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Beaded Jewelry Ideas: Beading Q And A (1/4/2012)

2012 January 4

Mary asks…

English: Craft booth at the Saturday Market in...

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Any websites with beaded jewelry ideas for beginners?

BeadGal answers:

Jewelrysupply.com, artbeads.com, eebeads.com, beadandbutton.com, beadwrangler.com, fusionbeads.com, makingjewelry.about.com (excellent site moderated by designer and author Tammy Powelly), beadwork.about.com (excellent seedbead instructions, news and projects). Visiting the hundreds of websites advertised in any of the major beadcraft magazines will lead you to many more. Look for Bead & Button, BeadStyle, Bead Craft, Beadwork, and more, at your local newstand.

I also strongly recommend spending some time on Amazon.com’s website using their “Look Inside” feature wherever possible. This is a quick ‘n dirty way to get an idea of the many types of beading out there, and which appeal to you, without having to leave the comfort of your home.

Ruth asks…

I live in Hampton Roads in VA & want to find a store to sell my handcrafted beaded crystal jewelry. Any ideas?

My jewelry features Swarovski crystals, but includes all types of beads and I sell at a Crafters Market now…I am interested in Arts & Crafts Shows, gift shops, consignment stores, etc.

BeadGal answers:

There are lots of different types of stores out there who carry different styles of products AND there is lots of jewelry out there for sale. In finding where and to who to sell your jewelry to, you will have to narrow your market down. If you try to cater to what everyone wants then your market is too open and competition stiff.

Everyone has different tastes and you won’t be able to satisfy them all. So try to target the market that YOU would like to design your jewelry for.

As part of your market research you will need to know what is the profile of your typical customer (i.e. Age, sex, location, interests, education, etc.)? In investigating your potential customers, you must consider who will wear your jewelry.

In finding the answers to these questions ask yourself: Who do you think would probably buy your jewelry, or who are you making your designs for? For example do you want to reach sophisticated, professionals? Young and funky? Everyday or party wear?

If you are using a lot of Swarovski and pearls what about bridal or prom jewelry?

Once you have identified who your customers are, or to whom your jewelry is appealing, you can then cater to the taste of this typical customer and seek the best ways to reach him or her.

The next questions now are: How do you plan to distribute your jewelry to your customers (i.e. Craft shows, wholesale to retail outlets, specialty shops, your studio shop, holiday boutiques, party plan, website, etc.)? How will you inform customers about your jewelry?

Also in your market research you need to know what your competition is doing. You will learn more about what is selling where, to whom, and at what prices by carefully observing the competition. Surf the net, attend as many shows, go to as many stores, and seek out as many other points of sale as you can for the same style of jewelry as you wish to market. Then ask yourself: Can customers easily get what you make from someone else, perhaps at a lower price than what you would have to charge to make a profit? Is your jewelry unique or is the market already saturated with the style of jewelry you want to make? Like I said earlier competition is stiff so your designs have to be unique!

Before you approach a clothing boutique check them out first. What styles and colors are they selling this season? Make some samples of your jewelry that would match great with the clothes the shop is selling. A shop owner will most likely want jewelry and accessories that match their current inventory.

If you are looking for craft shows the best way to find small local ones will be through your local newspaper, community center or town hall. For larger shows check out the following sites:

http://www.craftsfaironline.com
http://www.craft-festival.com
http://www.craftmasternews.com
http://www.fairsandfestivals.net
http://festivalnet.com
http://www.craftsreport.com
http://www.artrider.com
http://www.craftsitedirectory.com

Just remember that you will have to apply to most shows months in advance.

For more detailed information on how to design and sell handmade jewelry check out this site:

http://www.beading-design-jewelry.com

The whole site is a free home based jewelry business and design guide It has hundreds of ideas and tips to inspire you to design and create unique bead jewelry designs that will give you an edge in the market place. This site includes in-depth articles on marketing and selling jewelry, how to profit from your own bead jewelry kits, learn how to excel your jewelry designing skills, design inspiration and innovation, start a home jewelry party plan, sell jewelry wholesale, how to succeed at craft shows, pricing and displaying jewelry to sell, and dozens of other topics.

Sharon asks…

Where can I find jewelry design ideas – handmade and beaded – also tips for starting a business! Help!?

I have been making jewelry, handmade, wire-wrapped, beaded… lots of fun but would really like to make it into more of a business. I have my CA sales tax id, looking for other “stuff” I need to do to get started. Any tips would be appreciated as well as loan type options. I have a good stock built up of gemstones and beads but need to build a website, buy display items, get into some craft shows… whew… exciting but running out of funding is my number one problem (have my circle of friends and family buying and one dealer who has picked up the line but still) I don’t know where to go or what to do. Any one with experience here who would not mind sharing their knowledge would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

BeadGal answers:

Http://beadwork.about.com/ has tons of links to patterns, ideas, and marketing resources! Very good place to start.
They have an article on selling jewelry online via auction sites:
http://jewelrymaking.about.com/od/thejewelrybizonline/a/021205.htm
And this is their link to resources on The Business of Jewelry Making On Line:
http://jewelrymaking.about.com/od/thejewelrybizonline/
For more detailed information on how to design and sell handmade jewelry check out this site:
http://www.beading-design-jewelry.com

As well, there are several beading/jewelry magazines that have archived articles/projects. Here’s a few:
http://www.lapidaryjournal.com/store/books.cfm
http://www.beadandbutton.com
http://www.beadingdaily.com/blogs/beadwork/default.aspx
http://www.beadstylemag.com

Also, if you do a search on ‘beading tutorials’ ‘bead patterns’ ‘jewelry ideas’ ‘selling bead jewelry” etc., you will get more links than you can read in a week!

Laura asks…

Where are some ideas of where I can sell my handmade hemp and beaded jewelry?

BeadGal answers:

Etsy is a good place to sell original, handmade products: http://www.etsy.com/
Selling on Etsy FAQs: http://www.etsy.com/faq_selling.php

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