April 3, 2012
April 2, 2012
I've been beating myself over the head lately for not accomplishing all my goals by the end of the four months. I didn't loose weight (meh), I didn't finish my brochure or packaging, I didn't learn my CAD program well enough to use it exclusively for my designs and more, but I don't want to bore you too much. But I have to stop that now, because I've already done more than half of what I set out to accomplish.
Yesterday, I sold another set of brooches on my Artfire shop. In the beginning of the four months, I sat down and examined my product line. I thought to myself, what would the average buyer want. I thought I had a unique product, and I did. My asymmetrical three flower necklaces, while beautiful, are not for everyone. I thought that I should add single flower necklaces, bracelets, hairbands and brooches.
Not sure that I could make a decent profit on the new offerings, I made spreadsheets of cost of materials and time involved to make. It turned out that the cost of materials for the headbands and brooches, made them very profitable, and the labor was really not that bad. It's actually the cost of chain and findings that is the highest, even though assembly is pretty quick.
I also noticed with my Apron shop, that your sales increase on Artfire, after you reach a certain number of sales. It's actually about 80, but recently my sales have doubled there, and I've done some off line selling. My goal is to wholesale, but adding a website and offering more product has done wonders. I've also done a little off site advertising (free) and will continue to find more venues and blogs to make offers to.
What I'm suggesting is, that if you are not doing as well as you expect, take a good hard look at your product. Sit down, have a glass of wine, take a bath, visualize your product and what you could offer. Look at what other sellers are doing. I see so many beautiful elegant earrings on Etsy that have the wrong earwires on them. It just takes a little effort to finds a simple clean elegant earwire to raise your beautiful earrings up a notch or two. You can even make your own, fairly easily, or buy from another crafter.
I was shocked at how my efforts have paid off. I've been on Artfire for almost 2 years and was about to give up and close the shop. Last month I sold twice as much jewelry as I sold Aprons/bowties on my other shop. It's a little bit of work and planning, but after all, we're not just crafters and artists, we're entrepreneurs.