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Handmade Jewelry Marketing Tips

I'm going to help you market your handmade jewelry more effectively. Learn how to sell and make a generous living making and selling jewelry.

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I love to help other people be successful on their own terms. If I can help someone start a successful business they ENJOY, plus show them how to market it, I will have done my job.

BeadStyle Magazine

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Handmade Jewelry Trend Watching Can Be Fun!

I have an unusual assignment for you that should help with your handmade jewelry marketing. Don't worry you're going to enjoy it! The next time you have a day off, I'd like for you to schedule around 4 hours of free time to complete the assignment. Here are the details:

1. The night before you plan on completing the assignment, gather together a notebook and a writing pen. Also take along some business cards as you routinely would. Opportunity can arise when you least expect it.

2. Find the largest local shopping mall in your area that's close to a large bookstore. (Barnes and Noble, Borders, Books a Million). It's even better if the bookstore has a coffee bar.

3. Wake up early on the morning of the assignment so you can be at the shopping mall when it opens. Be sure to wear some of your handmade jewelry. You never know when someone's going to inquire about your jewelry and want more information.

4. With notebook in hand, start at one end of the mall. Pick out the first store that sells jewelry and head inside. Survey what they have to offer in the jewelry department and how it's displayed. What color metals are being emphasized? Is color a big feature or is most of the jewelry in neutral shades? Are most of the jewelry pieces large, small or somewhere in between? How large and long are the earrings? What types of clasps are you seeing on necklaces? Is there an underlying theme that could signify a trend? What are the price points?Which items have been marked down? Is there a particular piece that really catches your eye? Ask yourself why and if it would be relevant to your own work. You may want to make some notes in your handy notebook.

Now, see if you can find a store clerk. You came early so she shouldn't be too busy to talk. Plus, she'll be flattered that you value her opinion. Ask her what items seem to be selling the best in the jewelry department. Then ask which items are the slow sellers. Why does she think this might be? Inquire as to what customers are asking for that's not currently being stocked? If she wonders why you're asking all of these questions, tell her you're doing a study on trends in jewelry sales and marketing. Make note of her responses when you leave the store. Consider leaving a business card if it seems appropriate.

5. Head to the next store and repeat the above procedure. Be sure to spend a little more time in the larger department stores since they tend to be a barometer of what the public wants at the current time. Also, peruse the clothing department briefly making note of color trends on clothing items for the forthcoming season. Make note of sleeve lengths, collar lengths, whether the fabrics have alot of detail as these can affect the type of jewelry people will wear. For example, if vibrant prints are in style, people will tend to wear more subtle jewelry and avoid chunky, detailed jewelry.

6. You should have a notebook full of notes at this point. You may want to stop for a quick lunch break at the food court. While you're there observe the people around you. What type of jewelry are they wearing? Make note of any trends that you see in your trusty notebook.

7. After enjoying your leisurely lunch and people watching, it's time to head to the big bookstore.

8. Once you reach the bookstore, head straight to the magazine department. Start a stack of bead and jewelry magazines, as well as the latest fashion and celebrity magazines. (You may want to do this in increments as you might attract attention with that many magazines!). See yesterday's post for some magazines suggestions.

9. With your stack of magazines, head to the coffee bar. Order a delicious hazelnut latte from the barista. If you're feeling guilty about the calories after that lunch, ask that it be made with skim milk and sugar-free hazelnut syrup. It tastes almost as good!

10. Flip through your magazines as you sip your latte. Look for and make note of trends that you see. What are the celebrities and fashion models wearing? In the beading magazines are most of the projects centered around a particular style or technique? Are there any unusual pieces that catch your eye? Make notes in your ever expanding notebook.

11.After finishing the magazines and your latte, it's time to head home after an enjoyable day of handmade jewelry trend analysis. Over the next few days when you have some free time you can review your notes and analyze how the current trends might fit into your own work.

Caution: Just because a trend exists doesn't mean you alter your work based on that trend. As we discussed previously, it's important to be AWARE of trends so that you can make subtle adaptations based on demand. You should always have your own unique voice and niche that makes your handmade jewelry special.

I would recommend doing the above assignment four times a year. It's a great way to keep abreast of the handmade jewelry market!

When you do the above assignment, send me an email and let me know what you learned and if you enjoyed it. Have a great afternoon. :-)



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