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Profit is NOT a Dirty Word !!

I spend as much time as I can on the forums and I tend to click into shops of people who are also active there and I have seen some things in the last few weeks that have really blown me away. My husband is a retired dentist and I not only ran the business end of his practice, but I consulted and lectured on the business management of dental practices for 20 plus years. Even though selling handmade articles is a different animal than dentistry, the reason for it is somewhat alike - to make a living from your labors. If you are independently weathy and whatever you are selling on Artfire is to get it out of your house so that you have r... » Read More

Selling Your Product

Someone emailed me about my last blog to see if I had any wisdom to impart to her about selling artisan products both on the web and off that were on the high end of the pricing structure and after a long reply to her, I decided it would make a good blog. First of all, there is, unfortunately, no secret formula, and nothing guarantees success, but I think that just applying sound business practices is the way to go.  If you price your work fairly and command the retail price that it deserves, you are going to have resistance selling on the web. That doesn't mean you won't sell - just that it will take longer.  I look at my web site ... » Read More

Avatars Forever!

I am a new member of Artfire and I am such a non techy person, that I even wrote to support my first week here, to find out exactly what an avatar is. Then I used the same picture that I had used at 1000 Markets as my banner, for my avatar here. I did this for one reason only. Continuety. Or as the powers that be here and all the web gurus would say - BRANDING  and BRAND RECOGNITION. These things are really important even if we are only small fish - I want everyone to know that I am the guppy with the Tibetan pendant necklace, not the one with the little kitty cat. I have pictures that I would rather use now, but I won't, because I had so... » Read More

What Should My Hourly Wage Be?

Okay - you have decided to turn your hobby into a business and that means many things.  One of the most important is to pay yourself a fair wage for the time that it has taken you to produce your product. You cannot put a price on to your product without a dollar amount for the time that you have invested in producing it. How do you decide what this magic number should be? Some people feel that $20/hour is a fair amount to expect for producing your art.  I can't argue with that and that is the exact figure that I used when I started selling my jewelry. I quickly saw that there was something wrong here, though. The actual time that I sp... » Read More

Wholesaleing OOAK Jewelry

I do allot of wholesaling to small boutiques in a couple of high end areas and I love it.  It is finally becoming profitable and it has allowed me to not only stop doing all day craft venues, but I can make the kind of jewelry that I love to make and make some money on it too - the best of all possible worlds ! I have several outlets for my jewelry and most of them are consignment and I know that most people don't like that, but that is the way that it is in my area and it is generally 50/50, which I feel is really unfair to the artisan, but it is well established here, and I would have to be much more in demand, and much, much cheaper to ho... » Read More

Dreaming of Tucson

Okay - the Tucson Gem and Bead show starts in two weeks and I can't wait.  I am one of the lucky people who make jewelry and live in Arizona, so I can attend the show that every one, even remotely connected to the jewelry business would die to be able to attend.  Last year was my first trip there and I was not prepared for the size and extent of the show - this year I am ready. I decided to only hit wholesale shows because you have to have some limits, there is no way to do the whole thing - forget the feet giving out, I do think that the brain would finally fry on one too many tourmalines or turquoises.  I have been studying the show ... » Read More

Tucson - 2011

I spent last Friday, Monday and Tuesday at the Gem Show in Tucson and had a fantastic time spending my money.  I am one of the lucky people who live within driving distance of this nirvana for jewelry designers.  The only problem is I don't have enough money to see all that I want to see. We went to the Gem Mall on Tuesday and it is huge.  I had maybe covered 50 to 75 feet of the first tent and I told my husband that we had to leave and he wanted to know why when there was so much that we hadn't seen.  I told him that I had very little left from  my shopping budget and I just realized that I can't just look.  When I... » Read More

Do You Know Your Niche???

I don't know about you, but I started my jewelry business because I had to have cataract surgery...Really! I had never worn reading glasses and after my operation, I needed them and I wanted an eyeglass leash.  Found lots of rubbery ones and found lots of glitzy ones on the web, but none that appealed to me and I remembered a local bead store and thought..."how hard can this be, I'll buy some stones and make one".  Before I arrived home, I was already thinking about the cool earrings I could make with some of the stuff I bought, and totally innocently, my jewelry busness was founded. I progressed from eye glass leashes to earrings to neck... » Read More

Do You Love Your Craft???

I got into a new, for me,  retail shop a few weeks ago.  It is a nice little shop that calls itself an "art boutique" and I was very excited about having this space accept my work, especially after the owner told me that she would probably only take four or six pieces and she ended up taking more than thirty pieces. I think what excited me more than the fact that I had picked up another shop is the fact that she loved my metal work and took almost all that I had.  My high end shops, "oh" and "ah" over the copper and silver  and then take traditional strung jewelry, so that's what I have been making mostly, but the metal work i... » Read More

Widgets for Sale

There has been an on going thread on the forums about what we feel out time is worth and how we pay our selves and I realized tonight that my reponse would make a better blog than an answer. Even though I majored in Chemistry in college, my whole background is business and that was allot of years. I ran a small business - my husband's dental practise - I had a consulting business for dentists on how to manage their practises and integrating computers into their business. When you run a small business, you are in actuality running a huge business on a small scale...we had do to all the things that larger businesses do, but we didn't have department... » Read More

Anyone Can Make Jewelry

We were out of town a few weeks ago and my husband, the clepto, borrowed one of those magazines about the town that we were in, because he found an article that he thought that I would want to read....He may be a clepto, but I must say that he is a thoughtful one. The article was entitled " Designing Woman" and it was about a jewelry designer and the author was a designer of vintage jewelry, who wrote articles in her spare time.  There was the usual backgroung stuff, like how she came up with her business name, and met her husband - you know, page filler.  The gist of the article though was that basically any idiot could make jewelr... » Read More

Open Studio - Come One and All

Several weeks ago, I decided to do an open studio and sale of my jewelry in my home. We are retired and reside in a gated "active adult" community. We have two "Shop and Share" events for the sale of handmade goods here in the community, but I've never seen allot of success there and decided that I would give this approach a try. I also decided that no matter how I fared, that I would do this again in the fall before the holidays. I set my time from 11:00 A.M. until 3:00P.M. on a Wednesday, because that is men's golf day and I hoped that the women would be free.  I thought that 4 hours was a good test and I could adjust later and I said i... » Read More

The Coyote Excuse

I am 98% done with completely overhawling my shop and it has been allot of work, but well worth it, I think. I would be totally done except my camera battery died of old age and I still have a handful of pictures to do, but I am considering it done because my camera is so old that the battery needs to be special ordered and I  won't have it for at least a week. I added the picture above because it reminds me of spring, and I like to think that that is what I have been doing - major spring cleaning.  I only added it once, but I think this is a bug, because the pictures multiply on their own...I have a can of Raid, would that ... » Read More