Tuesday, January 29, 2008
First of all, find your own place in jewellery design, everyone loves original pieces and don't copy others original work, that's a big no no and can get you into lots of trouble and maybe very bad publicity. Word travels fast.
(2) Wear your jewellery, ask your friends to wear it too, get it out there and let everyone see it. Who knows someone might buy a piece off your neck or arm.
(3) Be careful about selling on consignment, make sure you have an agreement in writing with the shop and also make sure you know who covers any losses such as theft, fire, etc which leads to the next item Insurance.
(4) Get yourself some insurance, including personal indemnity and product liability
(5) Keep a portfolio of your work, you never know when you may need to refer back to it. eg. Customers sometimes lose an earring and may want replacements if they love the piece enough. Portfolios are also good for looking back on, to see how your style and ability had changed and improved. All good lessons.
(6) Make sure you price your jewellery accordingly and ensure the customer knows what they're buying. You might include a little swing tag that gives relative info and never never assume the shop you have goods on consignment with knows what they're selling. I once had some-one tell me they couldn't tell the difference between Amethyst and Rose Quartz. If you going down the consignment path, make sure everything is tagged and that the owner knows what she's selling, otherwise you may never get a sale. If she doesn't know what she's selling, how can she sell it? Further if you're doing markets make sure the jewellery reflects prices people are expecting at markets.
I've seen people sitting around at markets with $350 plus jewellery. I don't go to markets to spend that sort of money on jewellery and very few tourists do either.
Markets are for bargains.
(7) Get yourself known. Join beading groups and forums on the Internet. Enter as many competitions as you can afford and read, read and read all you can about materials, semi precious stones, techniques etc. Knowledge is power!
Well if you don't make a fortune you may as well get fame!
(8) Offer gift certificates, but make sure they have a use by date. These are good for people who can't decide or don't know the taste of the person for whom they're buying. Also great for males who are shopping for their mums, sisters and girlfriends.
(9) Carrying on with the taste theme. Don't be put off by something you make, that maybe you're not too sure about because someone makes a nasty remark about it. Not everyone has the same taste and most times the general public wouldn't know an "Arty" piece of Jewellery if they fell over it, let along the value of stones you may have included. If you're not sure, ask another jewellery designer or two for their opinion.
10) Look for good quality materials. The Internet has a wealth of suppliers a heck of a lot cheaper than your local bead store. Give those stores a big miss, unless you're really in a bind. They charge like wounded bulls and this eats into your profits.
11) Make sure you're using genuine materials. Lots of suppliers particularly in South east Asia pass off materials as genuine when they're not. Be particularly careful when buying Swarovski crystals or lampwork. Sometimes gemstones are incorrectly named to, so go do your homework. Invest in some good reference books.
12)OK if all else fails, maybe you could teach jewellery making or write projects for jewellery making magazines.