Sunday, December 26, 2010

The little things that help us succeed

As we near the end of 2010 I've been thinking a lot about my business. What I accomplished this year and what I want to do next year to make it even better.
While doing this summary I started thinking about how some small things that you hardly even consider, can actually contribute and help one's success. Like the post office for me.

A few years back I was living in a city in the center of Israel and selling my jewelry in my own brick and mortar store. My online activity was very limited then. I had a website and a small etsy store but I wasn't really active since my b&m store was taking most of my time.

Then we decided to take a life changing step and moved to a small village in the north of Israel. I closed my store as it was too far away from my new home for me to be able to keep it. At this point I decided to focus on my online activity and started really working on my Etsy store and other online venues.

Now here's the funny part - when I was living in the city, every visit to the post office was a nightmare. They had long lines and I had to wait forever everytime I was there. No way I would have been able to go through this on a daily basis. If I had tried to focus on online selling at that time, It is very likely I would have given up or that my service would not be as good. The post office in my village is small but with great and fast service. It only takes me a few minutes. Beacause of this small thing, I am able to go to the post office every day and ship all my orders so that no package ever waits if it's ready to ship. So for me - this small thing, a small and efficient post office, is one of the factors that helped my busiess grow.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pictures from Barcelona

As promised, I am posting some pictures of Barcelona from my recent visit there. Had a wonderful time. The city is beautiful, the food was great and the weather was just perfect.
Last time I was in Barcelona was on my honeymoon and it was really wonderful to return.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The worst time to be without a camera

While I was on vacation in Barcelona just a couple of weeks ago, the string holding my camera suddenly tore and the camera dropped to the floor. Unlucky for me - the screen broke. This of course was very upsetting as I love to take lots and lot's of pictures when I'm traveling. So we ended up buying a small not too expensive camera to use for the rest of the trip and came home with many beautiful pictures of Barcelona which I promise to share in one of my next posts.

However, this was not the end of the story. The broken camera is the same camera I use to photograph my jewelry. It is one I picked after careful examination and found to be best for my needs. Needless to say the the new camera could not replace this one for my business purposes. So I took the camera to a lab to fix and am now waiting for a part to arrive which will take about a month!!!

Of course this is the worst time in the world for me to be without a camera, with the holidays just around the corner and many new items just waiting to be photographed and listed in my store. Lucky for me I have some great friends that came to the rescue and lent me their camera to use until mine is fixed. So these are some of the picture I took with it:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Short vacation before the holiday rush begins

Last year was my first christmas as a full time internet seller so I was really not prepared for it. Of course it was wonderful to get so many orders but it was also very exhausting. So this year, just before the holiday rush begins, I went on a short vacation to Barcelona!

What a wonderfull city! So vibrant, colorful and happy. Not to mention how inspiring Barcelona is! Everywhere you look there's something beautiful and artistic. I am sure all this inspiration will develop into new design ideas for my future works.

So now I am back, rested, full of energy and ready for the upcoming holidays. I have started to prepare my store for christmas shopping, listing some new items and also making use of Etsy's new coupon feature to offer special deals for black friday, cyber monday etc. From today and untill cyber monday (29 november) I will be giving a 15% discount on all jewelry in my store. Just enter the coupon code BLACKTOCYBER to receive your discount.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The jewelry I wear

You might think that being a jewelry designer and being sorrounded by jewelry all around means I wear some new jewelry every day. The fact is that I don't. Some people are loyal to one pendant or ring which they wear every day, others like to put on something different everyday. I am somewhere in between - I do stick with a few designs that I like wearing again and again for days, but my loyalty to these designs is only for a couple of weeks, not for life.

My daily jewelry "wardrobe" is basically just earrings, which I can't live without. I rarely wear other jewelry items for everyday, only for special ocassions.
Though I like all the jewelry I make (or else I wouldn't make them) I do find some of them are more me than others. So I admit - I have favorites! Every time I make new items I tend to get infatuated with a couple of the designs and make a copy for my personal use. I usually have about 2-3 favorite earrings that I wear for a while untill I am drawn to something else.

