What I've learned so far

I've been making and selling jewelry for a good 5 years now. And I consider myself a fast learner, and have grown in my designs and style. But the business end is something that has and is taking a much longer time to grasp.
This year so far, this is what I have learned, which is my own personal experience.
Consignment is not making me much money. I realized this when I pulled out of one of my shops. The "split" was too high. Most shops that have consignment work on a 60/40 split; where the artist gets 60% of the sale, and the shop gets 40%. This is o.k. if you're pricing your items correctly in order to make a profit. Others that price any higher, or that you must pay a membership fee, have not worked well for me.

copper feather cuff

I realized that I was always struggling to make and have enough inventory to sell at shows. That included continuing to need to purchase more and more supplies, whether I had the cash flow or not.
Now that I've streamlined how many shops that I have my work in, I am in a more comfortable space, having more than enough jewelry for my upcoming shows. (Of course I'd like to move this merchanidise quickly, and make my money back.)
As I have said before, I work with an almost non-exsistant budget. I don't really recommend this to anyone who wants to make selling your goods a full-time job.
You must have a budget and some money to back up your business. Cash flow is important.

Red copper cuff

So, for me, I realized that moving slowly, and not trying to force my business to happen, is probably a good thing. When I first started making jewelry, a lampwork artist I met, told me that taking it slowly, and building it up (your business) was a good thing. I now can agree.
It's all a learning process. Now this may not be your experience, as I speak from my own. If you can use any of this information, please do; and if you have any suggestions or personal experiences with your business, I'd love to hear about it.
Comments are welcome!

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Gari Anne said…
I have been selling online (beads and jewelry) for about 12 years. I agree on the consignment shops, and I don't do craft fairs or shows anymore either because I always make more online. My big step this year was to give all my accounting to someone who really knew what they were doing. I am talking monthly, she does all my "books", taxes, etc. That gave me extra time to work on crating, photography, selling, etc. and not have to worry about the accounting paperwork.
cindy said…
Thanks for your comments. I just don't sell much on-line myself. I have to get out there and sell myself!

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