Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Jewelry Sales through Redefining Ourselves

There was a time when the sales mantra was:

"The product will sell itself."

In todays economy with just about every company on Wall Street reporting lower sales and profits we must shift our own sales strategy back to the great depression mentality.  This can be done without having to result in heavy pressure intimidation or bombarding consumers with unsolicited advertisements.  

"I will find why I have the perfect piece for any person."

In the world of jewelry design we often hold our work in such high esteem that we feel it will often sell itself.  We prefer to think of ourselves as artists and designers rather than saleswomen or salesmen.  

A good salesperson is intuitive to their customer. They are perceptive to their customer's shopping habits , knowledgable about their in stock product, and attentive to their customers questions.  

For example, if a young male is looking from necklaces to earrings and asking about color variations we might assume that he is shopping for his sweetheart and inquire about the clothing preferences whether she likes vivid colors, earth tones, or perhaps if she wears formal dress on occasion.  If we have gems designs by birthstone we might ask the occasion for the gift, if the holidays aren't pending, and direct the conversation towards her birthstone month.  If he asks for something that isn't readily available, don't be afraid to suggest custom pieces and alterations for an affordable price.

If the customer is aprehensive about making an immediate purchase do not be afraid to perform some polite persistance and dig deep into any reasons that may be disuading them.  Ask what they don't like about it and insist that changes can be made to fit their needs.  Politely inform them of the nature of custom made pieces that they are unique and may not be sold if they return later.  Offering to hold items for a short period of time and presenting them with a business card as a last result will keep the item in their mind.

jasper leafInquire about any other occasions that may be coming up that they have forgotten.  Maybe it is his sister's birthday in two months, a lover of nature, and you just happen to have a perfect leaf of breciated jasper or abalone shell that you could fashion into a pendant.

Do not limit yourself by what is directly in front of you and what you have prepared.  A good jewelry designer has beads for all occasion and knows what she has and what she can make at any time.  At the Silver Rose, we just did a large sapphire repair sale, because even though it was not in our inventory, we remembered that we had the perfect shade and cut that the customer needed uncataloged in my private stores.

Good customer service through careful questioning

breeds referrals and return business.

Next blog I'll discuss some unique untapped jewelry locations that have worked quite well for us over the years.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thriving Sales in a Frugal Economy


Part two of the Self Promotion Series

With the economic crisis in full swing it is becoming increasingly more difficult to make sales and we all must take decisive action to ensure that each of our businesses will survive.

The most important element to thriving sales is exposure.

With customers becoming increasingly more frugal and thoughtful with their spending we must all strive to increase our client base and increase the number of customers who see our jewelry product. The following are some ideas I have developed to maximize the exposure of your items.



Never underestimate the value of consignment arrangements in selling your jewelry. Many shops, retail stores, craft booths, and mall outlets are more than happy to take a small percentage of your sales and drawing power of more diverse inventory in exchange for reserving a place for your jewelry and conducting the sales therein. You may take a small hit on the sale, but you can factor out the cost of the booth, the inventory space, or rent and the labor in staffing the sales location.

Some consignment locations require a payment for rental space and I caution you to investigate all factors of traffic, demographic, and costs in this case. The best arrangement is a percentage of sales which can range anywhere between 5-50% depending on the cost of the item, transport and stocking arrangements, labor costs and promotions. Whatever you have agreed upon, even if you are close friends be sure to get the percentages in writing and to keep careful two sets of records of inventory, prices, and sales; one for each of you.

You can only be one place at a time, but the more locations your jewelry is sold and viewed the greater your exposure and sales will be.


Faires, Events, and Markets

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Think about your jewelry and what your target demographic is. Research and think about your target marget's habits and hobbies and where best they can find you.

If you specialize in renaissance period chainmaille pieces than your research might indicate that your target market inhabit medieval organizations and fantasy faires. An Internet search would result in hundreds of shows throughout country, as well as several organizations such as the Society for Creative Anachronism and Renaissance Faire Society. Wherein thousands of merchants and venders sell their wares and can be contacted for consignment or cooperation. This is merely an example of a niche market research.

