Q & A: Making Your Jewelry Business Meaningful

Jewelry and Coffee with Rena
Video Episode 5

by Rena Klingenberg.

A jewelry artist asked me how she could make her business meaningful when jewelry is a “frivolous sort of product”. So here I share four easy yet meaningful things you can do for your customers.

The Jewelry Rena’s Wearing
in This Video:

Turquoise cube necklace, green patina earrings

Necklace: African turquoise and hematite, by Rena Klingenberg.

Earrings: Brass with patina, by Pobbletoes.

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  • Cory says:

    Hi Rena,
    I found you about 2 years ago when I started making jewelry and was researching everything about it. You always have great advice and I love your emailed Jewelry Tips! I just found your short videos, nice to see who the lady is behind all this knowledge!! I just wanted to thank you for all you give to other jewelry designers like me, your resources and information are always so helpful.

  • I’ve written before, but I totally agree with Cory! Your email newsletter is the highlight of my day (and my days are very busy), and I always find something useful and exciting. you’re a great jewelry enthusiast, writer, and encourager! Your books are great too. Thanks again from a bead-sista!

  • Janet says:

    I truly loved your response to Question # 5 about how to make your jewelry business meaningful. It is a question that I have been struggling with since I had to stop a nursing career and start an at home business due to a disability.
    Thank you so much. Regards, Janet

  • Patricia says:

    Rena, is there supposed to be a video? It doesn’t play for me. Is there a secret to it?

  • Hi Patricia,

    Yes, there is a video above – it’s just above the line that says “I’d love to hear what other ways you make your jewelry business meaningful!”

    I’m not sure why it’s not playing on your screen – did you try refreshing your page?

    There isn’t a secret to playing it – just click the big triangle in the center of the video to get it started. Please let me know if you still can’t get it to work.

  • Thank you all so much for your kind words!

    Cory, I remember when you first submitted a lovely photo of your jewelry to the gallery on my old website! 🙂

    Bead-sista Shirley, it means a lot to me to know you take the time to fit my newsletter into your busy days as a chef – thank you!

    Janet, I think one of the best things about a handmade jewelry business is that we have the opportunity to touch people’s lives one at a time. They don’t feel like they’re “just a number” with us, and we can give them the rare gift of being truly seen, heard, and valued.

    Thank you for your kind feedback!

  • Janet says:

    A friend of mine did not agree with my concern that jewelry making was not meaningful. She said that it’s about the old book, Chop Wood, Carry Water. It is not what you do, it is how you do it.

    If you can do it in a “prayerful” or meditative state, you have done something wonderful. Also, if you do your work with a heart of thankfulness that you have this skill, and this way to support yourself.

    Thanks for your site., Janet

  • zoraida says:

    I so agree with your interpretations of “meaningful” in a customer/sales type experience. Giving someone your undivided attention is essential. It is a sign of respect which is often lacking in our society.

    At a recent show, my daughter called me on my cell while I was talking with a customer. Normally, in this situation, I wouldn’t take the call but in this case, I had to. Words like “please excuse me for one second” and telling my daughter I would call her back was all that was necessary to keep my customer happy. They also spent those few seconds looking at my items.

    I think that women often buy jewelry that is meaningful for them. I had customers who purchased particular items because – it reminded them of their mother (she used to wear brooches and loved birds nest) or recently lost a loved one (and bought crosses for her and her daughters). These things are very important and I feel honored to be part of their journey. Who would have thought that making handmade jewelry would be so personal…and fulfilling!

  • Tamara says:

    Hi Rena!

    I absolutely feel that making, selling and giving jewellery is meaningful, on so many levels. For me, it has to do with the concept of beauty. One of my favourite quotes is one I first saw on the wall of my doctor’s office, underneath a beautiful nature picture:

    “A thing of beauty is a joy forever and a possession for all eternity.”

    I feel my purpose in life, or at least one of them, is to create beautiful things. Jewellery is one way I do that. I feel that when I create beauty, I am doing something that causes eternal ripples. It speaks of the creative Creator who has given me my creative gift. And it brings people joy, and a way for them to connect with themselves as they find the right piece for them.

    Not to mention the fact that colours and gemstones and materials have certain energies to them, as well as the energy of the artist that is carried into the work. When you are wearing a piece of jewellery, it is much more than surface adornment. It strikes at core issues. It can heal us, lift us, and make us feel like who we really are.

    I feel so blessed to get to be a jewellery artist!

