Category Archives: Uncategorized

Job opportunity at the London Jewellery School

sunday-studios-manager-blogger-vancancy-london-jewellery-schoolWe are hiring! The London Jewellery School are looking for a Sunday Studios Manager and Blogger

We are looking for a passionate and creative individual to join the team one day a week (on Sundays) to look after the opening up and daily running of the school for the day whilst contributing regularly to our active and popular jewellery blog: https://blog.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk/ Our blog is rated in the top 10 of jewellery blogs worldwide according to Feedspot

This role is every Sunday from 9am-6pm in our studios in Hatton Garden. An ability to arrive on time each week is essential as you will be opening up!
Pay: Competitive rates as well as access to training budget for LJS courses 
Times: 9am-6pm 
Location: Hatton Garden, London 
The ideal candidate will be reliable, great with customers, engaging, friendly and welcoming. Have an ability to write well, knowledge of jewellery making and jewellery business for blog writing and most importantly tonnes of enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. 
Deadline for applications : Sunday 22nd March 2017 
Please do forward this to anyone you feel might fit the bill!

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

london-jewellery-school-beginners-beading-beaded-drop-earrings

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

London-Jewellery-School-Blog-Cocktail-Rings-beading-course-london

 

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

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.

 

 

london-jewellery-school-hochanda-logo

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

 

Make your own silver findings

Based on student feedback we have recently launched a new one day advanced silver class called Make your own silver findings, where you learn to craft your own findings such as ear wires, clasps, and brooch pins. This allows you to truly customise your designs and add a handcrafted and bespoke element to your work.

This class is specially designed for those who have attended our soldering masterclass or are confident with soldering and using a torch so that you can get straight down to work.

Projects covered will include:

  • earrings (earring hooks and soldered posts)
  • clasps (a T-­bar or Toggle clasp and an S-­clasp)
  • brooch pin
  • making your own jump rings

Once you’ve learned these techniques you’ll have the skills to make the pieces you imagine. Here are some innovative metal findings to inspire you:

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Handmade toggle clasp via ArtFire

 

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Sterling silver toggle clasp via McDaddio

 

london-jewellery-school-silver-findings-course-london-handmade-copper-S-Clasp

Copper wire clasp via Karisma by Kara Jewelry

 

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S shaped clasp via Jewelry Foster

 

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Handmade copper earring wires by Rockismetalwork

 

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Earring wires via Creating Unkamen

 

london-jewellery-school-inspiration-blog-handcrafted-silver-brooch-pins-and-catch-by-Gustavo-Paradiso

Brooch pin by Gustavo Paradiso

 

london-jewellery-school-inspiration-blog-handcrafted-silver-brooch-pins-and-catch-by-Emily-Watson

Brooch pin by Emily Watson

Click here for more information about this class including the next class with available places.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

Get 20 FREE Listings on Folksy with our exclusive code!

london-jewellery-school-folksy-offer

We have a fab offer for you from our friends at Folksy!  Folksy are offer you 20 free listings if you sign up for a Folksy shop using the code LSJ20 so you can give Folksy a try without having to spend a penny!  Folksy is a fantastic online marketplace for British Designers and Makers!

Here’s the link to sign up https://folksy.com/landing/sell-handmade-jewellery-online  – and don’t forget to use our special code to get your 20 free listings!

Happy Making! x

 

Tutor Anna Campbell live on Create and Craft TV tomorrow!

London-Jewellery-School-Blog-Create-and-Craft-TV-stone-setting-in-metal-clay-with-Anna-Campbell

 

Exciting news!  We are beyond excited to announce that our fabulous metal clay tutor, Anna Campbell, will be making her television debut and demonstrating Stone Setting in Metal Clay on Create and Craft TV using specially designed kits created by Jessica Rose and the London Jewellery School!

Anna will be live on Create and Craft on Friday 7th October at 4pm and 7pm and will be demonstrating how to use these fantastic three metal clay kits:

Beginners silver clay
Stone Setting Kit
Glass Setting Kit.

You can find Create and Craft on Sky 674, Freeview 23, Freesat 813 and Virgin 748!   Or of course you can watch her shows over the internet via the Create and Craft TV website (watch us live).

And do check out Anna’s behind the scenes sneak peak of the day on our Instagram account as Anna will be taking over our instagram account and will be posting about her experience throughout the day!  Either click on the link above to have a look or look up our instagram handle @londonjewelleryschool within Instagram! 🙂

Do tune in on Friday to watch Anna and see her create some stunning jewellery using the kits!

