For those of us who have on-line stores, sometimes trying to get them noticed is a full-time job it seems! But when the hard work we put in to our stores pays off with sales and gets us noticed (whether the attention is good or bad), it's then we realize why we do what we do and why we continue to create beautiful handmade items!!
Lately, I've received some feedback from the redesign of my store logo and new tag line for my business. If you would like to see my new logo, you can visit www.shadesjewelry.etsy.com. It's nothing special, rather plain as some have put it, but I like it! It clearly represents my store and what I do.
But the tagline I have added (stylish-unique-affordable) is what is causing some to raise their eyebrows at me in the big internet world! Not that first time it has happened and I'm sure it won't be the last. Some are saying that I'm not being fair to the creative world in offering my jewelry at such low prices and that I shouldn't have the word "affordable" in my tag line. When I receive these comments I simply back and laugh. Having had my business for 6 years now, I must be doing something right to continue to receive sales and interest in my jewelry!!
It is then that I proceed to share why I sell my jewelry at the prices that I do. A lot of my business comes from my off-line promotional work. I have several repeat customers that are friends and family and they like my affordable line of jewelry that I offer. They like being able to get something handmade and that is one of a kind, but without breaking the bank.
The area in which I live is one of the poorest areas in the country. We have lost hundreds of jobs and what most make in this area who work full time is well under the poverty level believe it or not! And since I have no major plans to quit my job and do jewelry designing full time, I feel that I can offer my jewelry at lower prices to recoup my cost and put a few cents in the bank afterwards! I realize that many in the handmade world are creating their items to supplement their incomes and to live off the profits. I commend those who do this!! But I'm not one of them.
Jewelry is a competitve market these days. And I take nothing away from the many who create it and sell it for much more than I do. Only YOU can know your market and what you can get out of your jewelry. If you can sell your bracelets for $20-$50, then I encourage you to do so. But my market won't pay that for my jewelry!!
In closing this article, I want to encourage you to know your market. Ask your customers why they shop with you. Is it price, quality, customer service, a combination of all these?! Once you know your market, you can advertise your business more effective to them and begin to stand out in a crowd. Then you can stand firmly on your response to those who may want to critcize or claim you are hurting your particular handmade items by advertising them as "affordable!"
And in return, figure out why a person markets themselves as they do...especially before you criticize them or get upset at them for pricing their work as they do. All of us who create handmade items have a different agenda in mind with our stores. Let's all celebrate those differences and do what we can to support the handmade idea in general!
Until next time...Blessings! ~ Dawn