Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Found Fish!

A while ago, I posted about these adorable earrings I had made from a pair of beads that I had received as a free gift along with my order. They were rose quartz and had a hole where the eye would be. I really liked the way they hung like that.
Anyway, the pair of earrings sold quite rapidly at the Gallery and I was dismayed that I could not find any more beads like that to make more earrings.

Well, time passes, and two things happened right around the same time, about a week ago. First, I found a supplier for those beads! They've got them in over twenty different gemstones. They are drilled lengthwise as well as the hole through the eye, but that's okay. I'm just glad I found them in a source that also provides so much variety, and at wholesale prices!
Second, the woman who bought the first pair of earrings from the Gallery had left me a note requesting another pair. She said the first pair she bought ended up as a gift, but she liked them so much, she wants another pair for herself.

That's such good news. It's funny how things go that way sometimes.
This supplier also sells sterling (and gold) findings that are way cheaper than where I've been getting my findings. So I can go to them for that as well. I think they have a minimum order, but it's only $50, so that shouldn't be a problem.
They do carry Swarovski crystals, which I like to use in those fish earrings, but unless my simple math abilities are seriously screwed up, they're not even close to being cheaper than where I normally get my crystals. That's kind of a bummer. But oh well. Such is the way business is done.

Oh! They also have bear beads, too! I've seem them called fetish bears, or zuni bears. I'm probably going to pick up a few kinds of those as well. You know, for those people that don't like fish. Who doesn't like bears??

In other news, I found more cardstock for my earring cards. I had been using leftover cardstock from my brothers wedding. But, I'm down to my last sheet. The 110# cardstock I got from Office Depot isn't heavy enough. It's fine for item tags, but it isn't sturdy enough to stand up on its own while supporting a pair of earrings. But, with the wonderful help of a friend of mine, I discovered that the stuff I had was 80lb. cover paper. I found a local paper supply store, brought in my last sheet, asked for 80lb. cover paper and eureka! It's a match!
So now I have a whole ream of it that should last quite some time. I can get four cards per page and I have 250 pages. So, after I sell 1,000 pairs of earrings, I'll need to buy another ream! I joke, but if people like these fish (and bear!) earrings as much as I do, then they should sell pretty well.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Busy, busy, busy!

Yes. Been a while. I know.

I'm now up to three sales from my Etsy store, and I'm even working on a possible 4th sale that will be a custom order. So far, my experience on Etsy has been great. Most of my customers have been so nice. I say most because one sale, I've yet to hear anything from. She paid quickly and so I sent her the item. It has been delivered, but I have yet to receive any word from her or even feedback. That's okay, though, perhaps she is out enjoying her new jewelry!

Speaking of feedback, in a previous post, I was lamenting how I wasn't sure if I should leave feedback as soon as the buyer pays or if I should wait to hear from them if they like it or not. Well, originally I had decided to wait to hear from them first, just in case they weren't quite satisfied with it or something. I wanted my feedback to include that sort of communication since I DO believe that paying for something is NOT the only responsibility of the buyer. They are also responsible for communicating their satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with their purchase. How can I make things right if they don't tell me?
But, after that first sale, I just decided to go ahead and leave feedback for the buyer when they paid. Or actually... when I shipped. That way, I can send them a message telling them I've shipped their order, and leave the feedback at the same time. I've done it that way since and so far, I'm fine with it. It was just another thing to try to remember if I left feedback for later. *shrugs* We'll see if it continues to work.

I'm still trying to keep up with the Gallery... as well as trying to make more things to list on Etsy. I got a message the other night from the Financial Secretary of the guild. She's the one that makes sure the artists get paid for what they've sold at the end of the show. She's very nice. She just wanted to tell me that so far I've sold twenty things. She said she didn't know how much I initially brought or if I've been restocking often, but she just wanted to let me know so I could restock if needed. Heh, I guess it's not a common thing for an artist to sell that much in such a short time.

My success in the Gallery has made me think I should raise my prices a little. And everyone I talk to about it agrees. I see their point, but I'm also of the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mindset. My brother says that if I raise my prices, yes sales might drop a little, but that would mean I wouldn't have to restock so often, and then when I DID make a sale, I'd get more money to make up for the decrease in sales. Sounds like sage advice... I think?

I wouldn't be so worried about keeping up if I didn't have that craft show looming over me in December. I'm still not sure how I'm going to keep up making things for the Gallery as well as listing new things on Etsy as well as have a decent inventory for the show.
I am getting a new order in soon, with lots more supplies. So, perhaps once that is in, I'll be able to just make tons of stuff and then sort it out later.

As I've said before... it's a good problem to have! I'm not complaining!