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Putting your jewelry on the internet

To Sammy and the Orchid group: I get alot of inquiries from
Orchid and website visitors like this one:

We think you have a fabulous web site!!! I am interested in
how you put together your web site…and would be interested in
any advice you might be able to share. We opened a jewelry repair
and design shop about 1 1/2 years ago and would like to start a
web page of our own. Since looking into it i have learned that i
have alot more to learn! (hehe) I have been surfing around for a
while and i think you have a fantastic site!!! Very beautiful
pieces…excelent workmanship. If you have the time, we would
love to hear from you. Thank you and peace always. Sammy and
Peggy Idrogo


Anyway, I promised to write a little bit about the subject to a
few of you so here goes. First of all, I am a professional
graphic designer of 25 years (I guess you could call that
self-abuse!) I was a designer before computers hit the scene and
had computers before they hit the desktop revolution. My wife and
I as part of our business are website developers, so this
explains how I have a fairly nice, simple and uncluttered fast
loading jewelry site. My site was designed before fast modems
became affordable so Ihad to keep it slim.

My advice to you all is that if you have jewelry that is
different than whats in most stores or are a serious jewelry
artist then you really need to be on the web. UNIQUE work is what
sells on the internet. I target to “New Age” buyers who are
interested as I am in energy effects of gemstones etc. (hey quit
laughing…) Cheap probably also sells but I don’t think any of
us are into selling crap.

Putting up a website CAN be done yourself, but there are many
pitfalls. First of all you have to be literate in Adobe Photoshop
or some professional image editing program thats equivalent.
Images on the web are either GIF or JPEG images at 72 dpi. If you
don’t know what I’m talking about then you’re lost. If you do,
then you can buy software for building web pages and probably
come up with something that works. As professionals, we went
through a steep learning curve to figure out how to make fast
loading images using tricks after hours of finding out how to
get file sizes down small as possible. There are many things to
avoid in web pages, such as having too many pictures on one page.
This slows viewing down and your viewers lose interest. If you
get far enough into it and build your own site then you’ll have
to learn how to ftp it to your provider and how to update it on
their server from your computer at home or work. Its different
for both Macs and PCs and we’re Mac heads because print work for
magazines etc. is overwhelmingly done on Macs, so thats what we

Anyway, if that all sounds too daunting a task , and believe me
its real WORK, your best bet is to find someone who knows how to
do it and can help you out. Or most service providers know or can
provide website design for you at a price. There’s always college
students who work cheap and know this stuff too.

Primary to any jewelry website is you had better have damn good
photography so people can SEE what they are buying. I think this
is even more important than good graphics myself. I do my own
photography which is adequate enough I guess, but nothing says it
better than a real professional shot.

If you’re a high priced jewelry artist doing astounding
creations and making decent money, my advice is to hire a graphic
designer with a track record in the design industry and who is
heavily involved in web design. This can be pretty expensive.
Ourselves, we won’t touch a website design for under $3000
minimum because the work is very intensive and strategy for
making fast sites that are logically put together to get people
in and out quickly and efficiently takes alot of brain drain. Not
to mention handling credit cards orders and other security
issues. Personally, I don’t enjoy working on my own site even
when I have new stuff to put online. It involves doing the
photography, scanning and converting the images, reorganizing the
web pages and uploading the whole mess. Five new pieces takes
hours for me to update the site with.

If this all sounds like too much to deal with take a deep breath
and realize its the absolute most cheap form of advertising there
is in the world today and your work reaches the whole world. My
pieces sell almost instantly when I put them up and I wish I had
more time to devote to jewelry, but I’m too damn slow at it and
just do it to support the habit. My website is responsible for an
upcoming article on my work in Lapidary Journal as one of their
writers found me while doing research on certain minerals. You
sure can’t beat that for cheap advertising.

There is alot of on the internet itself as how to
make web pages and thats how we learned before the tons of books
out now on the subject came out.

I’d be happy to answer anymore questions on the subject as time
permits and I sure owe the Orchid group alot for the great
thats improved my skills immensely, thanks to all and
to Dr. Aspler…Dave

Art Jewelry for Conscious People