New Blog Launched!

Hey avid readers, I just wanted to let you know I have started the migration over to Blogspot. I’ll keep this blog open, and post the same things I post on the other blog, but I also wanted to let you know the reason for the migration. Blogger allows me to do much more with my blog, and integrates well with my Google Checkout Shop. I love WordPress, and plan on keeping this blog active, but just wanted the opportunity to reach more readers.  I love blogging.

 

Please come see my other blog at: http://naturalamberdesigns.blogspot.com

Advertisements

Why Twitter?

Pink and Marble Necklace

Pink and Marble Necklace

 

So are you Twittering yet? Twitter is one of the newest and fastest fads in social networking, the quickest and easiest way to follow and stay in touch with friends, family, co-workers, and just plain interesting people through the power of what you’re doing updates! I recently joined Twitter this past week, and have already met some great new people on the handmade website ETSY that I sell on as well as Natural Amber Designs, that I may have never ran into.

 

So why Twitter?

 

1. Keep up with all your friends, family, and co-workers.

 

2. Market your craft, your store, and your services.

 

3. Make new friends!

 

Embrace the power of social networking. You may never know what you are missing out on unless you try it.

 

Love the necklace above? Come see the Pink and Marble Necklace in my on-line jewelry store!

Small Business 101: Why Having a Day off is Okay

Green Teardrop Necklace

Green Teardrop Necklace

Remember the reason you wanted to have your own business? Many of us fell in love with an idea, a project, a craft and wanted so badly to one day have our own business, be our own boss, do what brings us happiness everyday, while bringing others happiness as well. Then there are those times, that many of us come too, where our visions of a happy successful small business become everything in our life, and then the balance becomes close to being non-existent. Yes, we all want to be successful small business owners, but it is okay to take a step back and take a day off. Yes, a whole day off.
I know that this can be hard for many small business owners, because I am one of them. I am so afraid all the time that I am not doing enough for my small jewelry business Natural Amber Designs, but there are times I work two weeks in a row without a day off. Working like this is not healthy for either you or your small business, everyone needstime away from the frustrations of lacking sales, or ignored marketing, and everyone needs time to inspire new ideas and cultivate them in their head. Don’t think as this as a bad thing, it really is a great way to rejuvenate yourself, your ideas, and your peace of mind. Dive back in refreshed and taking on new ideas —- and improving past ones.
Try to remember taking time away is not a bad thing. You want to remain passionate about your business, working everyday can lead to burn out and folding.
Love the necklace above, please come see the Green Crystal Drop Necklace in my store!

Handmade Holidays: The Gift of Giving

Green Floral Glass Earrings

Green Floral Glass Earrings

Please see Natural Amber Designs best selling pait of lanter earrings: Floral Green Glass Earings

The holidays are just around the corner, and with the popularity and desire of handmade gifts many artists are giving extra, from free gift wrap to free gifts! That’s what is so wonderful about shopping handmade, you always know that buying handmade is always a special shopiing experience!

 

This year at Natural Amber Designs there will be different free gifts being sent with orders! Currently I am giving away a free pair of Pink Lantern Earrings, and next month will be giving away free bracelets!

 

So what are other artists doing to spread the holiday cheer? Please see their comments below, as well as a link to their best selling item.

Jewelry 101: Trendy Gemstones

 

Pearl and Quartz Pink Bracelet

Pearl and Quartz Pink Bracelet

Being an artist in the world of handmade jewelry, the competition can be a little tough, but if you can follow the market, and research the wants of consumers you may find incorporating today’s hot new trends can boost business for you and your jewelry business.

 

In 2008, gemstones have been trendy, but will this continue to be the case going into 2009, many fashion experts agree gemstones are no where near going out of style.  Every bead magazine you pick up in the store show beaded gemstone jewelry on the cover, and Tiger Eye and Turquoise being the hottest of all those stones.  It’s no surprise why they are in style, people are trying to bring back that natural touch, jewelry fashion all began thousands of years ago with beaded gemstone jewelry.  So what can you do to start incorporating these much wanted stones in your pieces?

 

1. You Work with Metals Mainly.  Great, stones look beautiful with metal work. Write now charm bracelets are hot with beaded gemstone charms. Try incorporating a few in your designs.

 

2. You Work with Glass Only. Gemstones once they are polished look a lot like glass as well. Try making a beaded glass necklace and have a gemstone dangling as the pendant.

 

3. You Already Work With Gemstones. Are there any gemstones you have not worked with? I would expand your collection of beads and see what you can come up with!

