I was wondering if any of you know how to sell your designs and not
have to make and sell the jewelry.
That seems to be a huge question with no simple answer, due to all
the variables. It depends on what jewellery you are making, and what
kind of market you are trying to sell it to. If you’re not able to
make it, then you’ve not yet found the right market for what you are
making (which is what you basically said in your post), or you need
to change what you are making (perhaps only slightly), to fit in with
what people want to buy. I initially wanted to just make what I
wanted to make, and try to find a market for it, but I’m having much
more success making what people ask me to make - but you can still
put your twist on it because you’re the designer.
Personally, I’ve just recently gone from wanting to sell my
jewellery, and wondering how to go about it, to having commissions
coming out of my ears! My husband and I are members of a photography
forum and we went away to a convention recently. I made the
organisers of the event a pair of DSLR camera cufflinks each for the
men and a contemporary circle pendant set with one stone for the lady
involved. These were presented to them by my husband at the final
meeting of the convention, and they were passed around the room for
people to see, by their new owners. Since then, I have had about
eight orders (with more promised) for the cufflinks from other forum
members, and a commission to make one chap’s wife a Christmas
present. A new friend I made at the weekend has asked me to make her
a thumb ring, and her husband is secretly commissioning me to make
her a necklace for her birthday, as she loves one particular necklace
she’s seen on my website. One chap who wants cufflinks has paid in
full for a pair set with emeralds - he LOVES green! - and has also
asked me to come up with something for his wife for Christmas - money
no object apparently. There are others on the forum who are “private
messaging” me about making them something too.
Also, my husband recently took some of my pieces into his work to
try to sell them for me. From that, I have had eight commissions and
am continuing to get more. Each time he delivers a piece to a
customer, other people see it and admire it and I get more orders. I
know you say you’re a single mom, but you may know someone who works
for a company with lots of people, who may be willing to give you a
bit of a hand with marketing in the initial stages. An early
commission went a bit pear shaped, partly due to my husband making
decisions on my behalf, but now I get their email addresses and/or
phone numbers, and deal with them directly apart from them showing
initial interest, paying 50% deposit (if it’s cash, in which case
Darren collects it for me), and him delivering the final item to them
and collecting the remainder of the money (again if in cash).
I also have one good friend and two nieces who have all asked me to
make their wedding rings - that’s seven rings in all, as one of my
nieces wants two wedding rings, one stone set and the other plain
for working - she’s a nurse.
So in my case, for not much work at all in the way of marketing,
I’ve got plenty of work to keep me busy for a while, and it seems to
be self perpetuating. Perhaps something similar could work for you?
Sorry to ramble, but they’re just examples of how things can
snowball from not much effort, if people really like what you’re
making. Otherwise, have you thought of approaching some independent
jewellers/ galleries who may wish to take your work and sell it on
your behalf? Put together a nice range of related, but different
pieces, visit a few outlets you really like, which you think might
fit your jewellery.
Or have I completely misunderstood what you were asking? You’ve been
at it for a lot longer than I have, so forgive the above ramblings
if I’ve missed the point entirely. Are you wanting to find a
manufacture to manufacture your designs?