Sunday, January 7, 2018

How to design your jewelry

A very common complaint in the polymer clay jewelry makers' world (and not only) is "I don't understand what is going on? I'm making tons of jewelry, I even lowered the prices a lot, and I still don't sell! Others sell like crazy and I don't understand why, my jewelry is so much better!"

Well, a lot of times it's not the exposure. It's not Etsy growing so big that you get lost in the crowd or - in the case of your own website - your website not getting enough exposure in google searches.

It's just the fact that you did not do a proper market research.

Art jewelry is beautiful, it's exquisite, unfortunately it doesn't sell well. If your goal is to make a living - more or less decent - from selling jewelry you make yourself, you have to really study your market potential. And take into consideration as well the fact that the market is practically inundated with cheap jewelry (from China or not)

Let's say you make gorgeous elven pendants or Goddess pendants. Who is going to wear those? You have two groups here: late teens-early 20s and the wider age range of the Pagan/agnostic community (or somewhere in between). Also, your jewelry will be worn on special occasions, not on an every day basis. Both of the groups your jewelry is addressing, as a majority, do not make a lot of money. So it is more likely that they'll prefer a cheap Chinese made knock-off of a movie fad something so they have money left to get some of that awesome blue hair dye or do their nails with rhinestones.

Or you make absolutely breathtaking big statement pieces that take a couple of days to make, are pure art, but they just sit there in your store and nobody buys them. Why? Because, unless you have Lady Gaga as your established client, your potential clientele is either young and as such doesn't have a lot of money to spare, or, if they're women in their 30s and 40s, unless they are a Mecena and like to encourage artists as a habit, they'll choose a statement piece from a well known artist, even if they pay 10 times the price of your piece. This is not to say that your piece is not as beautiful as the one of the established artist, but you're not known, and as such, can't yet be a "statement" subject in a conversation.

Should you stop making your pendants or statement pieces that you love so much? Definitely not. Just, you know, diversify a bit. How?

It will take a bit of work, and you'll have to do it periodically, every month or at least every 6 weeks, because the market changes a bit.

First, establish your demographics by buying capability. With the internet being so in-depth informative nowadays, it's not hard to find out which age range of the population generally makes more money. Don't go for the higher income - you don't offer what they're looking for. Go for the average income, especially blue and white collar professions and customer service. They need to look pretty on a daily basis, and after paying all the bills, have some left over that they can funnel in that direction.

Then get the latest color and shape trends of the season. Get into a few forums that might discuss fashion and the latest trends. Start creating from there.

Let's say, this spring The New York Trend forecasting talks about these colors.

What about the patterns forecast for Spring 2018? Simple, there are several websites that can give you that. If you look HERE, you will notice that you can make a lot of those pattern trends easily in polymer clay. If you make your jewelry in tone with the trend, it will sell better.

Give it some thought. Then maybe you'll want to revamp your whole approach to selling jewelry online.


  1. Thank you so much. Most of these suggestion I have been thinking about, but many new ideas form your suggestions. Great reassurance that I am on the right thought process.

  2. I love this, Day. I enjoy looking through etsy sellers who had a large market and seeing what is new.

  3. This is really helpful. I've had to give up work to be my fathers carer. My carers benefit (£68 per week when it finally arrives) is not enough to cover our outgoings even with my husbands wage so have been thinking about selling jewellery. This post was given me better insight into my options. Thank you Day. :)


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