Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An Eye Opening Experience

  I had an experience today which makes me stop and think. I showed my jewelry, almost the entire stock, to some beaders. I've never showed my jewelry 'in person' before. Where people can touch it and try it on and see it with their own eyes.  I sold a lot of jewelry today. And I was invited back to show it again next week to even more people.

  I'm amazed at the reception I recieved. I've grown accustomed to people loving my work but not actually purchasing any of it. It's good, but not good enough to own I guess. But I see now that's a mistaken understanding on my part.

  It has always been my greatest wish to sell over the internet to the whole world as my market. That has never worked very well. Many of my Etsy sales were from people that I brought to Etsy with me, not people Etsy brought to me. Also, I think that people have a different reaction when they can see and touch and have a more immediate experience with my designs.

  An attractive young woman tried on one of my older designs. I always thought that design needed some vague improvement. But, when I saw it around this woman's neck I realize with shock it was perfect as is. It was so gratifying to see the excitement in her eyes when she bought it. And she was even happier when I told her I had matching earrings at home and would give them to her next time I came. I hadn't really expected to sell anything you see;) I thought it would only be a show and tell.

  The whole experience really gave me hope that I can sell if I find the right situation for myself. My stock is pretty small since I usually only make 1 piece a week or sometimes even just 2 designs a month. I've always felt challenged about doing shows with so few pieces of jewelry to offer.

  I'll be thinking about this day from now on and be more open minded about what and where I might best display my work.


Here is the weeks work:
Sterling and tourmaline twined brooch. I expect it will become a pendant one day. I'm going to set it aside and see how it develops in my mind over time.


  1. Mary....Your work is wonderful...great news on the warm reception given you. I design slowly too....I'm trying t increase my productivity...but the perfectionist in me ( i know there's one is you ) is fighting me every inch of the way. You may have found a nice niche for selling alot of your jewelry at one time. What you might think needs improvement, (as well as myself) is someone else"s dream piece of jewelry.

  2. Sue,

    Don't you just love a design that feels perfect to you? hehe I'm not sure I want to give that up to increase productivity, though I do dream of selling more:)

    Both a bead store owner/jeweler and a long time jewelry artist both gave me similar advice. They both advised me to make everything in 3's. They know that each design is new and has development that takes time, so if you follow along side with two more, you can knock the other two out pretty fast, especially if you do it right away before you forget.

    It sounds like good advice for productivity but I haven't followed their advice as yet.

  3. Congratulations on the sales, Mary! Please don't underestimate yourself. When you create a piece, you bring something that was meant to be into reality. And I believe somewhere out there, there is a person for whom that piece was intended. As a jewelry artist, you are an important part of that process to bring together the right connection.

  4. Dearrings,

    Yes it was so wonderful to see that necklace go to the right person. It was such a different sort of personal experience to sell in such a direct way to others. It had many blessings:)

    And I agree with you. More than once I have seen a design that I made find it's true owner for itself lol. They do want to be found by their intended owners and the fit is so perfect when it happens:)

  5. Way to go Mary! I can't believe you'd never done sales in person before. I'm so glad you have opened that door - it is so different than online. I love the person to person connection, though I am quite similar to you in not creating a lot, wanting to keep it individual and focusing mostly online. Online takes so much more time and work per sale though (at least for me). And it sounds like you found a fantastic venue. I think when we find the person that belongs to the piece, that is the best part of it all :) Oh and here's another vote not to underestimate your self - you are definitely among my top favorite wire workers!

  6. Mary, I am so happy for you! What a boost and a lift! Seeing a piece go to the "rightful owner" has to be very satisfying. I used to sell online and will probably start again, but your experience has made me rethink that or at least modify it. I don't know for sure, but it seems like seeing a creation of your own go to someone else has to be a lot like the feeling of giving- which I like a lot.

    Your work is so fresh, unique and well crafted that I can only imagine how well it is received in a person's hand (or neck). :)

    I think I will try making three at a time because I, too, design slowly and even slower now.

  7. Mary, Way to go!! I am thrilled to hear about your sales. Sounds like you needed to be in the right space. People do love to see and try on the jewelry and meet the artist. How gratifying to see a piece find its rightful owner.
    Absolutely love the new twined brooch. It is mesmerizing. Last night, I looked at it so much,I couldn't post. Your work is outstanding. I do love your brooches but find I rarely wear them as I am afraid of a whole in fabric. False?? This piece is gorgeous as a brooch and sould make an awesome pendant.

    Thank you for sharing the idea of making in 3s. It makes a lot of sense and I will try to implement it.

    Zippidee Doo Dah on the sales with more to come next week!

  8. Shay,

    Yes, There is definitely a beautiful personal experience that can happen in business when both parties care about each other and aren't just trying to get the upper hand or 'the most money out of a product'.

    I do think some of my personal weaknesses are keeping me from some success. I'm going to have to grow, darn it!! :))

  9. Tela,

    I like your word choice 'rightful owner'. And I agree it is like giving, I am inclined to move heaven and earth to get the design into the hands of it's rightful owner, even if that means lowering a price or going an extra mile in some way. Because it belongs to them more than to myself:)

    I have had 'angsty' thoughts;) regarding the uniqueness of my work. That the designs are just too eclectic for most woman, but yesterday gave me hope and more confidence.

  10. Christine,

    I wear my brooches often. At first I was careful to only use large open knits, but I have even pinned directly to my t-shirt and left no hole in the fabric. The pointy end of the pin should slide between the fibers and than spread tham apart, so that the fabric is not actually torn in anyway.

    More often I am using 18gauge wire which allows for even more flexibility in their use over a 16gauge clasp.

    I never recommend that a woman use them on an expensive silk top however:)

    Any type of knit works very well with them. Even tiny woven knits that cling to your skin; you know the good ones:) I wear a lot of tight woven knits and the brooches love them:)

    But with women, I have noticed that we all have strong preferences as to what we will or will not do with our clothing, jewelry and hair:) So I respect that:)

    Love your comment regarding this design:)))))

  11. Great news! The problem with selling online is, as you said, that people just can't touch it. Trying on a piece is so different from just seeing it for the majority of people. Personally I find jewellery parties sell well, though they aren't always fun to organise!

    As I've said elsewhere, LOVE this piece. Your workmanship, as always, is superb!

  12. Vera thank you!! The oval weave was much harder to keep neat as opposed to the round one:)

    I have an acquaintance who does marketing for a living. She had advised me to do two in-home shows a year. In Fall and in Spring. She said to just do an open house all day and people can drop by during the set hours. To serve refreshments and make it a fun time to visit.

    She said that I should have a friend handle all the money for me and I should just visit and have fun with those who drop in. She said I should pay my friend for her time in jewelry.

    This also sounded like very good advice, and if you only do two shows a year the organization wouldn't be so overwhelming.

    After this recent experience I am emboldened and determined that I will do at least one show in the coming year.

    My local bead store also offered me a chance to do a trunk show at their store.

    I need to move an inch forward in my marketing skills at least:))

  13. This was great to read! :-)))) Where did you show your pieces? At your place?