Ever feel like the fog has finally lifted from your brain? That’s me right now.
For the last 2 years I’ve had my jewelry in a local business on consignment. When I started putting things there, there were the remnants of my old stock from my storefront that consisted of a lot of imported jewelry. It was affordable and sold well, but it wasn’t a lot of my own designs. Things have changed markedly since then. I don’t want to sell a lot of imported stuff. You can buy jewelry from Nepal and Mexico everywhere and unless you know a lot about your supplier, you’re likely buying jewelry made at virtual slave wages in abysmal working conditions. I was lucky enough to have great suppliers but I want to sell my own jewelry now. I no longer NEED to keep large amounts of stock to fill store-shelves, so I can concentrate my energy and finances on building my own line.
It was a really tough decision to let the storefront deal go but it was a necessary one. They offered me a place to sell when I really had no clue what to do about storefront space and I am very grateful for that, but I want to access the global marketplace. I do a lot of shopping online for items I cannot purchase locally so I am well aware of the power of the internet. I’m a Facebooker and if you’re reading this you already know I’m a blogger. In order to sell online I need constant access to my stock. It would be a bad, bad thing to have an online customer purchase something and then to discover it had just sold at the storefront. It’s a simple case of “either-or” and the decision had to be made.
So I’ve done a ton of research and have made the leap. I’m setting up an Etsy store, have signed up for PayPal, have registered my domain name and now I’m telling YOU. As we work far less in the summer at our music studio, we’re also going to look at selling at Fairs and Farmer’s Markets.
I’m so excited I almost can’t stand myself. I feel inspired again. Maybe it’s because it’s spring. Maybe it’s because I know you guys are going to support and encourage me as you always do and I love you SO MUCH for that. Maybe it’s the sense of anticipation. You know….the kind where you’re on the high rocks at the river….you’re looking over the edge….you’re thinking the water looks sooooo cool and inviting…..
………you’re thinking “OMG that’s a long way down”………..
……………………….”I don’t think I can do this”………………..
…..”but I really WANT to do this”…………………………
…………………………………………………………………..so you take a reeeeeally deep
breath, close your eyes……..and
I love being creative. I love taking a bunch of different things and producing something new and wonderful. Something that would not exist if not for my intervention. Whether it be yummy soap or a fabulous new piece of jewelry, their very existence makes me happy. I’m happy to say “I did that.” Strangely enough, though, when it comes to SELLING what I’ve made I turn into a bit of a turtle. I’ve been told I tend to under-value what I make. When someone says “How much?” I mumble some price that I’m usually thinking I have no business asking and that the person asking is thinking “Is that all?” I say this only because I’ve been told this. Repeatedly.
I don’t know why it is, but it’s quite common for some artists to under-price their work. I think part of it is because many artists don’t make a living off their art and are just thrilled to sell something. I think the other part is more insidious. I think it’s a self-esteem issue. It’s almost as if some artists think, if even on only a subconscious level, that if they ask a higher price then they’re somehow guilty of hubris. They may fear that someone will actually gasp in horror and exclaim “You must be joking…it’s not THAT good”. I’ve finally acknowledged that maybe that’s a problem I need to deal with.
Along with pricing issues, there come the marketing issues. I’m not good at marketing. It feels somehow a little dirty to me to be promoting myself. Because that’s what it’s ultimately about…. while I may be selling a product, on some levels I’m really selling myself…or at least my abilities, particularly with the jewelry. But I’m going to do it. I’m going to keep plugging away at coming up with a cohesive marketing strategy. Step 1…..this weekend’s craft fair.
I’ve made flyers to let people know where to buy my products. I’m not expecting to sell a lot of jewelry because craft fair buyers, here at least, tend to not purchase more expensive items, but I want the jewelry to be seen.
Brandy printed me up some business cards on that scrumptious copper card-stock, I bought decorations for the table, so I guess I’m ready to roll. I’ll take pics and post them next week.
So we’ll see if I’m getting it right. With the packaging, the marketing, the pricing, the product. With everything. It’ll be interesting, to say the least. As for the pricing, the other phenomenon I’ve noticed is people that drastically over-price their products. But that’s a topic for another blog post. I’m sure I’ll address it at some point. Stir the pot a little. Make a different kind of mess. *evil grin*.
Posted in Art, Bath & Body, Crafts, Jewelry, Jewelry making, marketing, Motivation, Organization, Packaging
Tagged art, designer jewelry, display, goldsmith, labels, marketing, motivation, organization, packaging, pricing, selling