Monday, September 7, 2009

Jewelry Making - From Hobby to Business

Jewelry making often starts as a hobby, but people with talent and a flair for salesmanship can turn jewelry making into a profitable hobby. It takes more than just making and selling jewelry from your home to make the successful crossover from hobbyist to businessperson.

The successful home-based business person realizes that they are no longer making jewelry just for fun. Instead, they own and operate a business - it must be treated as a business, with their studio as their place of business. This doesn’t automatically happen when you hang your shingle. Instead, you must discipline yourself, and your friends and family to the fact that you are running a business and are no longer a hobbyist.

Having the right business attitude will show others how serious you are about your business and help them realize that making jewelry is more than just a hobby. Explain to family and friends that you need certain hours each day during which you can work undisturbed in your studio. Assure them that you will still have time for them and your home life.

Setting and maintaining a dedicated work schedule is a major facet of treating your business as a business. Your productivity is the life’s blood of your business. If you're unable to commit to a set production schedule, your business will suffer. Here are a few suggestions to help you work at your peak performance:

  • Create a weekly work schedule and post it outside your workspace so your family will know when you're working.

  • Set up your workspace so you will have enough privacy and space to work undisturbed.

  • Planning, designing and doing 'assembly line' tasks ahead of time will greatly increase your productivity.

  • Allow time in your work schedule for checking your e-mail and making phone calls, preferably at the beginning and end of each work period.

  • Schedule set days for doing 'paperwork', such as bookkeeping, ordering supplies, paying bills and leaving feedback.

  • Set a time limit within which to complete each project. This is especially crucial for custom orders.

  • Discipline yourself to keep your schedule!

When you treat your jewelry making as a business, so will others. Eventually everyone will become accustomed to the changes you make to accommodate your new business schedule, and honoring your work time will become part of the daily routine. (Follow my Blog and/or Subscribe so that you'll catch the next in the series!)

Next - Strategies for the Homebased Jewelry Designer

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thinking Out of the (Gift) Box!

I'm old enough to remember some of the outdated rules - no white shoes after Labor Day, match your shoes to your purse and put up Christmas decorations after Thanksgiving. Luckily there are many, including me, who enjoy bending and twisting the rules!

I just finished participating in the online 'Christmas in July' promotions on both Artfire and Etsy and I'm already seeing brick and mortar stores with aisles full of Halloween and Christmas decorations.

Skulls and ghoulish dark items - which have traditionally been associated with Halloween - are available all year round from me and fellow members of the Artfire Ghouls Guild. (Top left - Skull Wedding Couple Cameo)

Do you think out of the 'gift' box? If you're looking for birthday, wedding, housewarming or Christmas gifts in July or Halloween themed items any time of the year, take a look on Artfire and you'll find some really unique gifts .

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Spring Colors in Bloom

My Spring Colors of skulls are in Bloom! These are great colors for your Spring and Easter-inspired creations.

Pale Pink


Iris Blue has just a touch of purple.

Lemon Sorbet Yellow

Mojito Green has just a touch of yellow.

All of these Spring Color Skulls are available in either my Virago Creations Etsy shop or ArtFire studio.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fabulous Faux

Have you found a pendant that would work with what you're creating - but because it's carved from Ivory, it's illegal to buy in the US? Or it's made from Carnelian, Garnet, Cinnabar, Coral or Jade and is just too expensive to make it feasible for the piece you're designing? Or you are eco-conscious and prefer to use alternatives to real Bone or Coral...

I think you'll love my line of pendants that I call "Fabulous Faux". These pendants are transformed using the same process I developed to alter the Bamboo Tiles and Skull Beads. My favorite is the Faux Garnet pendants - such a rich color that really mimics the colors of Garnet. Take a look at this Kuan Yin pendant in Faux Carnelian:

Faux Red Coral or Cinnabar Buddha on Lion Pendant -

Faux 'Aged' Ivory Pendant

Faux Green Jade Kuan Yin Pendant

Faux Blue Turquoise Round Dragon Chasing Pearl Pendant

All of these, plus more, are available in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Business Grows with More Colors!

I now have several places where you can buy my items - Etsy, Artfire, Dawanda and eBay (glassandmassagelady or my store, Audrey's Flotsam and Jetsam Trunk).

I now have 17 colors of Bamboo Tiles (only 16 are shown) - my newest color is Lavender - the most variety available ANYWHERE! Eleven colors are exclusive to my sites, since they are permanently altered using a process that I developed.

Using a similar process, I also have a variety of COLORED SKULL BEADS. Now, your skull creations can fit into a variety of other styles including Shabby Chic, Natural, Whimsical, Feminine, Holiday, Monochromatic and Asian:

  • Asian - use Red, Chile Pepper Red, White and Jade Green skulls give an Asian flare.

  • Shabby Chic - White, Baby Pink, Shabby Pink, Lavender, Lemon Sorbet Yellow, Iris Blue and Turquoise are the perfect colors.

  • Whimisical - vivid colors such as Electric Blue, Wintergreen, Grape Purple, White, Bubblegum, Salmon, Turquoise and Yellow lend a fun touch!

  • Natural - Cocoa Brown, Pumpkin, Chai Tan, Pecan Pie, Dark Chocolate, Jade and Khaki Tan give an earthy feel!

  • Monochromatic - Grape Purple, Lavender and Lilac; Bubblegum, Baby Pink and Shabby Pink; Dark Chocolate, Cocoa Brown, Pecan Pie, Khaki Tan and Chai Tan: Chile Pepper Red, Salmon and Pumpkin; Iris Blue and Vivid Blue