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Are You Serious About Your Handcrafted Jewelry Business?

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Are you serious about your handcrafted jewelry business? Of course, you think you are, but there’s one way know for sure. Ask yourself this question:
Where do you plan to do your Christmas shopping this year?
If your brain automatically flips to Black Friday shopping, there’s something wrong somewhere. Perhaps you don’t take your jewelry business as seriously as you should.
Other People Give Your Jewelry as Gifts

If you sell handcrafted jewelry online or do local art and craft events, you probably notice a surge in sales this time of year. You know what’s happening, of course. People who love your jewelry are buying it to give as gifts. They want to share it with the people they care about, but what about you?
If a stranger feels confident enough in your creativity to buy your jewelry, wrap it up, put it under their Christmas tree, and give it to the people they love, shouldn't you feel the same way?
Show friends and family you mean business
Sometimes friends and family don’t see what y…

What Do You Mean You Don't Wear Jewelry?

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When I talk to new jewelry students about selling offline at local events, I caution them to do Art and Craft-friendly venues only. I also suggest that if they are invited to do a non-craft, non-art event, do a little research before paying the show fees. 

Art and Craft patrons come to events because they appreciate the ability to purchase handcrafted items. They usually know the value of your work and you don't have to educate them about stones, beads, metals, and wire. Art/Craft lovers enjoy meeting you because you are the artisan. They see you as talented and creative, and when they like something, they buy it without haggling over your price. 

At non-craft, non-art event, attendees often see you as just another vendor pushing a product. They may look, ask for your business card, and walk away empty-handed. 

My Marketing NosAs an artisan, you do want to be appreciated. You want people to enjoy your work and pay you a fair price. When you consider displaying your jewelry in offline…

You Don't Need no Stinkin' Beads!

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I've been pushing my wire jewelry-making agenda for a few decades now. I remember taking over an established jewelry class and trying to convince the students to give up headpins and use wire instead. I'll admit, they thought I was a little crazy. 

I was never able to convince them to stop using headpins, so one day I simply locked up all the headpins before they arrived for class. That's what led to my first "Day Without Headpins" workshop. 


I loved making wire jewelry long before it was popular. So, of course, I got excited in recent years when I noticed that many of you were becoming wire people too. You're stepping away from bead-laden jewelry... and headpins. You're mastering wire-work. You're making wire diva creations with techniques so complicated it makes me dizzy. And it's beautiful.
I'm still on my wire missionI love that so many makers are focusing on the power of wire. You're showing off a single bead or a few beads, or no beads …

Mr. Wonderful and My Bead Addiction

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There's nothing like having a handsome man to feed your bead addictionA few years back--and long before online bead shops--my tall, handsome boy friend (let's call him Mr. Wonderful) used to take me to traveling bead shows. Bead and findings vendors from across the country would fill a suburban convention center showroom with table after table of strung beads, silver chains, stones, cabochons, and more. You know, like a bead shop only much, much bigger.

My heart would begin racing as we exited the car and crossed the parking lot. We'd stroll into the showroom and Mr. Wonderful would smile and say, "Get whatever you want, baby." That smooth declaration always set my bead addiction on fast forward. 

Nothing feeds a bead habit like holding a shiny strand in your hot little hand. I'd fondle strands of hematite, amethyst, turquoise, and garnet. I'd go crazy over unique stones, sun-polished wooden beads, and freeform labradorite cabs. 
Mr. Wonderful's bead-buy…

5 Tips to Help You Claim Your Bad A*** Jewelry Making Style

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When you market your handcrafted jewelry, your unique style is your best edge over the jewelry maker in the next booth.

Okay, lets back up here. In all likelihood, you're an online jewelry seller.  A virtual vendor. You've probably never done time in an arts and craft booth.

Also, I really shouldn't say unique when what I mean to say is Bad A***. 
You need an edge

Yes, you should take pride in your meticulous precision. And yes, you should brag about your quality materials. 

You should sell in the finest venues and list on highly-traveled websites.

You should try your best to do everything right, but doing everything right, doesn't guarantee sales.




Quality, precision, and venues are important, but they're meaningless if you make the same jewelry everyone else does. 

My goal is to help you develop the bad a*** diva jewelry-making attitude you need to rise above sameness. These five tips will help.

1. Find your own jewelry making thing


Don't just do what your friend does. …

Jewelry Classes & Clubs: 5 Ways to Get Jewelry-Makers Out of the House

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Do you rarely leave home because you work in your home studio, so you don't have to?

As a jewelry artist, it's easy to settle into full-time loner status, eating, working, and sleeping at home. Repeating the cycle day after day. You order supplies online. You sell online. You have friends, but they are online, jewelry-making friends who do the same things you do.
It's important to take a break from creative loneliness by spending time with other creative people. It can motivate and inspire you and boost your creativity. It's easy to do with organized jewelry-making classes and clubs

Spouses and children don't count

When you make jewelry is there always a child (or a spouse) waiting for you to stop playing with your beads so you can play with them... or cook dinner?



When you are considering creative social options, husbands and children don’t count.
In fact, time spent with anyone who wants you to run an errand, pick up groceries, cook or any sort of chore doesn’t coun…

Create 3 Funky Bold Bracelets With Hardware Store 'Findings'

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The idea of creating bracelets out of stuff from a hardware store really excites me.

I'm pretty sure it goes back to when I was growing up and my dad's home remodeling projects meant frequent hardware store runs. Back then that was a guy thing, but sometimes Daddy let me tag along. I've been nuts and bolts over nuts and bolts ever since.

That made it easy and fun to DIY 3 funky bold bracelets that say "I'm nuts over you."
Economical "Findings" I shopped for bracelet parts at my local ACE hardware store. It's big enough to have a good selection but small enough that I don't get lost. I found what I needed in a single aisle: little drawers and blister packs of nuts and washers on one side, wire on the other.

I spent way too much time sorting through nuts and bolts and washers, but you don't have to. I couldn't help myself. I kept getting the same tingly feeling I get when a traveling bead show comes to town.


Hardware store jewelry part…