Perhaps you specialize in work with abalone, shell, and natural ecofarmed coral fingers. There are numerous beach shoppes looking for consignment pieces or events such as the annual Divers Alert Network conference and Koi clubs where you can set politely send a email asking to set up shop.

Perhaps you have quite the collection of holiday pieces that you have prepared. There are many specialized holiday faires in each area that you can arrange to participate in. In my local area of Pierce County, Washington, we have an annual Victorian Christmas celebration that is being help at our world reknown Puyallup Fairgrounds with hundreds of merchants of and 10s of thousands of customers.

Here is a resource for finding a market near you.

When setting up a booth be sure to follow the proper channels and file all taxes and paperwork preparations.


Visit Part 1 of the Self Promotion Series

Check back next work for more exposure tips and holiday talk.


Monday, December 8, 2008

Healing Energies, Crystals and Gemstones

Healing Energies

Do you know about the Chakra system? They are 7 spinning wheels on energy that run from the base of the spine up to the crown of the head. Each one resonates to a different color and musical note. As you are probably aware each color has a distinct vibration as do the different musical notes. On the web one can find out loads about the properties of each Chakra. After becoming aware of the Chakra system I realized that I was feeling a pulling or tugging sensation in the exact areas these mysterious vortexes of energy are suppose to reside. I would experience this when I was around various stones or people, also natural Phenomenon such as mountains, volcanoes . . .


At some point I became aware that different stones activate or stimulate different points on my body and somehow I can sense what they do to other people.


Everything emits electo-magnetic energies as well as gemstones. I believe because crystals' molecules are arranged in a very precise or regular pattern the energy they give off is intensified and can be easily directed. We are all affected by this energy but on a subtle level. With practice this energy can be detected. With training it can be directed. I use stone energies for healing like the healing use of copper bracelets and magnetic bracelets that has recently gained popularity.

See some of my thoughts on different stone energies.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Pearl Luster

Pearl Luster

pearl in molluskWhat makes so pearls so beautiful to the eye with those lovely swirling colors of the rainbow?

Mollusks lay down minute layers of crystals to make the object implanted inthem by nature of man more comfortable. As the layers are put down the crystals are of various heights thus reflecting the light back to the eye of the beholder in assorted colors. The assorted levels of the crystals returns the viewed light as all the colors of the rainbow withthe added silky texture that makes pearls a treasure of nature without equal. Enjoy them, use them lavishly in your designs and lets them amaze you with the silky healing energy.

 See my favorite Pearls here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Polite honest self promotion in tough times

With the economic monetary crisis filtering down to all walks of life and nations throughout the world many of us are afraid for our livelihood and for our business.

This financial storm that is rattling the world will be weathered, but the question is how are you preparing to minimize the damage?

A lot of us who make and sell jewelry full time have noticed a decline in sales as the public tighten their financial belts cutting back on luxuries.  This season could be difficult for you depending on your preparedness and your labors.

I have found that how you sell yourself directly affects how your creations will sell. Friendly, polite, knowledgeable, honest, and professional are all traits that I bear in mind when "setting up shop".  Self promotion is important and you will never find me without business cards or wearing examples of my work.

Striking up friendly conversations with as many people as possible is key to promotion. I like to open a conversation with an honest compliment; usually a piece of jewelry, accessory, or a feature about the person in question.  One should never be overbearing or dishonest, take this comment for example:

"Oh, such a lovely lapis necklace it really brings out the color of your eyes"

Is an honest compliment that will often lead to talk about jewelry, gemstones, and a peak in my hand case of fine works that is never too far away, and a business card passed.

Often I ask about loved ones or relatives and how they will be expressing their affection this season.  I can never forget the loving look in my beachcombing grandmother's eyes when she opened the druzy starfish tree agate pendant I made for her.

I heard on NPR that with the frugality of consumer spending these holidays that consumers are taking more time to research their products then making rash decisions.  For this reason it is essential to have your online gallery, etsy, or MySpace, listed on your card; where your work can be seen and all the information examined. Next blog we will discuss how to set up a gallery online for free and promote your etsy shop with a limited budget.

