Earring Organization

Earring Organization

Since we’ve started Earrings Every Day Month, I know a lot of us are going to have a lot more earrings pretty quickly here!

We’re going to need a way to organize them and possibly display them!

Here are 4 ways to do that:

1.  Traditional Earring Holder

Earring Storage

I got this on sale a Michaels (and had a coupon as well!)  It holds a lot of earrings and spins around.

This is probably my favorite solution for earrings right now because it holds so many and is so convenient.  Since I took this on Day 1 of Earrings Every Day, I just have 1 pair of earrings so far.

2.  Canvas Earring Holder

15

I made this myself a couple ears ago and while it’s pretty, I’ve completely run out of room on it.

I have a tutorial on how to make your own Canvas Earring Holder.

I’m thinking about making a much bigger one, but different than this one.  I’m thinking I’ll paint the background and just punch holes through the canvas itself to hang the earrings.  I’ll let you know when/if I do that.

3.  Individual Earring Holders

Earrings holder

I got these earring holders for my stand for craft shows and my retail space, but they look pretty on your dresser displaying your favorite pairs of earrings as well!  It doesn’t necessarily solve the storage issue, but it’s a great way to display your favorite pairs of earrings when you’re not wearing them.

4.  Pretty jars or teacups

Earring holder

At my craft show booth or retail space I loved the look of earrings hanging on glass jars or teacups.  It started when I was taking photos of earrings for my online store and couldn’t quite get them to hang.  Then I placed them on a jar like above.

On my dresser, I have a jar where earrings hang all around the top and then you can put other jewelry like bracelets in the jar.

I hope that helps you organize your earrings! 

Tier Earrings

Need some to make?  I have a couple new earring patterns!  Check out the Tier Earrings Pattern or check out the Bunch Earrings Pattern.  You’ll get the tutorial instructions plus lots of inspiration and examples of how to custom your earrings to really make them personalized!

Why is Making Earrings so Great for Creativity? (7 ways)

Why is Making Earrings so Great for Creativity?

As I’m getting ready for Earrings Every Day Month and Earrings eCourse, I have making a lot of earrings.  I’m becoming a little obsessed with them.  Before this, I have to say bracelets were always my favorite thing to make, but right now it’s definitely earrings.

Making so many earrings is really sparking my creativity.

Why?

7 Reasons making earrings is so great for creativity:

1.  You concentrate your creativity in just a little burst of time.  Since it takes such a small amount of time (compared to other jewelry) to make a pair of earrings, you get this quick burst of creativity.  You can start the process and have a finished piece in very little time and feel great about having accomplished it!

2.  While making earrings you get a boost of creativity, but then you get to be creative again when you’re putting them together with your outfit.

3.  You get to wear your creativity!  You’ll have a reminder of your creativity that you can look at all day.

4.  You get a boost of confidence just from wearing your earrings, but you can also tell people you made them and get a sense of pride.

5.  Taking time for yourself to do something creative will help you with stress reduction and feel better all day.

6.  It takes very little materials to make earrings, so there isn’t a lot of cost involved compared to other creative endeavors.  So you can make more of them and be even more creative.

7.  Plus, earrings make great gifts, so you can share your creativity with others.

Earrings Every Day Month

Ready to get creative making earrings every day for 30 days?  Join Earrings Every Day Month!  It’s free to get inspiring email each day or you can join the Earrings eCourse for 30 earring tutorials sent to once per day!  (September 1st is the last day to join!)

Q & A: How do you schedule everything?

Craft Show Tips

Last week I talked about some tips for having a jewelry business and opportunities that come from doing craft shows.

After that episode I had some questions and I figured more of you might have these same questions, so I would start to answer them here.

You can listen to the audio or read below.

Download    ~   Open in new window

Scheduling Everything.

The first question is basically about fitting everything into your schedule that you have to do to run a business.  Basically, I get the sense that a lot of you may be overwhelmed with how much time having your own business seems to take.

I’ll be honest, talking about this kind of freaks me out because I honestly don’t know how it all fits in.  Some days seem hectic and crazy.  Other days flow easily.  I do a lot of to do lists and I’m highly motivated by checking things off.

