New projects for our beading classes

Did you see that we have designed all new projects for our beading classes? We run one day classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced beaders. And now there are all new techniques to learn! Here are the projects and some photos to inspire you!

 

Beginners beading

This course is designed for complete beginners or those who would like to practice and develop their core skills.

 

Earring project

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In this project you will learn how to

  • Make your own bespoke earring wires
  • Use bead caps
  • Make neat and even loops in wire
  • Open and close jump rings

 

Stacking bangles

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In this project you will learn how to

  • Make your own bangles from wire
  • Create your own finish on the bangles including a hammered texture
  • Add charms and beads to your bangle

 

Necklace with decorative components

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You will learn how to

  • Add beads and charms using wire and jump rings
  • Add chain

 

Double-row necklace

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You will learn how to

  • Use stringing materials e.g. tiger tail
  • Effectively design your piece so it hangs well
  • Use crimps
  • Professionally finish your pieces

 

Intermediate beading

Designed for those that have attended beginners beading or those with some beading experience, you will learn a wide variety of more advanced skills on this one day class

 

Cluster cocktail ring and single stone cocktail ring

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You will learn how to

  • Make and size your own ring with wire
  • Wire wrap beads to decorate your ring
  • Make a wire ring with a focal bead

 

Tassel earrings

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You will learn how to

  • Make your own bespoke earring wires
  • Create a rosary link
  • Add chain to make a tassel

 

Bracelet

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You will learn how to

  • Design your own bracelet with multiple components
  • Create a rosary link chain of beads
  • Link elements with wire and jump rings

 

T bar and toggle clasp

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You will learn how to

  • Make your own bespoke findings to match your jewellery designs
  • Make an effective toggle clasp out of wire

 

Lariat necklace

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You will learn how to

  • Make a lariat clasp in your choice of shape
  • Make a cluster bead pendant
  • Attach chain

 

Advanced beading

Designed for those that are ready to take their skills to the next level, some more advanced and complex skills and the opportunity to work on your own mixed media project with tutor support

 

Cuff

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You will learn how to

  • Weave beads and chain to make a cuff
  • Design your own mixed media variation including cord, buttons etc
  • The same techniques can be used to make other types of jewellery including earrings

 

Structured earrings

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You will learn how to

  • Make your own wire frames
  • Add beaded elements
  • Use these design to make a pendant, necklace, lariat etc

 

Freestyle project

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You will learn how to

  • Use the techniques you have learnt to design a statement piece with tutor support
  • Experiment with mixed media including wire, beads, chain, buttons, cord, fringing, ribbon etc

 

Hopefully we have something new to tempt you to come and visit us in our studio at Hatton Garden, London! For more information on our beading classes and to book online click here. Alternatively give us a call on 0203 176 0546

If you have any ideas for courses you would like to take/skills you’d like to learn please do let us know. We’d love to hear from you in the comments below

Introducing our latest silver jewellery classes

As you may have noticed, our tutors have been working on some exciting new additions to the courses we offer at LJS for both beginners and more advanced practitioners and we’d love to invite you to book a place!

Here are our newest silver jewellery classes (click on the links for more detailed information)

One day classes

Silver stacked bangles

Intermediate level – learn how to shape, texture and solder silver wire into stacking bangles. Students usually make 2-3 bangles

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Make your own silver findings

Advanced level – Learning to craft your own findings such as ear wires, clasps, and brooch pins allows you to customise your designs and add a truly handcrafted and bespoke element to your work. (We recommend that all students complete the soldering masterclass before taking this class or that you are confident working with the torch. As this is an advanced silver class and we recommend that students are familiar with silver jewellery making and are comfortable using hand tools in a workshop environment)

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Granulation and fusing

Granulation is the technique of creating numerous tiny spheres of metal with which to decorate your jewellery. They are not soldered into place, but are instead “fused” with the surface and to each other. Learn this technique in our one day class.

