One of the first decisions you will make when you begin creating jewelry to sell is what type of metals to use. There are strong opinions on both sides of the issue, but it really boils down to your personal preference and that of your clients. When I first started making jewelry for myself, I used plated metals and thought they looked just fine. Many people, however, insist on precious metals so when I began selling my jewelry, I switched to sterling silver.
More people pay with bank and credit cards now than with cash or checks. In fact, many people have stopped buying checks for their bank accounts and many businesses no longer accept them. Because of this, if you sell jewelry at craft shows, farmers markets or anywhere else that you deal with people face to face, you really should consider accepting credit cards.
Every time we sell a craft shows, I receive several complements on my natural jewelry displays. In fact, many people stop who wouldn’t have otherwise because they like the way my displays look. Making your own jewelry displays is a way to set you apart from the other jewelers at a show. Common items such as branches, logs and decorative stones can all be used to create unique jewelry displays.
If you have a jewelry business, you probably already know that you need to retain all of your business receipts as proof in case you are audited. Receipts can help serve another purpose, though. They can be proof of what you are selling. In the case of semi-precious gemstones, precious metals and other higher value items, keeping your receipts is important to prove you are selling what you say you are in the case of a dispute.
When I first started making jewelry, I was what you might call a gemstone puritan. I only used natural, untreated, unadultered stones in my work. In fact, I think I was kind of a bead snob about it, and I looked down on any of those treated, dyed or heated stones as inferior to the “real” stuff I was working with.
One of the biggest drawbacks to making jewelry is figuring out what to do with all of those beads. Jewelry designers, by nature, tend to be bead hounds, and if left unchecked, most of us will spend our life savings on the cool new beads we find at bead stores. There has to be a way to keep those beads organized without spending a fortune or installing industrial storage systems.
When I first started making jewelry, I made everything with toggle clasps or lobster claw clasps. As I spent time at shows and markets, I began to hear from some customers about how much they hated those clasps. For someone with stiff fingers, and even many of us without, toggles and lobster claws can be very difficult to clasp. Here are some excellent alternatives to tough clasps that will allow more people to enjoy your jewelry.
Display makes a big difference in how effective your craft shows and markets will be. One of the most important things you can do is to stand out, but in a stylish, fashionable way. Creating your own packaging can help you develop a unique brand and draw attention to your jewelry in a positive way.
For many people the term “Forbidden Fruit” brings to mind religious or naughty connotations. In the jewelry world, however, the term refers to rhinestone encrusted fruit, vegetables, mushrooms, beehives, butterflies and caterpillars. These are lovely designs that are without much of history behind them; not because it isn’t there but because it just isn’t known.
If you make jewelry, you have lots of it to spare, I bet. I know when I get into a jewelry making mood, the stuff piles up like crazy around here. You may have considered selling to family and friends to get rid of some of the excess, but you may be missing out on a fantastic selling opportunity – Etsy.com.