Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Adding Value Through Anecdotes

I've discussed the concept of story telling to sell products before (click here) but it is a valuable tool that many jewelry makers often overlook and is well worth reviewing again.

The original description of this piece by the maker was as follows:

'This necklace is 16 1/2" long. It is made with amethyst gemstone chip beads and some swarovski bicone 3mm crystal beads and metallic seed beads.'

That's a very basic description of 'what it is' but not much else.  The piece is still up for sale.

By adding some fascinating facts, figures and/or colourful words you can make a piece sound more appealing:

'Amethyst is a beautiful and mysterious stone.  It's been known to mankind since ancient times and was attributed with many magical properties.  Amethyst is considered to be a stone of spirituality & contentment and is a gemstone often worn by healers, as it has the power to focus energy.

This elegant 16 ½” long necklace is made with genuine amethyst gemstone chip beads, finished off with sparkling Swarovski bicone beads (3mm) and tiny metallic seed beads.  It's simple beauty makes it perfect for both casual and formal wear.'

Interesting information and descriptive adjectives can captivate potential customers.  And never underestimate the benefit of several good photographs to go along with it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Preparing For The Bead Soup Blog Hop

The day of the reveal is getting close!  I finished my first piece over the weekend and the plan for the second piece is solidified in my mind.  I just have to get out to the store today to purchase one more element.

Here's the photo of the beads & bits that my partner, Fay, sent for me to create with in case you missed them before.

I have started the draft of my Bead Soup Blog Hop post, and I will take photos during the week.  While pondering how to display my pieces for picture taking, I realized that we have a mannequin around here that will work perfectly.  Why had I never thought of using it before?

March 3rd is the day of the big reveal when we all get to show what we created with the bead soup we received from our partners.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Creative Colour Challenge

I'm throwing out a challenge to all the jewelry designers out there.  Using Pantone's colour of the year, Tangerine Tango, create a piece of jewelry in whatever style you prefer.  Use some of the co-ordinating colours they have suggested, or try something totally different.

Send me a photo of your piece, along with your Etsy shop, Facebook page and/or website.  I will post them all to my blog on March 24th.  Please pass this along to any other jewelry making friends you have.  The more, the merrier.

Get your creative juices flowing! Do the Tangerine Tango with me!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Project Have Hope

Project Have Hope is a non-profit organization that seeks to empower women in the Acholi Quarter of Uganda by providing education to both the women & their children and assisting the women to establish business opportunities to promote economic stability and sustainability.

The women were introduced to paper bead jewelry by an Irish missionary who originally learned the technique from women in Kenya. The Acholi women have since fine-tuned their techniques and used their creativity to create new designs of their own. Project Have Hope started buying beads from its members in January 2006. Through this partnership, sales have increased significantly. In 2009, each of PHH’s 100 members earned about $50 per month. The women receive monthly payments from PHH for the beads so that they can depend on the steady income.

The beads are handcrafted from recycled paper making each bead unique with individual color variations. First the beaders cut the paper into long triangles and then roll the strips to make each bead. The beads are then varnished, giving the jewelry sheen and durability. The beaders then carefully select individual beads of matching hues to create beautiful and unique jewelry. 

For more information, check out the Project Have Hope website.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Upcoming Event: St. Valentine's Day Massacre III - Love Never Dies

This annual SCA event is taking place in Barrie this weekend, February 10 - 12, 2012.  Yes, folks....we're going camping this weekend!  So you don't think I'm totally insane, we're pitching our tent inside a warehouse, not outside in the elements.  

There will be fighting and feasting and lots of comraderie.  We will be in the merchant area, all decked out in our medieval garb, selling our wares to the good people of Ealdormere.  I'll be showing two new cloak clasp designs for the first time, along with all the latest pewter pendants.

St. Valentine's Day Massacre II - February, 2011
 It's going to be a great weekend, lots of fun.  For more information on this event you can check out the website.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Get The Creative Juices Flowing

My bead soup mix from my partner, Fay in BC, arrived this week.  I could hardly wait to open the package!  Here is what she sent to me....

The lampwork beads were made by my partner.  When I grow up (or retire, whichever comes first), I want to make beautiful beads like these, possibly have my own lampwork studio at home. 

I'm starting to formulate some design ideas and hope to spend time this weekend laying out a few variations to see what works best. 


Fay also received the package from me, so I can now share that with you also.  Here is what I sent to her...

The beautiful green lampwork beads were purchased from a bead shop going out of business last year.  I loved them but could never figure out what to do with them.  As soon as I found out that I was chosen to participate in the bead soup blog party this time, I knew that this focal and two matching beads were going to be the base for the bead soup I would send to my partner.

The bead soup is rounded out with green glass rondelles, small bicone Swarovski crystal beads, black faceted imitation jet beads and carved melon bone beads. 

I looked at a lot of clasps before choosing the one that I sent to Fay.  I've never seen one quite like it before...

I can't wait to see what Fay creates with her bead soup.