Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner. Last weeks winner is Christine Damm Congratulations! You have one of Heather's floral beads. Send us an e-mail with your address and we will get it right out to you.
This week we are in the studio with Jennifer Heynen of Jangles.
Hi there, Well we have a bit of a theme running here with studio Saturdays. It's funny I was already working on my post for this week when I read Heather's studio post from last week. Heather is debating whether a wholesale line of jewelry would be right for her. I actually am working on my wholesale line as we speak. I will be at the Buyers Market of American craft for my sixth year in February. So I am in full gear getting my line together. I actually started out making jewelry to wholesale with my beads. This was eight years ago. After the first show customers kept wanting to buy my beads individually. I gave in a few years later and boy am I glad I did. I still really enjoy my line of jewelry and it's a lot of fun to work on throughout the year, but making beads is my real love. So this week I thought I would show you a little about my line and show you how I go about designing it. The picture above is a section of my work table, it is covered in jewelry and beads, they are all in various stages of being turned into jewelry.
I always go back and look at my jewelry orders throughout the year to see what sold the most. I make sure I keep my best sellers in my line from year to year. I like to have 3-5 styles of necklaces in my line. I try to make them different price points. A few high end show stopping designs and then some more practical every day kind of necklaces. I also like to have a smaller pendant type piece too. Once I get these 3-5 designs figured out and I am happy with how they look. I will expand on the color choices. I like to have 4-6 choices for each style necklace. In the photo below you can see here are five of my everyday necklaces.
Once the necklaces are designed, you must have coordinating bracelets and earrings. Whether you like to match or not, the stores and their customers will want matching. Stores like to have a nice coordinated group in their display. As you can see below, here are the bracelets I have designed to go with the necklaces above.
I have then made earrings to go with the necklaces also.
This is one of my smaller pendants, they also have matching earrings, but then they coordinate with the other bracelets and earrings for mixing and matching.
So you can probably see why my table is covered with jewelry. I need to keep everything out where I can see it. This way I know if I need one more pair of earrings or a necklace etc. It takes a lot of work to get a line going but once you have some good basics it's always fun to add new work. I make sure that 30-50 percent of my work is new at the show. Stores and Galleries like to have new and fresh inventory. This gets their customers excited.
Once my jewelry is designed, I have to photograph it and get it made into a catalog and line sheet. I will hand these out at the show and mail them out to previous customers. Oh and then there is the display, and shipping it all to the show, as you can see the to-do list is very long right now for the Buyer's Market....
This weeks question is do you have a consistent line or style of jewelry that you sell? Do you find it easier to work on variations of the same best-selling designs or do have to make something new each time you sit down?
Your jewelry is bright and beautiful! I pretty much make something rather different each time as I don't have a "line" of jewelry....that's the fun, creative part for me (although time consuming). I have several things going on at once the way you do...seems like I can't finish one thing before I get another idea that I need to start!
I don't sell my jewelry,yet.But I am making it now.I find it easier to use the same basic pattern,but,since I don't know what will sell,I try to design something new at least once a week.Alot of these new designs,I don't like,but I will keep them until I have opened my shop and I find what sells and what doesn't.
I have been trying to get a consistent line going, but so far I've only sold a few pieces- I want to get into a few brick and mortar stores instead of only small craft shows, and feel like a line would be best for them instead of one of a kind items, which I would still sell at shows and one gallery I'm a part of.
Thanks for the peek into your wholesale line development!
To answer your question - as time goes on I work more and more on a limited line with variations within set sections. Like you, I work with 3 or 4 designs for each line (small vessels, necklaces, bracelets, etc) and then vary colours or theme in each section.
I don't think that I've been doing this long enough to give any kind of opinion here, but I'll say that I'm kind of all over the place with my designs. It just depends on what comes to me, what beads I fall in love with, buy and than create something with.
I am a very random person. I am always trying new things each time I am at the torch. I never know what will come out so that explains the jewelry! rofl. I'm lucky enough to be in your class at the B & B in June! I'm looking forward to that.
I have a button collection that sells consistently. My Dot Button Collection. I has taken on a life of it's own. I have made dot buttons in every color combination and size you could imagine. And it still keeps going.
When a project clicks for me, I tend to make a lot of them - similar, but all different. then I get tired of them and move on to something different....but then, I always work on 3 or 4 very different projects at the same time - developing new ideas....
excellent food for thought. I seriously need to consider if I could be happy doing this type of work. I make one of a kind peices, which I love. but I shouldn't just assume that this wouldn't be the right fit. Thank you for sharing your formula, I really appreciate the insight. Best of luck at the show, your work is so charming.
I am beginning to see a style emerge now that I have settled down into a particular technique. I use this for cuffs, earrings, necklaces and beads. But I can vary the color combinations so I don't get bored--yet! I keep things fresh by trying out new ideas every week and seeing what I can incorporate and looking for new color inspirations. And keeping those seasonal.
Yes I do have several lines that I make consistently, or variations thereof. And they sell very well for me. But as far as easier? I find my easiest work comes when Im hit with an idea(usually the middle of the night)and I sit down and just let my hands take over and do what they want. That's also when I feel I have done some of my best work. Now if I could only figure out how to do that on a consistent basis I'd have it made, hahaha.
I tend to go back and forth. Depending how sales are. Recently they've been slow, so I like to look back through my sold section and try to recreate pieces maybe with a different color palette or focal. Buy typically I try to make something new when I sit down at the bead table!
Thanks for the glimpse into your process! It's always so interesting, and I just totally drool over your studio space everytime I see those sunshine yellow walls!
Thank you for sharing your wholesale process with us. I have been wanting to get into that more but just don't know where to start. I didn't think I had lines in my finished jewelry until your question prompted me to start really thinking. I do. I have a woven wire line/style and a bola cord line/style. I have best sellers in other styles and I keep making them with slight variations. I tend to make something new more times than not. I do have lines in my porcelain beads and pendants and will make them in various colors. One in particular is my animal print beads and pendants. They come in various colors and shapes using colored porcelain.
Thank you for prompting me to really think about my jewelry style.
Hi Jennifer...I am more or less starting out and trying to figure out what I love to make..I am a little old to be starting (73) but I do so want to learn about making beads!!!I absolutely LOVE your beads!!! are they polymer clay? ( which I haven't tried but am dying to)your colors just make me feel good...GORGEOUS!!!!!...Joan
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