Thursday, January 21, 2010

Winter Moon Necklace and matching earrings-Challenge

Many of my inspirations come from nature, but every once in a's all about the colour! I received a beautiful array of different shades of blue swarovski component's from this past month and instantly knew what I was gonna do with them!

This beautiful waterfall WinterMoon necklace and earring set is stunning for any special occasion!. I love how the necklace cascades down looking like a flat spiral. The earrings are also a perfect pairing with the necklace, simple yet elegant.

When I received these swarovski crystals I knew I could only pair them with the best sterling silver. This lead me on a search in which I found the beautiful Etsy shop Nottoto. Anne is the owner of the shop and is so knowledgeable. I contacted her with the inquiry explaining what I was doing and asking simply what gauge I should purchase! She has been so knowledgeable and forthcoming with information since then I recommend her to everyone now! I appreciate a supplier that does know what they are talking about and is more then will to share the information. So without further adoo. Here is the Wintermoon Set.

As a reviewer of products at, I received the silver beads, czech facets, and silver frame free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of these products positive or negative. I am not being compensated by artbeads for my endorsement as it pertains to the products being received and reviewed.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Q&A with Alexandra of Poni's Parlour and Paper Theatre

Right now I am a new brand trying to get the word out about my jewelry to the public! Which isn't always easy. We have Walmart and Zellers mass producing cheap (cost and quality wise) jewelry that is "trendy". I'm sorry but that's something I HATE... If I'm going to wear something I want it to be unique me. So how do you get your OOAK (One of a Kind) jewelry/artistry out into the stores? Well you surely don't start with Walmart, that's for sure, start local. Local boutiques are all the rage right now and fledgling designers are what makes there shops POP. So my thing right now is checking out how to "wholesale". Wholesaleing can be a great way to get a big payoff and a guaranteed sale. After poking around Etsy ( my favourite place to shop and sell), I found Alexandra of Poni's Parlour in New Hampshire and Paper Theatre here on Etsy.

Alexandra has had 4 retail stores, 5 product lines which were featured in Country Living twice, Cat Fancy, The New York Post and 30 other national magazines.

So without further adoo its Q&A time!

Should you already have a following online before going to stores to prove that ur pieces will sell?

No, you do not need any type of following online to start selling. Most manufacturers come out with a product and start selling day one to stores. I say manufacturer as I am talking about the retail world outside of etsy and selling to stores in that world which is what you want to do. A great deal of people have not heard of etsy and etsy does not set the retail standard so most retailers will not even ask how much you sell online as it is a completely different market and venue.

What is the most common way that stores set up an agreement? I have heard some like commission and some do wholesale buyout.

Both wholesale (buyout has a different meaning in retail, it is not the same as wholesale) and consignment (commission) are common, though the terms of each can vary in consignment. However in wholesale the industry standard is 50% of your retail price makes your wholesale price with an opening order minimum of anywhere from $150-$200. That is the most common. Stores set many different consignment arrangements, but the average would be 40%-store, 60% to the artist.

Does OOAK (One of a Kind) tend to sell (that you have heard of in your personal opinion) better then mass produce?

I think the average store carries much more manufactured goods than handmade or OOAK so manufactured items do sell better or the NY Gift Show would have 90% Handmade instead of 90% manufactured. Easy to gage what is selling by that show as it is the main industry gift show for retailers to buy from. As I am writing this to you I am using industry terms not etsy terms so that when you talk to retailers you will sound all the more informed. Manufactured instead of Mass produced for instance (hope you don't mind).

What would be one thing that you would recommend a designer do to prepare before even making the phone call!?

Before making the call to a retailer, know their shop to make sure your products are right for it, prices included. If they sell handmade goods and their price points are $20-$40 and you want to sell them a necklace that will retail for $150, chances are they will not buy your line. If you want to really get in good with a retailer buy something from them. Retailers hate the tons of people who live locally but only come into a store to sell them something instead of buying. Know ahead of time if you will or will not sell wholesale or consign, and know your prices, arrangement, etc. A retailer may want to buy from you or she may just want to consign. Either way she may ask you your policies so you need to know them. Don't call first thing in the am or after 3 to talk to a retailer. Those are the worst times to call. NEVER go into the store to try and get an appt. Always call first to set up an appt. Do not sell to other retailers in the same town and wait on the first retailer you get an appt to see if they want to carry your line before making appts with other stores. Let them know you want to get into a store in your town so if they are not interested to please let you know so you can try elsewhere. Being respectful goes along way too. If they decide not to carry your line then go to other stores.Retailers are very competitive about their lines. One way to burn a bridge is to try to get your products into more than one store in one town. Also you over-saturate your market.When you call be friendly but short and to the point as they may have customers waiting or that they are watching, and if not, you only have a few minutes in any conversation when selling to get them interested.

What suggestions do you have for me as someone wanting to sell to my local retailers?

Before making the phone call practice calling a friend on the phone and act it out. Do it over and over again until you feel confident. Give your friend a list of questions to ask you back. Have all your info in order in your head and on paper to show a retailer.

The last question I have gone over pretty well already. But I would add that you don't have to be perfect to sell your product to a retailer. If you are nervous going in just tell them you are nervous and that it is your first time. Being humble and kind goes along way. Wear something that is nice that fits with who you are but also professional.Keep in mind that while you are in your appt the owner will still be watching customers and may leave you to help them. This is how we make our money and we cannot loose sales for appts so don't take it personally. Send a thank you note after the appt to thank the retailer for her time. Hopefully she will order with you right there but don't be upset if they do not. I never order with my reps sitting there. I need time to decide, and add up costs, figure out shelf space, etc.

If a retailer does not buy your product there are tons of reasons why and please don't take it to mean your product is not good enough as many artists tend to think that way.

[I will be adding more to this as I learn more. As well I will also update always on my experience as I start this journey!]

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What Inspires Me to Create?

It's a cliche but nature inspires me to create! The first of this month when we got huge snow squalls I was inspired and designed my Ice Princes crystal cuff.

 I love to keep my hands busy no matter what I am always going always working. Nothing can stop me nor has it ever.

 I have learned over the last few months of 2009 how easy it is to not know what your doing and get frustrated very easily. So now I stick my nose into everything and anything having to do with possibly making my business grow! I am a bead blogger for, I am doing a lot of research into selling in stores in my city ( Which there will be info coming on that soon too!). I want to start working with different mediums such as looming, silver clay etc.

 I am not sure what this new year has to offer me but I'm sure excited to find out! I look forward to in the next week put up a list of my goals for the year and then go month by month with them!

All I want to do is create, I love learning the business aspect as well though! Not only has it helped me come out of my shell both anxiety wise (I have huge anxiety and sometimes have problems leaving my house because of it!). I wear my jewelery, I carry business cards with me (which I'm all out of right now LOL). I love learning new tips on bettering my business. For instance I'm doing my own photography now and it is getting great results!.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...