Friday, July 13, 2012

How to Turn Sizzle into Fizzle

Yep, I'm talking about my sizzling summer sale of the past week.  It was a phenomenal fizzle.  I'm not complaining, but just musing a little about what's happened to my little 'business' that really has been more of a 'hobby that paid for itself'.  I know I suspended my blog and didn't pay any attention to my etsy store for a couple of years while we were off trying to figure out some family issues, and I know the economy has shrunk the potential customer base, and I also know that there are almost 22000 lampwork bracelets and almost 25000 lampwork necklaces on etsy and jewelry has just saturated the market which certainly figures into the equation...but I also know there are some innovative and fabulous designers out there who are selling alot of beautiful jewelry even with all that. (Whew, how is that for a world record run-on sentence, lol)  I have to conclude my designs are a little stale, a little underwhelming, not innovative enough.  I think to distinguish yourself ,you have to be exceptionally innovative, original and find a niche where the market isn't so saturated.  Right now, I'm just I'm falling short. I get plenty of views and even lots of favorites in my etsy store, but I suspect it's mostly other jewelry designers looking for inspiration rather than buyers finding just what they're looking for at my place.  Hint to you other designers out there:  you probably aren't getting much sellable inspiration in my etsy store, because nobody is buying what I'm selling!  For sure, lampwork jewelry is a hard sell right now,and that was my original niche in the jewelry market. Another thing I've noticed is sterling silver and vermeil are used very sparingly right now.  Presumably to save costs, but I'm seeing designs with base metals and czech glass that are more stylish and selling for as much as my artisan lampwork, gemstone and sterling silver designs...so it's not the materials, it's the designer and maybe a little bit--the marketing. 

Now here's the bottom line.  I have boxes full of findings, gemstones, artisan lampwork and all other kinds of quality jewelry designs materials...I can either try to sell it all off at cost or below or use it for therapy--to please myself.  So, of course for the most part, as you might guess, I'll keep playing with my little treasures, use the materials I have to design things that are esthetically pleasing to myself.  Keep some, gift some, keep an etsy store and pretend I might sell some...and generally do what I started out to begin with--have a wonderful hobby that gives me a creative outlet where I can go and forget some of the everyday stuff that clutters my mind with confusion.  Fortunately I have wonderful family and friends who at least pretend they are delighted to get my little treasures--and for the most part I think they are--if only because it is a little handmade part of me that I made with love and my time.  And that is quite enough for me, shouldn't it be quite enough for anyone?  And who knows...maybe I'll get my mojo back and think up something fabulously innovative and gorgeous that will bring the world knocking at my door...and if I don't it's still cheap therapy!  (well, maybe only cheap while I'm working thru my bodacious stash, built up when I could sell everything I could make)  >^..^<

Thanks for listening to me think out loud....

7 comments:

Arlene Dean said...

wow I think your selling yourself way short. I have always been amazed at how different and unusual your stuff is from the main stream stuff that just leaves me chilled with it's lack of personality. I have missed watching your work and seeing the unusual take you have on things and am glad to see your back and moving things along..

Rickie said...

Thanks Arlene, it's something I enjoy doing. I appreciate you kind words! >^..^<

Rickie said...

your kind words...should proofread before I press send! :-)

Cheryl Roe said...

I agree with Arlene, keep at it your designs are great. Your designs deserve quality materials. There is a market out there for what you like. They just have to find you. Sometimes we just have to stay the course.

Rickie said...

Thanks Cheryl. I know my marketing and disappearing for long spells of time makes me spotty at best, so maybe one of these days I'll get the discipline to improve those aspects!

Elizabeth said...

I agree with Arlene and Cheryl. I think it's more saturation than innovation. Hang it there--you and your designs are worth it!

Rickie said...

Thanks Elizabeth, dear friend...you always lift me up!