I started the new year with a bang by displaying jewelry at one of the celebrity events in Los Angeles! Several of my handcrafted jewelry items were showcased, in association with The Artisan Group®, in a by-invitation-only luxury celebrity gift lounge hosted by GBK, honoring the nominees and presenters of the 2018 Golden Globes.
I have been a member of The Artisan Group for several years and have participated in many events, but never as a part of the display team.
This was a great experience! I highly suggest pushing yourself to try something you’ve never done. Not only is it exhilarating, but it teaches you new things about yourself and your business.
My top 4 benefits from displaying jewelry at celebrity events
Today it seems like EVERYONE has decided to go into business for themselves. The gig economy is trending and it’s easy to start your own website or sell on many social platforms, etc. How do you compete with all that? Somehow you have to stand out from the crowd.
Displaying at a celebrity event gives you a way to stand out. Below are what I feel were the top 4 benefits from participating in this event:
Great PR for a small business! I live in Central Florida and no one cares, but this consequently gives my small business credibility. View my Press Release here
Awesome photos of a two celebrities wearing my jewelry. I couldn’t have gotten any better “model shots”!
A new cool display for my jewelry should I ever decide to go back to setting up at local craft or art fairs.
Most of all this was a great morale boost because I did have to apply and be accepted onto the display team 🙂
Will I do this again?
Absolutely!! Not only did I display my handmade products, but I also gifted attending celebrities a sample of my jewelry.
The result of this puts one of my products, and also one of my business cards, into the hands of people I would never see at a craft fair or art show here in Central Florida!
Here you will find a style definition or guide for each of the style types that are optional attributes in the sell on etsy form.
They used to drive me crazy! There used to be like 50 of them and I didn’t know or remember most of them! Thankfully with the new updates there are only like 11 styles so they are much easier to remember.
Sometimes I still have to look them up though, so I decided to make this style definition list.
Brutalist – This must be based on the Brutalist architecture which emerged in the 1950s-1970s. From the French word ‘brut’ which meant raw, and was mainly unornamented concrete made to project a feeling of strength.
Celtic – There isn’t a really good definition of this style, but generally this art has a lot of spirals, swirls, triskelles. Typically from Ireland, Britain and Scotland.
Edwardian – Very similar to Victorian style however clothing was a little more relaxed and hem lines were shorter, this time period was very brief
Gothic – From the European late middle ages where architecture was full of columns and the use of repetitive geometric shapes with flourish (thinking of a cathedral). The modern Goth is a sub-genre of Gothic styles and is mainly characterized with the use of all black clothing, nails, hair, etc. But it can be colorful using dark and dramatic hues.
Mid Century – Pure 1950s! Everything that was modern and clean lined in the 1950s. Soft colors such as lemon yellow, aqua, baby pink and sea green are used. There’s not much pattern but when there is it’s usually shaped like atoms, kidneys, arrowheads and boomerangs. Dior’s ‘new look’ (despite it being 1947!) and the TV show Mad Men are perfect examples. A lot of stuff that’s mid-mod is also called Eames era and atomic age.
Minimalist – following the mantra ‘less is more’, this is modern with the most simple terms. Natural materials, stainless steel, straight lines, smooth textures, functional. Minimalist style contains objects and fashion that does little more than serve it’s function, all adornment is shunned.
Victorian – Anything modeled to the last half of the 19th century is ‘pure’ Victorian, with the high peak being 1860s – 1880s. Though the Victorians were mad for color, Victorian style now is usually the ornate, lace-and-beaded black-on-black that was popular in the 1880s – 1890s, with high button boots, lace cuffs and cameo jewelry.
If you are looking for a style that isn’t shown, then checkout this list I came across on the Etsy forums, which has all 50 of the ones that used to be in the sell on etsy form. This list of attributes was done by sparrowsalvage several years ago, and I have incorporated some of her definitions also.
Somehow the year has just flown by, and I have hardly touched this blog! Do I have a good reason why I haven’t been posting regularly? Not really, but I do have 4 flimsy reasons, and you can use these same excuses for just about anything.
There are many reasons to start writing a blog and there are just as many reasons not to start blogging, or to start one and then ignore it.
One article I read recently focused on getting out to meet other people instead of blogging, which kind of reinforced my recent thoughts about finding local businesses who would carry my Vampire Diaries earrings and bracelet or my handmade rosaries.
That right there would require face to face meetings, and I could probably come up with the same 4 reasons not to solicit!!
4 reasons I have ignored my blog lately
I have an appointment – that is always a good reason! A doctor appointment, an appointment with the BEACH, a dinner date, you name it!
I just don’t feel like it – this is one of my top reasons, and it is associated with number 3
Takes too much time – it really does take a lot of time, no matter how easy everyone says it is! First you have to write, then look up keywords and think of cool ways to illustrate because some people only look at the pictures!
FREE HBO/Cinemax weekend! – that’s right, because watching a new flick is always a good reason not to blog or do anything 🙂
These 4 reasons are so generic that you can use them for just about anything!!
