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Fast Start Your Jewelry Business

Lesson 4 of 5

Free Preview: Keep Up on Trending Forecast

Kari Chapin

Fast Start Your Jewelry Business

Kari Chapin

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Lesson Info

4. Free Preview: Keep Up on Trending Forecast
It is always a good idea to keep current on what is happening in your industry - find out how.

Lesson Info

Free Preview: Keep Up on Trending Forecast

One thing that's important when you're planning a jeweler business is keeping current on trends, so no matter what your style is there, no matter what you're personally really into while that certainly has the is overall most important part of your business, it is always a good idea to keep current on what is happening in your industry. I encourage you to set aside some time in your calendar to research new ideas and to keep up with different trends within that your customers are also interested in as time goes on. There's a lot of different, really good ways to do this, which on dh there's a lot of different kinds of trends that you should be aware of. Five color style changes, seasonal changes where people are what people are wearing, and and now, like, for instance, my friend nicole just recently discovered layering her jewelry. So now when she goes somewhere, she buys like five necklace is that that she feels all go together like that is a trend and jewelry that it would be good to...

keep up on, because maybe you would start designing pieces that are good for layering are good with incorporating with somebody else's work. If somebody has a particular necklace that they wear every day, keeping up on color trends, styling trends and photographs, pinterest is a really great place to do this looking at other people who have jewelry business is is a really good way to do this, just keeping your eye on what people are doing, how people are selling and what people are responding teo and you don't have to go out and buy a bunch of magazine is to do this work you can just simply, you know, look on instagram. You can put in different hashtags into instagram to find out what people are saying when they say favorite necklace for example, that's something that I actually tried when I was writing the materials of this course if I put a hashtag in, say, instagram, that said favorite necklace or everyday necklace things like that what was I going to find people actually instagramming and then tagging items like that? And I did so as faras instagram goes, I think there's this whole new area instagram that's very interesting, which is in scram as research versus just instagrammers feedbag her instagram is connection there's a ton a ton of different research you can do on instagram, which before I would have said that, you know pinterest was really the best place to do that are just looking at other etc shops or reading blog's, but now instagram has given us the tool that lets us do this market research in a second which is amazing and a big a big time saver and you could do it from anywhere that you have access to your phone and in a couple of minutes, so keep keep keeping current on. Trans is really imperative when it comes to having a jewelry business, because ultimately your businesses, if, like, like red red scorpios, really about heritage and family in nostalgia and mixing that together with jewelry. So, you know, she would want to really zero in on those kinds of trends or what's happening with people who collect memory pieces or that translator based on family jewelry or making memories. So that would send rachelle down one whole other path that somebody else he's making really modern jewelry or jewelry for young people would need to go to when it comes to trend. But also this will help you plan your future lines that will help you figure out the direction of your website and everything else that you want to do. That has to do with small elements of your branding. A lot of that will come from what what you like about what the world is responding to, and that is just what trends are. So keeping current on the trends in your industry and then specifically in your genre of what you want to do is really important, and this is another part of owning a business where you have to schedule the time to do this, but it takes you away from your actual making, but it will help you're making when you get to that when you have the time to do that, and when that is your focus of that day, it will help you decide when you're working on new designs or getting in touch with your ideal customer. If your customer in particular it happens to be responding to her involved or really passionate about a current trend, then you know all the better for you. If you can find your ideal customer when you are looking through these trends like where do these turns in your ideal customer in your business, all intersect is a great place to nowhere to be um, so this is one element of owning a business that you need to make the time for another one of those is always be striving to improve your photography. We're going to talk with alexa a little bit about this, but I think that it can't really be said enough that your photographs are really what sells your business, and a lot of experts that I talked to with handmade businesses all really tend to agree that the number one thing they do that can make or break their business is if they have good photography or not make learning to use your camera a really big part of what you're doing that is really important. Improving in photography makes everything easier on your customer makes them understand what you're selling a lot easier. It makes them feel more confident about buying from you when you are when they're looking at something online and they can't pick it up or see it or tell the weight of it or is it really delicate and dainty? Are they going to feel that if it slips off? Is it really big? I told alexa funny sorry, what was it's funny to me? So hopefully it will be funny too as well, because I'm telling you no matter what, but when he first started, I bought a pair of earrings and I said earlier to j k o that I warned the same pair of silver hoop earrings for about twelve years I think I got a pair when I was in my twenties and like, I don't know every five years I replaced them because I lose one and that's that's just about this is interesting is that part of the story gets I just don't change them out and but I it was time for me to change them when s he first started so I ordered a pair of silver hoops and there's a lot of information on the shop page but I looked at the photo only which was a really great photograph and I bought the earrings and then when they arrived they were like giant hearings that say janet jackson would have been a key off of when I was in high school and warn them then but that obviously didn't work for me today so that there had been something in that photograph that had shown me the size comparison of the hoop earrings to an everyday object even that would have been an improvement in that photograph because it would have helped me to understand what I was getting a lot more easily then photography which is also keep your using instagram what other ways are best to build that instagram tribe for jewelry when you're looking at trends and