Friday, March 26, 2010

Rock.Stone.Tween Treasures?

Deciding whether to tap into the tween jewelry market so we've created some designs as prototypes to test the waters. Those tween girls are a tricky bunch. Here's what we have so far.
My tween son thinks his contemporaries will like these, but then again, maybe they won't. Decisive much? So we're test marketing to our target demographic to get opinions right from the horse's mouth. Any opinions of your own? Please share.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'm Featured on a Beautiful Blog

What an honor to receive an email from artist and fellow Etsy seller Gracie Wieber telling me she included one of my bracelets on her blog Artists/Artisans. It's part of her Karma Collection, a weekly feature of artists selling on the web.

This is a first for me and to say I'm excited is, well, ridiculously understated. I'm ecstatic. Please read it and browse her fabulous paintings and jewelry made of fibers. Great stuff.

Thanks Gracie!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Internet Inspiration

In my quest to figure out the perfect social media marketing plan to sell my jewelry, I've come across some super-talented people who are not only great crafters, but savvy marketing experts as well (those with the right and left brains that are actually in sync). Many of them share their success tips and offer up words of wisdom to the rest of us out here.

Bess Callard, a graphic designer from Vienna, Austria has a blog I'm absolutely crazy about. It  has a mellow and peaceful feel and her writing style is sparse yet filled with little gems. Read it here --The English Muffin Blog and be sure to check out the cool little zebra on her page.

Crafting an MBA is written by Megan Auman who is an artist, crafter, athlete, teacher and small business guru. She does a great job reminding her readers that it's one thing to create a great piece of art or a unique new craft, but in the process you also have to think like a CEO. Yup, we've got to have a plan and she's can easily guide us through that. Reading her blog is a must for getting your craft biz off the ground.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Happiness is Bold Color

Just back from visiting my dad in not-so-sunny Florida. But lousy weather is a good excuse to go bead shopping which I did and had a ball.

First I found these gorgeous hanks of seed beads in a mix of my absolute favorite colors -- various shades of greens with just a hint of blue. I'll mix them with some more colors in the same family and get to work on a bracelet or necklace with oodles of strands. More is more, as I always say.

I got these turquoise nuggets for Christmas and have been staring at them ever since. When I first saw them I thought they were too raw and chunky but after playing around with them, I've changed my mind.

Here's a bracelet I made  and I think it's pretty cool. Funny how taste can change. Plus they feel great in your hand; so much texture. Next up, a super-chunky necklace with the same stones.

My next post will be back on the subject of social networking. I've got lots of new tips and trends to share.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Shameless Self-Promotion Section

New necklace I just listed on Etsy. Love the colors.

PR, Jewelry and How to Sell Stuff

When I recently decided to turn my serious jewelry-making hobby into a business opportunity, I thought, well ok, I’ll create my designs, post them online, do some word-of-mouth and email marketing, and the sales would pour in. Yes, I’ve got quite the sense of humor.

A quick Google search of Handcrafted Jewelry Designs turned up 11,800,000 hits. Narrowing that down to Handcrafted Beaded Jewelry which is more specifically what I make, didn't help much -- 5,660,000 including mine. Big problem but I've got some ideas.

Professionally, I’m a public relations consultant, working for more years than I care to count for large corporations and small, local businesses. (Bear with me, there is a connection here). The industry has changed dramatically from the old-school practice of writing a press release, sending it out to contacts at various media outlets and getting a story written about whatever it was I was pitching. But that was then.

Today it’s all about online social marketing which is vast and overwhelming but I’m going to figure it all out and sell some jewelry. I'm an eager student determined to be an expert at Twitter, FaceBook and the rest of them to see if all this new stuff actually works. I'll routinely post my results and let you know the good, the bad and the profitable.

Any comments, suggestions, advice, opinions are always welcome.