Finding New Market Niches
by Carolina Gonzalez.
New batch of polymer clay jewelry made for the customers of the Tea Bar where I make my Tarot readings. The bar has become a place of reference for many teenage (and not so teenage) goths and metal fans – and that’s a market niche that I personally love.
As a jewelry maker, my favourite part of work is making huge OOAK (one of a kind) pieces, but it would be really silly to expect that all my income would come from there. There are many reasons to make low-priced, assembly line style jewelry:
- The buyer of the 5 Euros earrings may have a mother/aunt/friend that can become another customer for higher price pieces.
- Assembly line work fills up stock for impromptu shows or unexpected jewelry parties.
- The goth teenager that spends 5 Euros today may spend 100 Euros in a couple of years.
- Assembly line processes reduce the time that each piece needs to be finished, allowing you to set lower prices; all the pieces you see in the pics were made from start to finish in one day. The pentacles were stamped with a stamp I made myself from a charm, but the sculpted pieces were made one by one without moulds. My husband helped taking care of the baking of the pieces and cut all the packaging tags from regular craft cardboard. Even with low prices, I am still making a decent profit.
- Buying ear hooks, ring settings, leather cord, etc., for assembly line jewelry reduces the cost of the finished product and of your jewelry making expenses. After several years making jewelry, I buy everything starting on a hundred! I hunt for wholesale all over the Internet.
- The packaging of all this pieces will also be reduced to the minimum waste, something I learnt when making give-away samples in the last years. There are many ways to reduce packaging costs, like buying zip lock bags in wholesale quantities on ebay.
It does not matter if a customer spends 5 or 50 or 500, they all get the same treatment from us.
Spreading the word about the website and our work and making contacts is actually just as important as selling is, because it’s the best way to set the way for future sales.
Selling to teenage market niches is just as profitable as selling to any other groups of people, and you have to stay up to their needs as much as with any other customer.
My usual customer buys my experience, skill, and knowledge of art when they purchase one of my high-end pieces, but teenagers buy the fact that I’m 33 and still wearing proudly my tattoos and Misfits t-shirts! Maybe because I am a Cancer and in many ways we’re eternal teenagers, I find it very easy to relate with them and I am as interested in what they want to say.
To be honest, I have got several very expensive orders from teenagers who had wealthy parents and wanted unique items, but my own teenage years were broke so I try to focus on very affordable stuff.
When I take jewelry for sale to the Tea Bar, I always take what it is called a “show stopper” – that is, a very expensive and complex piece that shows the customer the highest range of items I can make. Dolls are are always a winning item to make people stop and look.
This is one of my market niches where I sell more jewelry for men, because these are more unisex pieces, and also because goth and metal guys love wearing big amounts of jewelry too. Actually, the locket with a sculpted goat head that you can see on the pics above was a “custom” order from my husband.
Many of you know that selling jewelry for men seems to be a hard task, but it is not – you just have to look for the right niches.
I know that most of the followers of this blog has are other jewelry makers. I have been making jewelry on a minimum budget for many years, and that’s why I am writing this.
Don’t expect your sales to come only from the web, and diversify your work as much as needed until you reach your sales plan! In places like Spain, where there are hardly any garage sales or renaissance fairs, this is specially effective.
When I read US blogs written by jewelry makers that complain about craft faire experiences, I think – “Hey, at least you have craft fairs to go to!”
Author Carolina Gonzalez and her husband Fernando market their jewelry, art, and other creative work via the Internet as well as many local venues. You can see their work and keep up with them online at Magickshop, Carolina’s fascinating blog.