looking to find your ideal customer well hashtag is number one really important if your customer ever happens to do a search on instagram when they're looking for something in particularly since instance sales are becoming more and more popular we talk a lot about this in my facebook group how handmade businesses air using instagram now to drive their sales and even actually hosting sales right on instagram aa lot of people find those through particular hash tags I think that statistics say and if anybody in the chat can correct me if I'm wrong but that the ideal number of hashtags to really get traction on any given photograph is eleven that feels like a lot to me I'm never going to sit around and show you a picture of something that I'm working on and thinking about eleven different hashtags to say about it so sometimes I try to build my hash tags into my description of the photo rather than say what I want to say and then hashtag it eleven more times but that's one great way to go about it the other great way to go about building your instagram audiences to let people know that you have it and is tio build a cause of action that you want your customer your community to participate in that that revolves around instagram so for example I am trying to get teo the number one one one one on my followers today so not only eleven away from that so so that could theoretically happen but so I've asked you teo hashtag what you're making and put me on that and put me on that today on your instagram so that is you know another way that you can do this just by letting people know that you actually haven't instagram account and this is what your using it for, but instead, sales are a great way to do that. Letting people know about it, of course, is the best and most obvious way about it, and then being active there yourself learn a couple of different rules around it's to graham and how people are using it for sales and then follow those one thing I like studio is, and I talk a little bit about it in the action guide is I have recently become a little bit more familiar with a web site called canvas dot com, where you can make graphics and, like you could make an easy etc banner or facebook banner or a twitter banner with their free templates that they have. You can choose the size that you want, so you don't have to worry about seventeen million times sixty or whatever the specifications that you get from these websites are they have the the banners all they're ready for you to use, and then they have different type you can choose from and different colors, and I actually make instagram size promotional slides that I put on instagram. I have a program that starting in january, and I make little ads on canada for it and papa right into my instagram count all the time, so, you know, there's, lots of lots of different ways that you community. Can communicate. I just listened tio podcast recently with an instagram expert who also happens to be creative. I've instructors soupy zimmerman, and she said on the podcast, even though that was a couple years old, she said, if you're using your instagram for business and this sort of stuck with me and I tried to do it yesterday, when my producer and I went out to lunch, but she said, if you're using instagram for your business and you want to show me a picture of what you ate for lunch, that's really boring to me unless you can tie it back into your business, and I love showing people what I have for lunch, so I'm never not going to do that, and my instagram is mostly pictures of my pets sleeping because I can't resist that either. But she said, to use your hash tags or the description to tie that back into your business, like I love working from home, where you can watch my dog nap all day long, it makes me feel a lot more comfortable and so lucky teo work from home, which I guess would be like if I was talking about entrepreneurship or something like that would be the part that connects the photo of my dog sleeping back to my business, so yesterday I wanted to show everybody that I had a delicious sandwich with my producer justin and then and so it said something like, I'm so I'm in san francisco at creative lie right now instead of just putting up a picture of my sandwich so that's one way that somebody was interesting, creative, live and they were searching that as a hashtag they might find me and that's one way that I could build my audience. I've lost the question now, but we did have a question earlier where they were asking about they seem to only be able to get followers who want to follow back, so they're frustrated with instagram because they're really they're really looking actually make relationships and partnerships rather than just collect followers. I love I love that and I really like this conversation. Tio I get a lot of requests on facebook where people say like my new business and it might have nothing to do with me like somebody might big helicopters and they want me to like their helicopter business if I like your helicopter business, I'm not really doing you any favors because it's just one more like that you have on your page, but I'm not ever going to be your customer because I'm never going to be sitting around, you know, wondering what I need to buy a helicopter this weekend? How could I do that? I know I'll turn to me facebook groups, you know, it just doesn't really happen like that. I think that we ask for a lot of followers sometimes because it feels really good to have that number of the big, so we'll say follow me and I'll follow you back. That's not really very useful for you as faras sales gore's faras you present because she wouldn't engage with people who really care about you, and if you only have twenty people that are ever going to buy your necklaces from instagram, you only need twenty people. So stop while you're ahead if you were to have two thousand, but only twenty people responded, wouldn't that feel worse that night is twenty people in twenty people lot like you want to really have the engagement with people who want to be engaged with you in your bed, snus and if it doesn't feel like that's a two way street than just simply don't do it and stop feeling bad about it if you have low numbers that's ok, as long as your numbers are strong and solid that's, what really matters is that those people are actually interested in your business on that it's going to make a difference for them when I get these blanket requests to please follow me on instagram or please follow my liking, the facebook page or whatever it may be. I used to always do it because I wanted to make people feel good but then I realized when they're sending out their messages on facebook and they have four thousand followers and only six people see it probably feels pretty carmi and I'm one of those people that was just going to sort of scroll past it anyway because I was just trying to make them feel good to begin with I'm not their ideal customer so if you're just trading likes for likes that's not and you're not trading like information with a customer or kinship with a customer and that's not really what you're going for so only do things that you really want to do for your business and that make you feel good not not things that you think make you look good teo either yourself which is pretty hard or to