Jewelry Business Tip: Multiple Streams of Income Part 2, Selling Online

Jewelry Business Tips

I wrote a post about How to Be Successful Selling Handmade Jewelry about a year ago.  That post gave an overview of some tips.

Each Friday I’ll be bringing you a free tip right here on the blog or you can sign up to get a weekly Jewelry Business Tip in your inbox below.

Jewelry Business Tip - Selling Online

Last week was Part 1, which was an overview of multiple streams of income and you can find that post here.

This week is Part 2, selling online.

Before we even start, let me say that this could be the subject of an entire class or even an entire website.  This is just an overview.

People come to selling online in different ways.  Some people start at craft shows and in person selling then then go to online.  As I mentioned last week I actually started online first on eBay and then switching to Etsy when it opened.

Etsy

Etsy is a great place to get started, especially if you don’t have much technical website knowledge.  It’s pretty simple and you can get started right away with very little cost.  However, I know that a lot of people think they can just pop their stuff up on Etsy and it will sell.  Etsy is a platform, which means like any other website you have to promote it and make sure people can find it with things like keywords and SEO, etc.  We dig into that in my Intro to Jewelry Business eCourse.  (Sign up below to be the first to know when this eCourse is running again.)

Etsy can be a place where you can refer your customers and then you have a website to put on your business cards and things like that.  You can use social media and have email updates (like my Jewelry Business Tips Newsletter) and refer people to it.

Etsy isn’t the only place online to sell your handmade jewelry, though.  ArtFire is another place similar to Etsy, but with different options.  And there are others.

Your own website

You can have your own website and sell your jewelry there.  Even if you don’t have a shop on your website, I think it’s still important to have your own website.  The great thing about having your own website is that when your customers come to it, they’re not distracted by anybody else’s products for sale.  They are there just to look at your handcrafted jewelry and that’s all they will see.

I’ve been blogging for a long time.  I blogged about things I knew my customers would like and then also showed photos of my work and work in progress.  I would let them know when I had new jewelry and different events and venues where they could purchase it.

How do you figure out subjects for your blog?  Well, you have to first figure out who your ideal customer is.  If you haven’t sold anything yet, you can guess.  If you have you can make a customer profile from what you know about that person.  Think about what you sell and why your customers buy it.  (I’ll be offering a free mini workshop on all this to my newsletter subscribers soon, so make sure you get on the list below.)

Photography

When you’re selling handcrafted jewelry online (or really anything) photos are very important, maybe the most important thing.  If you’ve sold in person you probably know it’s pretty easy to get a sale when people are picking up and trying on your jewelry.  Online you have to give them a similar experience through photos.  It’s so important that we spend one whole week on it in my Intro to Jewelry Business eCourse.  In fact, I will be re-releasing my eBook all about photography for handcrafted jewelry soon!

Descriptions

Another very important aspect is your description of your work.  Does your customer feel like they are there in person?  Have you provided all the important details?  Do they know why they should purchase your jewelry pieces?

I hope this overview has given you some ideas.  Make sure to sign up for my Jewelry Business Tips newsletter to get weekly tips in your inbox.  (Plus the free mini workshop that I’ll be sending to all subscribers soon!)

Sign up here:  (You can chose Jewelry Business Tips, Craft Show Tips or both)

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required



I am interested in


Jewelry Design Inspiration: Vintage Elements

Jewelry Design Inspiration - Vintage Elements

I am often asked about inspiration for jewelry design.  My personal inspiration comes from many different places.  Yours may come from other places.  I started this weekly Jewelry Design Inspiration feature to give you ideas for your own inspiration.

This week’s jewelry design inspiration:  Vintage Elements.

I love using old, unique items in my jewelry making.  I’m not exactly sure where I started with it, but it was probably skeleton keys.

Skeleton key earrings

(Super simple, easy design with cabinet keys.)

In some of my jewelry design inspiration posts I talk about being inspired (by nature or buildings, etc.) and then using that inspiration to design jewelry, probably sketching out a design and then making it from there.

When I’m using old vintage items, I usually start with the object itself and then create a design around it.

Vintage Metal Number 8 Bracelet

For example, for this bracelet I had that cute little metal number.  For this number it’s pretty simple to add a couple of jump rings and use it in jewelry making.  For other things, you have to get more creative.

Vintage Elements Charm Necklace in Progress

You can see the number 7 above where I had to do some extra wire wrapping.

