April 25, 2017

Featured Maker: Tags and Things by K

We are so glad Krisha found her way to the vendor selling hand stamped jewelry. Not only did it help her support her growing family but it gave her a great way to share her beautiful pieces with the world. Her mommy centric jewelry designs and fun pieces can be found in her Etsy shop. Read on below and let's meet Krisha.

Hi, I’m Krisha, owner and designer of Tags and Things by K. I’ve been designing and making custom hand stamped jewelry for a little over three years.  

One day I was at an event where a vendor was selling hand stamped jewelry and accessories. I had never heard of or seen that kind of jewelry and thought it was neat that it could personalized. A few months passed, when mommy duties became more demanding, and I had decided to put my career as a Court Reporter on hold to raise my kids. I still wanted to have some kind of income, but didn’t know what I could do from home, while still being with my kids.  

I remembered the hand stamped jewelry that I saw at the event and decided to do some research on how to make it, what kind of materials were needed, etc. It was then that I decided that I was going to go into business! I opened my Etsy shop, purchased $100 worth of materials and lo and behold, I got my first “Cha-Ching”!  

I started making pieces for friends and family, then started getting custom orders from customers. If someone wanted something personalized, I was able to do it. I just loved the fact that no two pieces are the same, and that people with uncommon names, such as myself, could finally have something with their name on it.  

My absolute favorite things to make are special pieces, where someone is making an announcement, such as a “Grandma” necklace to announce that a new baby is on the way or a memorial keychain, offering condolences to the loss of a loved one. Although I don’t get to see the faces of those who open the package, I can still imagine their joy when they receive something so sentimental and special.

I love that the metal comes in different shapes, sizes and thickness so that you can choose the right one to fit your needs. And the design stamps -- where do I start? I LOVE design stamps! My faves right now are the Garden Branch and Symmetrical Branch Borders, anything with hearts and the Spiral Bracket designs. They add so much character and just make everything look so darn pretty! The possibilities are endless on what you can make. I look forward to the future and creating pieces that people will love and cherish for years to come!

Krisha Alatorre

See more Featured Makers here. If you would like to be considered for a feature, please email Angela@Beaducation.com.

How to Grow Your Jewelry Making Business for the Long Term

As a jewelry business owner who is also the primary if not only maker, one limitation is that you can only make so many items.

Now, the majority of makers discount this because their problem is the opposite. They are not selling enough and have too much that is sitting on their shelves. They truly believe they will never get to the point where the capacity is "too much". So how do you make this work for your business?

When your jewelry making business is structured in a manner which works with your limitations as the maker, you have actually set the necessary systems in place that will permit you to achieve complete business success. Sounds a bit odd but think about it.

Some makers make and list, make and list, make and list instead of building a solid foundation for their business. It's important to spend time marketing your items, reviewing your data and balancing your time in the right areas.

Ultimately you may be more likely to reach your goals if you can properly structure your business to reach the levels of sales and income without spending the majority of your day producing your product.

For openers, instead of making one-of-a-kind pieces, consider making multiples. This can cut down on the amount of time it takes to photograph, create content and descriptions for new pieces and you can use your time and materials more efficiently.

If it is one-of-a-kind products that you decide to produce then you must be certain that the prices you are charging are premium rates, because you will in fact be spending more time both listing and promoting it. Be sure that your one-of-a-kinds truly are one of a kind to be fair to your customer.

You may also consider customization of a single piece in your jewelry so your pieces can be personalized but not as time consuming as one-of-a-kinds. For example, if you make a charm necklace, perhaps offer the option to have initials hand stamped on a blank that works well with your piece.

Next, go over your line of products to see if and where you may be able to add lower-cost, quick-to-produce items. For example, if it took you two hours to make an intricate bracelet, can you also make a set of earrings to go with it that takes less time and materials to make? These options can add upsells to your line and encourage larger sales. In addition, if your customer can find earrings to match that bracelet from you, they may be less likely to wander to a competitor in search of those earrings. It's also a great way to re-engage with the customer who purchased the necklace but maybe missed the earrings.

Finally, give serious thought to the potential benefits of having someone trained and ready to work instead of waiting until you have already reached maximum capacity. It can take longer than expected to find those who fit well in working with your business and it requires planning. The last thing you want to do is add labor due to dis-organization or lack of clear direction for those who work for you.