other people, so we definitely all want high numbers I would close down my true confession I would close down my facebook fan page in a second thiss feels kind of scary to say this, but I started a page for the handmade marketplace six years ago in that book came out and facebook actually had fan pages and this was sort of when facebook was becoming better for the world not just kids in college and I started a handmade marketplace facebook page which probably updated once this year I mean I'm not very active there onda part of that is because there's a where five thousand people there that don't really see what I post I've both the small private facebook group in the studio which you can become a member of by going to my website and subscribing to my newsletter today um and that's where you really want to interact and that only has six hundred people in it it's not as impressive as the number of five thousand which is on my my book fan page, but nothing happens there those five thousand people are not connected to me they don't know any anything about me really except for one day they clicked on the like button, which I appreciate and I'm grateful for, but I keep that page because those numbers are important to other people in my industry when I have to pitch a media channel or are the publisher, you know they want to know how many facebook fans I have it's very nice for me to be ableto slide that five thousand into my total then it would be if I didn't have them but I understand fully as a business person, but it doesn't really have any major impact on my business but those six hundred people which is a tinier number and might in the studio group is where it's all at they're all amazing, engaging, helpful people and it's the same for your instagram followers connect with people who you want to connect with and no worry about the rest twenty loyal customers who purchased from you consistently is way better than two thousand who just squirrel on past your photo when they're doing their work so I'm not sure if I mentioned it before we got off on to a different topic a little bit but the number one thing that he will say that makes them comfortable enough to buy something online or not when they're trying to figure out if they want to open an account with a new store or put their credit card online is actually the photography it's not it's not everything about it contributes to it the price the description whether or not they needed but the number one thing that actually makes them pull out that credit card are locked into that paypal account is the photographs that they see associated with the project with the product and if you sell something that it is hard to describe in words like if something shimmers or something it's really sparkly or if something is has a lot of different purposes if you have a cell a necklace that can get longer or shorter if you pull this string in the back like if there's something really unique about your product that is better shown in a photograph then written down or with the written word that make sure that you take a picture of that you that you think a really good photograph of that, it is actually think one of the most important things as hand me and business owners that we can really learn how to deal when we're selling products is photography, I think really, investing in your photography, education and in your equipment for that, and having a plan that makes that word could go a lot faster in which is easier for you is one of the best investments that you can make in your business. And I I think it ties into your branding it ties into your marketing and absolutely ties into your sales, but there's, not there's, really? If it I guess I guess I'm feeling a little stumbling, but I just really want tio stress that your photography, the importance of that just can't be undersold. And any expert will tell you that anybody who's, that a very successful online shop will tell you that that you need to be in it to win it when it comes to your photography. And if you have to take a class, if you have to buy additional equipment like a light box or boards that help you, director reflect light and then do it. If you're if you're wondering, why does nobody buy for me? But I saw something very similar to shop x y z, and they're doing really well. If you find yourself comparing your business to another business and you feel like they're doing so much better than them, the first place I tell people to look is there photography. What separates what their product shots look like compared to what your product shots look like and start there. Start with your photography. If you're wondering why your sales are low, so next we're going to talk about where you want this hard works to take you and way. Talked about this a little bit in in our last segment, but really define what you want your success to look like if you could define what you want your success to look like and what you want your business to actually be, like that's going to really help you get there a lot faster, so you really need to have the finish line in mind if you're going to ever get there and figure out how to get there so it is really imperative that you say, you know, in five years time I want to open a retail store and this is what I'm going to do to get there were three years time I want to have five lines that air continually going or I want to be able to bash my work a little less possible and wholesale and not have a retail component to my story just want a wholesale my work which means you would shell you would sell directly tio shop owners versus trying to find your customer yourself so now so now you wouldn't be worrying about your ideal client as a particular person who's going to make yourselves you would just work with shops that already no the ideal client and then you saw them what they need to sell tio their ideal customer who true shops with them. So really knowing what you want your end goal toe look like can really help you get there just so much faster. I really wanna be clear about that that I think it's really important to just know where you want to end up now your first class have a whole segment on photography and on building light boxes, so maybe we'll just talk very briefly about your first class yeah, that was really fantastic. We had a woman named marlowe come into the studio and she had a we had we gave instructions in that course on how to actually build a light box and then she walked us through it and it was pretty incredible and marlo actually focuses on jewelry. She makes hillary herself and she holds sales to large companies like the sundance catalog and she is a really great resource she's also in the seattle area. And she was actually alexis wholesale mentor for awhile when alexa decided that she wanted to go wholesale and do shows that were directed at finding wholesale customers, which people might like like to know that there's entire shows out there that exists like that that are different than regular craft shows but it's where you might set up your booth and instead of regular customers walking by who want to buy something on the spot that's where buyers for retail stores go so they walk the aisles of the show and this used to actually be my job for a home goods store. When I was a buyer, I would go to these big shows