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Selling


#1

This is for those people who sell their own jewelry. Do you truly make a
living wage for yourself this way ?
I fabricate my own jewelry and sell at local shows. I’ve been doing this
for about three years, but don’t consider myself an expert. To date, I’d
be in serious trouble if this were my sole source of income. Some facts
about my locale:

  1. These people have disposable income.
  2. IMHO the area is oversaturated with retailers and maybe shows.
  3. My lower priced items sell best, but you need to make a lot of small
    sales to make ends meet. (say $5.00 to $20.00 range)
    My work sells at the shows I attend. People seem to like what I make. I
    will never totally understand pricing. I’ve seen “craft” items sell at
    any price you can name. Same thing for styles of work. I’ve seen people
    buy jewelry from the sublime to the ridiculous.
    Do other sole proprietors need a second source of income ? I would love
    to make my living off my handwork, but now is not the time.

Allyson


#2

Yes Allyson it is very possible to make a good living selling your own
jewelry. Probably not the first day, though. Check out Brians columns
on careers within the jewelry industry and a couple on marketing your
craft. I have been doing this for quite some time over the years I have
accumulated 1000 rubber molds of my pieces for me making a mold has
become part of the process. Making the fourth or the twelvth piece never
takes as long as the first. I do work for other jewelers, my
competitors are also my customers. I have the tools and abilities to do
things they can’t do or do things better and faster than they can do them.
You will not only need a strong foundation of skills (craft) you will
also need a strong ability to market your goods and services. The work I
do for other jewelers pays all of my bills, as well as keeping my skill
level very high. Their work only takes up 30 hours of my work week. My
creative efforts get the rest.
stay happy
brad


#3

Allyson,

We do at my shop, Ronald Hayes Pearson, Deer Isle, Maine. I just
started here three weeks ago but the shop is supporting three
jewelers, and the owner who handles the business end. Although we
have the advantage of being in business for over 30 years, strong name
recognition, and historical significance. We retail silver and gold, and
only wholesale gold. Larry Merrit the lead jeweler has been with the shop
for almost thirty years.

I wonder though how I will make out when I go out on my own, at least I
have a good model to study.

Ed Colbeth Metalsmith, Motorcyclist
Deer Isle, Maine "With a view of the harbor"
207-367-5972
93 K1100RS "Wanderer III"
ICQ# 6247734


#4

Do other sole proprietors need a second source of income ? I would love
to make my living off my handwork, but now is not the time.

Hi Allyson,

I and my 6 employees all make a living on our handwork. Its not always
easy for anyone to figure out who the customer is and what it is that they
want. Don’t give up. Doors of opportunity open every day, the hard thing
is to recognize them. I used to try to do everthing for everyone, now I
try to do what I like and what makes money (not always in that order).

Mark P.


#5

This is for those people who sell their own jewelry. Do you truly make a
living wage for yourself this way ?

I do not. I will write a business plan and get very serious about this
after I earn my Graduate Gemologist diploma (if not sooner). I am
learning as much as I can about gemstones and have my own small mini gem
lab and faceting shop. I believe there is a shortage of colored gemstone
faceters. I plan to do a few small shows this fall.

Do other sole proprietors need a second source of income ? I would love
to make my living off my handwork, but now is not the time.

Yes, and I feel the same way you do. My long-term career goal is to be a
successful gem dealer/broker. The one’s that I know that are today have
stuck with it for many many years and have been committed to their trade
and craft.

Russell Scott Carpenter, Texas Gemstone Brokers


Working towards a Graduate Gemologist diploma.
“You can carry enough gems on your body to set you up for life.” - Ian
Fleming


#6

This is for those people who sell their own jewelry. Do you truly make a
living wage for yourself this way ?

My sole supprt and income since I was 22 has come from jewelry making. It
has taken time and patiece to learn the skills to make a good living and
gold is the material of (my)choice, but many people do make a living as
jewelers or metalsmiths. You do have to believe that you can do it,
however.

My work sells at the shows I attend. People seem to like what I make. I
will never totally understand pricing. I’ve seen “craft” items sell at
any price you can name. Same thing for styles of work. I’ve seen people
buy jewelry from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Do other sole proprietors need a second source of income ? I would love
to make my living off my handwork, but now is not the time.

There is no accounting for taste.

Last night I attended a fund raising auction where a moonstone and
sapphire ring that I donated sold for $600 and a birdhouse got bid up to
$10,500. Go figure. I put a reserve price of $400 on my ring, so someone
got “a deal” and I was fairly happy.

Keep working at your designs, techniques and pricing. Three years is just
the beginning of a career. If you are selling now and people like your
work, you must be doing more than a few things right. $5-20 is a difficult
price range to make a living from- the youngest member of our studio has a
price range from $40-$350 and is starting to do well with his work. He
uses cabs, sterling, niobium, copper, and gold alloy accents- so his
material costs are pretty reasonable per piece. He does often ask the rest
of us for pricing help, but then again so do I. Make some rings, pins, and
earrings that sell for more (say $40-125) and see how they go. Never
appologise for your prices, only you really know what it takes to make
your pieces.

Rick Hamilton

Richard D. Hamilton
A goldsmith on Martha’s Vineyard
USA
Fabricated 14k, 18k, 22k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography,
and sailing whenever I can…
http://www.rick-hamilton.com