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Channel setting in silver

Advanced level – Learn to set stones in a ‘channel setting’ – a setting commonly used to set multiple stones along a strip of material, either across a pendant or around a ring (to do this course you must have completed our two day stone setting course and soldering masterclass or equivalent elsewhere)

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Collet setting in silver

Advanced level – Develop your stone setting abilities in this class and learn how to create a collet setting (to do this course you must have completed our two day stone setting course and soldering masterclass or equivalent elsewhere)

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Grain setting in silver

Advanced level – Learn to set faceted stones using the ‘Grain’ setting technique. The class will really bring on your stone setting ability and add a new setting technique to your repertoire (to do this course you must have completed our two day stone setting course and soldering masterclass or equivalent elsewhere)

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Evening and taster classes

For those of you that are working in London during the day, check out our new silver evening and taster classes

Stacked silver rings taster (1 evening)

Learn to make four individual silver rings in just one evening!

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Soldering and stone setting in silver (6 weeks)

This 6-week evening class (run once a week) is perfect if you’ve attended beginners silver jewellery and you want to move onto the next step. Learn more advanced soldering alongside stone setting techniques including bezel setting, tube setting and gypsy(flush) setting

soldering-stone-setting-evening-class-london-jewellery-schoolClick on the links to find more and to book a place.

We love ideas for new classes so what would you like to learn? Let us know in the comments below

Jewellery making on TV

TV shopping channels are now featuring jewellery making and supplies. Tutor Anna Campbell turns on the TV (for research purposes, of course!) to see what’s happening

 

I have to admit, I am a fan of TV shopping! It seems many others also enjoy it but keep it a guilty secret but the need to feel guilty about it seems to be changing! There are a few channels that feature jewellery making tutorials and supplies and it is great to see how widespread the hobby and business of jewellery making has become on the shopping channels. I have had a look at the TV channels I can see and the jewellery supplies they offer. Just a note, I only have freeview so there may be more you can recommend to me!

 

london-jewellery-school-blog-jewellery-maker-tvJewellery Maker is perhaps the most well-known in the industry as it focusses solely on the craft of making jewellery. Previously owned by the Genuine Gemstone Company, that also runs Gems TV, Jewellery Maker sells a wide range of materials and tools including precious and semi-precious stone cabochons and beads, other beads including Swarovski, tools and materials. Always informative, they feature guest designers who show how the materials and tools can be used. LJS tutor Hayley Kruger is a guest designer with Jewellery Maker so watch out for her shows!

 

 

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Create and Craft TV feature all types of papercraft, arts and crafts including jewellery making. The London Jewellery School has a partnership with Create and Craft TV. In 2016 and 2017 LJS founder Jessica Rose and metal clay tutor Anna Campbell did shows demoing silver clay projects on the channel. Viewers were able to buy a kit of metal clay tools, which also included access to the Jewellery School Online course silver clay charms and torch fired stone setting techniques. 

Create and Craft have also partnered with Beads Direct so there are a lot of great beading and wirework products as well as other resources.

 

 

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Hochanda is the ‘home of crafts hobbies and arts’ and covers a large range of crafting and art including card making, stamping, patchwork, sewing, applique and much more. They feature a small range of jewellery making supplies.

 

What am I missing? Which channels do you like to watch? Let us know what you like to watch via the comments below

 

Five alternatives to selling at a craft fair

Selling at a craft market or fair is just one way to sell to the public. Think laterally; what other opportunities might there be in your local area?  Here are some ideas about alternative places you could sell your work!

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  1. Gallery or jeweller

The most traditional route is to approach relevant galleries or jewellers. Research your options carefully by visiting the shop on more than one occasion to see how busy it gets. Also look at the types of jewellery they currently sell and their price range. You want to ensure your pieces will fit in with the products they already stock but still stand out.

 

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  1. Rent a shelf

Check out local options to rent a shelf in a cafe, hair salon etc. If they don’t have the option available why not make an appointment to speak to the manager about trying it out?

One shop that works on a rent a shelf basis is Things British who sell items (not just jewellery) designed and made in the UK. The company currently has three shops – in St Pancras station, London, Greenwich market, London and Chatham, Kent. You pay a weekly shelf rental charge and anything you sell is yours (minus any card transaction fees). You don’t need to be based in London to sell at Things British, you can send items in by post.

 

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  1. Pop up shops

A pop up shop is an empty shop that is used as a short term sales space. You can do this alone or share with other designers. Search for these in your area or check out We are Pop Up or Appear here which lists opportunities to rent and share.