all over the world and just walk the aisles and meet people who own companies and I would decide what I wanted to buy for my store so that's what there's lots of jewelry wholesale shows that you can sign up for it get into and that's a different kind of investment. Those actually do come with a little bit of a bigger price tag, but it can absolutely pay off if that's what you want to do. And if you know that you only really want to make one particular kind of thing like, I'm just going to make a siri's of these necklaces there's, a husband and wife team that I buy jewelry from quite a bit in there in toronto, canada, and they make necklaces that they find from antique wax seals in europe. So if a farmer had a wax seal in the seventeen hundreds that he would like sampas letter to the king with his tax money in it or whatever, like he would have this seal, they go around it, find these and then turn them into necklaces. That means something. So I wear one that is farm based because I come from people who are farmers and so farms in the land and and animals and and the crops are all a really big part of my family history and so I wear one that has to do with prosperity from the land and that came from an old seal in the seventeen hundreds but so they decided that that was going to be their business and now they have since opened several retail stores one in l a I think in one in new york city and they only make one thing and that's these necklaces they just have different versions of them and it was interesting when they decided tio expand their line and sell other things they didn't feel like they had more time to add more jewelry to what they were making so instead now they sell little little gem stones that go with those charms. So if you had bought a necklace and the theme of that was like long lifelong friendship that now they would sell you a stone that has to do with that that you can add to or take off the necklace as as you see fit so that's one way that you could decide to wholesale and how that stuff sort of works well, we do have some questions over coming about it I mean, they're they're more general, but they do relate to this particular segment so let's take some of those while we're waiting julia mulch arnie is asking, can I start a wholesale a cow out with supplies if I'm still in the creating process of my business meaning I'm not open for business yet on I don't even have my business name yet so can I start wholesale relationships? Yes. So this question this's a great, great question and this was from julie. Julie, thanks so much, julie, for asking such a good question. You can there's lots of different ways that you can buy supplies at this point in time. Like a lot of the people that we saw on our slide from our first segment of the top ten jewelry at sea store's jewelry stores on etsy aa lot of those people just sell supplies, and so you would not. I think tio engage with most of them need toe have you're like, you probably could find a benefit if you had your tax I d number and your wholesale license number to do business with a lot of people, but I think that you could start purchasing wholesale from a lot of different suppliers and sources without necessarily needing to have the legal side of your business up and running quite yet, which of course, you should do that's really important to know that you want your business to be fully legal as soon as possible, but you can absolutely start with wholesalers that work directly with customers, so and if they have rule rules about that, then they'll let you know, for example, I recently wanted to buy something in bulk for my business, but I don't have ah, resellers license, I don't sell products that I make directly, even though I needed the supplies to make a prototype of something that I would like somebody else to sell for me, and I could not buy those items wholesale because I don't have a resellers license, but I think that there's lots of difference, so and I was able to figure that out by reading the terms and conditions of the wholesalers website when I went to do the research to find the bits and pieces that I need. So be sure that you check the rules and regulations of the wholesale supply website that you want to work with, and they'll let you know what they need from you, or if you can just get samples from them if you decide, but getting your resellers license is actually pretty easy and the name that you do business, as doesn't necessarily have to be the name that you use in your marketing materials all the time. So you can think about that, too. For example, my dbs is very different than carrie chapman dot com, which is where people would go to find out for me, but that's not what it says on my legal paperwork now a lot of people asking about where they've been asking from the chat rooms that may be something you can sort of help them with a they're trying to seek out from each other. Recommendations and contacts of distributors and supplies of wholesalers is that some of the youth uncountable u b you can find out their resource is available online are there? Are there resources that are available on particular stores that would help people find those? Yeah, there are. This is a great time tio bring up again why community is so integral to our business is finding people in your area that lots of times groups will get together in either co ops locally or online street teams or community groups where they all sort of work together and maybe order supplies in bulk so that you can get them and even a larger discount. One person's places the order and then distributes the supplies out to people that happens a lot in very tight community groups and you can always reach out and ask people. Sometimes people are a little bit tricky about where to get their supplies from where they get their supplies from because that's you know, it could be the element that makes their products stand out and that's really unique, and if they're getting a super great deal on something that would be information that would be tough to share with people outside of their area because, you know, that's giving them a competitive edge, which is something that all businesses are looking for. But one thing I would say is and this is often overlooked resource and I love it every time something good comes from this check your phone book locally, you know, our first instinct, whenever we're looking for materials or supplies is to automatically go to google, and while I think that that is, you know, for sure incredibly useful going to our phone books and looking at suppliers that might be in the big cities or towns close to us is a really great place to start, all of this stuff existed way before the internet and on some of those people are still in business, and they're really willing and able to work with smaller customers and people locally in their area who can drive out to support them. So see what you have right in your town before you turn to the internet. If you're looking for for an edge or for something new and interesting there's a lot of great resource is out there that are just local tow us that we don't think about because it sort of feels like if we need something important now it's going to come in the mail when actually a lot of times it can be closer to your front door than you think