See Part two Thriving Sales in a Frugal Economy




Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blogging Beading Communities & Forums

It seems that there are so many areas in cyberspace where beaders meet that are always changing every other day its often hard to keep them all straight.

The Jewelry Design Network

my profile at Bead-Space

my profile on Bead Showcase

Beadwork at has great guides, tips, and forums

A lot of the forums that once were bigger have lost members as time and companies have changed. left and some forums are area specific like or for Pittsburg beaders.

Bead and Button still has a huge community forum with beaders from all over.

With such a large community to draw on their are so many people with great ideas and lessons to teach, that's why I use Google Reader to view all my favorite forums, blogs, and websites in one space.

No matter what feed reader you use Atom, Netvibes, NewsGator, Google Reader or Bloglines I think that RSS feeds are such an easy fun way to stay up on our communities latest trends.

Google Reader is so easy to use you just click subscribe and add it to Google. I like to use it to keep track of my close beading friends.

Where do you like to go to share your hobby?

blessed beading!

- Dan


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Creativity and the Busy Life

Creativity and the Busy Life

Where do I find time to be creative with all the other things that have to be done?

With a small child, husband, work and household to care for, I often find I have no time to create jewelry. At the end of the day, after work, making dinner, giving my daughter a bath, brushing her teeth and reading a bed-time story; all I really want to do is lie down on the couch and zone-out.

But I have found a way! After reading some of my favorite author's blogs and journals (Neil Gaiman and Roald Dahl),

I realized that time must be set aside specifically to nurture the creative process. Both these authors talked about finding the best time of day and keeping it sacred! During that time, their families and friends knew not to disturb them. So following these examples, I now have my 'creative time' first thing in the morning. I am able to get up about an half hour earlier than my husband and daughter and I have the kitchen table to myself! With a cup of coffee (ah! the elixir of life!) I spend some time journaling and sketching whatever pops into my head. I allow myself toremember last night's dreams, last year's vacation, that interesting article about fish life cycles, and so on ...

After a week (yes, only one week!), I have found so many ideas popping out that I am ready to design a line for next Spring! Flowers seem to be occupying my dream time so taking that cue I have made this necklace.

- Emily Silver Rose

Friday, November 7, 2008

Instructional Beading Video Playlists

Have you been to Beadalon yet?

You can watch all of their episodes streamed online.


Check it out

I love it!


Leslie is very kind to make the above video, so be sure to link to her video and website and thank her if you have the time.

You can find Leslie online at where she sells beading dvds or on her bio on Beading daily.

Now here's a few collections of lots of Beading instructional videos I have found while surfing.

Auntie Beads YouTube playlist

Pizazz Works YouTube playlist

Jewelry Supply YouTube playlist

Stuart Wright wire work YouTube Playlist

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Better beading through self care

Hello my name is Dan Oldenkamp.

I am a Licensed Massage Practitioner and Web designer graduating from the Ashmead School of Massage back in 2001. As a massage therapist I wanted to talk about the dangers of repetitive stress injuries and the importance of self care to everyone who works with their hands.

Most of us are probably aware that Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) occurs when a repetitive task is performed with the wrist and forearm that causes strain on the forearm muscles. This tension presses down on the median nerve in the forearm causing pain and weakening the wrist.

Ergonomics and self care are our number one tools to a pain free work environment.

beading lamp    When people think ergonomics many people think of special keyboards and gel pads for computer mice, but it can be much more. It is important to start with an office chair with low back support and to be mindful of your sitting habits. Hunching over a stringing table for hours at a time with low light can strain the eyes and the lower back.

I recommending a magnifying work light, to limit your beading time, and to take breaks every hour.

An important part of self care is stretching and massage. Before I work with my hands I warm them up by stretching the range of motion at the wrist and the fingers slowing in every direction while breathing out. After I have used them for several hours I massage my palms and forearms holding onto my forearm muscles and rotating my forearm. This method is called the pin and stretch where you hold the muscle down and rotate the joint causing the muscle to release and stretch your brachialis

Another great use of the pin and stretch is to hold onto about 2-3 inches above your wrist while moving your wrist back and force apply pressure to the muscles from the opposite directions. You will immediately feel what I am talking about.

