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Jewelry Stores and Galleries

I love Orchid, I have been reading it for a while, but recently had
to delete a bunch of messages because “life” got in the way… I
have a couple of questions and HOPE they haven’t been asked
before…(my apologies if this is so) First I am a mom and am NOT able
to travel to do shows, even close ones,( I have no place to leave my
son) and I was wondering HOW someone gets into shops/stores and
Galleries without doing the BIG wholesale shows? I really hope I
can get some help or I MAY have to consider different work.

Second… I have tried to organize a local jewelry/art group, and
everyone has expressed an intrest in my “teaching”… I would LOVE to
do this, but I haven’t the income to buy all the “EXTRA” equiptment to
enable me to teach a small group of say…4 people… does anyone
know where I could get some extra tools?

Please contact me off line at

Thanks so much for listening to my economical woes… Mary

. I would LOVE to do this, but I haven't the income to buy all the
"EXTRA" equiptment to enable me to teach a small group of say...4
people.... does anyone know where I could get some extra tools? 

I am not sure how you plan to teach but in every class I have
attended the student was expected to get and bring their own tools.
The student can’t ‘do homework’ with out them and will certainly need
them to continue. When I teach in my studio, students of course use
larger items of mine (polisher, casting equipment, torches, etc.) but
are expected to purchase their own hand tools. I teach ‘what tools to
buy’ as one of the first lessons. How do others work with this?


Dear Mary,

Harbor Freight carries decent cheap tools. You have to check them
because sometimes quality control can be hit and miss. You may get
lucky at the swap meet. When I started I had to buy my own tools. May
I suggest that they purchase a simple set and add to it later?
Perhaps a jeweler’s saw, files, a set of clippers, sandpaper with
dowels to wrap, and a ball peen hammer. Mandrels can be made out of
wood. Make sure they wear goggles too. I don’t think these basic
supplies would cost more than thirty dollars and many projects could
be made using them. I bought mine at Sears because they replace hand
tools when they wear out but discount tools would do. Harbor Freight
makes the same promise too.

Best of luck,

Hi Mary, I know how difficult it is sometimes to be a mom and work at
the same time. If you cannot do shows there are many trustworthy
jewelery stores and galleries that will take your work on
consignment. There is also the option of giving your jewelry to a
trustworthy sales rep.althouth their commission is generally 15 to
20%. You might also consider finding someone (a trusted friend) who
just wants to rep your line alone and give them a commission. Pictures
of your items is also a good idea by using a scanner, camera, or
digital camera. Theses pictures can be sent to stores with item
numbers and prices on them. It is a good idea to call the store
owner and ask if they would be interested in your american handmade
jewelry items and if they would be interested in seeing pictures.
After sending the pictures follow up with a phone call and ask what
they thought of the jewelery, and try to develop a relationship over
the telephone. The scanner is quite easy to use and fast for
something like a catalogue. I wish you the best of luck

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