So here are my currently favorite earrings:

1. White pearls in sterling silver bubbles earrings
2. Rose Quartz flower earrings in sterling silver
3. Flower drop earrings in sterling silver and golden stones

Monday, October 11, 2010

My jewelry recipe book

As my business grows I find it necessary to get more organized. While in the past I could just remember how I created each design and remake it as needed, now that I have about 200 different items for sale - it's almost impossible to remember everything.
So I bought a nice big notebook and started writing down my jewelry "recipes". I made a sketch of each design with a list of materials, measurements and any other detail needed to make the design.
It felt a little strange and technical at first but I got over this feeling after realizing how much easier it has made my life. Now when I get an order I just go to my lists and all the information I need is right there, I can get to work on the design without wasting any time on recalling how I made it in the first place. I guess sometimes small things can make a big difference.

I have been working on many new receipes, preparing for the holiday season. Here are a few new design I just "cooked":

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What makes a best seller?

I often wonder what makes one item in a store sell better that another. What is the secret that makes a product into a best seller? If I knew the answer to that I would be rich and spending my time traveling around the world. But I do have a few ideas that are of course only based on my own personal experience.

Exposure - This is the obvious reason. Last year I had my filigree hoops featured in etsy's holiday gift guides and they received tons of daily views. As a result I sold many pairs of these. But since these earrings were one of my best sellers even before this extra attention I know this is not the only reason.

Pictures - when selling online, pictures are the basic thing that sells your item. I have several items that were not selling well and after improving their pictures, they suddenly became some of my most popular items in the store. It's amazing what a good picture can do.

Timing - If your item fits a specific need at the specific time it is needed, it will sell well. Of course you don't always know what that need is. A few years ago I made a ring with some birds parading on it. I sold only a few and stopped making them. Last year I re-made it and listed it in my store, It sold so much better. It turns out birds are "in" right now and the ring became very popular. Same design, different time and it made a huge difference.

I think you need a little bit of each of these factors to make a best seller. If you have the right product at the right time with a great set of pictures and a bit of exposure to display it to the world, success will come for sure. What do you think? any other ideas on what make an item succesful?

Here are some of my best selling items in the past and present:


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New colorful personalized jewelry

It's been a while since my last post but I've been busy with good things - working on new collections and preparing for the coming holidays season.

I'm exited to share the first few items from my rainbowmetal new collection. I opened rainbowmetal a year ago and to be honest I have not been able to give it my full attention. Handling 2 stores is not an easy task. But my head is just filled with ideas and plans for this store that are just waiting for me to find the time to create them. So I finally did and I am very happy with the results, hope you like it as well.

The new collection is all about personalized jewelry, that is of course made of colorful metal. After all, if you are going for a personalized pendant with your favorite word, name etc., why not make it in your favorite color as well?

So here are a few samples, many more will follow soon. Enjoy and feel free to comment and share your thoughts.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Metalsmithing in hot summer days

I love my work. I enjoy sitting in my studio and working on new jewelry designs. Watching as simple wires and sheets transform into wearable jewelry pieces.
The only exception is summer! Summer is a real joy killer when it comes to metalsmithing. Soldering with hot fire is the last thing you want to do in such hot summer days!
In my previous studio I had no air conditioning so this was even more difficult. When I moved to my new studio, air conditioning was the first thing I installed. But even with the air condition, working with fire is still hot. So I find myself only working on orders I've received. New jewelry designs will have to wait just a little bit longer - until fall arrives.

Here are a few items I've created before the summer hit:

Monday, July 26, 2010

Green - my new favorite color?

My favorite color was always purple. But recently I find that more and more I am tending towards green. I found myself picking green items when shopping for clothes, bags, makeup and other things. So you can imagine what happened in my last visit to my gemstone supplier - many different shades of green beads and stones came back home with me!

