Getting a Rep for jewelry

I’m in a situation where my ability to travel to do shows or market
myself personally is limited by being on my own with two kids. I was
talking to a textile artist friend who has recently hooked up with
her old sales rep. I’m thinking this might be a way for me to go
with my jewelry, but I’m not sure how to find a good, reputable rep
who takes a reasonable fee. I’ve had umpteen emails from supposed
companies that ‘want to sell my stuff in their
stores/websites/through tv shop sales etc’, but they’ve all turned
out to be questionable or scams. Also, my jewelry is not quite
mainstream…it’s more niche (filigree), so I’m leaning a bit toward
the bridal industry as one of my main markets.

Any suggestions or even recommendations would be appreciated.


I’ve never been or used a rep but I have known a number over the
years. One thing for your consideration is how much $ the rep expects
to make with your line? That will determine how it gets shown. If
he/she has a big main line yours may not get shown til the
presentation is almost over, after the buyer is ‘bought out’. I know
this because this is the way side lines were always presented to me.
It was rare that after an hour or three looking at the main line I
would even consider the side lines. It was just too exhausting.

I’d give some thought to making the line delivery, meaning the items
sold are to be delivered right there and then, no order taking. If a
buyer likes a piece, strike while the iron is hot. Payment terms may
be different, retailers like to pay later. That’s good for you too
because it helps close the deal, but you’d need to make a bunch up on

There is nothing wrong with getting a rep if you are set up to
produce the quantity of work they might sell. Reps make a living by
selling large quantities to as many stores as possible, so if they go
out and sell 50 pieces a week can you deliver the product. There are
many legit galleries and bridal shops, with a little legwork on your
end you should be able to find the places that would sell your work.

Bill Wismar

Hi Gerry,

I consider the split lap an indispensable tool in jewelry making.
Although I have not used the smaller version you are considering, I
use one on nearly everything I make in one way or another. Any flat
surface can be polished quickly with one of these. If you polish the
side of a ring for instance, you will have a beautifully crisp, flat
and uniform side. It will make the ring shank appear visually heavier
(a good thing). After some practice you can polish curved surfaces
with it as well, the benefit being that you can do it faster and run
up to an edge without rounding anything off. An example would be a
flat band (like a section of pipe) that has bevels on the outer
edges. You can polish the surface of the ring (the outside top of the
pipe section) with the lap by holding the band against the lap while
being careful to keep the surface of the lap parallel to the surface
of the ring…all while moving the ring continuously so not to create
any flat spots. You can work right up the the edge where the bevel
drops off and know right where you are because the polishing compound
(we use grey 800 from Gesswein) allows you to see exactly where you
are working because you have a clean shiny spot surrounded by
compound deposits. You can then lap the bevel in much the same way,
the results after high polishing are super crisp edges. Anything that
I can use that on I do, it’s great for prepolishing all sorts of
parts before assembling. So this is a wholehearted endorsement of the
lap as a tool any jeweler should have. I would get the larger Handler
style with a 6 inch rock hard split lap. A little tip is to blacken
the top of the wheel so you can better see the piece you are working
on through the slots as it spins.

This is the style of split lap I’m referring to.


Jeanne finding a the right rep takes time and patience but usually
pays off very well when you make the connection. After more years
than I care to admit I have come to the conclusion that quality sales
reps have 5 common characteristics. Confidence, persistence,
enthusiasm, communication skills and loyalty.

Good luck in your search.

S Guyot