Tag Archives: jewelry tips and tricks

Tips for Marketing your Jewelry

Content-marketing-drawing-board

We all love to make pretty things, but how to we get the world to see them? Here are our tips for getting your work out there:

“Social Media is free and is a great way show your brand to the world! Facebook Page, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr / Blog – all of these are free, fun and easy and you can do everything from your smartphone. Show your fans behind-the-scenes shots of how your work is created, where your inspiration comes from, and the finished product! Don’t forget to tell them where to purchase.”

“stay in touch with your clients by using free platforms such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact – these services allow you to send email updates to your various networks.”

-Emilie, Program Director 

“A super easy way to get your designs out into the world is to loan some jewelry to your friends. Make sure you give them business cards to pass out as well. It also helps to go to stores and see what other jewelry is out there, or whats trendy at the moment. For example, I was talking to a local clothing store owner and she said people are really into ear cuffs right now, so I’m experimenting with different types of ear jewelry.”

-Kate, Program Assistant

“Know your audience and how to appeal to them.”

-Jillian, Director of Communications

If you’re interested in more tips, I came across an article on Launch Grow Joy, a blog dedicated to entrepreneurs, that lists more than 50 tips from jewelry designers all over the country. Below are some tips that grabbed my attention, as well as a link to the full article.

“Every person you meet is a potential customer. Wear a piece of your jewelry every day, every where you go.  Be friendly, positive and smile to everyone you see. When people compliment you on your jewelry, say thank you, hand them your business card, and say, since you like these earrings or this ring, bracelet, necklace or whatever it may be, please visit my website to look at my other jewelry. The person will happily take your business card and you now have a new potential customer.”  – Diane Batoff from Micassileo Jewelry

“Participate fully in shows and events. By this I mean taking the time to set up a professional booth with a consistent look. And, put down your cell phone…people want to shop with an artist who is present in the moment.” – Sherry Trammel-Schauls from Balsamroot Ranch Jewelry

“Create a look, word or color that is distinctively yours. When people see your work and marketing material, your name should pop in their head.” – Lauren Sigman from Lauren Sigman Jewelry

“When you post on Facebook or Pinterest, it needs to be VISUAL and done CONSISTENTLY.  I take some time at the beginning of the week to gather some photos, quotes, product shots, and get them ready to go for use that week. I also find material to share from other sources that fit with my brand (blogs, products I like, photos that inspire, quotes).  Then each day I get up before my kids and schedule the Facebook posts.  I often do several days at a time, but it’s important to stay engaged and make sure you’re responding to posts.  Of course you can hire someone to do this for you, but I enjoy connecting to my customers in such a personal medium as Facebook.  This doesn’t mean you have to be online constantly.  Just schedule your posts in bulk and it’s really pretty easy.” – Sarah Jane Nelson from Life is Rosey: Jewelry that Speaks

Have any tips of your own? Share them with us in the comments section!

Natural Patina: Egg Yolks

Using oxidation to bring out the design of a piece of jewelry is a very common practice in the jewelry world. However, many of these finishes are achieved with chemical patinas, whose safety is often questionable. If you’re looking for an alternative and natural way to oxidize your  pieces, look no further! You can use egg yolks to achieve a darkened finish on your silver jewelry. (Note: this technique does NOT work on fine silver but is effective on sterling silver, copper and bronze).

images

1. Boil an Egg. Use two if you are working with alot of metal.

2. Put the yellows (yolks) into a plastic food storage container, or into a bowl that can be easily sealed. Break them up a bit.

3. Put a wire rack over the egg yolks to hold your jewelry above the eggs. If you don’t have a wire rack, use some paper toweling to keep the egg from touching the silver. Anywhere egg touches, it will oxidize faster, and unevenly.

4. Put your jewelry in the container and seal it. Leave it for a day, then check it If not dark enough, leave it for another day or two.

5. Remove the jewelry and wash it with a gentle soap.

6. Use a buffing cloth to bring the high points on the piece back to a bright shine. Cheap, quick and easy!

Source: WikiHow

How to Alter your Hammers to Create Custom Texture

If you’ve ever used hammers to texture your jewelry pieces, you know that any scratch or mark left on a hammer will, most often frustratingly, be left in the metal. While this theory does often lead to cursing and hair pulling, it can also be used to your advantage. You can deliberately roughen your hammer faces and even cut deep grooves and patterns into it, in order to make your own custom texture hammers. All you need are a few simple tools- a flex shaft, files, and sandpaper.

hammer1      flexshaft

photo source: Art Jewelry Magazine

1. Saw, file, or grind a pattern on the hammer face. Most texture hammers have flat faces with a subtle or complex pattern. You use these almost like a stamp, bringing the face straight down on the metal, avoiding overlapping strikes. You can transform a flat mild steel hammer into a texture hammer by using coarse (#2-8) saw blades, files, drill bits, or separation disks to make patterns on your hammer’s face.

Mount one separating disk on a screw mandrel with a washer below the disk. Tighten the mandrel in your flex shaft, and use a medium-to-high speed to carve a line in your hammer face. Once you carve one line you can carve more- parallel lines, perpendicular lines, checkerboard patterns, short and long lines to make random patterns, or try dipping the disk into the steel repeatedly to form a fur-like texture.

hammer4   hammer3   hammer2

photo source: Art Jewelry Magazine

NOTE: Make sure that your carving or cutting doesn’t wear down one side of the hammer face more than the other, this will create unclear textures.

2. Sand the texture. If you choose to create a more defined pattern, you’ll want to sand the high points with a 600 grit sandpaper, so that your hammer will burnish your metal at those points as you hammer. Load a split mandrel with sandpaper strips, and sand the face until even.

3. Buff the texture. Though this step is optional, the more you polish your hammer, the more your hammer will burnish your metal. Charge a felt buff with polishing compound and and buff to a smooth polish. Now you have your own custom-made texture hammer which you can use to create your own textured pieces.

dinnabangles

Want to learn to make your own textured bangles? Check out one of our upcoming Bangle Bracelet workshops!

A greener pickle

If you’ve ever stepped foot into an “old school” bench jeweler’s booth on 47th street who hasn’t cleaned since the 70’s – some of that stuff can be toxic! There are so many chemicals used in the industry it’s mind boggling. I try to eliminate as many as I can. One thing that’s pretty nasty is the pickle. Commercial pickle is a corrosive salt or a low-grade acid.  It’s used to clean the fire scale off of metal after you solder your work.

One of my goals is to make my studio the most Eco-friendly, or “greenest” place it can possibly be. Outside of being the Program Director and teaching and at Liloveve, I also have my own jewelry line, We Are Here. My studio is in L.I.C. which is just a quick hop on the G train from our studio here! My space is much smaller then our beautiful, spacious studio at Liloveve – but it works just perfectly for me.

I started using vinegar and table salt (I’m thinking this is how the pickle got its name…) and it works as an amazing Eco-friendly alternative to the commercial pickle. It will even clean your drain when you pour it out! Fill your pickle pot with 1 cup of white distilled vinegar and dissolve 1 T table salt in the warm vinegar. Tip: if you leave your silver piece in this pickle solution for too long, it will also act as a natural oxidizer!

photo (18)

Check out my Production Workshop coming up on June 9. Learn about the jewelry production industry, how to take your pieces and turn them into a cohesive line, how and where to get your pieces from the studio to sales, and more!