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About Me

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Reisterstown, MD, United States
A practicing attorney who is trying to find the time to develop a small business designing, making and selling handmade jewelry.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Etsy BNR

OK, you remember my rant last week about Etsy BNRs and my struggle over whether or not to design and make some lower priced items?  Well a couple of my items are being featured in the next round of that BNR.

My multi blue bracelet is being featured for just $64.00

And, my copper heart charm necklace for $40.00

For Etsy sellers, if you buy either piece, one of your items will replace mine.  The rules are listed on the BNR.  For others, you can just buy the pieces.

Of course, there are lovely items handmade by other artisans also being featured in the BNR.  There are some lovely pieces for sale.

We'll see how this round goes but it is probably my last BNR.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Heartsy Feature

I need 13 more "yes definitely" votes today to have a chance at a feature sale on Heartsy.  Please visit and help me out.  It will only take a second.  If I'm featured, you'll have a chance to purchase my jewelry for at least a 50% discount.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Balancing Quality and Cost

This is my dilema...I want to be known for making beautiful, heirloom quality jewelry.   I want people to be excited by buying or receiving a Jill's Jewelry piece.  I want them (the jewelry, that is) to be one of a kind classic pieces that can be worn with pride year after year and passed down from mother to daughter. I know that sounds a bit arrogant but I don't intend it that way.  It probably isn't reality yet but it is my goal.  That means in addition to the exacting workmanship involved, I have to start with the highest quality materials, sterling or argentium silver, gold fill or 14 or 24 kt. gold and beautiful, well cut stones.  Of course, that drives up the prices of my pieces.

I do want to be able to sell the jewelry I make.  So, here is the dilema...high quality materials may drive the cost of my jewelry beyond the reach of many people.  I don't like that at all.  Not only does it cause my sales to be limited to those who can afford expensive jewelry,  most of the promotional activities on the websites I use to sell my jewelry are designed to be effective for lower priced products and can't be effectively used with my price point.  In addition, it just leaves way too many people out there who are not wearing Jill's Jewelry creations.

I've considered making a line of less expensive jewelry.  I would still use the same exacting standards of workmanship but would use less expensive materials like silver and gold plate and vermeil instead of what I'm currently using.  However, if I do that, should I create another brand or should I sell under Jill's Jewelry?  I've been struggling with this for some time now.  Every time I look at the current price of silver and gold, I rethink this issue.  Frankly, I've been hesitant to do this because it means that I'll have to purchase an entire new inventory of components, wire and other things.  Then, I'll have to figure out a storage system that keeps the components separate from my other materials.  I have enough trouble keeping my "stuff" organized now.  You would not believe the mess that is my work bench.  Perhaps I'll post a picture one day.  Hmmm, we'll see.

So, now I'm reaching out to you to tell me what you think, should I continue to use only high quality materials?  Should I continue to use high quality materials and also develop another lower cost line?  Finally, should I sell my lower cost items under the Jill's Jewelry brand or should I develop another brand for those pieces?

Leave me a comment and tell me what you think about all this.

Monday, April 4, 2011

JCUIN Guild Item of the Month

My 7 strand garnet necklace was voted best item of the month for March in the JCUIN jewelry makers guild Item of the Month Vote.

And, of course, I also have the perfect earrings to go with it:

It is very nice to know that others see the beauty in my work.  Besides, I did get a lot of new visitors to my store, all of whom came from the JCUIN voting site.  I suspect even losing the vote would be a great way to promote your store.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Treasuries and Collections

Treasuries are an Etsy creation.  Basically it is a grouping of Etsy items put together by random members of Etsy.  They come with a certain protocol.  It is in bad taste to put your own items in a treasury that you create.  Even so, treasuries are a very popular way to promote Etsy items.  There are entire teams devoted to creating treasuries made of their members items.  Here is a link to a treasury I put together last night.

Collections are exactly the same except they are on Artfire instead of Etsy.  My multi-blue bracelet is being featured in a collection this morning.

Here is a link to that Artfire collection:

And the links to my Etsy and Artfire shops were you'll find my multi blue bracelet:

One of the main ways that people shop on Etsy is by browsing through the treasuries.  Therefore, if your item appears in a lot of treasuries, your exposure is increased.  The goal of everything sellers do on these sites has to be increasing your exposure.  The greater number of buyers who see your items leads to higher probabilities that your item will sell.

I don't really know if treasuries and collections increase your sales but I do know that it warms my heart to know that other artisans think enough of my work to feature me in their collections.