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    11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 3, 2011 11:37 AM by MarylandBanker

    Home based jewelry artist

    rosebud111 Newbie
      Hi everyone! Just joined, have enjoyed reading the stories and articles. I have been making jewelry for over 25 years but just recently decided to escalate it from a hobby to a real business. I hope to be able to have some extra income when I retire in 8 years. I plan on using etsy and getting a website. Any advice on the website? There are some local website designers but I want it to do more than just look pretty.
        • Re: Home based jewelry artist
          KathleenF Scout
          Hi Rosebud,

          I would surely go with etsy.com. I personally prefer to shop for jewelry through that site. I always find such creative items that the branded stores just don't have.

          I would start by getting a blog. If your finances are minimal I would go for blogger.com. If not and you want to go full out then purchase a domain through http://www.godaddy.com and setup a wordpress blog. I have hosted my domain at addaction.net for probably 10 years now. I've never had downtime and they have an affiliate program that darn near pays my monthly fee.

          Setting up a wordpress blog is rather easy even for a non-programmer and you can find free wordpress templates that will do just fine. At addaction they actually have wordpress in the control panel for your domain and with a few clicks it's all setup and ready to use.

          Blogging about jewelry, the process, technical aspects and the creation of your own products will help. I'd also get involved with some of forums specific to the creation of jewelry. Host a few give aways with sites such as http://www.moneysavingmom.com and other "mommy bloggers" by doing this it will help increase traffic to your site.

          Just a few suggestions :)
          Kathleen
          • Re: Home based jewelry artist
            phanio Pioneer
            I think you are on the right track - the goal is not to have just any old website - but to get your goods in front of the right audience. Always keep this in mind when marketing (crating a website is just one form of marketing) make sure that all you do is designed for your customers to 1) find you (go where they are) and 2) makes the whole experience a pleasuable event - something that will make them return and tell their friends and family.

            Business Money Today
            http://www.businessmoneytoday.com
            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Home based jewelry artist
              thesymplelife Newbie
              Hello Rose, do you have a sample of your jewelry?
              1 of 1 people found this helpful
              • Re: Home based jewelry artist
                Arev01 Wayfarer

                Hi Rosebud,

                I think Kathleen gave you some really sound and financially wise advice. The other thing to consider is selecting some boutiques to approach to which you can sell your jewelry. First go in and check out what they already carry. Make sure that there are no jewelry lines too similar to yours. Then make an appointment to sit down with the owner (and possibly the staff, as well) to show them examples of your work. Know how to verbalize your style, be able to point out interesting features, know what types of materials you are using, what the trends in jewerly are, why your pieces are unique and how they fit in with the clothes the boutique carries. Make sure you have plenty to show, but not too much. Handling your jewelry sales this way is great because one sale = multiple pieces sold and possibly reorders. If the owner is shying away from a straight purchase then you can always go the route of consignment. Just make sure to keep track of what you have left where and set up a schedule to check back regularly (once or twice a month).
                • Re: Home based jewelry artist
                  Wayfarer
                  I know this might sound silly but it might be best to go with a local website developer. Why do I say that? Because you're in the Jewelry business

                  The success of growing your business online will depend on both your jewelry (Which you are an expert on) and your website/web marketing promotion (which you are not an expert on). To achieve the most sucess you want to maximize your potential from all angles (quality of your product, interface of your site, and marketing of your site). So why would you let your website fall short? You mentioned you wanted your site to do more than just look pretty. Are these local website designers really just graphic designers and that's why you're not confident in them?

                  I would think you could find very knowledgeable local website developers in your area. If you're serious about escalating this hobby to a real business, pay the cost of hiring a good website developer. They should be able to show you sample work before you choose them. Once you hire them, they will develop a site they know will work and use as much of your input as possible. Then you can focus on making beautiful jewelry. The conversion of a hobby to real business means real expenses and proper website development and marketing is going to be one of them. Are you really ready to make this leap? You don't want to do it halfway.

                  If you try to to do everything yourself or try to cheat by using a free online website development tool, you're going to find yourself in 3 months trying to figure out why a certain part of your website isn't working rather than planning your business expansion or making jewelry. I have seen too many people make this mistake.

                  -Sean
                  Sure Payment Solutions
                  www.surepaymentsolutions.com

                   

                    • Re: Home based jewelry artist
                      KathleenF Scout
                      Even a local web designer will cost an arm and a leg.

                      Etsy is a well known social community specific to handmade & unique vintage products. People flood the site looking for what they want.

                      Blogging is the way of the future and the best platform available on the net is wordpress. There are so many designers out there that specialize in wordpress I'm sure you could find someone that fits your needs.

                      I've seen the following designer used by many bloggers and has been recommended by many. Check her out if you are interested. She also specializes in Etsy which would be beneficial for you.

                      "Cinnamon Girl Studio" her website is: http://cinnamongirlstudiodesign.com/

                      Let us know how things turn out!
                      Kathleen
                    • Re: Home based jewelry artist
                      mobikas Adventurer
                      When designing your website try to make your picture large to showcase your jewelry piece. Larger picture allow visitors to see the design and details of your master piece. That is why when you go to an auction, you'll only see large jewlery on display for people to see.
                      • Re: Home based jewelry artist
                        Wayfarer

                        I used to own an award winning web design firm and I recommend that you interview design firms carefully.  You will want one that helps you figure out how to develop a brand image that is consistent with the flair of jewelry that you design.  It all starts with the correct development of a logo and a tag line that defines what you do and sets you apart from other jewelry and then you go from there.

                         

                        I belive that it is a mistake to wait until later to try to define your self as a business. Invest a few hundred dollars on doing things right and professionally from the start and you will command better clients and better prices for your pieces.