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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bohemian Earrings

I have just completed my first bohemian style pair of earrings.  These were adapted from a tutorial I found on Youtube via Pinterest by Melinda Orr.  Thank you Melinda!  Here's the link to her video Melinda Orr tutorial.

 I haven't made a pair of earrings this large - ever!  They measure 2 3/4" L x 1 3/8" W. These were a bit difficult for me, not the technique but the design, since it's out of my comfort zone.  But, I decided it was time to challenge myself and step outside of my design box. Once my earrings were completed it was clear that I did something different than Melinda's instructions.

 First, I placed the large mandrel of the large step plier on the wrong spot of the wire frame.  Yes, it makes a difference.  My next pair will be better.

I'm not sure what size beads Melinda used.  I thought they were 4mm so that's what I used, but at reviewing her video I'm thinking she may have used 6mm.

And, then, for some reason I thought she hammered the drop loop, but that's not the case.   And, my earwire looks oddly large and I believe it's because I didn't make my frame as wide as she instructed. 

The real error is the location of my cut ends. Oh, my!  I know better!  I must have been in la la land. I'll take these earrings back to the work table and trim the wire ends and hide them to the back of the design.

All in all, I like these earrings and plan on keeping them for myself.  I think they will look great with my hair down, my long jean skirt and tall boots.  Fall is near.  Maybe, I'll post a future blog with this pair compared to the actual design.

Thank you for reading along as I critiqued my first attempt at a new style.

Have a joy filled and creative day.


A Gal's Gotta' Eat!

I always want to make a piece of art jewelry.  It doesn't matter how much it costs or if it will sell.  I want it to be awesome!  But, I also make jewelry as a business.  A business has a goal.....profit.  I know!  It's an ugly word, but it is what it is.

As an art business I have a business plan.  That plan includes goals.  I may want to ignore goals, but the truth of the matter is..... I'm not 12 years old coloring in mom's kitchen.  Insert pouty face!

My first goal:  Is to make a piece that I want to make.  Something that gives me pleasure and fun in the process of creating it.

My second goal:  Is for the piece to be unique, interesting and desirable.

Lost leader is a technique

So, that's brings me to the task of making multiples of the same Christmas earrings.  Don't wanna', but gotta'. Along side of those earrings will be unique, one of a kind, priced much higher, awesome Christmas earrings! And maybe, hopefully, fingers crossed, someone will buy them. YES!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sell More Stuff by Using Enticing Merchandising

For the longest time I have known that my jewelry doesn't sell itself.  I've know that my booth and it's display should be enticing.  Mostly, because I like my own home to be attractive.  Recently I have decided to explore this more.  I wanted to know how and what visual displays can help my business.

It turns out that beautiful, well made, priced well jewelry isn't always enough.  Hmmm!

Enter 'Merchandising'.

Wiki says:

'In the broadest sense, merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer. At a retail in-store level, merchandising refers to the variety of products available for sale and the display of those products in such a way that it stimulates interest and entices customers to make a purchase.
In retail commerce, visual display merchandising means merchandise sales using product design, selection, packagingpricing, and display that stimulates consumers to spend more. This includes disciplines and discounting, physical presentation of products and displays, and the decisions about which products should be presented to which customers at what time.'
In my quest of course I went to my friends at 'Google' and found this awesome link.
Here the writer has done a lot of work for us with a list of 14 Tips `no one seems to want.  Pop over to this article for ideas to help it sell.  By the way! Apparently I've been doing it wrong by grouping the unsellables together.  They should be highlighted with great stuff surrounding it.  Now that makes sense to me.  I can hear 'Oh, look at that beautiful piece at (insert high price).  But I can't afford it, but I can get this piece (insert unsellable).  So I'll try it and see what happens.
#5 Display Appeal (leave space between displays) and #7 Natural Props (get rid of (artificial flowers) are of interest to me.  I currently use 3 huge turquoise colored daisies.  They draw the eye to the booth, they receive comments,  Could this writer be wrong?  I must put on my thinking cap.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Getting Into The Mind Of The Buyer

Notice in the title I said buyer and not shopper. I think shoppers are just walking around looking and chatting with no intention of spending any money.  Very much, like going to an art gallery where you are admiring the art on the walls or pedestals. They simply need something to do.  So they go out to where the people are and look around.  That's nice.  I've done it.  But, it doesn't help me the seller.  Notice I said seller and not artist, artisan, crafter or maker of things.

This heart is inspired by the talented Mary-Anne Harvey  I adore her wire designs! 

The buyer is my audience.  They have a mission.  They have a budget.  They have a goal to go away with something new.  There intention is to spend money.

I love my wire and the techniques I've learned and some would say have mastered.  But, I must put my love of wire to the side when selling.  Crazy, huh!  Because the buyer will ouuu and ahhh out loud about the color of the bead, stone or crystal.  That item that I bought in bulk because it works with my wire or metal design. Good gracious!  Of course, it's not like that all of the time.  There are buyers that gravitate to my all wire or metal jewelry.  They see the techniques and love the mystery behind how on earth did I get the wire to do that!  And that buyer will spend their money to wear something that they consider art and a conversation piece.  But, there are a bunch of buyers that just don't see the wire or metal.  They don't see it!  It's not there!"  They just see the brilliant color in the 'accent piece' of the wire.

This is true for myself.  How dare I!!!  Yep!  I've done it!  I was making some pendants and fell in love with this pink agate.  Not the wire!  The pink agate! Not the way I made a double wire bail, or the fat wrap at the top, or those evenly spaced spirals down the face of the agate, not the balance of the piece, or that perfect open spiral, just the in my face lovely pink agate.

This weekend is the International Gem Show and I'll be more aware than ever of what my buyers are magically drawn.

Have a joy filled and creative day!