I do like to share ideas, and new cool beads and I will continue to do that. But somehow this year has just slipped past me. I really just wrote this little article to kind of apologize for not posting much lately.
What are your reasons for not blogging? Are they the same reasons for not beading or not exercising? Or not doing anything? Comments are welcome!
If you are wondering how to take pictures to improve your online sales but have no photography background, look no further and check out my photography tips below.
I have been selling online since 2001 and have learned quite a lot about how to take pictures of products so that customers can see the detail and not be disappointed when they receive the item.
I often get compliments on my product photography and comments about how detailed and professional they look.
I decided to write this blog post as a sort of “Photography for Dummies” and share how to take pictures so that others can learn my process and get excellent pictures without being a professional photographer.
How to take pictures for Etsy, Ebay, etc.
When I began selling online I would take a picture on a textured surface but I have since learned how to give it that photo studio look using a white background, and I have been re-shooting everything. You can check out some of my new photos in my Etsy Shop.
I have read many blog posts on photography, and most of them go way deep into stuff I didn’t want to know. They suggest special light boxes, lighting and other fancy gear. That wasn’t for me.
I have NEVER read my camera manual and do not know any of the technical stuff about light, shutter speed, blah, blah, blah…. but I DO know that natural lighting is THE best way to photograph beads, jewelry or just about anything.
Check out my photo studio below.
Photo studio set up
My photo studio set up is in my driveway!! I always try to take advantage of the natural light outdoors. I currently use an orange storage box with a piece of tile on top to make it a flat surface, and a piece of white paper is covering the tile (see photo below).
Many items that are seen online have a white background or something really light. Ebay encourages a clean white background and Amazon requires it. In fact Amazon even patented their technique. Maybe I should patent mine!! No seriously, my process is simple and is not patented!!
The beach towel is there to keep me from getting dirty, and the concrete is really not friendly on the knees so the towel helps 🙂
This set up is portable, keeps me flexible (having to get up and down), and was totally FREE since I already had these items. No expensive light-box, lights or other fancy equipment.
Indoor pictures need special lighting or they might turn out yellowish, have reflections of the surrounding items, flash or annoying shadows.
I take nearly all of my pictures outdoors on a cloudy or overcast day, sometimes I get good shots first thing in the morning before the sun comes out, but many times that is too blue. Light cloud cover is the best.
I have an Olympus C-4000 Zoom, 4.0 Megapixel, Optical 3x Zoom/Seamless Zoom 10x Optical x Digital. Not sure what all that means, but the optical zoom gets super close and super resolution! When I download the pictures onto my computer I can then zoom further with Photoshop.
Let me repeat my previous statement above:
I have NEVER read my camera manual and do not know any of the technical stuff about light, shutter speed, etc.
I only read the quick start guide and I have never had a photography class.
When I bought my camera it was set to take pictures on a really large format (like a poster), and I have never changed anything. This way I can have a really large picture with high-resolution at then resize it as I choose.
I spent about $500.00 on this camera and have had it for over 10 years. So today you can probably get an even better camera for less money. In fact many of the smart phone cameras are pretty good!
Photo editing is a very important part for me. I have Photoshop, which was quite expensive when I bought it, but all photo editing programs have some sort of brightness and color features to edit photos.
This is what I do for pics that are a little too gray or blue. In Photoshop I use the levels tool to set the white point which will adjust the picture.
To set the white levels in Photoshop you select: image>adjustments>levels and then you will see the setting box like above. The eye dropper on the far right is for white.
Select the dropper for white and then touch the area of your photo that should be white. See what a difference that makes??
You can then clean up any dust or particles surrounding the item with the paint brush. Crop your photo and then make it any size you need!
I hope this information on how to take pictures has helped simplfy things for those who want to keep it simple. Happy Photographing!!
Showing photos of product packaging when selling online is important if you have room to display the photos. Some people don’t really care how the items come to them, but many people are swayed by attractive packaging.
Show photos of your product packaging to improve online sales
Many of you have read different articles about creative packaging and if you sell on Etsy you have probably read articles in the sellers handbook about branding, packaging and so on. I have read them all too!
I even took a photo several years back while I was in the middle of shipping packages so that I would have a picture. However, it was pretty lame. See below…
Looking back now I see how lame that photo was, but at the time I took the photo above, I was thinking
“This is great, it shows how the product is mailed, and what the bead or item purchased would look like when it arrives!”
However this was only a small representation of how items are packaged and mailed from Bead Lovers Korner. Then I set out to improve the photos.
Take time to shoot new photographs
I took some new photos to show the different ways that beads and small items are sent to customers. Most of my products ares small and are sent in organza bags like in the example above.
I use gift boxes for Rosaries most of the time, and some jewelry items also come in a gift box. This helps to protect the item in shipping and is also convenient for customers who are giving the item as a gift.
In this new era where everyone has a smart phone, it is really easy to take photos that are worthy of posting in a listing.
That extra photo in your Etsy listing just might seal the deal and convince a customer to buy from you!
Think about how you like to receive products that arrive through the mail? Is product packing important to you? Thanks for stopping by and please leave a comment with your ideas for product packaging.