Today I decided to change it up a little bit and talk about the five websites I use most often when making jewelry. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE reading lists. If there is an article that says, “20 people you didn’t know had brown eyes”, I would probably read it just because it is a list. Silly, I know but I am drawn to them so here are my 5 websites I could never made jewelry without.
Okay, so this is a bit of cheat because I rarely buy my items online. I go into the store so often I swear they need to rename it “Stephanie’s,” but it’s VERY hard to make jewelry without materials to do it. Like so many of you, I have very little doubt you ever buy anything at Michael’s at full price. I have the app on my phone and always have a coupon. Now, I won’t take away from Jo-ann’s either. They are more likely to put all their beads at 50% off than Michael’s ever does, but Jo-ann’s coupons generally make me sad because you have to spend a certain limit before you get a discount. I am cheap so I buy 1-2 things at a time and barely ever make it to $15.
Obviously, there has to be ideas in order to make jewelry. Sometimes I go here before Michael’s, sometimes after, but either way I spend a lot of perusing Pinterest for ideas. Now, if you ever used Pinterest, you know this is a double-edged sword. There are as many Pinterest fails as there are successes. Plus, if you are easily distracted like I am, you’ll see a new craft and want to try it, abandoning your current project to delve into the new mania of glass blowing or welding or geese juggling.
Nonetheless, Pinterest is where I’ve gotten so many of my ideas. As Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Pinterest is filled with giants. If you want to see the pins I’ve done for necklaces, here they are.
Ok, so this one was a bit of a no-brainer as well. Without my Etsy page, I couldn’t possibly sell anything, but to be fair, Etsy is also a GREAT place to buy jewelry hardware that you can’t normally get at Michael’s or Jo-ann’s and for very reasonable prices. Plus, Etsy is like a community that takes care of its own. If you buy from people on Etsy, they’ll often return the favor or at the very least favorite your store and who knows what traffic that will generate?
The best advertising is the kind that is free and you have to bless social media for that. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are leveling the playing field for baby businesses who can’t afford to compete with the likes of Amazon and Wal-mart. Ok, granted the field is still on the side of Everest but at least social media provides some traffic for people and stores that would never get seen, myself included.
I still have no idea the proper use of a hashtag. My Instagram is admittedly bare and I desperately try not inundate my friends with posts on Facebook and Twitter, but hopefully I am reaching out to people who actually enjoy learning about the whole process and may be in the middle of it themselves. Maybe we can learn from each other.
Last and maybe the least obvious is Netflix. Let’s face it: my attention span is minimal. If I don’t have at least 5 programs open on my computer at once, it’s a slow day. Even now, I am looking at my fingernails and thinking they need re-polished but I kind of like the way the purple has faded at the ends to kind of a greyish-blue. Needless to say, Netflix is a great distraction.
When I am working on a necklace or earrings, etc. there is always a movie on in the background. I live under the un-researched assumption that parts of my brain that would normally distract me are actually sitting on a couch with a bucket of popcorn enjoying the humor of Frasier or Parks and Recreation while the productive part of my brain is actually focusing on jewelry making. Maybe I’m wrong but at least I don’t feel like I am being a vegetable.
Anyhow, that’s my list for today. My train of thought may be more like a bumper car but hopefully you’ll get some ideas for your process as well. And now I shall leave you with my bit of humor for today and it’s a quote from one of the worst movies of all time, Jaws 4: “I’ve always wanted to make love to a angry welder.”