by Beth Crowell.
(Wilton, Connecticutt, USA)
After going the Wall Street career route for 8 years, I found myself with 2 kids and a dog living in Connecticut.
I’ve always had an appreciation for hand-crafted items and have taken many jewelry making classes over the years….so, I decided to rekindle my passion for work and a career by crafting one of a kind hand-made jewelry items.
I decided that because every woman is unique and with her own path, I could create a line of jewelry that reflected this concept. Keep in mind this was June 2008 – nobody told me how I was going to accomplish this goal.
Thank goodness for the internet (especially this newsletter). I quickly figured out how to find craft shows, set-up a website, put up a tent myself (the scariest thing) and fit everything into my car.
My biggest fear was that nobody would buy anything….no matter how many times my family admired something I made, I felt the big test was how the “public” reacted to my jewelry.
It’s now December, my last show was this weekend, and I officially have 13 shows under my belt (and people buy things!!).
I know the only way I survived this journey was with the help of other crafters. I cannot thank all those crafters enough who have given me tips from how to keep the water from pooling on my tent during a rain storm (use swimming noodles in the corners) to the best store to get supplies to advising me to use a dollie for school fairs because you typically have to walk very far to unload your things!
All I can do is “pay it forward” and this is the motto I’ve decided to follow.
The biggest thing I learned from doing shows is that there are a lot of jewelry designers out there and you need to do something to differentiate yourself.
I decided to focus on using sea glass in my designs and it has worked for me.
My immediate goal (now that there’s a break before shows begin again) is to learn how to increase traffic to my web site. If anyone has any suggestions out there I would greatly appreciate it.
And for all those people that have decided to take the jewelry plunge, I say “Go For It!” It’s a lot of work (nobody told me how much work this was going to be) but it is absolutely fufilling to hear someone say “that necklace is beautiful!”
Fantastic, Beth! Your jewels are beautiful, and uniqueness is absolutely the path to success!
Your progress is inspirational, especially considering the short time you’ve been in business, the economy, etc.
Networking with other crafters at shows and elsewhere is such a great way to share tips, info, support, customers, and other resources.
I have wonderful artist friends who work in all sorts of media, who have grown into a lovely, mutually-helpful network.
Thanks so much for sharing your uplifting success story, Beth, and keep up the great work!
Tips for Driving Traffic to Your Site
by: Jodi H.
It’s great knowing there is success going on out there. My husband and I just started selling jewelry to the public as well. Thus far, we have it displayed in two places and plan to begin doing craft shows. I’m glad it’s working for you. I come from an Internet marketing background and some great things to do to drive traffic to your site include: what you just did…write articles and submit them all over, write press releases about your company and submit them to any news outlet that would have an interest, write a blog and give tips on making jewelry or information on different stones or types of beach glass, create videos of you making a piece and put it on YouTube, and DEFINATELY get involved with social networks. If you haven’t already, join Facebook, Flickr (place your photos here for free,) MySpace, etc. Good luck and I wish you well!
submitting to magazines
Has anyone had luck submitting to magazines photos of work? I was thinking of making an attempt at that.