How To Use Vintage Elements in Jewelry Making:

  • Look for items that have an opening where you could loop a jump ring through or wire wrap.  The clock hand above will work just as is because of the circle at the top and you can just add a jump ring.  Same thing with most buttons.  Larger buttons you would have to make a wire wrapped loop if its too big for a jump ring.
  • With any piece you have, go for the most simple solution first.  I.e. add a jump ring or some wire wrapping.
  • You can drill other items.  I have some cute little pieces of rulers that have holes drilled to make charms or you could drill a hole on each side and attach them with jump rings to make a bracelet.
  • Once you start thinking about things you can use in jewelry making, everything starts to become a possibility.  Old games, small toys, etc.
  • For things made of questionable metal or have cool rusting like the washer above that you want to use, seal them so they won’t irritate your skin.
  • You can use these pieces for any type of jewelry.  Just look at each vintage piece and think about different ways you could use it in your jewelry making.

Vintage Elements Charm Necklace

You can put a bunch of charms together to make a cute necklace or charm bracelet.

Or use an element as a centerpiece of your jewelry, such as this chandelier crystal ring or earrings.

Crystal Ring

Chandelier Crystal Earrings

Here are some other posts about using vintage items in your jewelry making:

Unconventional Charms

Using Vintage Items to Make Charms

Broken Vintage Necklace Tutorial

Create a Cool New Necklace from a Broken Vintage Necklace

Vintage Elements Necklace

Vintage Elements Charm Necklace

For using thrift store finds in jewelry making:

9 Lessons for thrift jewelry

9 Lessons in Choosing Thrift Store Jewelry to Reconstruct into New Jewelry

Thrift Store Jewelry Remake

Reconstructing Thrift Store Finds (creativity booster activity!)

Love making jewelry or want to learn?  Make sure to sign up for my email newsletter.  You’ll get weekly jewelry making tips, tricks and tutorials plus my free 14 day eCourse!

Sign up below.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required



Email Format


Craft Show Tip: How Much Inventory to Take to Shows

Craft Show Tip - How Much Inventory to Take

How much inventory to take to a craft show is a question I have been getting a lot lately, so I’m going to tackle it here today.

There is nothing worse than going to a craft show and doing well and then running out of something that is the hot seller of the day.  While, believe me, you can’t always predict what your hot seller will be from show to show, you can at least try to plan from your previous shows.

If this is your first show you might have to guess a little more.  However, if you sold in any other venues think about what sells well in those venues.  If this is your first selling experience, then consider what people compliment you on or what your friends or coworkers have asked if you would make them when they see you wearing it.

Don’t necessarily count on that, though, because without exception – no matter how much of something you bring – there will be people who wanted it in the only color you don’t have.

Start Working on Your Inventory Early

No matter how much you end up deciding to take with you, start working on your inventory well ahead of time.  If you start doing more and more shows you’ll eventually just have to supplement and replenish what you sold at the previous show, but it can seem pretty overwhelming at your first show.

Make a plan of how much you want to bring (we’ll talk about this in a moment) and then make a plan on how you’re going to be able to complete that amount of items in the time you have.  Figure out how many pieces you need to make each week and even each day if that’s what you need to stay on track.

Don’t forget about actually tagging items, too.  That can be time consuming as well.

Even if you don’t reach your total goal, take as much as you can.  You can’t sell if you don’t have it with you.

How to Figure Out How Much Inventory to Take to a Craft Show:

Here’s a little caveat, how much you take will vary based on what you sell and your brand.  I sell jewelry, so I mostly have in mind jewelry when I’m writing this.  Jewelry is light and easy to carry.  So if you sell something light, it’s always a good idea to bring as much as you can, even if you don’t put it all out right away.

If you sell something large or heavy, you may have some restrictions because you can’t fit as much in your vehicle or even in your booth.  It’s still good to have more than you think you will sell.

1.  How much did the show cost?

I don’t always necessarily find this true, but there used to be this thing where you should plan to sell 10 times more than the show cost.

So if you paid a $100.00 fee, then you should plan to sell $1,000.00.

This is not always the case, so don’t feel crushed if that doesn’t happen for you.  I have had different shows where I have sold less and shows where I’ve sold more than that.

It’s a good starting point for deciding on inventory.

2.  Then multiple that by 2.

So in our example, that would bring us up to $2,000.00 worth of inventory.

If this number seems high to you, don’t panic.  This is just a goal.  I always say you should have more than you plan to sell.

Think about it this way, when you go shopping, if there were only a few things left to choose from you might choose nothing.  So we have to have more than we plan to sell.  If it’s a busy show you can keep replenishing your booth with new inventory as you sell it.  If it’s not a busy show, well then you’ll have to make less for the next show.

If you’re worried that you’re just starting and you’ll be putting a lot of money into untested products, then adjust accordingly.  This is just a guide.  Or perhaps do some smaller shows and take less inventory to get started to test out what sells well.

3.  Now, how many pieces do you have to sell to get to that number?

On average, what do your pieces cost?  I understand that you probably have a range of prices, but thing about the middle priced item perhaps.  Let’s say that’s $40.00.  So to get to $2,000.00 you’d need 50 $40.00 priced items.