 

  1. Hotels

Hotels have a lobby area where a display cabinet of jewellery for sale could be successful as they have a steady stream of different customers through their doors. Find out who the decision maker at the hotel is (by asking at reception) and make an appointment to see them.

 

  1. Museums

Many of the larger museums have a competitive application process for selling your work but a first step could be to consider smaller, local museums especially if you have a range that would fit in with an exhibition they have. They are often receptive to work from local artists and makers.

 

Have a think about where in your local area to approach and start doing some research. What other ideas can you share with us? Let us know in the comments below

Look out for a coming blog post ‘Step by step guide to successfully selling your jewellery range to a retailer’

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

How to stay in the know in 2017

At LJS we often get asked the same questions. How do I find out about jewellery related job opportunities? Where can I find a bench to rent? How do I know when to apply for jewellery events and fairs? Do you sometimes discover that you find out about things too late? Here are some ways to stay in the know for 2017

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Subscribe to Benchpeg

Benchpeg is an independent source of information for the British Jewellery industry and associated trades. If you subscribe you receive a free weekly email newsletter that includes industry news, jobs, opportunities, classified ads and more. It’s a fantastic source of information for everyone at any level of the jewellery industry.

How?

Click this link to subscribe to Benchpeg for free.

 

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Join a relevant Facebook group

There are thousands of jewellery facebook groups out there and they can be very helpful as the organisers and members share resources and give advice.

 

How?

Login to facebook and type the type of jewellery making you’re interested in the search box (or just type ‘jewellery making’)

Click on ‘group’ at the top of the screen and have a look at the names of the groups available. If you are interested you can click join to join the group

Also click on pages and like any pages that look interesting. If you find what is being shared isn’t relevant you can always leave the page or group.

 

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Get out and about to exhibitions

Even if you’re not exhibiting you can find out a lot about what is happening in the industry by attending exhibitions in your area. You can find a list of jewellery exhibitions that regularly run in London here but do check out your local press for events closer to home.

 

How?

Do an online search for previous events in your area and sign up for email updates to be in the know for future exhibits.

 

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Follow the right accounts on twitter

Social media is an immediate way to find out what is happening and twitter is excellent for this.

 

How?

Sign into twitter, search for and follow:

  • Local groups, markets etc
  • Exhibition spaces, museums
  • Selling websites e.g. etsy, folksy, misi, not on the high street etc
  • Jewellery magazines e.g. Making Jewellery

 

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Check out stallfinder

For upcoming events, craft markets and fairs in your area check out stallfinder

 

How?

Got to stallfinder

Do a search of your area to see what events are advertised and the closing dates

 

London Jewellery School Logo

 

Subscribe to the LJS newsletter and blog!

We keep our ear to the ground and let you know about opportunities via our email newsletter and our blog

How?

Subscribe to the LJS email newsletter

Subscribe to our blog – click here and click the ‘subscribe to our blog button’ on the left of the screen

 

How do you keep informed of jewellery industry news? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Step by step guide to successfully selling your jewellery range to a retailer

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In a previous blog post business tutor Anna Campbell outlined some places you can sell your jewellery. In this post she gives you a step by step guide to success when approaching retailers

Selling in your local area or for prestigious retailers can boost your income and ensure more potential customers know about your business. This step by step guide has been designed to make approaching retailers feel less daunting. The secret? Do your research and be prepared!

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Research

It’s really important before you approach any retailers to do your research. Identifying retail outlets you think might be good for your products is your first step. Visit the retailer at different times of day to see how busy they get, the clientele type, types of jewellery they currently sell and their price range. You want to ensure your pieces will fit in with the products they already stock but still stand out. Be honest with yourself about whether you feel your jewellery will fit in and do well. There’s no point wasting your or the retailer’s time. If you think your work is a good fit then your next step is to find out who you need to speak to – the manager, buyer etc (just ask!).

 

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Prepare

Before you approach the retailer you need to be fully prepared. Practice giving a short explanation of your business and get some samples of jewellery ready to take. Taking samples is best but if you can’t, do ensure you bring some good quality photos of your work (colour printed or on a smartphone/tablet/laptop).

 

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Pricing

You will need to be ready to discuss pricing at your first meeting and the retailer will expect you to have done the number crunching already. For this you will need your wholesale item price and your retail item price. Check out this previous blog post by Melissa Hyland that goes into detail about how to calculate your prices and what percentage retailers will expect to make.