Yes, having your own business takes a lot of time. It’s especially difficult to think about if you’ve been working at a job for a while before starting your business because at a job you go in at a certain time and you’re done at a certain time and you don’t have to think about it anymore.  That was my experience at least coming from a job into self-employment.

Having your own business is nothing at all like working for someone else.

If I’m awake, I’m mostly at the very least thinking about the business. For example, I listen to business podcasts even while I’m cooking so that I can learn even when I’m doing other things.

The truth is I can answer this question pretty simply, but you’re not going to like it. You have to really come up with your own routine and your own rhythm. Owning your own business means that you get to figure this all out for yourself. You are the boss and you can do whatever you like.

My Tips for Scheduling

I’ll give you some scheduling tips that I have, but really it’s up to you to figure out your priorities, how much time you’re willing to give to your business and how much you’re willing to put into it.

I truly believe you can be successful if you’re willing to work hard and put in the effort. And if you’re not willing to do that, you probably should just go ahead and find a day job that you like. I don’t mean for that to be negative at all, but I do know that success does not happen overnight, no matter what it looks like, and that no one is lucky without a lot of hard work.

Here is the specific l question I received:

How did you split your time up in a week to a) designing and making, b) the paperwork, c) craft fairs preparation, setup and attendance, d) other marketing, e) photographing and posting items on Etsy/eBay/Website?

Also, do you do your own website?

My Answers:

Schedule:

I actually do a yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily schedule.

  • At the beginning of the year I set goals.
  • Then each quarter I do a map for the next quarter.
  • Then from that, I create a list for each month.
  • And then each week work on the monthly list.
  • Every day I create a daily to do list.

Daily I chunk my time into segments throughout the day, such as 9-1 work, 1 – 2 lunch break, etc.

And I work in 45 minute increments within that usually. I’ll actually set a timer, work 45 minutes and when the timer goes off I stretch and take a 15 minute break. Sometimes my “break” is actually marketing or doing something different business related, though. Sometimes it is going outside because I haven’t been in the sun enough that day.

I choose what I’m doing based on priority.

I pick the thing that is coming up next in my life/business that I have to get things done for. So that might be a craft show, a store that needs more inventory, shipping something or for me it might be an eCourse that I’m filming video for or tutorial I’m shooting photos for.
I usually have an action list for each project so I know exactly what needs to be done and I spend most of my time usually working on that project.

So let’s take a craft show for example.

You would need to make sure you have enough inventory, make sure everything is tagged, make sure you have all your displays and everything you need ready.

  • I always do a list of the inventory that I want to take to the show, so how many pairs of earrings, etc. I want to take. Then I see what I have on hand to take and make a list of what I want to make. And this is what I’m striving for. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t, but I do my best to stick to it.
  • I figure out how I’m going to make all these items. So I’ll have to make so many pairs of earrings a day to have them all done in time. I like to work in production mode when I’m getting ready for a show, so I’ll make all earrings one day and all pendants another, etc. I work out what I need to do each day to reach that goal.
  • I don’t necessarily say Monday is earrings day, Tuesday is pendant day because I hate have a schedule that is that fixed. But I know on those days I’ll be making stuff and I know I’ll work on similar items on each day because I work faster that way.
  • After the craft show is done, then I see what’s next.
  • And of course, the whole time you’ll still need to marketing. More on that in a minute.

If you are just starting, most likely you’ll spend most of your time on designing and making jewelry and getting used to your techniques, growing your skills and learning what your style is for your jewelry line.

Then I would suggest spending time photographing your items and getting good at that – both photographing and editing photographs.

And then looking for craft shows and listing items online.

After you have products you of course need to market them, which you can do through social media, blogging and/or a newsletter.

And you need to be taking care of bookkeeping the entire time.

So to bring this back around to the question, when I know I have something coming up, that takes up the majority of my time. I don’t create specific schedules, but I do create lists and I work in chunks of time.

So for me designing and making takes up less time now than when I started. When I started it took up most of my time. Now I have a good supply of jewelry to sell, it doesn’t take as much of my time.

