Making & Selling Jewelry: Psych Yourself!
Having been a certified school psychologist for almost thirty years and a jewelry designer for six, I can’t help but use my unique perspective in crafting and marketing my jewelry. I hope that some of these ideas might help others, too.
Selling and marketing my own jewelry creations has been a challenge and a real learning process. At the beginning, I sold mostly to friends and neighbors who admired my creations. But, soon, I expanded my market by selling at a few craft fairs. When I realized that my jewelry was not well suited for the typical craft market and that it took a great deal of time and effort to participate, I decided to try the gift shop or gallery route.
Consigning to a gallery or gift shop has many advantages in my opinion since they basically do the selling and marketing for me. The main disadvantage is that they take a percentage of the sales, usually 30 to 50%. However, if you figure in the cost of participating in a craft fair, the time, etc., consigning may not be so costly.
Here are five psychological tips I would suggest as you develop your artistic skills and try to sell your work.
1. Be Flexible
I have found in designing my sea glass jewelry that often the wire wrapping doesn’t work or the gemstones don’t look right or whatever seems to go wrong. Rather than working forever on a frustrating piece, I will leave it and come back to it later. And, usually, I find that it is best to be flexible and start all over from the beginning with a new idea.
2. Be Persistent
This goes with the above. You can’t give up every time you hit a road block or someone criticizes your work or you lose a sale.
Keep in mind the positives – that others have bought and/or admired your work, that you have had sales, that you enjoy what you have made!
3. Be Confident
Having a positive attitude is always attractive and often leads to success. If people see you enjoy what you are doing, they will enjoy it, too.
Granted, artists are usually pretty insecure about their work and wonder if others enjoy it, but we must overcome our insecurities if we are to continue to create. One way to boost your confidence is to develop a Facebook page. It is great to have people “like” your work and offer encouragement when you post a concern.
It takes a lot of courage, I know, to approach a shopowner or apply for a juried show, but you will gain more confidence as you learn to market. Remember your successes when you get that turn down!
4. Improve Your Skills
If you keep on doing the same thing over and over, it gets to be routine. With the internet, books, classes, and your own creativity, you can develop new skills and ideas. And, that is not just with your artistic skills, but also your computer skills, your marketing, your displays, etc.
According to Freudians, there is no growth without anxiety, so it is important to take some risks in order to learn those new skills.
5. Enjoy Your Passion
If you are not enjoying the creative process, then find out why. Perhaps you have made it into a job or habit rather than a love.
It should be fun to decide what materials to use, to find them, to design a piece, and, yes, even to market it.
Good luck to you!
Lucky Sea GlassTM