 

Get in touch

When you have done all your research and preparation contact them (either by phone or by going into the location) and ask if you can make an appointment. Some may be prepared to speak to you immediately so ensure you are ready to explain what you want and to show some example pieces of jewellery. If you can’t speak to someone immediately agree an appointment time and show up promptly. Prepare a brief few sentences about your business and get to the point. They are likely to be busy people and will appreciate this.

Show your prepared samples of jewellery and ask them to talk honestly about whether they will appeal to their customers. There’s no point in wasting your time if the location isn’t the right ‘fit’ for your products.

 

Contracts

If you both agree to give it a try ensure you check the arrangements for your work e.g. is it sale or return (where you take in the items and only make money from sales), is it insured or do you need to cover it on your policy, how to invoice for your sales etc. Get it all in writing and preferably agree a contract (many retailers will already have a standard contract and terms, smaller retailers may not).

Deliver the pieces agreed and get a signed delivery note of the pieces you have delivered to ensure there’s no argument later about what was received.

If you need to invoice for sales do so promptly in the correct format; you don’t want delays in payment because you haven’t followed the retailer’s procedure.

 

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Regular reviews

Review how well your sales are going in the location periodically to ensure it is worth your while, whether you should change what you are selling, change your pricing etc.

We’d love to hear from you if you are selling in local retailers. Let us know how it’s going in the comments below.

Special Business Week offers

 

And don’t forget our special offers on business courses for this week only we are offering 25% off business day classes held here at the School using the code 23011701*.  This code can only be used over the phone so please call on 020 3176 0546 to book your place.   This discount is only available on bookings made during Jewellery Business Week 21-27 January 2016 inclusive.

Click here for more details of all the business courses included in this offer.

And our New 8-week Online Jewellery Business Bootcamp will be starting on 27th January so if you would like more help with your jewellery business we would love you to join us!  

Author: Anna Campbell

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Five offline ways to promote your jewellery business

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There’s a lot of focus on promoting your business online and for good reason – it takes time but it can be done for free and can yield great results. However, there are also ‘offline’ real world things you can do to promote your business. LJS tutor Anna Campbell suggests five strategies.

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Wear your jewellery (and get others to!)

You should be a walking advertisement for your work and when people ask you what you do it helps to be able to show them! It may sound basic but wearing your jewellery shows confidence in your own work.

Think creatively about how you get your work out there. Where will your customers come across your work? Why not give some rings to nail technicians as one of our business students did? Their clients would see the rings when they were having a manicure and asked about them so it was a beneficial partnership.

For bonus points and lots of publicity try to get a famous person to wear your jewellery! If you have famous friends that may be easy otherwise, consider sending some freebies to celebrities that your customers identify with.

 

Business cards

Having a good and memorable logo and business card will help people remember your business name when they want you. Make sure you have some with you at all times, you never know when you’ll want to reach for one!

There are many companies out there that can print your cards – check our Moo for a different photo on each card or Printed for a stack of the same cards.

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Packaging

Receiving a piece of jewellery beautifully packaged and wrapped is part of the buying experience and will help cement your brand in the mind of the receiver. Take a look at some innovative jewellery packaging ideas on this blog post for inspiration.  

In addition, one of the things I found when I first started selling was that many of the pieces I sold were gifts. Having packaging with your logo, website, contact information etc is really helpful if items are a gift as the receiver knows where to get matching items from you! It’s also a great reminder for those that have bought for themselves and makes receiving the items a pleasure.

 

Attending networking events

Networking events can introduce you to potential customers and partnerships in your local area and are particularly useful if you feel you don’t currently have the contacts you need to grow your business.

Take a look at the networking events in your area by using a google search and using the terms‘ networking’ and your area to find groups. You can also find networking groups just for women. Do a little research to find out the types of people that will be in attendance to ensure it will be worth your while.

Before you attend prepare a short (few sentences) introduction to your business and take along your business cards. When you take a card from someone else make a note on the back of anything that stood out about them to you to help you remember them; these events can feel like a whirlwind and a stack of business cards may not remind you who was who!

