[Biz talk] Ain't no biz

I may have missed some mails but I have not seen any postings from
persons who are selling through their personal site or other sites on
the internet. How are things on the net?


Hi Lois,

I may have missed some mails but I have not seen any postings from
persons who are selling through their personal site or other sites
on the internet. How are things on the net? 

Very very slow - I had some left overs of work to do that I couldn’t
finish before Christmas, but otherwise nothing - not even any
inquiries. Then all of a sudden within the last few days I’ve had
several inquiries and some nice sales. Hopefully biz is picking up.


Metalwerx may not be selling jewelry on the net, but I do sell
classes. Without the internet, Metalwerx would not be in business.
Period. When people search for a jewelry class, they don’t go to the
Yellow Pages, they search on the internet.

Last weekend, Metalwerx exhibited at CraftBoston. This is a very
high end art jewelry, fine furniture, ceramics, glass, fibers, etc.
show. It is an internationally juried show. I was very lucky to see
Beth Rosengard attending and we shared a nice Thai dinner afterwards.

Our booth was slammed with people all wanting to know about the
jewelry in our cases and the larger holloware and sculpture on the
shelving. Because we are non-profit and underwritten by the Society
of Arts and Crafts we were not able to sell any of the work. But we
could sell classes, as that did not compete with other artists.
Nearly 600 people came into our booth all excited that we taught
classes in our their own back yard.

What was interesting was the body language of artists in selling.

Here is what I observed.

If you sit outside your booth and talk on the cell phone with a
newspaper in your lap, you definitely won’t sell a thing. Get off the
chair and engage your customers.

Work at eye level is easier to see than work where you have to
uncomfortably bend down. Crossing your arms over your chest makes you
look hostile. Smile!

Artisans that sold their work on the internet had a picture of their
home page enlarged and cards to take away. Questions I heard
constantly was, “do you have a website”? These days, people want to
experience the “gallery” setting from their chairs. I looked at one
woman selling her work and went to her website. It looked just like
her booth. Smart.


A SNAG Board member was selling their hollowware. Most of the time
he was talking to friends of mine who also sells hollowware. He was
complaining that nobody even looked at his work. I walked over to his
booth and four bright halogen lights were shining directly in peoples
faces, not on the work. I suggested twisting them down and sure
enough, people came by to look. If you leave your booth and talk to
others, how can you make a sale?

One woman sold hats. I had formally purchased a hat from her at
another show. This woman was a dynamo! She wore a different hat every
two hours, she was uncanny in summing up immediately the colors that
a woman wore and placed the perfect had on their head. She didn’t ask
her how she liked it, but rather her friends. She knew that it was
more likely that her friends would talk the woman into the sale than

While many frumped and grumped from sluggish sales, I’m pretty sure
that Denise made about $25k for the three days. Could have been more.

If you are not a people person, hire somebody that is. If you like
to be behind the scenes, make a great website that visitors can come

Face it. Buying jewelry or craft for the 40 plus age group is weird.
We aren’t used to it. The next generation will be very used to
computers and purchasing on the internet.


Karen Christians
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio

Susannah & Silani,

I remember seeing cast body parts a couple years ago in a magazine.
It might actually have been metalsmith. Anyway, they had belly
buttons, ear lobes, and parts of the lower anatomy of females made
into jewelry.

Now I might not always like what others make, just as others wont
always like what I make, but I respect them as artist even if I don’t
agree with the message.

As for the Hip Hop Bling crowd, It is at least making a booming
business for some jewelers, and especially setters who are proficient
in Pave’. I know one who use to make 14 and 18k gold name plates for
large chain necklaces, pave’ it with diamonds and turn a 5 grand or
more profit. Now no matter what you think of it, that’s not a bad
deal. Especially when some of the buyers need money a few months
later and they sell it back to him, most of the time he would pay
them less than 1000 for the same piece he sold for 10,000 or more.
Its hard to sell a name plate with someone’s custom street name in
it. He just pulled the diamonds, have the gold reprocessed, and make
another one for someone else.

Almost all jewelers sell religious pieces, and not all jewelers are
religious. Some may sell modern design or ancient design. Some may
sell straight out of Stullers catalog. Doesn’t mean they love it or
even like it. Many stores sell what the customer is buying.

I actually find many design concepts I like in most all types and
styles of jewelry. Its just my opinion that it all has someone who
loves it, and if I feel I want to make it for whatever reason, then
cool. If I don’t, then that’s cool too. And whether some like it or
not, the Bling crowd today is also your customer of tomorrow. I just
say, enjoy it, its not bad at all really. Just different.

I may have missed some mails but I have not seen any postings from
persons who are selling through their personal site or other sites
on the internet. How are things on the net? 

Oh totally dead for me. I really just have the site so when doing
other things I can look more ‘real’ and be more readily accepted as
an established business, it seems to work for that. shrugs

Norah Kerr