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Email Miss Mary to claim your prize!
Email Miss Mary to claim your prize!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Today we visit with Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati.
My studio is a shambles and I have been so very busy with traveling for beads, ballparks and ballet the entire month of June. And July will be no different. But in between all of the busy-ness, I have some projects that have popped up that involve making kits for sale. So I thought I would let you in on how I go about kitting a project. I call these Creativity to Go kits. I got my first taste of kitting late last year. I enjoy it and I hope to offer more in the future!
The first thing that I do is come up with a project.
That is the easy part! One of the kits that I am making this month will be sold through Interweave (keep an eye out!). The Interweave kit requires a brand new, on-trend jewelry project that will be targeted to new crafters. It will be mixed media in nature, and I think that the idea I have will be fun to play with.
The other kit I am making is a based on my own design featured in the upcoming Create Jewelry magazine. (I can't wait to get my copy of this! It is always a highlight of my year!) Their themes are based on color and one of the pieces that I submitted is called "Seek Beautiful Moments" for their Warm Hues section. Since the focal is only available from me, I thought that a kit would be a good idea.
The focal for this bracelet is from my 'Sari Snapshot' line of Simple Truths. The bright colors are complemented by the marquise-shaped dangles and a chunky brass chain. It is a fun and flirty look that has a lot of impact and movement.
The second thing that I do is come up with a list of all the items that make up the project, right down to the last bead and crimp.
I start with scribbled notes and sketches, and then hit the internet to start researching. To keep track of everything, I put together a spreadsheet so that I can track where I purchase the materials and at what per piece price. That way I can have a record of what I bought and from where, in case I have to duplicate it, plus it helps me with the kit pricing.
It takes a lot of research to put together a kit. Unfortunately, there is no 'one-stop shopping' when putting these types of things together. Sometimes I have to make changes for things that I can no longer get, like the chunky chain. You might notice that the one below is different than in the example above. I had to do my best to come up with a similar substitution. One of the key pieces was on back-order for over a month, and so I sat on pins and needles hoping I could actually get them in time!
Could you find all these things yourself from the list of materials in the instructions? Yes. But the cost of a kit covers the fact that I am pulling it all together in one place so you don't have to search it out or buy it in bulk. It takes a lot of time (this one took me almost 3 months to put together!) and effort to track down the best elements in the right quantities. I am hoping that having all the pieces in one place will be the selling point.
|Bezels waiting to be filled and chunky chain... a substitution from the one in the magazine that I couldn't find!
Then I need to divvy up the materials.
When I did my kits in January for the Fabulous Facets DVD from Interweave, they left it completely up to me as to what I would include and how to package it. I know that branding is important and I wanted my buyers to feel like they were getting a gift, the gift of creativity. So I put just about everything in the box that they would need, right down to the paint brush and paint palette and made it feel a bit like a present, which of course it was!
For the 'Seek Beautiful Moments' kits, I have decided to do the same, and make sure that everything needed is included.
However, I decided that I would create it in two limited edition colorways...
|'Seek Beautiful Moments' bracelet kit - the original Spicy color palette
|'Seek Beautiful Moments' bracelet kit - new Breezy color palette
...but also in cool water colors of blue, green and purple. Because I am all about variation and choice! I am even offering the focal by itself, if that is more your style and you want to create your own piece (but I am hoping that at least some will want to buy the kits!).
For both kits, you can see that I have included everything you would need, right down to the last jump ring. The only thing you have to bring is your pliers!
|Packaging production for the Fabulous Facets bead kits, December 2014
Now...how to present them? I have been more than inspired by Rebecca's recent posts about packaging. I could certainly just put the pieces in a zip baggie and send them on their way, but I like it when it feels like a bit of care and planning went into the package.
I have decided to package them in a cute drawstring muslin bag with my skeleton key logo stamped on the outside, and I always - ALWAYS - include a little personalized note. I can jazz it up with ribbons and my little copper skeleton key charm. I just ordered the bags and they should be here in the next few days. I am also getting a custom stamp created so I can further brand the creativity to go kits from a company called The Stampin Place. Sally Booth was a delight to work with, super responsive and I think that price is right! Now I can use this on all sorts of things. When it is all here in the next few days, I can get my 'kit-elf' on the job personalizing the bags for me. Forgot to mention that...everyone needs a helper when putting together kits! It is good to have another set of eyeballs on them to be sure they are complete. My 'kit-elf' is a stickler for details, so I know they will be done right! ;-)
It is a lot of math (*shudders*), with the calculating cost per item, per kit, and the counting out of each and every supply. So while that part is not something that I look forward to, I do love the idea that others can learn from something I have created, which is one of the biggest pay-offs.
In the end, it may be a lot of hassle, but it is worth it to me to offer kits. I like coming up with the ideas, researching where to find all the supplies and then packaging it up to make it special. I hope those that get them will feel the same and that they will spark their own creativity!
These limited edition kits are now for sale in my web shop, www.tesoritrovati.com. Would you like your own? I will give away one 'Seek Beautiful Moments' bracelet kit - in your choice of SPICY (reds/pinks) or BREEZY (blues/greens) color palette just for the price of some sort of answer to the following questions (you don't have to answer them all, just tell me your thoughts on kits!):
Do you buy kits? What kind?
Is there a kit you would you like to try?
Do you prefer them complete, right down to the tiniest finding with the most precise instructions, or just a kickstarter with components and a suggested image you can use in any way possible for your own variations?
Is there a technique that you would like to be able to learn from a kit?
What price point do you think works best for a kit?
What do you think about the packaging of a kit?
Or perhaps you sell kits of your own... what kind? Do tell!
P.S. There is a special coupon code in an ad I placed in the Create Jewelry magazine. Be sure to look for the ad I have in there so you can get the coupon code!