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Face to face sales

Selling at craft fairs, schools or markets are a great way to get immediate feedback on your product range and pricing. You can see what people look at, what sells well, ask customers questions about who they’re buying for etc. Don’t be too downhearted if you don’t make the sales that you wanted. Ensure you have some business cards for people to take, you never know what sales you’ll get from this. One tutor had a market stall where sales were disappointing but a customer with pieces for repair found her there and she has had a lot of repeat business from her so you never know!

Do always encourage those that are showing interest in your stall to subscribe to your mailing list by giving their email address to you. This means you can contact them again with new product ranges and offers.

What has worked well for you? We’d love to hear your experiences and advice in the comments below.

Special Business Week offers

Our founder, Jessica Rose is hosting a FREE webinar masterclass on 26th January at 6.30pm on Boosting your Online Sales.  Grab your spot on the webinar here.

And don’t forget our special offers on business courses for this week only we are offering 25% off business day classes held here at the School using the code 23011701*.  This code can only be used over the phone so please call on 020 3176 0546 to book your place.   This discount is only available on bookings made during Jewellery Business Week 21-27 January 2016 inclusive.

Click here for more details of all the business courses included in this offer.

And our New 8-week Online Jewellery Business Bootcamp will be starting on 27th January so if you would like more help with your jewellery business we would love you to join us!  

Author: Anna Campbell

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Mini-Adventures in Selling Jewellery on Etsy with Jessica Rose

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Our Founder, Jessica Rose, has sold jewellery for many years in boutiques and galleries, but recently set up her first Etsy Shop and started selling online in the name of research.  And today she shares with you everything she has learned about successfully selling on Etsy! 

 

Having sold my jewellery on and off for the past 9 years, alongside setting up the London Jewellery School, Jewellery School Online and various other, yes you guessed it, jewellery related ventures! I decided to have a go at setting up my own Etsy shop.  One thing I love about running a jewellery business is there are always new things to try, new things to learn about and new mini-adventures to go on. Here is what I have learnt so far from my mini-Etsy adventure. To anyone who has an Etsy shop or is considering starting one – I highly recommend it, there is so much opportunity there, once you know how to access it…

I started out by quizzing everyone I know at the jewellery school about the pros and cons of selling on Etsy and learnt that it is really important to have a strong and extensive collection…

Tip 1: Aim for 100 items! 

sell-jewellery-on-etsy-jessica-rose-copyJessica Rose Jewellery Etsy Shop

Ok, maybe not all in one go, but a few colleagues mentioned that their shop really increased in activity once they had passed this magic 100 mark.  I would not have guessed that.  Traditionally when selling jewellery, less is more and we don’t want to over-crowd our stalls or fill our collections up with ‘jumble-sale approach’ pieces.  However it does make sense that more-is-more from a ‘being seen’ point-of-view in the Etsy Search Engine.  The more items we have, the more pages we have and the more chance of showing up in the Etsy search results. So build your collections as you go.

The next lesson shared with me, which is one I’m always banging on about anyway, is of course, the importance of killer images.

Tip 2: Images that make customers fall in love! 

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Photo credit: Karen Young Jewellery 

If you want some examples of this, look no further than our very own Karen Young’s lovely etsy page. It is not enough anymore to just have beautiful jewellery on a white background (although of course that is nice). We need ‘lifestyle’ pictures, showing customers how the jewellery looks in relation to other things, be it a nice piece of wood, shells, teacups, vintage books, a pretty flower, some gemstones – the world is your oyster.  The important thing is to show different angles and, through your images, speak to the customer about how this jewellery will make them feel inside.

What about the process of setting up an Etsy shop? – Well its pretty straight forward but I would dedicate some time to it.  A day or two for photography and writing descriptions and a day or two to upload everything, depending on how large your collection is. Make sure you have at least one item, photographed and ready to go as you are creating your shop. You can’t activate your shop without an active listing.

And Etsy offer a lot of help!  They are actually running a special email series to help you get your shop up and running called the Etsy Resolution which starts on 27th Jan – you can find out more here.

That brings us on to product descriptions…

Tip 3: Informative, engaging and compelling product descriptions

Whether you are new to Etsy/ selling online or have done it for many years, we can always do with improving our descriptions. Of course they need to be informative – to include all the info a customer needs to buy, exact materials, lengths, any variations such as different gemstones, gold or silver, is it plated, filled or solid?  The more you can say the better. Alongside the information don’t forget your brands tone-of-voice. Let your personality come across.

