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Monday, 13 June 2016

Well why does it have to be so dang fancy?

Dear Muse,

Thank you, so much, for all the inspiration you give me.  My life would be a dismal thing if I wasn't blessed with your gift of creativity.  You song flows into my ears and through my veins and out of my fingers to create objects of beauty that have brought myself and others much joy.

But I have to ask, dear Muse, why does it have to be so dang fancy?

Seriously, the ideas you inspire me with are full of colour and movement and grace.  They are beautiful and tactile and they just take too much blooming time to make.  I mean seriously:



Do you know how long it took me to make this darn thing?  Like, seven hours, that's right, seven. whole. hours.  And yes, it was an enjoyable seven hours, though I got to sleep at two in the morning and had to get up a seven (what have I told you about school nights Muse?).  And yes, I am very pleased with the resulting necklace.

But my potential customers aren't going to be impressed with the final price, my dear.  All those hours add up to a lot of pennies, and not everyone wants to fork out a fortune on a whim!  You're giving me some difficult price points here my dear!

So please, next time I ask you for a simple pendant, a nice, humble and unpretentious recipe I can make quickly and price reasonably, don't give me a three layered fancy confection that costs more than a fortnights worth of food!

PLEASE.

Perhaps a couple of nice, low priced, sell-able earring designs would be possible?  Or perhaps some simple, affordable  bracelets??  I'm sure your awesome creative powers must stretch that far - just strip away several dozen unnecessary steps and you'll be right on track.

You know I adore you, and I do truly appreciate all of your gifts, but reign it in a little will you?

With much love and respect,

Your Beleaguered Artist Jess


Do you ever have this kind of issue with your work?  Every time I sit down to create something I seem to come up with big fancy pieces - generally necklaces - which come out of the pricing machine with pretty steep price tags.

Now I do love creating this kind of work - it's good to have a piece you think has the 'wow' factor - but the truth is that most buyers don't want to fork out large sums.  I think my shop and sales are suffering due to the lack of more affordable items.  Earrings and especially bracelets, smaller items that are likely to cost much less, don't come all that easily to me, and if I try and force it my fickle Muse often deserts me all together.

But this is something I have to get over - if I want to have a successful jewellery business, then I need to provide goods that will appeal to people with sensible budgeting skills.  £80 or more is a lot to shell out - especially when the seller isn't very well established, like me.

So I have an aim for the next few weeks - to eschew the usual big fancy necklaces and focus on making a number of smaller pendants that can be hung from leather cord or a simple chain.  Maybe some earrings too, maybe even a bracelet - if I can get my head around bracelet sizes and the weighting or durability issues I always seem to run into.

As part of this effort I've ordered myself a spool of Irish waxed linen cord.  I've been pretty baffled by it so far - all my attempts to use it (about three) have been a bit disastrous.  However wire-wrapping does take a lot of time, which pushes up prices.  I love the wrapped look but I think knotting may give me a good way to cut costs - and I really rate a lot of the jewellery I see made this way.  That necklace above?  Totally doable on cord instead and it would probably take half the time!

So I'm gonna do it folks, I'm gonna fill that lower price bracket!

Wish me luck and watch this space!

Peace y'all ;)

12 comments:

  1. I think it's a great to create these over the top pieces that gets lots of people into see your amazing work but then having a wider price range will help increase sales. But also, maybe look for ways find customers that think your price point for a one-of-a-kind handmade creation is not only reasonable but maybe even under priced. Look at the jewelry at Sundance and their price points for handmade. There is definitely a market for fancier pieces, maybe you just need to find ways to bring those women into your shop!

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    1. I do love creating these pieces Heather :) So yes, perhaps I just need to get better at promotion to find the customers willing to pay these prices - I'm such a clueless noob tho XD

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  2. Gosh, please muse, don't listen to her! Even knowing that lower price ranges would sell more easily, I would rather ask you to inspire more of this kind of work and let her get known, so people will buy at this price range :)

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    1. Oh, don't worry the Muse never listens to me anyway, the cheeky moo :P

      And bless, thanks for the well wishes!

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  3. I love this necklace! I can see why your muse brought it to you. But I do understand what you mean. I don't sell jewelry, just make it for myself. I have to admit I am a bit lazy to do a project like this because it is so time consuming. I think waxed linen is a great thing to try. It is a favorite of mine. So quick and still good looking. And you can still make these more time consuming ones sometimes. They are sure worth it!

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    1. Thanks Ann, I've been working with the waxed linen over the last week or so and OH MY GOODNESS! It's so great - big fancy necklaces created in half the time - I can't wait to show you all :)

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  4. Your work speaks volumes, I see so much soul. Don't abandon that muse to a simple more drummed down version. I think you are on to something. I have paid over $200 for the right piece. Their are people who will connect to it and think "I can't live without it!" Nothing wrong with teasing impulse buyers. Hang in there <3

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    1. Thanks nova :) I'm hoping being a little more involved with the blogging and facebook communities will help get my work out there a bit more so I can find these customers with deep pockets!

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  5. Your necklace is absolutely beautiful! Heather has words of wisdom about finding your customers up there, so I won't repeat it less well :-) One thing that I always remember reading years back is that you do not have to be your own customer. Ie you don't have to be able to afford your own jewellery. It's stuck with me since then, and I do remember it when I price my jewellery out of my own market! That is not a bad thing at all.

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    1. Thanks Rebecca :) Yes - I think part of the problem is that I could probably never afford to buy this myself!

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  6. Your jewelry is beautiful. I find selling jewelry is very difficult. It is hard not to take it personal when you have difficulty selling but you just can't' People just don't dress the way they use to. These are the days of some folks wearing pj's out in public! These are also the times when handmade isn't appreciated. The economy isn't what it use to be. The list goes on! Do what you enjoy and price as appropriate.

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    1. Thanks Kathy :) yes I think it is a hard market to get in to - there are so many awesome designers out there it's hard to break through! And yes people seem to be spending less these days and certainly undervalue the effort that goes into handmade items!

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