What, Me Worry?

by Doug Kelly.
(Blairsville, Georgia USA)

Do I Look Worried Now?

Do I Look Worried Now?

I got started doing jewelry with polymer clay as a hobby about a year ago. As I needed findings for earrings and such I thought about making my own.

One thing lead to another and I started doing things with wire on a jig.

That led me to toying and creating with sterling silver and other wire.

Colorful onyx agate with a handwrapped, color-coordinated wire.

Colorful onyx agate with
a handwrapped, color-coordinated wire.

 

Before I knew it was all over the place rather than being a niche creator/designer.

My background has been in the technical side of things for over 30 years, the doing things with my hands has been my release and tension tamer.

Jewelry was going to be a person-to-person presentation and on the Internet, a person-to-website deal.

I knew how to do the latter, but I am not real good at starting conversations and introducing me or my items.

I casually spread the word at work to the people I was friendly with and didn’t make a big deal out of it.

One day, one of the women asked me to bring in my items, said she’d love to see my work. (can you say ice breaker).

I did bring in some select pieces. Not only did she look, but 2 or 3 of “her” friends at work looked as well. (Networking at its finest!)

Although I made no sale that day (just 2 weeks ago), I have sold 6 pieces to that small group and today at lunch I am putting a “spread” out in the lunchroom at their behest.

My point here is that getting over the initial hurdle, worrying about how I was going to do with people in the face-to-face part of the business, was no problem.

I had some business cards made and handed them out and they have asked me for more cards to give out to their friends who see them wearing the jewelry and ask where they got it.

If I can do it, anyone can.

Doug Kelly

Comments for
What, Me Worry?

Way to go, Doug!
by: Rena

Great job on your networking with co-workers. It sounds like some of the cool jewelry-loving people at work will be source of sales as well as promoting your work to their friends and family.

How did your lunchroom jewelry show go? (Extra-profitable opportunities for shows like that are right before gift-giving occasions, and on payday.)

I can so relate about not knowing how to start conversations or talk about your jewelry. I communicate much better in writing than I do by talking, and the dread of having to “interface” in person with people regarding my jewelry kept me from getting started for a long time!

It sounds like you’re rockin’ and rollin’ – and have nothing to worry about! :o)

Thank you for sharing your upbeat story!

Starting a Jewelry Conversation
by: Anonymous

Thanks for the article. I am always stumped on how to start a conversation about my jewelry and talent. I have wasted lots of opportunities. This is an encouraging article.

update
by: Doug Kelly

Rena,

The lunch time spread was my biggest day of sales to date! And they want me to set up again every other week.

You know, I didn’t have one mirror at that set-up. I have purchased 3!

Last weekend I was home (I commute on weekends) and my wife and I went to see a dear friend to whom I had mentioned that I had started a new business. She invited us over for a salad and pizza. Well, 3 hours later and a 3-digit dollar purchase, she volunteered to do a home jewelry party for me!!!

If this keeps up I will have to quit my day job and do this full time. You know I started this to build it into supplementing my wife’s and my retirement income. I may now have to write an after-the-fact business plan.

Oh and so far today has been my biggest amount of visitors to the website with over 80! Want to know where most are coming from? A link from right here Rena! God Bless America! I love this country.

Doug
www.jdkellyjewelry.com

Love your story Doug!
by: Ann Nolen

Doug, I was so pleased to read your story and that you have ventured into the world of jewelry. I have never been a shy person, but I also struggled with how to bring up my jewelry with people. I was given some great advise lately, and that is to just be enthusiastic about what I do and don’t even think of selling. Well, it has worked like magic! It sounds like you have figured that out, and I am sure you will do well.
PS- My husband recently retired from being an auto mechanic and he took up Quilting as a hobby. Like you he enjoys the peace it brings to his day, and had no idea how many quilting friends he would make. Isn’t live interesting when you leave your options open!

Ann
www.AnimalCoin.com

Catch the Tiger by the Tail
by: Lizzy

Ann,

So true about not even thinking about selling. I will save my story regarding this for another blog. Life circumstances all hitting me at once. Maybe someone in the higher ups could have spread it out more evenly, for goodness sake!

The truth is that this trip where I am now, was my final shall we say – storm after the calm…no…that is not a good description. Maybe, “if it first you succeed you are sure to have major set backs.” (This is a twist on an actual quote: “If at first you don’t succeed, you will!”

Thanks all of you for your advice. Time to enjoy. What comes of it comes. What doesn’t is a tooth in the mouth of a tiger I am unwilling to pull!

Best of luck to all of you!

Not Selling
by: Doug Kelly

You know what I do that works for me?

It is something I have always done in my 20 years of sales & marketing since my 18 year Navy career.

