Teaching And Selling: A conflict of interests?

by Ruth.
(The Netherlands)

question-mark-007I am preparing to start turning my jewellery hobby into a business and am thinking about the possibility of running classes and selling kits with tutorials as well as selling my own work.

But I am wondering whether this would be a conflict of interests. Would having people become enthusiastic about making their own jewellery cause a reduction in sales of my own work?

And if I did do both, would it be OK to market both services on the same website?

I would appreciate advice from anyone who has already been there and done that. Thank you!

Ruth

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Comments

  1. Hi Ruth, some people just want to take a jewelry class for fun, and will still buy finished jewelry made by someone else. (In fact, having a selection of your finished jewelry at your classes can lead to sales of your jewelry.)

    And some people want to learn how to make jewelry because they don’t want to buy pieces made by other people. They want to design and create their own jewelry – regardless of whether they take your classes or someone else’s.

    For the jewelry you make to sell, you might want to teach some of your designs (for example, the simpler ones), but not others. It’s OK to keep some of your designs and techniques to yourself.

    And as for combining both your finished jewelry and your classes / tutorials / kits in one website – I think that’s a good idea. It shows your expertise and it’s easier to have a one-stop place for everything you do than trying to keep up with two different sites.

  2. I believe you should separate the two, because you really are targeting two different markets with different products and your messages will be different.

    When I started Nelson Jewelry & Gemstones, I was selling beads and jewelry. So for the fans on Facebook, what were they interested in? Did they join my Facebook page because they liked my jewelry or because they wanted to buy beads? Are people wanting to buy jewelry getting bored with my Facebook posts about beads? Vice versa.

    Same with a newsletter. Who is it going to? What will you focus on? Will someone who signed up for your newsletter because they wanted to see new jewelry be happy when they get a newsletter about wire wrapping?

    Same problem with SEO (search engine optimization). You want your SEO to be highly targeted. You’ll dilute both products by combining them.

    I’m creating a new site called Nelson Beads to separate my beads from my jewelry, then I’ll create a site focused solely on jewelry. For a mere $29 a month, you can get a jewelry site going on Shopify. You could market your jewelry making on a self-hosted WordPress blog.

    When you market to your jewelry buyers, you can always offer them the option of learning how to make a piece themselves with links to your jewelry making property.

    But as Rena said, it’s more work maintaining two properties. If you separate the two, then you’ll be much better able to target and gauge your marketing efforts.

  3. Carolyn says:

    I fully believe you should have the two. My husband and I are painters (he’s a popular abstract artist and I’ve just begun painting with the hopes of retiring my jewelry business). Even though he’s an accomplished artist, we take art classes together and buy from our instructors because we so admire their talent and skills. We know, without a doubt, that no one can copy what we do and that we can’t copy what they do because we have different abilities and interests. I also think that even though people go to your classes, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will purchase all the necessary tools and materials or that they will stick with it. For instance, my husband is interested in learning encaustic painting but he’s not going to spend hundreds of dollars to do it commercially; however, he will attend a class to learn more about the craft. When I first got interested in jewelry, I took a class at a jewelry store. I quickly learned I didn’t want to invest in all the equipment and tools I would need but I learned what I could do with just a few hand tools and that’s where I’ve stayed. I think the majority of people who take your classes or buy your kits and tutorials will not go into business. As you know, it takes more than creating a piece of jewelry to go into business. Some of our artist friends offer classes and their artwork on the same website and/or at the same locations — it fills two niches and creates more income and interest.

  4. Catherine Franz says:

    You have two different target markets. Those who are DYIers and others who aren’t. Know when to offer which and only offer the items that apply. Many of us do this. I do too.

  5. Thank you all for your valuable advice. One thing is for sure then, I will do both. I have been researching on Etsy a little and have noticed a trend with sellers who sell both jewellery and kits/tutorials on the same site – they sell mostly kits/tutorials and not much of their jewellery. Maybe that’s just on Etsy and they sell their jewellery on a separate website or at fairs, but it seems to me that some kind of separation is the way to go. Now I just need to figure out how to do that in a manageable way.

    Thank you Rena for providing such an excellent platform for us to share ideas!

  6. PhyllisC says:

    I’ve just started teaching classes, although I have been offering small kits for sale when I am doing craft shows. I find there is a good, steady market for the beaded kits, and it brings in additional $ for those who don’t want to purchase my Unique designs. When you are selling, there is always someone who says” I can make that”, and I can tell them ” YES you can, and here is the kit to do it!!! 🙂 It really gets a laugh, and most of the time they buy wither the item or the kit. I also have premade kits at my jewelry parties/classes, as well as the sample of who how it looks finished, and some of my other Unique OOAK items, and they usually sell too!!! What a fun life and opportunity to meet new people, work in Air Conditioning, get new and loyal customers – I always have a sign up sheet for them to join my email list ( either for new available kits, or jewelry I have made). I haven’t had the time for Keeping up with a website, or Facebook, but believe them both to be good ideas! Maybe someday………… ( when I retire)………. or if I EVER have more time……….hmmmmmmmm

  7. I sell my own hand made one of a kind jewelry mainly from our local farmers market, but also from a small workshop and gallery at my home where I also offer classes & sell beads & tools.
    I only have one website which has separate pages for everything we do (I also sell my husband & some friends crafts as well as my own). We treat it like a gift store where you can look at multiple items, offers and services.
    I find that people who have bought my jewelry and then come along to a class will come back and buy more jewelry from my stall or store after the class as they like my eye for design. They have enjoyed the class and some go on to buy the tools and beads, but find that the hardest part is coming up with the design.
    My classes also give free choice of beads, but I am thinking that I may in the future make up kits in different colours and they will then go on to choose the colour they like and everything is there already as most of the time at my class is spent choosing beads.
    I have had two websites in the past but find it very time consuming to keep up with both and have enough content for people to want to come and look at that individual website. I tend to get more visitors to the joint website and don’t feel that it changes my sales at all.
    I wish you all the best in your ventures and hopefully you will find a great solution that suits the needs of your business and home life.

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