Good luck Anna!  We can’t wait to see your show!

Setting up for a Winter Craft Fair

london-jewellery-school-blog-jewellery-business-course-setting up for a winter craft fair

There’s not a cloud in the sky and there is talk of a heatwave coming and here we are trying to get you thinking of christmas in this latest blog post, and also in our recent 2-part series, ‘The C Word‘!  

Unfortunately this is the time to apply for the craft fairs and markets to take advantage of our busiest time of year – Christmas. Jewellery business tutor Anna Campbell gives some advice on choosing a winter craft fair and how to write a successful application.

It can feel a bit ridiculous to be thinking about christmas in August but it is now that the Winter and Christmas Fairs, that can be so lucrative, are taking applications. But, there are so many, from large craft markets to school fairs so how do you choose which to apply for?

How do I find a craft fair in my area?

Firstly, have a look at stallfinder which allows you to put in your postcode and search for events in your area. Also keep an eye on the local press and check out any markets that run all year round to see if they are having any special events near christmas. If there is a town hall or country house nearby check on their website to see if they are running any events. Finally, keep your ear to the ground in the local area. Consider the school fairs as well as the big events. Sometimes they can be cheap to attend and end up being lucrative.

How will I know if the event is worthwhile?

That is the big question and I don’t have a crystal ball! It is hard to know as attendance can sometimes be weather dependent and just because an event was good last year doesn’t mean it will be this year (and vice versa of course). Do your research and find out as much as you can about the event before making your decision to apply. Here are some things to consider.

 

Is this a regular event? Have you been to it? Do you know anyone that has been? Word of mouth is always a good starting point.

Does the event have a website? Is the information there clear for both stallholders and visitors?

How is the event being marketed? This information is usually shared with potential stallholders so check that you feel that there is effort and money being put into ensuring the event is well attended.

What is the cost of a stall? How much will you need to sell in order to make that back and move into profit? Sometimes it is less risky to do a few small fairs where the outlay is lower and so the amount you need to take each time is also a little lower, and when you make more it’s a nice surprise!

How easy is it to get to? When I have done central London markets including Camden Lock and Spitalfields I have had to lug my suitcase around in rush hour! Not ideal but it can be worthwhile!

How many jewellery stalls will there be? This is important. If there are a lot of other jewellery stalls your work can be lost so it is better to apply to a fair where there is going to be a good variety of different crafts for sale.

 

How can I ensure my application is successful?

The winter craft fairs and markets are the most lucrative and therefore there is more competition for each stall. Often there is a cap on the number of jewellery stalls too so you need to ensure your application is as strong as it can be. I recommend reading this article from the Design Trust on applying for a craft fair which interviewed people that make the decisions about who to take and who to reject. Some of their advice is:

 

a. Send good, clear images of your work

Your photography is key to show people what you sell and to allow the selectors to make an informed decision about whether your work will fit in with their curated fair.  Include a photo of your stand/display if you can as it will give the organisers an idea of your work and how you present it.

b. Have an up to date website

This is key to showing that your work is current and up to date.

c. Have a cohesive line – don’t hedge your bets

Many of us (I include myself here!) make different types of jewellery. I sell beaded jewellery as well as silver jewellery. Using your research, pick the line that you make that you think will fit best with the fair. If you try to show everything it can look a little confused and you may be rejected solely for this reason.

d. Don’t leave it until the last minute

Applying on the final day isn’t impressive and suggests you have time management issues! Try to ensure you apply well in advance.

e. Double check your details

Make sure you read your application through before sending it and  ensure everything is spelt correctly, especially web addresses and email addresses!

f. Be simple and succinct

The organisers have many applications to read and love it if you get to the point!

g. Don’t take it personally

If you aren’t successful in getting a stand at a fair you have applied for try not to take it to heart.  Your work is good, it may be that it doesn’t fit with the other crafts that have been chosen. If that is the case it is better not to be accepted and put in the effort and cost of attending if you’re not going to attract the buyers.

 

What advice would you give others who are applying for craft fairs? We’d love to hear from you so let us know in the comments below.

 

Author: Anna Campbell

LJG Guest Blogger - Anna Campbell of Campbell Hall Designs

The ‘C’ Word (Part 2)

 

'C' Word! (1)

So Part 1 of this blog talked about how you can start to prepare in advance for the Christmas Period and start building your inventory early.

Part 2 will look at how you can preserve your all important time for revenue generating activities by improving your productivity and reducing your admin. So how can you do this?