I don't know if it's just a seasonal thing or a permanent change in favorites, but I thought my new favorite color of the moment deserves a blog post, don't you?
Maybe it's this HOT summer that makes me looks for cool and fresh looking colors. Green always looks refreshing and cool.

So here are a few of the green items I have created recently. Hope you like them as much as I do.

Chic green stackable thin bangle
Cute matte texture green earrings
Triangular green flower earrings
Floral teardrop earrings with a green stone

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The funny story of my dragonfly earrings

I wanted to share a funny story about a dragonfly design I've been working on. To be honest, I don't like dragonflies too much in real, life but somehow in art forms they are just adorable. I have created several designs with a dragonfly center. I have a pendant, some hoops and a skinny bangle. For a while now I have been wanting to make a pair of dragonfly earrings with some dangling beads to add some colors to them. But the funniest thing happens every time I try to make these earrings. Every time I start working on a dragonfly I get a sale of one of my existing dragonfly designs. So I end up using the dragonfly I made to fill the order I received and the earrings don't get done. Once I tried making 2, just in case this happens again and guess what? I got 2 orders for dragonflies. What do you think is it just a strange coincidence or is someone trying to send me a message?

No picture of the earrings since they remain unfinished. If I ever manage to get them done, I promise to post a picture. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New section in my blog - In a designer's eyes

I'm opening a new section in my blog that will be called - In a designer's eyes. In this section I will be sharing with you things that I love that were created by other designers in different fields.

I have been making jewelry ever since I can remember myself, but if someone told me I could no longer design jewelry, I would probably still choose a career in design. I just love good design in any field - interior design, fashion, houswares, industrial design etc.

Not that I think that being a designer makes me an expert on design but since I am a designer and this is my blog, everything I see is looked through my designer eyes and my design taste. Hope you'll like it as well.

I will start with something from my own field of expertise - jewelry. Though I make my own jewelry I still love and appreciate other jewelry artists that create unique jewelry works.  
I picked 2 jewelry designers that make some unique combinations of materials.

Donauluft combines metalwork with beading. I like how the connection between these 2 materials, metal and beads, looks together. Beading with seed beads is a lot of work (I should know, I have done this myself) and not always appreciated enough. I think the combination with the sterling silver upgrades the jewelry don't you?

My second pick is by 3squares who combines colorful fabrics in her metalwork. There are many ways to add color to sterling silver jewelry, some more traditional like adding gemstones and some newer and more innovative. I find the use of fabric to be an original and great way to add color and texture and to create something unique. Take a look:


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Post earrings

As I said in a previous post I wrote, earrings are my favorite piece of jewelry.  You will probably never find me without a pair of earrings on.
One of the wonderful things about earrings is that there are so many different kinds of them and everyone can find something they like. There are hoops, chandeliers, dangling earrings and there are post earrings (or stud earrings).

There are many reasons people like stud earrings. Some people don't like to see the ear wire of the earrings and feel the design is more complete if it starts directly from the ear. Others just want to hide their ear lobe. And others might be sensitive to long or dangling earrings and simply prefer a very small stud earring that sits on the ear and doesn't move and bother them.

So basically stud earrings can be a tiny small dot or a large fancy piece. The possibilities are endless.

I have been experimenting with different styles of stud earrings and I really like the results so far. Here are just a few samples of what I've got so far. More designs will be developed and listed in the near future.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Casual jewelry for everyday

In the past few years statement jewelry have been very trendy. These are big noticeable pieces that upgrade your total look. If you are going to a party or just a night out in the town, a big statement necklace or bangle will definitely do the trick.

But for everyday these jewelry might be too much. When going to work, meeting friends or any other casual everyday activity, you would not wear something too extravagant. For casual activities you will need more simple and quiet jewelry. Jewelry that will upgrade your look in a more moderate way. I call these - casual jewelry. Maybe it's a bit less glamorous than statement jewelry but they are very handy and you can wear them longer as they will probably not go out of style too quickly.

Here are a few casual jewelry items that I like in particular:

To see more casual everyday jewelry, visit my store.