 

Just remember to have fun, and love the natural beauty of gemstones. They are in.

 

Love the piece above come see it in my shop Pink Pearl and Quartz Bracelet

Etsy Renewing 101: When You Know Your An Addict

Beaded Picture Jasper Bracelet

Beaded Picture Jasper Bracelet

 

Handmade Jewelry has always been a popular category on ETSY, as well as competitive so often times an artist can find their work buried quickly among the category. Then the idea and philosophy of “re-newing” became popular, a way to renew older listings and get them back at the top of the category for more views, and potentially another customer! So when do you know you have been renewing a little too much, when do you know your are breaking the bank with renewing fees, when do you know you may be a renewing addict?

 

1. Every morning you wake up and feel the need to renew 3 or more items in your shop, even though you just listed them in the last 48 hours.

 

2. In the middle of the day you feel the urge to check your views, when you feel its been more then 10 minutes and no new views you proceed to renew three more items.

 

3. When you get home, and see your renews from earlier today only gained you little momentum, one new heart, and no new sales you proceed to renew another 3 items in hopes to generate another sell.

 

4. You have renewed more then 4 times a week, or more then 15 listings a week.

 

So waht can you do to break the addiction of renewing without your significant other finding your $60.00 ETSY bill?

 

1. Start out slowly. Feel the need to renew, renew only one item.  If you need to, renew no more then three times a day.

 

2. Find Other Venues to Sell In. Dont abandon ETSY, but also channel your money and advertising into another venue. I recently started shop on ShopHandMade.com, and I am starting shop on Dawanda. Both have low fees, and some have none at all and I am feeling the need to not renew as much.

 

3. Channel Support From the Forums and Chat.  There are many others who have the button finger and find themselves in the same pattern of throwing money out the window to renewing. Start a thread, and others will come and support!

 

4. Sit Down and Account. Really want to know how much it is costing you? Break it up all your costs and your profit. You may get so disheartned by the numbers you’ll stop cold turkey.

 

Come up with a plan, and stay with it. Don’t throw your hard earned money out the window!

 

Love the bracelet above? Come see My Picture Me Jasper Bracelet.

Jewelry How-to 101: Finding the Perfect Name

Green Floral Lantern Earringsg

Green Floral Lantern Earrings

 

Finding the perfect name for your business seems simple, but for many jewelry artists they have vocalized on how hard it was for them to come up with that perfect name. You want to come up with a name that is catching, describes your business in a nutshell, and a name you can be happy with. It took me 6 months before I felt comfortable with the name NaturalAmberDesigns

 

So as a jewelry artist, what can you do to simplify the process of coming up with a business name you love? Four simple tips: Brainstorming, Research, Advice, and Final Brainstorming.

 

1. Get Out Your Pen and Paper and Brainstorm.  This is one of the best and easiest ways to start coming up with ideas. Remember those good times from school when they said draw a table, draw a diagram, and just start filling it in with ideas? Find words that you feel describe your business, what materials do you use, what kind of jewelry do you make? Take those words and a Thesaurus and start finding words that are the same as what you said that you like too. Abandon the brainstorming and come back to it in a few days.  What words really stick out to you? What words sound good combined? Come up with at least three names, I recommend five that you like.

 

2. Research The Names You like. At this point I would take those names you came up with and start looking to make sure they are not already taken. Look on government websites, look on state websites, look up trade names and licensed name, Google it. If it looks safe its a keeper, if its in use legally ditch it.

 

3. Get Advice From Family and Friends. Pitch the names you have remaining to your friends and family and get their input. Ask them questions like, “Which one is more appealing?”, “With this name do you have a guess on what I am selling?”, “Does the name fit the product?” “What names do you like?” Narrow down the list from there, take the new ideas they have given to you and research them as well.

 

4.  Picking Your Name, Final Brainstorming. Now you have been sitting on these names for more then a week, and chances are there is one you like more then the others. Why? Is it suitable for you, does it describe your business, is it a name that can stand the test of time or is it more of a fad? If you like it, keep it. At this time point I would get a domain name in your name, and if you really like ti start considering the steps of registering it legally so no one can come under you and steal it.

 

Remember picking out a name is suppose to be fun, and help you get noticed in the world. Go brand yourself!

 

Love my best selling earrings above? Come see the Floral Lantern Earrings.

Handmade Jewelry 101: You Got To Invest in Your Small Business

Shell Hoop Earrings

Shell Hoop Earrings

 

Starting a home based handmade jewelry business? With the market being so competitive, it’s important to remember you need to invest in yourself and your business before buyers will invest in you. Don’t worry, you do not need to break the bank, and investing doesn’t mean necessarily in the means of cash, you just need to get your name out there and that often means you need to invest your time, a little bit of money, and continue to educate yourself in this highly demanded market.

 

1. Market Yourself. Yes, you finally made the step, you opened up your own website, your own ETSY shop, your own Dawanda shop….but you have no customers, what do you do? It’s important to get your name out there. Pass out your business cards, get friends and family involved and looking at your site, setup local flyers on grocery and bank bulliten boards. Do something. I try to set aside at least 30 minutes a day to market myself and my website NaturalAmberDesigns, as well as my ETSY shop.  Some of the newest and most popular forms of marketing have been: Twitter, Facebook, ProjectWonderful. Myspace, Google Adwords, AdManager.

 

2. Research. Twice a week I Google. I Google for ways to promote handmade jewelry, customer service, setting myself apart from the competition. I make sure I stay on top of the game, introduce new ways to advertise and market, and ditch the things that aren’t working or pull back some of my time from the marketing that is working but not as much as expected. Marketing is all about trial and error, and you need to learn and constantly educate to grow successfully as a small business owner.

 

3. Network. Networking is huge, a good portion of it will get you the referrals you need for your business. Join groups. Join Chats. Join forums.

 

Remember have fun, invest in yourself. Sometimes you need to spend a little to get a little in return. Bring people to you!

Like the earrings in the picture? Please see them here in my online store.

Home Jewelery Business Success Blog

Autumn Wrap

Autumn Wrap

 

It’s no surprise, from my past review on the Home Jewelry Business Success Blog, you know I am a huge fan of Rena Klingenberg’s website. I think it is such a wonderful, resourceful website and I owe so much of my success to her wonderful and informative blog.  Who would of known that by stumbling on her website I would become inspired to start a jewelry business of my own. Before it seemed so out of my reach, but with her step by step articles covering a wide array of tips, I felt fully prepared to start my own home jewelry business NaturalAmberDesigns. As I have said before I highly recommend taking a peek into her blog if you truly a serious about making a jewelry hobby into a small business.

 

I am very thrilled to share with you my newest tip that has been added to the Home Jewelry Business Success Blog, please come read my article about Custom Jewelry. I was very excited to learn she even added a link to my Bead Chest on my website!

 

Love the Autumn Wrap above? Please come see it in my ETSY store here.

Handmade Jewelry 101: Staying Motivated in the Struggling Economy

Green Fairy Necklace

Green Fairy Necklace

 

Handmade jewelry is one of the largest categories artists go into, but with the economy struggling, consumers afraid to let go of their dollars, how as a jewelry designer do you stay motivated?  Being new to the on-line scene I have days where I feel that it may not be my time to reach out beyond my local buyers, and then there are days, especially after receiving a sale that I know I am doing the next big and smart step in my handmade jewelry shop, NaturalAmber Designs. So how do I stay motivated? What do I do to make my shop stand out in this highly competitive market?

 

1. I add pieces to my shop daily. If I don’t add, I relist items in my ETSY shop and I have been building a Google Base as well. It’s especially important on ETSY to relist and renew at different times of the day since it is an international site. Listing late at night will reach to those customers across the seas.

 

2. Blog Daily. The more I blog, the more I stay motivated about what I love to do. I love making jewelry, I love sharing with other artists information that has helped me be successful, and it keeps me motivated and focused on my goals and why I love what I am doing.

 

3. Craft. Nothing can bring back the motivation like sitting down in front of your bead chest and bringing back the memories on why you started this adventure. I like sitting down and remembering the moment I told myself, I can make this bigger then a hobby.

 

4. Always Marketing Yourself and Your Goods. This step is crucial, and sometimes it may feel like you are doing this alot, but buyers can’t see your beautiful jewelry unless you show them it’s there. Experiment with AdWords from Google, Drop your blog link everywhere, build your own website. Building my website NaturalAmberDesigns has been very rewarding, and really makes me feel like I can do this. Don’t be afraid to pass out your business cards to someone new, or post them on a local grocery stores board.

 

Remember to stay focused on why you are doing this for yourself. It is hard to stay motivated during tough times, but things will bounce back. Just keep letting people know you are there. They will find you.

Like the piece above, come see the Fairy Necklace in my jewelry shop: Fairy Necklace

« Older entries