Class Description

Jewelry making blends function, form, beauty and craft – it is also uniquely rewarding because you actually get to see people wearing your art. Learn how you can turn your love of jewelry making into a thriving business in Fast Start Your Jewelry Business with Kari Chapin.

In this class, Kari will teach you the process of getting a jewelry business up and running. You’ll take a behind-the-scenes look at a thriving jewelry business as you learn the ins and outs of selling online, in stores, or through wholesalers. You’ll explore:

  • Common and niche markets and how to find the right fit for you
  • Creative ways to make your work stand out
  • Showcasing in a trade show booth vs displaying online

If you’re ready to pursue jewelry making as a serious business and want to start making sales, this course will equip and inspire you to create a business that showcases your unique skills and style.

Check out Kari's other Fast Start Classes:
Fast Start Your Sewing Business
Fast Start Your Beauty Business
Fast Start Your Paper Goods Business

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Kari Chapin - Getting Started Action Guide.pdf

Kari Chapin - Karis Bonus Podcast with Alexa Allamano.mp3

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

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Kim S. Joy

Loved this class. I have been in business for awhile but Kari reminded me of lots of things I need to remember. Like why I started down this trail. And LOVED the "There is no reason why you can't do this" slide. Thank you Kari. I feel this will be a great primer for those just thinking about or getting into the business- lots of nitty gritty information.