Tip 4: The people want to know about YOU Yup, it took me a while when starting my business to work this one out, that anyone buying handmade wants to know about the designer behind the work, the entrepreneur behind the business. And why not? You are awesome after all….

Jokes aside, it is important to fill out all of the sections in your etsy shop with a little about you, your values, why you are selling your jewellery, your process, what materials you work with etc…

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All of that is well and good but what about some practical action we can take to improve sales in our etsy shop today? 

Tip 5: Be sure to post regularly;

  • On Facebook, and it may be a good idea to ‘boost’ posts relating to selling your jewellery on Etsy so that a wider audience can see it. Or set up a Facebook ad for yourself in Ads Manager.
  • Post on Etsy itself in the ‘Updates section’ it helps communicate with your customers and helps your shop to look up-to-date and active.
  • Also you can post on your blog if you have one, start one if you don’t; or select your favourite social platforms, such as instagram, twitter, pinterest… the list goes on.

And another practical tip for those more technically minded…

Tip 6: Match your Tags, Titles and Materials 

SEO, search engine optimisation, is key on Etsy to get your items seen. We can help that along a bit by;

  1. Listing items regularly (each time you list an item it goes towards the top of the results)
  2. Using all the characters in your product titles, include keywords in there
  3. Match your tags to the titles, include all those words in the ‘tag’ section too
  4. And be as detailed as you can on the ‘materials’ section. List every material used to make that piece

Phew! That’s quite a lot to get through. Like anything that is worthwhile, in business (and in life) building a strong sales base and following on Etsy takes time. And effort. No uploading a bunch of items and then leaving it and hoping for the best (that is how we get disheartened!). But what Etsy has shown to me over the past few weeks of experimenting, is that it can work, and it can work really well. If you are prepared to put the time and effort in. Which of course we are ☺

On to my final tip (for now)

Tip 7: Quality is essential 

It goes without saying, but building your skills as a jeweller and business owner so that you are confident in the quality of your work, your processes and your business knowledge is essential. None of us are perfect but we usually want our jewellery to be, so investing in your training and your skills, in my opinion, is always a worthwhile investment. Make sure each piece you send out is of the highest quality and is something you would love to receive.

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If you would like to learn more about setting up and running your own successful, profitable and sustainable jewellery business then it’s not too late to join me for our brand new comprehensive 8-week online intensive course: The Jewellery Business Bootcamp, find out more and enrol for a spot here > (http://learn.jewelleryschoolonline.com/p/the-jewellery-business-bootcamp

We start this Friday 27th January and I would love to have you join me and our lovely community of budding and growing jewellers. Everyone is welcome. 

All that is left to say is best of luck for anyone trying out Etsy for the first time, I’m with ya! And for all the Etsy old-timers, we would love to hear more of your knowledge and wisdom, so do share a comment or two below about what works for you.

Until next time, Happy Making

Jessica x

 

Author: Jessica Rose

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Special Business Week offers

Our founder, Jessica Rose is hosting a FREE webinar masterclass on 26th January at 6.30pm on Boosting your Online Sales.  Grab your spot on the webinar here.

And don’t forget our special offers on business courses for this week only we are offering 25% off business day classes held here at the School using the code 23011701.  This code can only be used over the phone so please call on 020 3176 0546 to book your place.   This discount is only available on bookings made during Jewellery Business Week 21-27 January 2016 inclusive.

Click here for more details of all the business courses included in this offer.

 

Creating a marketing and PR strategy for your business

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Whether you’re just starting out or your business is established it’s important to invest some time into planning your business focus and actions. Business people often prioritise writing a business plan, but for success a marketing plan should also be a priority. Business tutor Anna Campbell gives you a step by step guide to help you write your marketing strategy.

A marketing plan or pr strategy is a blueprint for your marketing and advertising goals within a timeframe. It is helpful to spend some focussed time working on this as it will help direct your marketing actions for the year.

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Identify your current situation

Your first step is to honestly identify your current situation in terms of sales and marketing. What activities have you done up until now to promote sales? What has worked well? What hasn’t worked? Why do you think it worked or didn’t work?