  • Deborah Leon says:

    Every now and again we need to be reminded of the basics, don’t we? You’re tips in making your business meaningful is common courtesy, honesty and kindness..simplified not being rude. Wow…it really does go a long way.

    I’ve been in fairs next to a vendor selling their wares for $10… clients will pass them up spend a 1/2 hr. and & $100 in my booth just because you give them attention.

    I just dropped $180 at a fair because the artist clued into my personality and it helped me make a decision between 4 different bracelets and almost decided on none. His extra attention to detail help me to make a purchase and my husband was in full agreement with him. It was well done….I’m not an easy sell.

    Fair Winds and Calm Seas,
    Deborah Leon

  • Jocelyn says:

    I very much enjoy making new pieces of jewelry from old pieces. My friends give me pieces of broken or vintage jewelry and I take them apart and ‘redo ‘ it into another piece . I love jewelry and enjoy giving new life to pre worn pieces. I feel that these pieces have a special warmth and carma to them. People love the ‘recycled vintage’ idea.

  • Michele Counihan says:

    I’m so glad to have discovered your blog and great tips. I’ve been making jewelry for years but just retired from my full-time job and am devoting my days to getting my jewelry business into full swing. Jewelry, both by making it and by wearing it, is how we express ourselves and there is nothing trivial about that. Museums are filled with these artifacts of women’s history.

  • Consuelo says:

    I just want to say, I love this newsletter. I look forward to hearing from you, Rena and all my fellow jewelry maker out there. Most of us are at home or our own store, isolated sometimes from jewelry makers in the business, and when we read this newsletter, we are connected. I love making pieces that find their rightful owner. I mean by that, that I make each piece for someone else to wear and enjoy, not only for me. Sometimes, I actually have seen some jewelry years later on a person and I am surprised that I made it.
    I am trying to build up the business and increase sales, and I find your advice and encouragement, just what I need.

  • Thank you so much, Consuelo, that’s so lovely to hear! I deeply appreciate your taking the time to let me know. And I’m glad you’re here making jewelry with us! 🙂

  • zoraida says:

    Rena, you are so insightful. Your honest approach to business is delightful! I don’t believe jewelry making is a frivolous pursuit at all. It is often similar to other mementos people cherish for many reasons. I’ve had many requests for custom pieces where someone asks for a design that reminds them of a loved one. Sometimes it incorporates a special component that belonged to someone else. Sometimes wearing a piece of jewelry makes one feel special, prettier or more confident about themselves. Sometimes jewelry is a sort of amulet. There is nothing frivolous about making others feel good in any sense. This is my favorite type of jewelry to make. It makes me feel special and honored to be part of someones journey. I often engage in deep conversations with people who look at my jewelry and the rewards are more than financial. They actually help me grow as a person. I know this comment is getting a bit long, but I can recall incidences where someone would say “I can’t wear something like this, I’m to fat, to short, to shy, to tall etc., then way away wearing it with a smile. Jewelry can be empowering!

  • Katie Lynn says:

    Thank you so much for this insightful and inspiring article. I too have been struggling to make Simply Katie’s SK Wire Jewelry truly meaningful to my customers. Struggling to see how this gift of creativity and jewelry design could manifest itself as a true ministry. Jewelry is a luxury item true, and I honestly believe it has the power to enhance the most beautiful aspects of our physical selves, as well as our inner beauty, our character and personality. You beautifully articulated the exact message I’ve been trying to present since I started back in 2005. And thank you for showing me that I’m not alone in the desire to share the same message in creating a personal shopping experience that enhances the customers true beauty.

  • Zoraida, I so agree about the wonderfulness of helping someone see past their perceived limitations (“too fat, too short, too shy, too tall, etc.”). So rewarding to see that kind of personal breakthrough!

    Katie Lynn, thank you for putting into words the way jewelry can enhance both the tangible and intangible aspects of a person. Your customers are blessed to have a personal shopping experience with an artist whose jewelry is much more than just “bling”.

  • Kerrah says:

    How to know how to price jewelry for Shows/ Farmers Markets? Please and Thank-You for all ins and outs. I am new to this venue of selling. I sell quilted items for 10 years now.

  • Hi Kerrah, you’ll find a lot of jewelry pricing info in this post here: Jewelry Pricing Formula.
    That post also has links to other jewelry pricing tips and solutions.
    Wishing you all the best with selling your jewelry at shows and farmers’ markets! 🙂

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