So the great question is... How DOES a person create their own style? It's a process, and I hope to give you plenty of insight through the Think & Design Jewelry Series and also through this blog. But wait, before I start giving you any tips, let's back up a little and do a recap of your journey into the wonderful world of jewelry making:
- You've learned a few techniques, maybe stringing, a little wire-wrapping, perhaps through your local jewelry shop classes, or through a video online.
- You bravely made some pieces for your friends and family, and most of them seem happy to be the recipients of your gifts.
- You continue your progress and decide to take a few more workshops, to get better at a specific technique or two.
- You finally reach a point where you are confident about one or two techniques, and you consider opening a small business.
- Your friends and family encourage you, and you bravely enter the internet, carefully photographing your jewelry, posting on Etsy or Artfire, or even making your own website. You spend hours, no, days, no, weeks, carefully developing your online shop.
- You are fully aware of the need for marketing your website, so now you advertise on every single social page you know. "Come visit my website and tell me what you think".
Next thing you know, you get some people to look at your website and receive some messages saying "your jewelry is very nice".
Ok!!! This is great! You breath a little better and you wait. Maybe a sale will come out of it.
And you wait. NOTHING. Maybe you need more time. And still nothing.
What's happening??? Why won't I sell?
After six months, maybe you had a couple of sales. Nowhere nearly enough to pay for the materials and all the work you invested, let alone support you as a business.
Alright, don't be discouraged. Help is on the way. While I don't have all the secrets about selling on the internet (and don't plan to focus on that either), I do know one thing:
The Internet is a gigantic "specialty" market.
People will buy something online mostly by two motivations: because it's unique, a specialty (meaning, they can't find it easily anywhere else) or because the price is much cheaper than their local shops.
So the FIRST THING to do before spending all that time assembling your site, social marketing, is to DO SOME THINKING. There are two options for making it on the web:
1) RE YOU WILLING TO DEVELOP A SPECIALTY STYLE?
2) ARE YOU WILLING TO SELL ITEMS FOR A RIDICULOUSLY LOW PRICE?
Be honest: if the answer to either question is NO, and you just want to make jewelry because it's fun and you love it, then that's alright. You can continue to sell one or two pieces per month, or even sell at the local street shows, and make jewelry for friends and family.
Just understand that Internet business is not for you. Create a portfolio online and go be happy.
However... If you answered YES to the first question and REALLY want to develop a jewelry making business which sells primarily on the web, then you NEED to develop a unique and recognizable style.
And that is what this site and the Think & Design Jewelry series of creativity tutorials are all about.
More insight coming your way soon,