Block out half a day to work on your plan and start with a SWOT analysis and look at:

Strengths – what is working well for your business? What advantages do you have e.g. contacts that have been helpful, social media following etc

Weaknesses – what hasn’t worked so well? What gaps do you have? What do you want to prioritise?

Opportunities – look to your strengths and weaknesses and consider how you can capitalise on the strengths and overcome the weaknesses

Threats – threats can be external issues that you have little control over e.g. economic issues, amount of time you have to work on your business etc. Think creatively about how these can be turned into opportunities for example, if there is an economic downturn in the area you sell in consider the types of product you are selling and work on a more affordable range.

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For your SWOTs think about the ‘w’ questions to give you as many ideas as possible. These are –

Who – about you, your business, your customers, your outlets

Where – online, markets, craft fairs, shops, galleries etc

Why – what is your focus? Why are you building your business?

What – focussing on product, packaging etc

When – set targets and goals (see below)

How – think about how you are going to prioritise your time in your business

Goal setting

Once you have spent some time thinking about the status quo your focus should move to what you want to achieve with your marketing. Is it to create sales, build awareness of your brand, get repeat sales, sell at prestigious locations? This may sound obvious to you but your goals may be different to someone else.

Be specific about your goals and set a time limit to help you focus.

Your customers

You also need to consider carefully your current customers and your ideal customer. When deciding where to market your product – online or offline – you need to ensure you are targeting sites and publications that your customer will read.

Also, you will have different types of customers – some that don’t know about you yet, some that know about you but haven’t bought, some that have bought once and some that are regular customers. Have a look at this previous blog post for more detail on how to address these different types of customer with your marketing.

Restrictions

You may have restrictions such as the amount of time you have to devote to marketing in your working week or financial restrictions on paying for advertising. Plan a budget for both your time and money and try to ensure you focus your marketing actions on those things that will bring you closer to your goal.

Also ensure you set some time limits on your goals e.g. I’d like to be selling in three different shops by December 2017. This helps you focus on the important goals when you are caught up in the day to day.

It may seem like a big task to plan your Marketing and PR but it will save you time in the long run as it will be clear what activities do and fit within the plan which can save you both time and money.

What other tips do you have for making the most out of your time dedicated to Marketing and PR?  Tell us in the comments below!

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Special Business Week offers

Our founder, Jessica Rose is hosting a FREE webinar masterclass on 26th January at 6.30pm on Boosting your Online Sales.  Grab your spot on the webinar here.

And don’t forget our special offers on business courses for this week only we are offering 25% off business day classes held here at the School using the code 23011701.  This code can only be used over the phone so please call on 020 3176 0546 to book your place.   This discount is only available on bookings made during Jewellery Business Week 21-27 January 2016 inclusive.

Click here for more details of all the business courses included in this offer.

And our New 8-week Online Jewellery Business Bootcamp will be starting on 27th January so if you would like more help with your jewellery business we would love you to join us!  

Author: Anna Campbell

anna-campbell-london-jewellery-school-blog

Building a jewellery brand

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Launching a strong brand is easier said than done and requires a little bit of planning, soul searching and research.  Jeweller, Karen Young, outlines the four key elements you need to consider when developing your jewellery brand. 

A good way of approaching the development of your brand is to come from the point of view that everything is connected, and you need to work on the entire brand experience if you want to build a brand that grows your business.

Your branding is a visual indicator of what your company offers as a whole, and goes beyond just your jewellery. It is just as much about your design process and materials used, customer service, perceived value, visual identity, and market differentiation as it is about the necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that you sell.

Your branding can be broken down into 4 areas that you can work on to develop your jewellery branding ‘package’:

  1. Your Story
  2. Your Visual Identity
  3. Customer Perception, and
  4. Your Market Differentiation.

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The four key elements to build a powerful jewellery brand

 

1. Your Story

Your story is almost as important as the jewellery itself in terms of creating a connection with customers.  In the handmade marketplace, you and your story is what encourages customers to buy. By making that connection, they’ll be more likely to remember your work and return.

Your customers and potential customers are interested in how you craft your pieces and how you transform raw materials into something creative and unique.  They want to know about you, your skills, the tools you use, the reason you started on your creative journey and ultimately why you do what you do.  There is an emotional connection and when they buy a piece of your jewellery they purchase a little bit of the ‘magic’ that is you and your creations.

