Ted, I had a retail store for 24 years and I sold
the work of other metalsmiths.
The landscape of what I knew has changed
so much in the last decade, I am not sure what
advice I could give, not knowing what he makes,
what his market is.
Used to be art and craft fairs were good
venues for jewelry makers. Not so much
anymore, I know well established jewelry artists
that had once done well, have several years of
break even, or lose money.
I have said that thee are two parts, front end,
making, and back end, marketing.
I have no idea of how metalsmiths in
England sell their work.
My opinion is that since 2008, economy has
had a big impact on how people spend
From what I read, people have websites, use
Facebook, Instagram, and Etsy.
My perspective is that one creates what is
common in the market place and fights for
market share, or does work that
creates a separation between what
everyone else is doing and creates oneself
as a point of destination, work that is
unique and desirable, what people will spend
their dollars for and think what they bought
is worth more than dollars spent.
Not knowing the design ability of the
individual, skill level, materials used, or what
markets are available by geography makes
it hard for me to make suggestions.
My own personal experience, I am mostly
self taught. When I started, there were not so
many options for learning jewelry making.
My regret is that I did not know where I
could take classes, this was 1960-70’s,
the learning curve would have been so
There is a woman who had a gallery for
a long time and wrote a book to help and
guide jewelry artists in marketing their work,
Marlene Richey, Profit by Design, A jewelry
maker’s guide to business success
Education from a very successful and
If you’re a jewelry designer, running your own business can be one of the most challenging, exhilarating, nerve-wracking, and ultimately rewarding things you’ll ever do. In this book, Marlene Richey offers a basic, easy-to-understand guide to becoming just such a “nano entrepreneur,” covering everything from identifying a target market and setting up shop to pricing, marketing, and selling your individual designs–all while having fun along the way. She also provides real-life lessons from such esteemed jewelry designers as Barbara Heinrich, Michael Bondanza, Chris Correia, and Michael Good, among others. Profiting by Design will show you how to succeed at starting a business that you can proudly call your own.”