If you know you sell a lot of items that are $20.00, then maybe use that as your guide.  Or maybe just work it out that you’ll take 40 $20.00 items and 20 $40.00 items and then a few more expensive pieces.

This is not an exact science.  It’s just a guide.  So don’t get too worked up about figuring it out to the exact dollar.

4. Make a plan

For every craft show I did I had a list of what inventory I wanted to take.  (I saved it in Word and just adjusted it for each show.)

So I had a list of:

Earrings

Bracelets

Necklaces

Pendants

Rings

And I would decide how much of each I wanted to take.  I would list what specific styles and colors I wanted of each (and specifically how many).

Then I would see what I already had ready to go.  I would cross off what I had already from that list.  And then I knew what I needed to make.  As I completed items, I crossed them off.

Yeah, that is pretty freaking organized and you may think it’s overkill.  It probably was overkill for some shows, but for others I was glad I was that prepared.

Frankly, you won’t need that list as you get comfortable with shows.  I always did it because it always helps me to focus to have a list where I can check off things.

Your Turn

You can use my suggestions as a guide and pick and choose what works for you.  If this is your very first craft show, just take as much as you can and don’t get upset if you don’t reach that number.

If you have more inventory than what I suggested:  great!  Take it!  You certainly can’t sell it if you don’t have it.

As you do more and more craft shows you’ll get better at predicting how much inventory you’ll need.

Good luck!

Getting ready for your first craft shows?  My suggestion is to be prepared.  And my Craft Show Tips eBook will help you prepare!

Click here to purchase and find out more

Craft Show Tips 4.0

 

 

ECT TV Episode 35: How to Make an Adjustable Wire Heart Ring

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

In this episode of ECT TV, learn how to make an adjustable heart ring.  It’s very cute and relatively quick to make.

Here’s the video tutorial:

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

If you learn better via photos, here’s the photo tutorial for the Adjustable Wire Heart Ring:

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Tools and Materials:

  • 18 gauge half-hard round wire
  • Ring mandrel or other cylindrical object to form your ring around
  • Wire cutters
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers

Step #1

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

We’ll work right off the spool (so don’t cut a length of wire off.)  Make a flush cut on the end of the wire.

Step #2

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Hold the wire about four inches from the end in round nose pliers.

Step #3

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Make the first curve of the heart by wrapping the wire around round nose pliers at the largest part of the pliers (nearest the handle.)

Step #4

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Close to the top of the curve, use your round nose pliers to bend up the wire.

Step #5

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Adjustable Heart Ring TutorialUse round nose pliers to make the second curve in the heart.

Step #6

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Use chain nose pliers to pinch together the middle.

Step #7

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Cross the wires and form a heart shape.

Step #8

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Hold the heart in chain nose pliers.

Step #9

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Wrap the short wire around the longer wire under the heart shape a few times.

Step #10

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Cut off the excess wire.  Try to do the cut on the top of the wire.  Make sure the end is not poking out.

Step #11

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

If your wraps weren’t close together, you can pull them together with chain nose pliers.

Step #12

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Wrap around your ring mandrel about 1 to 2 sizes smaller than the size of your finger.  I have found with adjustable rings it’s always better to go a little small and then you can adjust it larger.  If you start too big, it will always be too big.

Step #13

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Now cut the wire, leaving a few inches of extra wire if you are making a spiral.  (You could instead just make a loop.

Step #14

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Now make a spiral pointing out away from the heart.  Hold the wire in round nose pliers.  Hold the wire in the pliers so it’s at the top of the pliers, but you should be able to run your finger over the pliers and not feel it poking through.

Twist your wrist away from you while wrapping the wire around the pliers.  When you’ve twisted your wrist as far as it will go, readjust your wrist and the pliers and complete the loop.

Step #15

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Hold the loop in chain nose pliers and start to make a spiral.  Push the wire up.

Adjustable Heart Ring Tutorial

Then readjust the wire so it is out to the side again.  Continue making the spiral until it’s next to the heart.

If you need more help making a spiral, see the video or see this post on how to make an adjustable spiral ring.

Adjustable Wire Heart Ring Tutorial

If you need to place the ring back onto your ring mandrel to make sure the ring still is in a ring shape.

(You can lightly hammer the ring with a rawhide or nylon hammer to help it keep its shape, but I have found with the 18 gauge wire it does hold its shape well.)

Adjustable Wire Heart Ring Tutorial

If you liked this tutorial, you’ll love my newsletter.  Each week I send out tips and information about jewelry making.  For each ECT TV episode, I send out a PDF eBook of the instructions just to my newsletter subscribers to make it easier to save and/or print.

Sign up below.  You’ll also get my completely free 14 Day Introduction to Jewelry Making eCourse automatically when you sign up.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required



Email Format