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A great way of starting to build the customer connection is by writing an artist statement.  Your artist statement will summarise your story, what your values are, what drives you, and why you make jewellery.  You can then weave the essence your of artist statement into your branding including your tag line, your website and your about page, your business cards and other printed marketing materials, social media and your face to face sales pitch.

2. Your Visual Identity

A strong visual identity goes far beyond a snazzy logo (which is a great start by the way!).  You need to really understand your customers and what their motivations and needs are in order to start building a powerful visual identify.  It demonstrates that you are able to relate to your customers lives and their style on a personal level.  You will do this through many elements such as colour, fonts, vectors, your tag line, and by keeping these consistent across every touchpoint with your customer.  Each of these things should ‘speak’ to your target customer and create an emotional connection over time.

Your photography is another critical aspect of your visual identity – you want to really show off the detail of your beautifully handcrafted pieces.  If you don’t have clear photos that make your customer believe they are seeing the piece in person, then no amount of social media, Facebook ads or email promotion will sell your jewellery.

Also think about the style of photography that best represents your brand.  Do you want to create a vintage feel to your photographs or does a simple, modern and sharp photographic style represent your brand best?  You will want to keep your signature photography ‘style’ consistent across your website, social media and printed materials.

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An example of a lifestyle photograph incorporating jewellery

A key area where your visual identity really comes together is through your printed materials such as tags, jewellery boxes, business cards, other inserts for your packages and even your jewellery displays at craft fairs and events. Your branding should be consistent across every touchpoint with the customer both virtually and in person.

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By creating a strong visual identify you effectively create a visual language that you use to present and promote your jewellery brand to the world that will create a connection and will be remembered.

3. Customer Perception

What do you want your customers to think of you, feel about you and remember about you?

Remember no one needs jewellery!  And so perception of you and how your brand makes them feel is essential in motivating people to buy.  Those thoughts and feelings are directly influenced by the way you communicate your business message, and how you treat prospects and customers.

You can create a beautiful logo and sophisticated marketing materials, but if your customer service is inconsistent and below parr, your brand will not have the best  reputation it could do, and will put people off buying.

If customers perceive your jewellery to indicate a certain lifestyle, emotion or ideal, then they will be willing to pay for a little piece of it.  A diamond for example is essentially a lump of carbon!  But through clever marketing people see them as a luxury item that will last forever and will pay a lot of money for it.  So it is worth spending a little bit of time brainstorming how you want your customers to ‘feel’ about you and your jewellery as this will underpin all of your branding decisions including your photography and product descriptions.

4. Your Market Differentiation

Why should people buy from you and not another designer? 

What makes you and your brand different from the competition?  Is your finish better?  Do you make particular use of a technique or material?  Do you package your jewellery more beautifully that the competition?  Do you offer an extra personal touch with your customer service? It is these small details that create differentiation between you and the next designer so really try and drill down into quite a low level about these little details so that you can succinctly articulate the end-to-end customer experience to your customers and how you will meet their needs better than anyone else.  Buying jewellery is a considered purchase for most people and an experience, so it is your job to make sure it is a good one, as this is what encourages people not only to buy but to come back again and again.

Building a strong and memorable brand does take time and patience, but by considering these four elements of your brand from the outset you can start creating emotional connections with your customers that mean you will be seen and remembered in a busy marketplace.

What are your top tips when it comes to branding your business – tell us in the comments below!

Special Business Week offers

Our founder, Jessica Rose is hosting a FREE webinar masterclass on 26th January at 6.30pm on Boosting your Online Sales.  Grab your spot on the webinar here.

And don’t forget our special offers on business courses for this week only we are offering 25% off business day classes held here at the School using the code 23011701.  This code can only be used over the phone so please call on 020 3176 0546 to book your place.   This discount is only available on bookings made during Jewellery Business Week 21-27 January 2016 inclusive.

Click here for more details of all the business courses included in this offer.

And our New 8-week Online Jewellery Business Bootcamp will be starting on 27th January so if you would like more help with your jewellery business we would love you to join us!  

 

Author: Karen Young

London Jewellery School Blog_Karen Young Bio