5. PLAN YOUR PROMO & OFFERS

A. CREATE YOUR MARKETING CALENDAR

I am a big advocate of planning your marketing and social media in advance, but it is even more critical you do this for the Christmas period so that you aren’t frantically worrying about what to post and when to post when you have a million other things to do. Get a big calendar and plot out the big events (remember Black Friday and Cyber Monday as these are great events for sales), and your special offers to coax people into buying.

For example, I offered Free Shipping (Special Delivery) for any purchases in November and a free polishing and finishing kit in December plus free gift wrapping. Some people offer free up-sell items such as stud earrings.  You may also offer early bird discounts for ordering early.   I essentially had what I wanted to post on social media plotted out including my newsletters (high level content at the very least) well in advance so I didn’t have to worry about what I was going to post on the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on any given day.

B. CREATE ALL YOUR COPY, GRAPHICS AND IMAGES IN ADVANCE

Once you have plotted out what you want to post, spend some time drafting compelling copy (you will always need to review and tweak just before you post but that takes minute) and creating images in advance using the likes of Canva (they even do an app for the iPhone!) or Picmonkey.

I blocked out a couple of days in September to take festive pictures of my jewellery and taking behind the scenes shots so that I had everything prepared in advance. Of course I left a little space to add in impromptu photos of Christmas fairs, custom pieces and work in progress, but I had 80% of my content planned in advance.

Then every Sunday I blocked out time to schedule the week ahead and I blocked out an hour each day to respond to comments and engage with my customers and followers. Time blocking really helped me make the most out of my time and meant that I could focus on social media time on engaging with people rather than writing and posting content.

C. DECIDE ON YOUR KEY DATES (INCLUDING LAST ORDER DATES!)

It is essential that you decide on the key dates for your business including last order date for custom pieces, last order date from your regular collections and when your shop will be closed to orders for the Christmas period. Then you know what the boundaries are and you can communicate these to your customers well in advance.

6. DECIDE ON YOUR PROCESSES

You have ordered your supplies and built your inventory, but there is another way you can streamline your work and that is by planning your processes or manufacturing operations in advance (can you tell I used to work in operations 😉 !?).

1. YOUR WORK SCHEDULE

Planning out your weekly work schedule can really help you organise your working week and working day. I tend to spend the first hour of every day responding to emails and spending time on social media.
Then I have dedicated workbench slots or days.

I like to batch together similar tasks such as soldering on cufflink backs or ear pins and do multiples of each task. I usually end up have 1 day of manufacturing (soldering, piercing, etc) and another day each week for polishing finishing and stone setting.

I then have a posting and packing day where pieces go to the assay office and post office) each week.

You have to be a little bit flexible, but by blocking out time for different tasks and doing what you can in bulk means you are usually more productive overall.

2. YOUR PROCESSES

Don’t make the mistake of wasting precious time trying to remember how to make each piece. Spend some time jotting down the process you follow to make and produce each piece of jewellery. It doesn’t need to be fancy – even a handwritten page in a notebook is fine – you can always work to having typed instructions later. Key information to include is:

A. Materials and dimensions – this way you can look up the dimensions and what the piece is made of (components and raw materials) and you can check your inventory and/ or start making the piece straight away without having to faff around measuring samples etc (or order the right materials and not forget anything!).

B. Time to make the piece including any parts that can be batch produced in advance

C. Step by step instructions on how to make the piece (include drawings or photographs if it helps) so each piece is as similar as possible.

D. Important notes such as alternate suppliers and any other relevant notes.

Also think about your order process end to end – I have a massive planner that is dedicate to my business and when an order comes through I enter the order in the calendar and add the piece to my workflow and diarise when I will make the piece (hopefully using pre-fabricated components), when I will assemble, polish and finish the piece (including setting any stones) and when the item is due to ship. I usually aim to do this well in advance of the maximum shipping date including in my listing so no order ever gets the stage where I am rushing to finish it in time.  I have set up all of my email templates in advance too including ato-responder emails as part of the purchase and dispatch process.

I also have 3 trays for papers – 1 for invoices for supplies or tools ordered, 1 for in progress orders and 1 for completed orders. This means I can easily file all my paper work at the end of each week without having sort through it carefully as I am doing this as I go. I put these papers in monthly folders which helps with my accounting each month – one of the first things to slip when things get busy!