Planning out your goals, revisiting your data, and making improvements can get you to your goals faster. Having help can free up your time to focus on other items that can advance you or give you the quality of life you have been working so hard for. It's possible that the amount you spend on an employee could be returned to your business multi-times over a short period of time.

Taking the time to plan ahead and maintain an organized system can do wonders for your businesses long term growth.

Find more tips for shop owners here.

April 15, 2017

What Should I Track to Help Make My Jewelry Making Business Successful - 7 Ways

A successful jewelry making business starts with knowing your customer. Your ideal customer may love jewelry, has some discretionary funds for spending, and has specific likes or dislikes. Knowing the market from all perspectives is one of the best ways to achieve sales goals.

We have three women here, each with different styles and jewelry preferences.

This doesn't mean you need to design jewelry that doesn't appeal to you. It simply means you need to find a compromise between what you want to make and what potential customers are looking for.

Identifying Your Target Market
The internet and social media make it easier to conduct marketing research. Plan on spending some time here.

#1 Your ultimate customer is the one you need to keep in mind. Have some flexibility, as the ideal customer may not be what you imagine. This may come to light after conducting intensive market research and actually selling your jewelry.

#2 Identify the retailers your ideal customer tends to buy from. Get to know this group's likes and dislikes, demographics, cultural trends, and demographics. Record the findings of these various influences on buyer behavior, it's important to revisit this information so you can remain fluid instead of stagnant in this ever changing industry.

#3 If the number of stores the potential customers will shop at is limited, try to search for similar stores. When you have identified more options, record those as well. You don't want to limit your research to what's on the surface.

#4 Browse through social media for profiles of the retailers, clubs, and publications associated with the customers you want to target. Find out more about who is following the retailers, clubs, and media. Gathering information in this step is critical, so it pays to spend some time on this task. By learning more about the lives of potential customers, you will be able to target them in a way that is meaningful and engaging.

#5 Make note of trends, such as which colors are trending, which are less popular, how the target audience may react to specific products from their favorite retailers, and what they are likely to share with friends. Develop a clear picture of their likes and dislikes, as well as fashion sense, spending habits, and lifestyles.

#6 Revisit the previous steps regularly until you believe you have enough to know your potential customers very well. Then you will want to schedule time to revisit again quarterly to make sure you stay on track. It's important to know exactly what types of products will appeal to this target group. By following these steps in conducting your own market research, you will be better equipped to make decisions about the business, based on how real customers will react.

#7 Get busy making products you know members of the target group or groups will want. This can help improve sales giving you a strong start or reboost your current state.

Find more tips for jewelry business owners here.

April 4, 2017

Featured Maker: Touch of Whimsy

Amber caught our eye with her whimsical nature inspired jewelry pieces. We are LOVING her etched metal mountain necklace with pine trees below. She definitely has a "Touch of Whimsy" Let's meet Amber.

Amber Rankin, Touch of Whimsy
I started my career in beaded jewelry making over 15 year ago, and have had a constant passion for broadening my jewelry making skills. This desire to learn new techniques eventually led me to Beaducation.com where I learned metal stamping and metalwork, which is where I feel like I've really found my niche.

It really all started one day because I had something in mind for a particular outfit, but wasn't able to find anything that matched. So I made my first necklace to match my blue and white outfit, and enjoyed it so much that I had to make a few more. My husband took one look at my creations and told me I should try selling them, which of course I did, and it just took off from there.

Fast forward about 11 years, when I had a friend who asked if I could make a bracelet with her kids names on it. She didn't want the alphabet cube kind of letters, but wanted something different. I remembered that I had purchased a set of metal alphabet stamps, and told her I could make her one using my set of stamps. I watched some Beaducation videos to teach myself how to use the stamps properly and made the bracelet. She loved it and blogged about it and the rest is history, as they say.

The creative process is a necessity for me, and I most enjoy coming up with new and one-of-a-kind pieces to add to my collection. My jewelry is inspired by the beautiful Pacific Northwest nature surrounding me, and has a whimsical flair to it. he beautiful scenery inspires much of my work. I love bringing joy to people's lives with my little pieces of wearable art. My favorite kind of jewelry to make is any kind of nature themed metalwork.

