Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Worth of Your Jewelry

I've been reading a lot of creative business blogs, articles and books lately and one thing that has been sticking and breaking through as a common theme is a successful business helps solve a customer's problems.  So while I may have focused before on what I put into my jewelry: handcrafted artisan beads, my well-honed design aesthetic and beautiful color choices. I didn't think much about how it filled my customer's needs - other than it's something pretty to wear. 

When I ran across an article from Rena Klingenberg on Developing Your Niche Jewelry, it really clicked for me.  She gave a list of how jewelry solves a customer's problems and I had never given much thought to this and wanted to share it with you.

Rita advises: So think creatively about how to blend the things you love with ways your jewelry can solve people's issues related to:
  • accessorizing
  • giving gifts
  • feeling good about themselves
  • rewarding themselves
  • defining themselves
  • creating their public image
  • belonging to a group
  • collecting
  • personalizing
  • preserving memories
  • celebrating occasions or milestones
So in the light of that list, how can your jewelry help solves those needs?  The worth of your jewelry will greatly increase when you discover how it can fit into those categories.  I wouldn't say a big changes is needed to meet any of these needs, just a little finessing in how you word your copy and market your work. 

Ask yourself, which categories does your jewelry fit into, can you add a little personalization?  A birthstone, stamped name or tiny charm can turn a design into a more gift-worthy option. 

Etsy puts out a Merchandising Desk list every month and it's filled with current trends, take a look at their list and see what you can cull to make your jewelry more on topic for collecting, celebrating and accessorizing.

I was looking through the top jewelry sellers on Etsy - don't do it, it's depressing.  Most of the top sellers offer stamped designs that can be personalized, birthstones, bridesmaids gifts and tiny trendy charms.  That's not something you need to do succeed as a jewelry designer - but it did illustrate that designs that easily fit those needs were the highest selling.  Something to think about. 

When you are writing up your descriptions for your online shop, think first about how your jewelry fills a need.  How would your customer use this piece of jewelry, what would they pair it with, who would love it as a gift?  Spend some time thinking about your ideal customer this week and what she is looking for in handmade jewelry and how you can add value to your work by showing how your pieces help her out!

Feel free to visit my Humblebeads Jewelry Etsy shop - I'm learning as I go and writing descriptions, tags and titles through this filter.


Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this: I really need to do some thinking and probably some more reading on successful branding/merchandising.

Kylie Parry Studios said...

great post with lots to consider- thanks for sharing!

Alice said...

Great info. Now all I need is an etsy shop!

Deelitful Boudoir Photography said...

Definitely food for thought!

SummersStudio said...

Really good, Heather. I've been thinking along the same lines for different reasons and this fills a gap for me. Thank you.

Heather Powers said...

Check out that link to Rita's site Carmela,it's filled with lots of great branding/marketing tips.

Alice - if you sell your jewelry in person you can use the same idea when a customer is in your booth. Once they are picking up pieces and engaged with you, ask if they are shopping for a gift. If so point out why that piece would be a good gift. If it's for them share some good tips, like it's light weight and easy to wear or that cuff bracelets are a hot trend for summer. Think ahead of time the need that your jewelry fills, whether it's a current trend, a personal meaning/symbol of the pieces or makes a great gift. You get the idea.

AliMc said...

Thanks for this post Heather! I had done quite a bit of research awhile back, and the "need" part often escapes me. This list is very helpful.

Kristin Oppold said...

Great read.... the trinket jewelry is kind of depressing but it meets a need...UGH. I have made some with Michigan Copper and they have sold so maybe some more is in order.

Cece Cormier said...

I have thought about this often. How to create something that fits a local niche. I have done it a few times, and things have sold, but seems always to be nothing that I was thrilled about creating. Hence the enjoyment of the process is lost.