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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

Friday, February 02, 2007

Does Your Handmade Jewelry Line Need a Personality?

Hello everyone! I hope your handmade jewelry sales are going well. This is most definitely the slow time of year so don't get discouraged. It's time to take stock, reevaluate, and get ready for sales in the spring. Plus, we have Valentine's Day coming up which is usually an excellent selling opportunity.

Today I want to ask you to take a look at your jewelry line with fresh eyes and ask yourself, "Does my handmade jewelry have a unique personality?".

This is an important question to ask because if your jewelry doesn't have a personality or voice of it's own, it will be lost in the sea of imported and massproduced jewelry that bombards the consumer every day.

We have a bead store customer who is quite a skillful jewelry maker. She specializes in necklace sets which include matching earrings and sometimesa bracelet. She uses high quality materials and her work is very nice constructed. She keeps her prices at a very reasonable level without underselling herself.

Well this very nice handmade jewelry designer came into our store with a distraught look on her face. She was visibly upset, even in tears. She tearfully claimed that the jewelry she worked so hard on wasn't selling at shows or through the consigment outlets where she consigns. She had the look of a defeated person who was about to give up on her dream. Now we can't have that can we?

We asked her to show us her jewelry designs which she happened to have with her. One look at her designs told me quite a bit. Although you could tell a great deal of care and workmanship had gone into their construction and the designs were well executed, her pieces lacked the kind of impact that turns a good piece of handmade jewelry into a "must have" piece.

This very frustrated handmade jewelry designer used gorgeous semiprecious stone beads and sterling, but they were arranged in a pretty, but somewhat predictable manner. We decided that she needed to add a "signature look' to her designs to give them personality and turn them into something special that consumers would have a hard time passing up.

After circling the store for awhile and discussing various options, we decided that the addition of a beautiful handmade lampwork bead or two to each design was just what was needed to give her jewelry a signature look. Yes,she would have to raise her price points a bit since handmade lampwork beadscan be expensive, but I felt sure that she could get these higher prices with more distinctive designs.

Our frustrated jewelry designer went home and designed 15 new necklaces using one or two strategically placed lampwork beads in each design. The gorgeous colors in the lampwork beads made the rest of her design pop, taking them from rather ordinary to quite extraordinary. Her price points were raised to complensate for the increased expense.

To make a long story short, at her next craft show she sold EVERY ONE of her new necklaces. Needless to say, she was thrilled!

Is it time to look at your jewelry line with a fresh eye for originality? Does your jewelry have a personality? If not, it may be time to make some subtle changes to give your jewelry sales that extra boost. Here are some ideas for giving new personality to your jewelry:

1. Add few dichroic glass beads in strategic areas of your design. Dichroic glass gives off a beautiful, iridescent sheen that adds color and life to a handmade jewelry piece.

2. Have you ever worked with polymer clay? Using polymer clay, you can create beautiful, one-of-kind signature beads using only a few hand tools and an oven. You can create beads that no one else has access to. You can point out to your customer that these beads are "one-of-a-kind" handmade artisan beads.

3. Add a stunning pendant to the center of some of your necklaces. Don't settle for just an ordinary pendant. Look for something no one else has. You can make an incredible pendant by using a headpin, and unsual lampwork bead and some decorative sterling silver beads. (I'm definitely going to have to add photos in the future to illustrate).

4. Use a distinctive, large, beautifully detailed high quality clasp that grabs attention. A simple clasp change can often give a necklace or bracelet an entirely new personality. You may even consider having a signature clasp cast for you by a jewelry casting company. This is not as expensive as you might think and really adds to your design options.

5. Try some unusual color combinations. Certain colors placed together can really make a design "pop". Review your color wheel and note how a color can be markedly enhanced when placed next to its complement. Don't settle for tired, overused color combinations. Think out of the box!

6. Sign your work or add a handstamped, metal signature tag to your designs. These can be custom made for you by variety of companies on the internet or you can buy tiny metal discs and hand stamp your own.

7. Consider adding gorgeous buttons or charms with a vintage look as a centerpiece for some of your necklaces. This site has some interesting charms and buttons with a vintage look. Just a few of these inexpensive embellishments can add vitality and personality to your line.

There are lots more ways to add personality to your jewelry and I'll be mentioning more as we go along. I just wanted to get you started thinking about the steps you might take to give you jewelry a more identifiable personality. By regularly reassessing and redefining your jewelry line, you can give it the personality it needs to generate some serious profits.

If you haven't signed up for the new jewelry marketing emails I'll be offering, email me at with the subject line "jewelry tips" In these emails which will come out once or twice a week, I'll give you certain action steps you can take everyday to increase your handmade jewelry sales. I wanna keep you motivated and productive. :-) I'll likely take the weekend off from posting but will be back on Monday. Have a great weekend!


Blogger jennifer said...

When it came to me figuring out what I was going to use material-wise/how to figure out what people would want, I found Fire Mountain Gems trend watch section to be EXTREMELT helpful...

There's also color chart PDFs you can print so you can get ideas for what colors are going to be popular for each season...

Thanks for the posts Kristie, you're the best!

12:10 PM  
Blogger Your friends at Beads Indeed said...

Hi Jennifer! Thanks for your helpful comment. I just discovered the Fire Mountain trend watch myself. It is a great resource! I love the color charts. Best of luck with your jewelry sales. :-)


4:59 AM  

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