Thursday, February 16, 2012

From Creator to Businesswoman. What? Who me?

When I started making jewelry, on a dare from my son, I would often wonder, who can I give this to?  Afterall, as much as I loved finding Polymer Clay and what I could do with it, I was not a big jewelry wearer. The natural expansion, after all daughters, daughter-in-laws, and grandchildren and their friends were covered, was to consider some type of sales outlet.

Aladdin's Lamp Birthday Favors

That was when I came to the internet, and searched online sales markets. I decided on, because of the simplicity of setting up my studio, the relative cost effective factor for monthly access, and a warm sense of community between the staff and the other artists on the site. It has proven to be a beneficial outlet, albeit one that limits interaction with would be customers.

Treasure Trove Necklace

Copper Tile Bracelet

Floral Tile Necklace

I signed up for a Farmer's Market in an upscale town near where I live. I did it for almost a year, and made sales weekly, but some weeks I was just about covering the cost of the "table". I stopped the Farmer's Market however, due to their increasing the weekly cost, in part, but mainly because it seemed the same people were at the market and sales declined. I met lots of people and several who ordered custom pieces, and even brought their own items to me for "repair".

Craft fairs were my next adventure, and I have mixed feelings about them. It all depends on the ability of the promoter to put on a great show: i.e. location, experience, ADVERTISING, and what I have found to be most important, how many years it has been an annual event. The "First Annuals" are usually very "ify", but when they draw a buying crowd they can work out well, and actually there was one which was my best day. Speak to other artists at any craft fair you do, and they will steer you to the best of the best.

Metal Rings & Things Necklace
 This year have changed focus and am only signing up for juried shows. Yes, they are more expensive for the booth space, are usually more than one day, have strict application processes, and long waits for approval to the show, but they get the crowds (looking to purchase), and do not allow in those mass commercial sellers. It's not that I ever think I will be awarded any of the judge's prizes, but you never know, and a fantastic perk if it happens.

My advice to anyone who is ready and considering a move such as this, my advice is: When it comes to selling, believe in yourself and your craft, and the sales will happen, and if you are anything like me, you will be thrilled each and everytime one of your "babies finds a new home".  

Turquoise Art Sheet Necklace

Faux Mau-Sit-Sit Jade Necklace

Primitive Carved & Lampwork Double Necklace
Jasper Pendant & Swarovski Crystal Necklace

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