12/6/08

Holiday Sale Preparations

Whether you are preparing your etsy shop for optimum sales or selling at a holiday fair or art show, it's always nice to have a good presentation, one that shows off your jewelry. I had an idea for earring stands that made a big splash on my table at a recent show and I wanted to share it with you.
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I used some 14 gauge colored aluminum wire. It's soft enough to bend into shape with your hands and gets harder as you work it into shape. I used pliers for the first few bends but then I just wrapped with my hands.

You can do this in many shapes, sizes, widths and heights only limited by your imagination. First I cut a piece about 18 to 22 inches long and fold it in half. That folded point is what is going to fit into the base. Then I start with the pliers, tightening the point of the fold and then working from each end to make a spiral. After the first two turns you can just use your hands to bend the rest. If you leave small gaps of 1/8th of an inch between the rings of the spirals you can then hang your earrings at any height.
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After this "v" with the spirals is formed, get another piece of wire about 20 inches long from the same or a complementary color. Start winding the new piece tightly around the point of the"v" from about an inch above the bottom and heading downward about 5-10 times. At this point start making your circles wider and wider until you have a base that is kind of cone shaped.
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Then place this on a table top and adjust your wire so it stays standing and is flat and balanced. Remember that it's best if the base is almost as wide as the top.
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Another thing that's important to think about before sale time is getting the word out and there are a few ways to do that.

Postcards or bookmarks from a reputable place like Overnight Prints. I use them exclusively and I love what I have gotten from them.

I just got these postcards for my holiday promotion:
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I take my own photo and alter it the way I want. I add details and choose my type in my photo program on my computer. I use Photoshop Elements. I design the front and the back. On the back I use a smaller photo and put in all the ways my customers can get in touch with me. This is a good place to list show dates and locations. You get to choose what gets on there.
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Overnight Prints lets you upload the images and then decide whether you want glossy on both sides or just on the front. I just get the front glossy and I like to leave a place on the back for an address or notes. That way I can mail them to my customers without an envelope. Who knows who else will see it on it's way to it's destination?

My final decision is whether I want rounded corners - and I do! It just makes those postcards look so special and polished.

I haven't gotten the bookmarks yet, but I am thinking about it.

Then there are MOO cards. If you have a flickr account you can just use the photos from there, but if you don't, you can also get cards printed from your Etsy photos.

They are small and cute and add a very nice touch to your packaging.

emails:

Design your email to look like a work of art and promote your sale that way. Use special fonts and photos of the pieces you'll be having at your sale. This costs nothing but some time to design and then email to all the people on your list.

And finally, everyone feels the pressure of wanting to produce enough for the demand of their jewelry during the holiday sales rush. I have found that getting a few choice pieces cast in sterling silver a couple of months before Christmas has given me a lot more time to work on other things and even have a few hours a day to relax and catch up on my day to day chores or even add in something "FUN" like going to the movies or reading a little.

I live in California and I found a place called Snell Casting in Grass Valley, California.

Here's what I did:

I got together 10 small birds I sculpted in metal clay. I had made so many of these, they take time and I wanted to be done with that. I made 20 and picked the best 10 and sent them off.
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I also sent off a really cute monkey I made a couple of years ago that I was reluctant to let go of and had many people offer to get one if I ever made any more.

Check out the pics!
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Now I have lots of monkeys!
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First, call them up and talk to Robert Snell. He'll give you a run down on how they do their work. They do large runs and small runs. Because I am a smaller business person he advised me to take it slow and build the number of pieces I cast gradually. At first I had him make 6 pieces each of 3 items. If you order 12 or more they will also do some finish work on them for an additional charge. Finish work is tumbling, soldering something on and giving the pieces a patina. They do a short tumbling on each piece as a courtesy so your silver comes back looking like silver and when I get it back I tumble for about 2-4 hours depending on the finish I want. The way they charge you is first you have to get a mold made by the mold maker and that has a cost. You pay him separately. Then you pay a fee for each piece made AND you pay for the silver he uses by the market value on the day of casting. Each project is individual so it is best to call and discuss what you will be sending him. Then when he gets your pieces from you he'll call you back to discuss if the job can be done. He is a good communicator and won't send anything out unless he is satisfied it has met your specifications. It has made my life easier.

Monkey Time
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7 comments:

kalé primitifs said...

these are wonderful tips Catherine!! i am using that darling monkey in my next treasury : )

Vickie Hallmark said...

What a fount of helpful info you are!!! I've always wondered about casting, and I've thought about playing with the earring stands as well. If only I had time today to play with those ideas. Soon, though!

Anonymous said...

I love those monkeys!!! Wonderful post, Catherine!

Joni
Soul Harbor Jewelry

Anonymous said...

What great information. And the monkey is just too charming. Wonderful!

Jennifer Smith-Righter
Wearable By Design

beadinbythesea said...

Thanks so much for the earring stand display idea. And I love the monkey, is the first one made from PMC?

Heather said...

This is a great post! I have a few pieces that are hard to make and have had one cast. I need to do more and find a better castor! Not happy with the local one I have here.
I love the birds but that monkey is just too cute!

Beadin By The Sea said...

I finally got some wire and made some displays with your instructions. I put them on my blog and linked the instructions to yours, thanks so much!!

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