t just list your items and let them sit there
(5) Excellent photos are a must
(6) Treat your online shop as a business, not a hobby
(7) Categorize and label your jewelry and jewelry lines; picture the words someone might type into a search bar in order to find this jewelry, and use those as key words in your labeling
(8) Let your passion shine

Many, many people you will be competing with do not necessarily have good business sense, particularly when it comes to pricing their jewelry. People, in general, tend to underprice their pieces. They go out of business quickly. But while they’re in business, you are competing with them, and often you find it hard to compete on price.

This is a given. That means you have to spend more energy on marketing your competitive advantages, in order to justify the prices you need to charge, in order to stay in business. Some of this will come down to better presentation — more facts and great detailed images about your jewelry, and more details about the how your jewelry will benefit your customer. Better presentation equals more trust; more trust should translate into more sales. Some more competitive advantages: your jewelry is better made; it uses better materials; your line of jewelry is broader; you have better customer care policies; your style is more unique; your jewelry supports as “cause”.

And many, many more people you will be competing with have very good business sense. There are over 6 million items of jewelry on sale on Etsy at any one time — many by sharp, savvy artists. To get seen, heard and responded to takes emphasizing your competitive advantages, as well as persistent, broadly targeted marketing.

Other Articles of Interest by Warren Feld:

Should I Set Up My Craft Business On A Marketplace Online?

The Importance of Self-Promotion: Don’t Be Shy

Are You Prepared For When The Reporter Comes A-Calling?

A Fool-Proof Formula For Pricing And Selling Your Jewelry

Designer Connect Profile: Tony Perrin, Jewelry Designer

My Aunt Gert: Illustrating Some Lessons In Business Smarts

Copyrighting Your Pieces: Let’s Not Confuse The Moral With The Legal Issues

Naming Your Business / Naming Your Jewelry

Jewelry Making Materials: Knowing What To Do

To What Extent Should Business Concerns Influence Artistic and Jewelry Design Choices

How Creatives Can Successfully Survive In Business

Getting Started In Business: What You Do First To Make It Official

I hope you found this article useful. Be sure to click the CLAP HANDS icon at the bottom of this article.

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

Enroll in my jewelry design and business of craft video tutorials online.

Add your name to my email list.

Posted in Stitch 'n Bitch | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »