Selling Jewelry that People Want to Buy

Recently I signed up to sell my jewelry at a Holiday Bazaar. I had tons of jewelry from past shows that I felt was not getting the attention it deserved, even though I think it was priced right and I had great positive feedback from previous customers. Why was I always walking back with tons of unsold stock? 

I did a bit of thinking and put myself in the buyers' head. Ok, so why would someone want to purchase my jewelry? Perhaps to give it away as a gift? Or to wear it with something they already have. I get that for a buyer it is often hard to imagine a piece of jewelry without the context in which it could be worn. Often times, a buyer is unable to imagine all the possibilities. 

Now, we usually have no more than 7 seconds to grab someone's attention (see my previous post on this,) so how could I make it a no-brainer for a potential customer to buy my jewelry, and at the same time add immense value to their Christmas shopping? 

I figured I would have to come up with a way that would address these 2 needs of my potential customers (to buy a gift for someone or to buy something that goes with a piece of clothing they already have).

So I went on Pinterest and explored jewelry packaging. If you know anything about me you can probably guess what's coming. Yes! A new Pinterest board:

From all the ideas I screened, I liked the idea of "boxing" my pieces so they each get individual attention and respect! I designed this box that would double up as a stand-alone display space as well as something that is "gift ready". 

As you can see, I have taken away some of the "thinking" that usually goes into a buying decision and made it a no-brainer for my ideal customer to pick it up. The boxes are gorgeous in and of themselves, eye-catching even from a distance, and make it easy for someone to grab as Christmas presents that they do not need to be packed later. 

Each of these boxes was created in my living room and carefully set against a background color that complements and enhances it, helping a buyer imagine the possibilities. .

This is what my stall looked like with all the pieces lined up. Can you see how eye-catching it is? 

I have never had so many people comment on my stall as I had this time! Even those who did not buy said that they loved my presentation.

I must say it was an Aha moment for me. The market has spoken and it was a win-win for both of us!

Art Journal Page: Step by Step Video

Hey guys!

Today I am sharing a video of an Art Journal page I had created for my last blog post. If you are an aspiring artist who wants to try your hand at collaging and mixed media, this video is for you! You can watch every step along the way as this dreamy girl's page comes alive with colors. Enjoy!

Art Journal Page

I had fun doing this Art Journal page today. Took pictures of every step of the process. Will post a YouTube video if anyone is interested.. Let me know in the comments below!

Quick Tips for No-Mess Painting

Do you wish you could paint more but dread the thought of cleaning up afterwards? Well here are some quick tips on all you'll ever need to have a great painting experience without creating ANY mess. Read on..

Tip #1: Invest in a Water Brush Pen

My #1 tip for anyone who would like a no-mess painting situation, is to invest in a water brush pen. This is a neat little device that costs between $5 to $10 and has a tiny squeezable barrel feeding the brush and can hold up about 50 ml of water. I use Pentel's Aquash brush. It's refillable and capped, so there are no leaks or spills. The good thing about this water brush pen is that the brush is made of synthetic fibres which, unlike a regular brush, never wears out! I have had mine for over 2 years and it's still gong strong. 

Tip #2: Invest in Water Soluble Crayons

My absolute favourite is the Neo Pastel II by Caran d'Ache. These can be a little pricey but boy, do they last! Remember, for water color painting, you need Neo Pastel II (not I). I accidentally purchased the wax crayons first (which are not bad but not my favourite for my kind of painting.) Neo Pastel II have a creamy, smooth application and you only need to pick up a little with your water brush pen. After you are done with one color, just wipe off the brush on a dry or wet tissue.

Tip #3: Invest in Water Soluble Color Pencils

The reason why you would need Water Soluble Color Pencils in addition to the Water Soluble Crayons is because it helps to color is small spaces plus sometime you just want to go for the pencil effect. If budget is an issue, skip this purchase entirely for now (and maybe treat yourself to it one day).

I really can't decide between the Mitsubishi UNI selection or the Dervent Inktense ones. I love them both equally! They produce vivid colors and are easy to apply. If you can afford it go for 24 colors.

This is what the inside of my Mitsubishi UNI water color pencil set looks like. I have used this set for over 6 months and as you can see, it looks almost unused. But the reality is far from it. These pigments are so intense that you only need to pick up a little color on your water brush.

My handy-dandy painting pouch typically contains only the following six items:
1. My 4 x 7 inch moleskin water color journal
2. A pencil
3. An eraser
4. My 10 color Neo Pastel II set
5. My Water Brush Pen
6. A sharpie

And the best thing is that there is no clean-up required!

See how compact it all is..

Hope you found these tip useful. If you liked my tips please leave a comment. And don't forget to subscribe for more tips for the artsy-craftsy person in you here

#art #craft #painting #watercolor #pentel #carandache #Uniball #craft #moms #craftymom

Art Supplies Haul Plus Random Doodling

Has anyone heard of or used Faber Castell Gelatos? If not, I can tell you right now that this product comes with the promise of vibrant creamy colors and is supposed to be amazingly easy to use! Popular as it is with artists (especially card makers and art journalists,) I surprisingly did not find it in any of my regular Art Supplies haunts in Tokyo (I have been looking for almost a year - feels like a decade).. Until yesterday when I accidentally discovered it at Joyful Honda! I could not conceal my delight and anyone could tell I was besides myself with joy. 

Ok, ok. I could have ordered it online and all that but when you think about shipping costs and negative eco-points I thought I should be a good girl and wait. Well the wait paid off!

Joyful Honda (Mizuho) recently re-did their Arts and Crafts floor and that's when they must have added it. Or, they might have listened to the enquiries of an eager customer like myself. LOL! At ¥1,749 they are a bit pricey for a pack of four, but I think they should last a while. Let' see! I got myself 2 sets. Aren't they yummy?

Can't wait to use them!

I also bought a ton of yummy Acrylic paints, mainly Americana and Ceramcoat - all replacements for colors I had run out of (average price ¥146).

Last but not least, I just had to pick up these gorgeous patterned paper by Bo Bunny and Jen Hadfield. I am especially happy about the Jen Hadfield set because it has my favourite Moroccan print plus Chevrons! Rare sights in Japan, I tell you.

Ok, and you might be thinking that I did this doodling with my new supplies? Actually no, I did it before. I got totally inspired by Flora Bowley and then went out to splurge on my new supplies.

If you like to keep in touch with blog posts such as these, you can always subscribe here. 
Talk to you soon..

#fabercastell #gelatos #craftsuppy #howto #DIY #crafts #color

Preparing for Craft Shows #3: Build your brand!

Hey there!

So, today I am going to share my experience with branding for your craft show. One thing to remember is that a craft show is an event that has a limited life span but your "brand", if you build it right, will live way beyond that and bring you repeat customers and new orders.

Based upon my countless failures and successes, I have put together these 5 nuggets of branding wisdom for you to mull upon as you prepare for your next big craft show or event. 

1. Carry Your Business Cards

This one is a no-brainer. The first thing that someone who seems genuinely interested in your brand might like is to have your business card. Now this does not have to be super fancy or crazy expensive but you could even DIY it with some creativity. If you are really into the game and would like to outsource someone to make a pack for you, try
I designed and printed mine on my home printer.

Also, here are some great ideas for your to check out on my Pinterest board on Business cards.

Crazy Creative Business Cards.

I would put these details on my business card:
  • Your Name
  • Your Business Name and Logo
  • Your Creative Title (e.g. Designer, Crafter..)
  • A website they can find out more about you (If you don't have a website yet then this could be an online storefront or a blog)
  • An email address where they can contact you
  • All of your key social media handles like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc.

Make sure to slip your business card into their bag of purchases so they contact you even after the event. Also, try to socialize around other booths and exchange business cards. You never know who might buy from you or what ideas you might pick up from them.

2. Use Creative Price Tags

The price tag is what most people will look out for first as they try to form an impression about your brand. And rather than have $10 written on a boring price tag, why not increase your chances of being liked, by picking price tags that are eye catching and aesthetically appealing.

Again, I have put together together this Pinterest board on price tags that you might like:

Creative Price Tag Ideas

3. Display Your Business Name

The only reason I recommend you to have your Display Your Business Name even in a craft show is because I want you to have a repeat business (from customers who are regulars at craft fairs) and for your brand to live "beyond the event". People make a note of and remember an attractive booth if your have your Business Name displayed prominently.

Also, if you already have an online shop or website, try to be consistent with the logo and theme of your brand.

4. Engage your Audience

Freebies and giveaways are some of the ways to engage with your audience. I mean, who doesn't like a freebie?! I often see small "Dozo" baskets (take free) on stalls. This just helps your audience form a connection with you and your brand. And they might feel like giving your booth more attention than they normally would. Remember, it's all about capturing people's attention and imagination.

