For someone who really just wants to focus on creating jewelry, the business side of things can be overwhelming. Marketing, promoting, tracking…ugh. Yet, if I am ever to reach my goal of supporting myself as an independent jewelry designer, then I need to get a handle on the business side of my business.
With that in mind, I have spent a lot of time the past two days reading about SEO (search engine optimization). I was happy to find a great deal of useful information on the Etsy forums. There are a lot of people who use Etsy as a hobby, but I am also finding that for many people, they DO make a living from their art and Etsy serves an important function for them. So, why not take the advice of people who are doing what I want to do?
After reading through posts on SEO, I realized just how ineffective many of my titles and tags in my Esty shop
were. Clever names, like you might find in the Sundance catalog, are not going to get my products on the first page of a Google search. I need to think like a shopper would think and use those search terms. Therefore, what I had just listed as “Eternity Necklace” became “Eternity Long Chain Necklace”:
and one of my previous listings, which I really thought would have sold by now has gone from “Seaside Bracelet” to “Chunky Seaside Beaded Bracelet”
I changed the tags, too. We shall see if it makes a difference, but it makes sense to me that I need to think like a buyer, not like a seller.
(Originally posted on 6/24/10 on Blogger.)
I recently made a necklace using a little bit of something old and a little bit of something new. A customer had found some old charms (as in 40 years old!) that she assumes her mother had engraved with the intent of making a charm bracelet. Most likely, she intended to add a charm every year on the customer’s birthday, but the charm bracelet was never made. However, I gave those old charms a new life by mixing them with new charms that reflect the customer’s current interests, such as a camera, a cute VW bus, a dog, a hammer, etc. So, instead of a charm bracelet, the customer now has a charm necklace!
Here are the “old” charms:
And here is the new necklace:
I think it turned out great and the customer was very happy that she was finally able to wear the charms that her mother bought for her! If you would like me to create a similar piece of jewelry for you, just contact me.
(Originally posted on 11/2/09 on Blogger.)
Today I watched young 17 year-old Melanie Oudin’s exhilarating win over Maria Sharapova in the U.S. Open. Stamped in Oudin’s tennis shoes is the word “believe”, obviously there to serve as a reminder to believe in herself. Her confidence shines through in her tenacious style of play and she is truly a joy to watch.
Believing in yourself is often half the battle when taking risks. As artists, we put ourselves out there everyday. We create because we love it, but when we decide to take the risk to try and sell our creations, we are opening ourselves up to praise or, in some cases, criticism. The mentally strong people who continue to believe in themselves, even when times are tough, will ultimately find success because when it comes right down to it, if we don’t believe in ourselves, why should anyone else?
This is one of my favorite bracelets that I have made. The pewter charms read “live light”, “integrity”, “laugh”, “inspire”, “create” and…”believe”.
(Originally posted on 9/19/09 on Blogger.)
I think that artists undervalue their work far too often. When I go to shows or browse online and see handcrafted pieces selling for a price that I know will barely cover material costs, if at all, I cringe because this sets the market lower for my work. I believe that my work has value and that incorporates not just the material costs, but the time it takes for me to develop the design and make the piece.
I try to offer a range of pieces at various prices. For example, the Hip to Be Square Bracelet, for sale on my Etsy shop, is only $35, which I believe is a fair and affordable price:
The Pistachio Bracelet, on the other hand, took much longer to design and create, so it is priced at $110:
As much as artists all enjoy creating for the sake of creating, we also need to be paid what we are worth. Don’t undervalue your time and your talent. If you do quality work and pay attention to marketing, the sales will come!
(Originally posted on 9/18/09 on Blogger.)