After long hours of hand work I will run my forearms under cold water. If your hands are often stiff in the morning consider a paraffin wrap for your hands. Paraffin baths are relatively inexpensive, especially if you split the cost with a friend. sooth bead hands with paraffin

    Most of the things I have mentioned here are common sense, things that we all know, but often don't take the time to do. Your body is your most importing beading tool and it is important to take care of it to stave off osteoarthritis, CTS, and other joint pain. Combined with self care can be a great way to curb stress, calm the mind, and relax the body. Let's all take care, so we can do it for many more years to come.

Added 11-18-08

I came across this review about a glove called the Thermogonomic Hand aid that helps with arthritis.

Check out the blog for her review.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Beading Contest

Bead and jewelry contests are a great way to have fun and help pay for your hobby. 1st place at Fire Mountain is $1,000. Sometimes they can be hard to find if they don't promote all that well. Here is a table of Beading contests and Competitions. Follow the links to each of their contest rules and entry forms.

Beading Contests
Contest Name / Link Ends / Often
Bead Museum DC 8/08 Annual
Bead Patterns 8/08 TBA
Bead Arts Awards 5/09 Annual
bead jewelry
The Gemmys 08/09 Annual
cut gem
Fire Mountain Gems 5/15/09 Annual
Beading Daily Monthy
So you think you can bead 12/31/08 1X
Beadsky TBA Annual
TBA for 09
Ugly Necklace Contest 3/15/09 Annual
Bead Dreams TBA Annual
Saul Bell Design Award TBA Annual
artbeads monthly challenge Monthly
art beads
Beads Amore 5/31/08 1X
Indiana only
30 Minute Earring design challenge $150-$ 1/26/09

Sunday, November 2, 2008

building image Slideshows



The first step to building and promoting a good etsy shop is to build a showcase of your creations.

The following sites make it easy to upload pictures and create slideshows.

Zooomr Zooomr Flickr Flickr BubbleShare
slideroll photobucket photobucket    

Saturday, November 1, 2008

New Jewelry Color Forecast

As the new colors for the fashion world come out. Jewelry designers are always trying to stay up with the latest trends. With the new color wheel and the new color categories at Silver Rose Beads, it is now easier then ever to see the trends and shop specifically along those colors for your designs.

See the charts and browse these delicious selections at:
If you like what you see feel free to click the share button and help spread the word. :) Light, Love, and Laughter!

Silver Rose Beads gets a makeover

After many painstaking hours by an overworked staff we have migrating The Silver Rose Beads, home for online beading, to its new servers and have integrated the new web site design.

The store is stocked with a selection of over 5500 unique gemstones, pearls, shell, and crystal specimens in inventory each professional photographed to demonstrate their exquisite quality.

Backed by a 100% customer satisfaction guaratee and the Trust Commerce secure seal for Internet shopping you know that quality of service is our top priority. Please check out the new site and let us know what you think.

Blog Charity

Well This is the inaugural blog for the Silver Rose, so I thought I would open it with words that have always moved me.

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Eleanor Roosevelt


  Sylvia started the Silver Rose with her family over 30 years ago with only an eye for beauty, the lessons of her trade pasted down from grandfather, and a dream of sharing the joys and energies of of jewelry craft with the world. Her and her family grew the company on friendships. Traveling to India, Hong Kong, and to rockhounds all over they forged relationships with the cutters, carvers, manufacturers, and artisans that have gave the Silver Rose wings and united people from all over to a common interest.

While I have only had the pleasure of her daughter's loving hand for five years I have seen the love that they share with the world and the have seen some of the many lives that they have touched.

Donating large portions of their profits to hospital charities, the red cross, and the hurricane Katrina relief they have always given back to make the world better. Give the gift of something handmade with love to a friend or loved one this week.

Here is to helping the world see the beauty that is in the souls of each of us.

If you would like to learn about donating to the Red Cross relief fund visit their website:

Campaign for Disaster Relief

Over the next few weeks we will be working with etsy and jewelry designers from around the world to showcase yours and our jewelry donations all proceeds to charity. Help make the world a better place, one heart at a time.