Paperwork

When I first started my business paperwork was the worst part. I hated doing bookkeeping and I only did it every 3 months when my sales tax returns were due.

  • Now I have changed the way I think about it and I take care of paperwork every day. Some days I keep track of sales as they come in or I just log it all at the end of the day.
  • This might be shocking, but I actually do all my paperwork by hand because it’s so much easier for me to keep track of and see that way. I like to keep a running total, know where I am toward my monthly goal and know my exact expenses.
  • So not to confuse you, though, there are certain expenses that I only track monthly such as etsy fees or paypal fees. I fill in other expenses as I pay for them.
  • Once I started doing paperwork every single day as opposed to waiting, it got so much less stressful. And once I found a system that worked for me (which for me is paper and pencil) it got a lot simplier.

Honestly, this does not eat up a lot of time and if you stay on top of it like I said it’s not as big of a deal and it can actually be fun to watch your sales grow.

Plus, you can keep a better handle on things like how many beads you are buying when you keep an eye on it.

Craft fairs preparation, setup and attendance

I talked about craft shows a little bit and I think it’s completely normal to focus a lot of time on craft shows when you have one coming up and then less on them when you don’t have one coming up.

When you’re doing your first shows it will take you a lot longer getting ready for craft shows. For me at this point I simply need to make sure I have enough inventory. I already have everything else ready to go. And you’ll get to this point, too.

Marketing

Marketing is another one of those daily activities. I post a lot on my Facebook page and on twitter – a few times throughout the day. I try to Instagram a few times a week. I use pinterest daily. I blog a few times a week. I send out newsletters to 2 different groups each week.

I probably spend more time on marketing than anything else, but that’s not necessarily the case when you’re starting out. When you’re first starting out your main focus probably should be designing and making, then photography.

I don’t know exactly how much time I spend marketing, but I usually do it in those 15 minute breaks I was talking about before as far as social media goes.

My newsletters take some time and of course so does blogging.

I also try planning out what my marketing will be each month and even create a loose daily schedule to try to stay focused.

Photographing and posting items on Etsy/e-Bay/Website

At the moment I’m not selling my jewelry online because I’m taking a break, but when I was, this was a significant portion of my weekly routine.

If I wasn’t getting ready for a show or getting things together for a store, I was taking photos of jewelry and listing it online.

I hope these answers help you in some way.   I know it’s probably not the answer you’re looking for, but like I said, it’s your business, so set up your schedule in a way that makes sense to you.

Yes, it is time consuming, but it is totally worth it. You will get the hang of things and tasks will get quicker and quicker for you.

Okay, and now to transition into a separate question, but I can answer it pretty quickly.

Also, do you do your own website?

Yes, I do my own website. I have a wordpress site, which is pretty common. You can use it for a blog with some static pages, like I do, or you don’t have to have a blog at all. There’s a free version, which is wordpress.com, but it doesn’t have as many features and there’s the paid version, which is wordpress.org. You have to pay for your domain and hosting.
I find WordPress easy to use and I like a simple clean design in my website, so that’s easy for me to accomplish. You can of course get more complicated. If I did that, I would hire a designer.

But I would still handle the day to days of my website myself.

If this is something you’re thinking about doing, there are tons of free resources on the internet about wordpress and I recommend you check them out.

I also sell on etsy and craftsy, too.

I’ll answer more questions as we go along. I can, of course, answer them from my perspective, but you’ll find as you go along your own rhythm.

Certain things get easier as you go along, too and become much less time consuming as well.

Let me know if you have any questions. You can email them to me or if you are on the Craft Show Tips newsletter just respond to the email and ask away.

See you next week!

ECT TV Episode 25: Quick and Simple {and elegant} Wire Earrings

ECT TV Episode 25:  Quick and Easy Earrings

Quick and Simple Hammered Wire Earrings

Quick and Easy Wire Earrings

This week we’ll learn how to make a very quick and easy pair of earrings + we’re hammering!

Here’s the video episode:

In the video I mention Earrings eCourse

and Earrings Every Day Month.

Starts September 1st

They both start on September 1st.