Two of my favorite pieces are my mountain necklaces. One was made using etching and metal stamping, and the other was made using a jeweler's saw and soldering.

Some of my favorite metal design stamps are the pine trees, birds, branches and leaves. I use these frequently in my designs. My favorite font set is Beaducation's "Kismet" set in 2mm size. I find it to be the most popular and versatile since they are small enough to allow me to stamp longer phrases in a smaller area, or short words in tiny spaces. Plus, it's just a really cute font.

There are many things I love about metal stamping including being able to personalize pieces for my customers, to make them that much more special to the recipient. I love that I don't have to be good at drawing to be good at metal stamping, since the design stamps do the "drawing" for me. Also, it's just fun stamping out my frustrations on the metal. Metal stamping has basically become a necessity for me, and it is a very fun creative outlet.

Amber Rankin
Touch of Whimsy jewelry
Instagram: @amberswhimsy
Etsy shop: www.AmbersWhimsy.etsy.com

Meet more of our Featured Makers here. If you would like to be considered for a feature, please email Angela@Beaducation.com.

April 3, 2017

Week 4! Final Winner Announced!!

Please join us in congratulating our 4th and Final Winner...

Congratulations to Janine Newby!! 

Please reach out to Fun@Beaducation.com to collect your prize! 

Thank you to everyone who participated in our I'm So Crafty March Giveaway!! Stay connected with us via our newsletterInstagram and Facebook for our next contest, game or giveaway!

March 27, 2017

4th and FINAL 2017 Craft Month Giveaway + Week 3 Winner Announced!!

This is the very last week of our 4 week giveaway!! If you haven't won yet, here is your last chance! Before we get started with Week 4, let us congratulate Week 3's Winner....

Congratulations to Carol Bussman!!

Please reach out to Fun@Beaducation.com to collect your prize! You've won a collection of tools and supplies to create your own Say It On Your Wrist project for our FREE Class!

Week 4's Giveaway!!!!

Our fourth and final giveaway starts TODAY and ends on Friday, March 31st. The value of this weeks giveaway is over $65 plus the 2 necklaces
!! On Monday, April 3rd we will announce our final winner!

This giveaway is worth over $65!

There are three different ways you can win - each one gives you one entry.

  1. Leave a comment on this blog post letting us know either what your favorite Beaducation Original stamp is OR what was the first piece of jewelry you made? 
  2. Leave a comment Week 4's Facebook Giveaway post

  • Share Week 4's Giveaway Facebook post on Facebook.
  • Follow us on Instagram and repost our giveaway - you must tag us (#Beaducation) so we can enter your name!

  • Good luck to everyone!! Go!!

    Please note: Your comment may not show up right away as comments are moderated - if you don't see it right away, please feel free to check back in 24hrs.

    March 20, 2017

    2017 Craft Month Giveaway Week 3 of 4!! Week 2 Winner Announced!!

    Week 3 is here!! You still have two chances to win one of our remaining two giveaways! Before we tell you a bit more, let us congratulate Week 2's Winner....

    Congratulations to Renee Feldstein Goldfarb!!

    Please reach out to Fun@Beaducation.com to collect your prize! You've won a bonanza of blanks valued at over $50!! Get ready to stamp your heart out!

    Week 3!!

    Our third giveaway starts TODAY and ends on Sunday, March 26th. The value of this weeks giveaway is woth $100!! On March 27th we will announce one lucky winner AND our next giveaway! 

    This giveaway is worth $100!

    There are three different ways you can win - each one gives you one entry.
    1. Leave a comment on this blog post letting us know either what your favorite Beaducation Original stamp is OR what was the first piece of jewelry you made? 
    2. Leave a comment on the giveaway post on our Facebook page. 
    3. Share our giveaway Facebook post on Facebook.
    4. Follow us on Instagram and repost our giveaway - you must tag us (#Beaducation) so we can enter your name!

    Good luck to everyone!! Go!!

    Stay connected with us via our newsletterInstagram and Facebook for our next contest, game or giveaway!

    Please note: Your comment may not show up right away as comments are moderated - if you don't see it right away, please feel free to check back in 24 hrs.