Monday, November 28, 2011

Success - Shops - Supplies - Repeat

Ok. So here I am. Officially through with my first trunk show, and officially the highest seller of said trunk show. Am I proud and elated? Of course! Have I already spent all my money? Of course! What can I say, it is the Christmas season. So now I have a $400+ order in my shopping cart over at Vintaj ready to check out, just waiting on the next promo to be released because I'd much rather have 1 or 2 free items than a bunch of stuff I don't need, and the current promo is just that...stuff I don't need because I already have plenty of it. So I'm impatiently waiting. Meanwhile, at said trunk show I was offered my first shop by a local gallery. Then the other day my sister and I went to Chattanooga, which is about an hour away from me, to visit this little shop called the Leo Gallery. They had a lot of steampunk sort of stuff, and I was wearing my clockwork necklace, so I casually asked her if she'd be interested in selling my jewelry in her shop, and she was immediately like, YES. So I've been working the last few days, not on Christmas presents like I thought I would be, but rather on items to restock my inventory and bring to the local galleries and shops. I also left about 15 items at the arts council when the trunk show was over to sell in their shop. It is getting to a point where I'm really going to have to sit down and crunch numbers and figure out a business plan for myself, as well as make an inventory spreadsheet to keep up with what items I have in various shops, since I'm about to have things in 3 different places. I also am having to really decide what I want, because it kills me to have to part with some items of my liking, and some things I want to keep on my etsy site, but I have to remove the items I am bringing to other stores to avoid double selling one of a kind items. Its turning into more work than one would think a simple hobby might require, which is making me ponder if I should just retire my real estate license and go for this thing. I realize as much as I'd love to not pay my $450 national dues in December, retire my license, and just make jewelry, realistically I'm not quite ready for that yet, since I don't have my business plan made or any idea of how much money I can make monthly from these shops combined with family/friend, facebook, and etsy sales. I also need to have a goal for the number of shows I do a year, and 3 isn't going to cut it if I'm doing this full time, that will need to change to about 20 probably. Which is a lot of work and will take a lot of preparation and organizing. Luckily I at least had the 3 this year and have gotten my feet wet locally with a lot of success and positive feedback, so I'm ready to venture out and try some more distant shows. I'm hoping to add several this next year as well as get some basic classes together to start teaching, so I'll definitely be posting on that whole venture. In the meantime, I am off to make a bar of bracelets for the gallery in Athens and a rack of earrings for the Leo if I could just afford to place my vintaj order, pay my dues, and buy Christmas presents too...decisions decisions...  
Does anyone else have issues with the business side of things? I'd love to hear any advice or feedback. I purchased a pricing calculator online from someone for $5.  Based on that tool, I underprice everything, lol. A pair of earrings I thought $18 would be reasonable for should be $28 per this tool. I forget to add a percentage to my wholesale price...although paying 25-40% to the shops selling my jewelry is changing that habit really quickly. Here is the link for the pricing calculator if you are interested in purchasing it for yourself. You can use it for pricing anything handmade, not just jewelry.

Jewelry Pricing Calculator

Here's some photos of things I sold at the trunk show. I sold 2 pairs of these cufflinks, only have 1 left! It was exciting to see them in an actual french cuff sleeve for a change.  Also sold these gorgeous bracelets. It was all about the bracelets, which is why I'm busy painting and riveting some new designs in various color themes. They pretty much are all about leaves, flowers, and nature. I don't have anymore of the fairy components, or I'd totally be making more of that middle bracelet. I love it sooo much!  I doubled up the large open gears from vintaj  and they look so much better that way, no hollow rough edges on the backside!

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