To participate in Earrings Every Day Month, make a pair of earrings every day in the month of September!  You can sign up for a newsletter to get daily emails from me with earring inspiration!

In Earrings eCourse you get a new earring tutorial in your inbox every single morning.

So for Earrings Every Day, you get inspirational photos . . .

and

In Earrings eCourse you actually learn how to make the earrings.

Earrings eCourse is on early bird special discount now through Thursday only.  And it will only be available in September, so act now.

{If you enroll, you will have access to all the tutorials after September and forever.  I’m just only running Earrings eCourse with the daily emails in September and you can only get access now.}

To purchase Earrings eCourse – click here.  Scroll down to the big red arrow and click add to cart.

Quick and Simple Earrings Tutorial

Quick and Easy Hammered Earring Tutorial

Quick and Easy Hammered Earring Tutorial

Tools and Materials:

  • 2 Beads*  I used Mixed Gemstone Beads 8mm from Happy Mango Beads
  • 20 gauge half-hard round wire (I used copper, but use whatever metal you like)
  • Wire cutters
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Jewelry file (or a nail file works fine, too)
  • Chasing hammer and steel block or anvil

* About the beads for this project.  You can use any beads you like, but make sure the bore hole isn’t too big.  This might take a little experimentation if you’re trying different beads.

Also remember when choosing beads to not choose beads that are too heavy and pull down your ears.

Step #1

Quick and Simple Earrings

Cut 2 pieces of wire the same length.  I cut mine to 4″.  We’ll fold the wire in half, so in this case the earrings will hang about 2″ from my ears.  You might want to make yours shorter or longer.

Step #2

Quick and Simple Earrings

Make a flush cut on each end of each wire.  (Use the back of your wire cutters toward the work.)

Step #3

Quick and Simple Earrings

Hammer one end of each wire flat with your chasing hammer.  I hammered the bottom 1/2″.  You can make sure to only hammer the amount you want by just putting that amount on the steel block.  Alternatively, you could make a mark on the wire and then wipe it off when you’re done hammering.

You are hammering the wire flat and it will be wider, too.  That is what will keep the bead on the wire.

Quick and Simple Earrings

Step #4

Quick and Simple Earrings

Slide a bead on each wire.

If the bead slides off you need to either: 

  1. Hammer the end more to flatten it out more, or
  2. Use a bead with a smaller bore hole.

Sometimes this takes a little experimenting.

Step #5

Quick and Simple Earrings

I like to loosely find the middle of the wire.

Step #6

Quick and Easy Wire Earrings

Bend the wire in half against chain nose pliers.

Step #7

Quick and Easy Wire Earrings

Use your fingers to sort of curve out the wire.

Quick and Easy Wire Earrings

Step #8

Quick and Easy Wire Earrings

File the end that will go into your ears with a jewelry file or nail file.  I like to round the edges.

Quick and Easy Wire Earrings

Quick and Easy Wire Earrings

Quick and Easy Hammered Earring Tutorial

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Want to feel a creative every day for a month in small chunks of time?

Join Earrings eCourse!

Now on early bird special through August 28th.

Get a new earring tutorial every single day for the month of September.

Available only in September

Using Craft Shows to Find Other Opportunities

Craft Show Tips

This week’s Craft Show Tip is more about overall handmade business basics.  I talk about handcrafted jewelry business, but you can translate that into whatever it is you sell.

I know that a lot of people do craft shows solely for the money they make at the show itself, but you can make great connections and interesting opportunities from them as well.

I really credit craft shows with the success of my handcrafted jewelry business because it’s at craft shows where I met shop owners, gallery owners and lifelong customers who still order custom jewelry years later.

I originally wrote about selling handcrafted jewelry here.  This is a about 30 minute audio version of that post and is perfect for you to download and listen to while you’re crafting or cleaning.  You’ll probably want to jot down some ideas as well!

Open in new window    ~    Download

Do you have some good ideas?  Jot them down, make a list and start checking that list off!

#1 on your list should be craft shows.  And to get started with them, make sure to pick up a copy of my eBook Craft Show Tips!