Post about "Jewelry and Watches"

Need Help to Make Your Jewelry Sell?

You say you love to make beaded jewelry? Why not? Jewelry making is an ideal home business. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to make your pieces, your raw material costs are not unreasonable and markups are high.But you already have umpteen necklaces and a gazillion earrings made up. You schlep them to every flea market and craft fair … and then you schlep them back home. You know they’re pretty. Why aren’t they selling and what can you do to correct the problem(s)?My guess is you haven’t differentiated your product or you aren’t presenting it well. I’m just assuming your beaded work is lovely and of fine quality (or fair value given the price you are asking).Here are a few suggestions specific to beading and jewelry business that may help.Present Your Product WellI’ve read that crafters and artists should be true to their craft. Purists say if your work is good, people will buy. Just stick with it; the market will find you.On behalf of all artists who love their work but also need to sell it, I say “baloney”.You’ve been to the craft fairs. You’ve seen the glut of jewelers lined up side by side trying to sell very similar pieces.How wonderful for the consumer to be able to comparison shop and bargain with the crafters, right? “Well, I love this piece, but the guy right over there has one just like it for $10 less. Can you do any better on the price?”If your pieces are that similar, you need to present them differently. As far as the inventory you’ve already made up, exhibit it well.Don’t just lay it on a cloth on a card table like most people do and expect the jewelry to speak for itself!Just as you create visual appeal in the jewelry you make, do so with your display. Create levels for both horizontal and vertical display. Don’t overload the space. Customers won’t be able to see the trees for the forest.One friend brings her own halogen lights to shows to really highlight her jewelry which she displays on a black velvet background.Put your most unique pieces out first.Have nice art cards describing each piece: type of stones or beads; where they are from; type and grade of metal.Set out a pretty glass or brass dish with your business cards.Write up and copy flyers about yourself and your work. People who buy hand made pieces often want to know a bit about the artist.Where to Sell?Think of other venues where you can show your work, especially where you will not be one among twenty other jewelers.If you have a day job and your jewelry is suitable, wear it to work. When anyone compliments it, be sure to let them (and all others in the vicinity – don’t be shy!) know that you made it and would be happy to show them your other pieces during break or after work.Wear your jewelry when you go out for the evening and respond in the same manner to any compliments. Try a jewelry party in your home.The steps above should help you work down that huge inventory you started with.Salvage WorkNow you’re left with pieces that (let’s be honest) are just not going to sell. You can: lower the price; keep them for yourself; or take them apart and reuse whatever you can.That’s one of the hardest things for a bead artist to do, I know. But it’s also one of the neatest.As fashions change and you’re stuck with pieces that are very passé, you can recycle the beads and findings and not lose your entire investment. As you go forward with your craft, it’s time to think of how to …Differentiate Your ProductPart of your earlier problem may have been that you are using kits or free patterns for your jewelry. Though many of them are lovely, they are not unique.In addition, your costs are higher than if you pick out your own materials and design your own pieces. It’s time to bring out the artist within!Before you start beading again, really study the market. If you aren’t already doing so, clip and file photos of stylish jewelry from catalogues, ads and magazines.If available, clip out the item description and price as well. These are for inspiration and to keep you up to date about trends that affect your art.Be very careful not to copy another artist’s work. Not only will you have the very problem you had before (that your work is not unique); but you could also have big legal problems if you are caught.Try adding different materials to your repertoire. You can buy them or make them yourself.ExperimentOne of my friends rejuvenated her line by adding dichroic glass beads. She had such tremendous response and was so intrigued by the almost holographic look of the beads, that she took lessons, started making her own and then completely switched.She began making gorgeous dichroic plates, platters, plaques and vases. Before retirement, she was represented by eleven galleries in Hawaii and several on the U.S. mainland.Another friend started making bread dough beads. I’m not kidding! She experimented with recipes from the Internet. Her beads look like African trade beads which cost anywhere from 50 cents to $100 each. Her cost is virtually nil – well except for her valuable time. How that for a great home business!For myself, I try to think of unique ways to employ beads. For example, I don’t just make necklaces, I make eyeglass necklaces. They look pretty whether they are holding your glasses or not. The practicality is what grabs my customers.Don’t feel locked into the craft specialty stores for your materials.Sometimes I purchase inexpensive watches with pretty faces for the sole purpose of disassembling them and using the faces with my beadwork. Frequently, I can use other parts as well, like the clasps and links. Waste not; want not!I’ve also made beaded wine glass charms and beaded glass votive size candle holders.You can do very interesting things with beads and colored wire: wrap it around vases; form it into inspirational words or people’s names either to be worn or glued to a scrapbook page. You might be able to get custom orders for your craft business for something like this.For more ideas on making and selling jewelry and other crafts, visit