Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Finding your Inner Designer

The wonderful thing about jewelry design is that, even though designers may use the same or similar materials for their jewelry pieces, everyone has their own spin on things. My talent, or so I have been told a time or two, is in combining colors to make beautiful, striking pieces. I like to think I have talent beyond that. If you are a jewelry designer, you will know that style and skills continually change. I could barely stand to make the same piece twice...and so I didn't.

Although most of my beads used are Swarovski crystals and easily ordered via the Internet or found at bead stores, I like to find special gemstones at shows...not only are there a huge amount to choose from, they are one third the price of bead stores. Beaded Bauble designs, therefore, are naturally original as the gemstones incorporated are all unique and can't be reordered for the most part.

This soft toned bracelet on the left features Chinese crystals in soft green and cubic zirconia and Swarovski crystals in shades of purple. Bali sterling silver accents zig zag throughout.

Finding Your Thing

OK, I admit it. It took me a while to find my thing...I mean, of design. Had I known way back then what I know now, I would have gone to Italy and studied jewelry design instead of going to college and studying business. Turns out though, that one thing leads to another. Today, I have the privilege of combining two loves...Internet marketing (my other part time job) and jewelry design.

Featured (left) is one of my signature designs...a leather lariat cascading with turquoise nuggets, freshwater button pearls and Swarovski AB-coated crystals. Find this and pieces like this at eBay!

When I left my position at my advertising agency, leaving my partner to handle it completely so that I could be home with my two young girls, the Internet was just emerging it's very static head. Jump forward almost 9 years and well, you know how dynamic and social the Internet is today. During those 9 years, I developed my craft at jewelry design and explored every different way to sell it. I became so engrossed in the act of designing that I didn't want to bother with the sales.

That being said, I'd set up my tables every Saturday morning at 7:00 am at the nearest outdoor market and sell away. Nothing in my experience compares with a heartfelt compliment from customers and browsers. I have also sold at an outdoor kiosk at Oakbrook Shopping Center, a very upscale outdoor shopping mall located in Chicago's suburban Oak Brook. I used faux crystal chandeliers and soft green organza to accessorize my cart. I loved being there but the hours were long and it cost a great deal to have employees man the booth 7 days a week. I have also sold at many craft and art shows in the area as well as had retail space and have been in retail stores. The one area where I was weakest is now my strongest area...Internet sales.
Like I said, while I was away at home, the Internet boomed and e-commerce took off. Although keenly aware of the Internets capabilities, I didn't posses the know how and the tools to effectively market my jewelry...until my recent return to advertising . It took me almost a full year to get up to speed on things like Search Engine Optimization and A/B splitting on email marketing campaigns, etc. but here I am.

Long story short, or not, this is my jewelry blog. My hope is to be successful on eBay, open a store, and hopefully, one day, you'll read about it under success stories.