I am the least pushy person you may come to know.

It was my upbringing I’m sure. The way I was raised. Born in WVa and grew up in Ft. Lauderdale – Mom said I’ve never met a stranger. So befriending people comes naturally. My thing is that I never push anyone to buy! I don’t use the Zig Ziglar methods or any of that stuff.

What I tell people is that the decision to buy is theirs and theirs alone. We just became friends and the last thing I want is my friends to be upset with me if they are unhappy with their purchase, not that they will be you understand.

The decision to make the purchase will be up to them. Immediately the pressure is off and they feel more relaxed and they don’t feel like they have been pushed into a corner and bought something they didn’t need or want.

That works in the face-to-face, but can it be applied to Internet sales? What do you folks think?

Doug
www.jdkellyjewelry.com

Catch the Tiger by the Tail
by: Lizzy

Ann,

So true about not even thinking about selling. I will save my story regarding this for another blog. Life circumstances all hitting me at once. Maybe someone in the higher ups could have spread it out more evenly, for goodness sake!

The truth is that this trip where I am now, was my final shall we say – storm after the calm…no…that is not a good description. Maybe, “if it first you succeed you are sure to have major set backs.” (This is a twist on an actual quote: “If at first you don’t succeed, you will!”

Thanks all of you for your advice. Time to enjoy. What comes of it comes. What doesn’t is a tooth in the mouth of a tiger I am unwilling to pull!

Best of luck to all of you!

Internet sales – what works
by: Terri Wlaschin

I am still trying to figure what works. I spend time fanning people on facebook, leaving comments on blogs, paying to promote my items, and trying to insert tags I think will bring people to items on my site. I signed up for google analytics so I can monitor where traffic is coming from and which items get the most hits. But, hits do not necessarily translate to sales. Neither do etsy hearts – most of the people hearting me seem to jewelry artists themselves so they are not likely to be buyers.

My theory is that you just have to get a critical mass of people regularly visiting and eventually they will buy. I still do shows so I can add people to my email list and periodically remind them of new items in my shop. And, I have a facebook fan page I use to tell more about my inspirations for my jewelry. In looking at etsy’s highest sellers, most are selling jewelry that is relatively inexpensive ($20) and items that are easily reproducible, which is fantastic for them. Unless your product fits in that category, I think it just takes time to build a volume of customers.

Terri
http://starseedjewelry.etsy.com
http://bit.ly/starseedjewelry_FB

Advertising & Marketing
by: Doug Kelly

This could be long but I will try and prevent that.

We all need to get maximum mileage from our domain name (JDKellyJewelry.com) so it is imperative that you put it on everything and here’s a list.

email signature
thank you notes
post cards
stationary
post it notes
envelopes
magnetic signs for your vehicle
lettering for vehicle windows (back window please)
all posts in blogs and forums
shirts
hats
banners for booths and tables

There is literally no place that it should not be seen. Vehicles are rolling billboards. Why did I say rear window? Because everyone has a chance to see it on your rear window – it’s plastered on the face of anyone following you. Everyone in the parking lot walking past your vehicle on the way in and out of the stores.

Now thing abut who sees it on the side of your car? Much more limited. Why not both? Good idea. One word of caution; leaving anything that looks like a package in plain view of your car with Jewelry lettered all over it can be an open invitation for a thief. Make sure your jewelry business and items are covered in your home owner’s policy. For the life of me I cannot figure out why the car insurance doesn’t cover theft from your vehicle, but it doesn’t.

Doug Kelly
Website www.JDKellyJewelry.com
Bog http://jdkellyjewelry.blogspot.com

An addition to Doug’s ideas…
by: Pam Carnesi

There is a web site called www.mygirlfriendshouse.com – they have all kinds of marketing, promotional and packaging supplies. One of their items is a weather resistant business card holder which attaches to the outside of your car. People going by your vehicle can just pop it open and take a couple of cards. I have not yet tried this, but several of my friends have, and have been very pleased with the new business it draws.

Internet Sales – Agreeing with Terri
by: Lina

Hello There, Reading all the above comments its amazing how we all go through the same steps.
When I first started sellignit was to my friends and people at work. But you soon realise if you are to keep on doing what you love ,ou need to reach a larger audience and not the same audience. Jewellery is not something that the same customer will buy week in and week out.
I get lots of encouraging feed back and click on my website that sometimes does turn into sales.
I also add new people to me email list and send out a monthly newsletter with new items and offers.I think this does work, but you need to be consistent and it it for the long run. It’s mostly about people becoming familiar with what you do and over time they may come to need and use what you are offering.

What, Me Worry?
by: Destash Rehash on Etsy

Well done you!

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