Someone asked me the other day how I got started making jewelry and my answer was I was inspired by a former teacher who created and soldered men’s jewelry. I thought it was a fascinating hobby 25 years ago but I didn’t realize what really compelled me to do it. It was a necklace an ex bought for me on our trip to Belize. While we were together, I wore it nearly every day until one day it caught on his shirt button and broke. He was so upset by this that I promised him I could fix it. Honestly, I wasn’t sure that I could but I wanted him not to feel so bad. I went out and bought what I thought I would need (after a quick tutorial on the web) and managed to put it back together. After that, I was hooked.
The following Christmas, with money a little tight, my new hobby became a necessity in order to give gifts to the coworkers I adored. I put together 8 necklaces for the ladies in my office, styling each one to that woman’s unique personality and wardrobe taste. They all were very impressed though admittedly, looking back, I can’t imagine my technique was all that spectacular. Seventy to eighty necklaces later, I hope I’ve improved.
Now, I am finding myself trying to figure out the best route to choose for my growing business. It’s a great problem to have and I’ll never complain about this #firstworldproblem. If you read my last blog, you know I’ve been creating like a fiend and I am happy to say it is paying off. However, I could use a little help and input from those with more savvy than I.
I’ve been tossing around some marketing ideas in my head and would love to hear what others think. If you read some of the hundred upon thousands of articles written about being successful on Etsy or any internet store, they will tell you to have a niche; to give your customers a reason to buy from you rather than the next guy. I try to keep my prices low and thought that, along with pointing out that each piece is one-of-kind and handmade, might be enough. However, in a haystack the size of the internet, it takes more than that to be a magnetic needle.
I’ve come up with 3 marketing ideas, adapted from other big needles, that I think might draw in people but I would love to know what you think.
A 1-year warranty on all jewelry pieces.
Big (and expensive) jewelry companies offer up warranties on their jewelry. I want my customers to get the most for their buck and want to make sure they are a walking advertisement for me as long as possible. If I offer a 1 year warranty on necklaces, fixing or all-out replacing if necessary the item, would that be a big enticement?
Naming the pieces with whimsical names.
I borrowed the idea from OPI after a girls’ day out which included pedicures. If you’ve never noticed or been exposed to OPI’s nail polish line, I suggest you pick up one the next time you see them at the store and check out the name of the color on the bottom. My friend got “Purple with a Purpose” while I considered “Calling me a lyre.” It certainly was more enticing than “light pink”. Would you be more inclined to purchase a necklace if you could say, this is “Pretty as a peacock?” or “Red Alert” rather than “I bought this online?”
A Surprise Gift with every purchase.
So I saw on the internet that a company is selling satchels that have a surprise inside. You don’t really know at all what you are getting but you just have to find out. That company is doing really well, by the way. What if you knew you were buying a necklace and there was a surprise containing a matching pair of earrings or a keychain or some other trinket inside? The current mark-up on my necklaces would have to go up to cover the costs, but would it be worth it?
These are of course just ideas I’ve been pondering. I am not a marketing nor business major so undoubtedly others have better suggestions than I do. Would you be willing to make comments and/or suggestions? They would be greatly appreciated.
As always, I will end with my only marketing idea I personally have 100% confidence in, an infusion of humor. I’ll borrow this bit of funny irreverence from the most recent (and hopefully not last) Sherlock episode: “I wrote my own version of the nativity when I was a child. ‘The Hungry Donkey’. It was a bit gory, but if you’re gonna put a baby in a manger, you’re asking for trouble.”
Thanks for reading!