3. OUTSOURCE WHAT YOU CAN?

You may want to look at any aspects of the process that you can outsource. For example, if pieces are being cast you may want to ask the caster to remove the sprue for you. Or get your pieces polished by a polisher. Or get a stonesetter to set your stones.

Find out the cost of this work and then establish if there are any processes you can get done more cheaply (or quickly) than if you were to do it yourself and try a few test pieces to see what the quality is like.

Even some help packing parcels a couple of hours a week or looking after your social media can be a big help. It can be a big leap mentally to do this (I really struggled with it) but at the end of the day your jewellery is still handmade, you have still designed it and done most of the work (certainly each piece has been quality checked by your hands) so it is worthwhile considering doing so that you can focus on the parts of the jewellery making process you are best at and enjoy doing particularly is your brand is taking off and you need to free up capacity to stay on top of your orders.

You never know, one day you may even hire bench jewellers to work for you so it is something you might need to get your head around sooner or later! The main thing I would emphasise is that if you do as much as you can in advance will really take some of the stress out of this busy time and make the Christmas period more enjoyable (and scalable!).

Do let us know of any tips and tricks you have learned to survive the Christmas period in the comments below!

 

Author: Karen Young

London Jewellery School Blog_Karen Young Bio

Celestial Night Beading Contest 2016!

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We are very excited to share the details of this amazing competition being run by our friends at i-Beads!

The theme of this year’s competition is the celestial night sky in all its glory and mystical wonders. Look up and observe the constellations and galaxies; delve into the vastness of the universe in search of inspiration using the unique TOHO seed bead in its myriad of colours to embody the cosmic ocean. The winner of this competition will win 10kg of Toho seed beads and a fabulous selection of Beadalon products.

Anyone over 18 years can enter and there are no geographical restrictions. The entry must be one jewellery piece made primarily of TOHO seed beads. The remainder of the piece can consist of any other material such as semi-precious gemstones, natural beads and SWAROVSKI crystals from the I-Beads range. Only one entry per person is permitted (no groups) and the designed piece has to be an original which has not been published or sold before.

More details like T&C’s and FAQ as well as designs that have been entered already can be found here:

http://www.i-beads.co.uk/celestial-night

Good luck!

Jewellery Business – Your Elevator Pitch!

What is an elevator pitch? Why do you need one and what should you say? Business tutor Anna Campbell gives you the lowdown.

 

Your Jewellery Business Elevator Pitch

Source: http://www.bottleshopconcepts.com/the-wine-elevator-pitch/

 

What is an elevator pitch?

If you’ve ever watched Dragon’s Den then you will know what an elevator pitch is. It’s a short introduction to your business, so named because it should be succinct enough to tell someone in the time it takes to go up in an elevator.

 

Why do I need an elevator pitch?

Being clear on your elevator pitch will help give you confidence when you are talking to potential customers, investors and retailers, as well as when you are introduced to someone new and are asked what you do!

 

What should I say?

Think about the ‘w’ questions – who, what, why, where, when

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • What makes your jewellery different?
  • Who are your customers?

 

You should focus on what is different about your business (your unique selling point) and also include a call to action at the end. For example, you might say

 

‘I am looking for investment to grow my business further’

‘I am looking for retail outlets that would suit my products’

 

How long do I have?

As the name suggests, you have the time it takes to go up in an elevator (20-30 seconds) so you need to distill your business down to the most important points you want to get across to the person you’re talking to.

 

How do I start writing it?

Have a think about the above questions and make some notes. Ask those close to you to give you some ideas, they will know about your business from the outside and may have some great ideas to add.

Have a look at some examples of elevator pitches to help give you some ideas.

 

Examples

Levi Roots pitch on Dragon’s Den.

Roots had sold 4000 bottles of his Reggae Reggae sauce at the Notting Hill Carnival in 2006 and, after securing investment on Dragon’s Den, his business expanded and was estimated to be worth £30 million by 2010.

You don’t have to be able to sing to do an elevator pitch but his approach was memorable!

Elevator pitches from students at St Mary’s University

6-tips-perfecting-elevator-pitch

Source https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228070

 

I’m not a salesperson, I’m a jewellery maker and I feel stupid and pushy saying all this

This is why it’s even more important that you prepare in advance what to say about your business! If you lack confidence in this area it can help you to have a mini-script that you have practiced. Practice is important, you want to feel natural and like yourself

 

Have you pitched your jewellery business to retailers or investors? Do you have any advice to share? Please share your thoughts on this issue with us in the comments below or via our instagram, twitter or facebook pages.