I haven't tried this yet, but next time I plan to create even more engagement with my audience by running a contest through a Facebook event, so people who found out about the event on facebook and tell me they did will get a value-pack giveaway.

5. Promote Yourself

Ok, I know as crafters and designers we might be a bit shy about "promoting" or "selling" ourselves but you know what, it's ok. Promotion is another way of letting people find you easily.

If you are already on social media here are some before, during and after event tips to try:

1. Post "peek preview" pictures on Facebook or other sites as teasers.
2. If you don't mind sharing more details about the event location, go ahead let people know more about how awesome and exciting it's going to be, and where they can find YOU. (Booth number, location etc.)
3. Don't forget to let your friends know so they can spread the word about you!

1. Look like you are enjoying yourself.  Keep moving about, fixing your stall and smiling to passers by. People are more likely to buy from you if you don't look desperate, anxious or concerned.
2. Tweet interesting snippets of how its going throughout the day, making sure to use event hashtags.

1. Try to post pictures of your stall (with you in them if are not shy like me ;) and post them on social media with a note about how much fun you had and how successful your show was. 
2. Try to go on to the organiser's website or Facebook page and thank them for organizing the event. You will be surprised at how many people get to event pages after the event is actually over. 

So there you have it! My 5 tips on how to build your brand while you sell at craft shows. I hope you found this information valuable and will come back for more.  

If you missed any of my previous posts on Preparing for Craft shows here they are:

And, don't forget to Subscribe to this blog. I will be coming back with MORE ideas, tips and tricks! Have a great week and I will see you soon!
#etsy #etsyjapan #crafts #crafting #handmade #handmadeology #craftshows #sell #crafty #smallbusiness #branding #brand #sales #creative
#localbusiness #businesscard #business

Preparing for Craft Shows #2: What should the price tag read?

When it comes to pricing your handcrafted items, the million dollar question is "How much should I charge?" 

What does "Pricing it Right" Mean?

As creative people, this might be an area where a lot of us struggle. We are consumed with self-doubt and self-worth as we place the price tags. We live with myths of our own creation. "OMG! Will anyone even buy it if it's priced so high?" "People like cheap stuff", "If it's cheap then I will sell more!", "Why would anyone pay $25, when they can buy something similar at Forever21 for $6"...

STOP UNDERPRICINGRemember that buying is an emotional decision. And you are NOT competing with China. You can't! So don't even try! People who care for the handmade label will come to you even if your items are priced higher than a factory made item that serves the same purpose. 

People don't go to Starbucks to buy "just coffee". They go there for the experience. They go there for the ambience. And they are willing to pay extra for that.

Focus on Quality and Uniqueness

As long as you keep your overall attention on quality, uniqueness and an enjoyable shopping experience, you are on the right track. Tout the Handmade label, and go ahead and price your item as high as you think it is worth. What's that, you ask?

And is there a formula?

Here's a rough pricing model that seems to work for a lot of artisans:
1. Hours spent x $7 (e.g. 0.5 h x $7 - $3.5)
2. Material cost (e.g. $5)
3. Hidden costs: Travel costs, Booth Cost, Electricity and other shared costs over the total number of items you are likely to sell (e.g. $2.5)

In my example, the cost so far is $11. To calculate the sale price, add a suitable profit margin. I am going with 50%, so that adds up to $22. This is your "Wholesale" price. 

Hours + Materials + Hidden costs + Profit = Base Price (or Wholesale Price)

You could sell 100 of these items and still make a profit. However, if you are selling directly in a craft bazaar or even on an online store like Etsy, I would double that to get the "Retail" price, which would be $44. (This is what a fancy retailer would display your item for in a shop window.)

There is a great article for Etsy sellers that talks about what to do if you think that the price of the item seems too high for the market. There is always scope for improvement in your method and line of production, the materials you source and how you source them (online or not).

And again, remember: DONT UNDERPRICE! It's just not worth it!!

Next time, we will look at even more aspects of selling in craft shows, so don't forget to Subscribe to this blog! Have a great week and I will see you soon!

In case you missed part #1 of this series, you can check it out here.

#etsy #etsyjapan #crafts #crafting #handmade #handmadeology #craftshows #sell #crafty #smallbusiness #branding #brand #sales #creative
#localbusiness #businesscard #business