Friday, December 31, 2010

Reviewing accomplishments in resin jewelry making

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This past week, I have taken the opportunity to review 2010 and my resin jewelry business. This is a time for me to reflect upon and evaluate my decisions. A lesson I have learned from other successful business owners, regardless of the enterprise, is not that they always made the right decisions, but that they always made a decision and executed it. I make it a point to gather facts, review, then make a choice accordingly. It seems that most businesses (and people for that matter), can get the first two things done, but not the last one.  It is in that frame of mind, that I'm going to discuss my decisions here.

What major decisions did I work on this year?

I began the year with a larger focus on selling wholesale. I resigned from the local artisans' guild and decided not to do the spring art shows like I have done in the past. I only participated in two, local, fall art shows, mostly because they are local and have been good venues for me in the past.  While the economy has not made it a stellar year, I am excited about the future of this and look forward to expanding my wholesale market.

I met my goal of teaching a jewelry making class locally each month.  I find it is a great way to keep my skills in check. Teaching others how to make jewelry forces me to think creatively as well.

Through social media, I was able to network with a few influential people within the art business world.  I'm excited that I have a close business relationship with these people and can rely on them for expert help within my art business.

I continued to support a few, worthy charities with my art jewelry for their auctions and benefits.

What other specific decisions worked?

Introducing a line of jewelry with a price point under $15 was successful. I think after the economy recovers, I can continue to have success with these pieces of contemporary jewelry because they are unique and colorful.

I hired someone to help me with my jewelry making.  This was a tough decision for me since I am the type that expects perfection from myself.  It's hard to task someone else to do things in the jewelry making process without knowing if that same person will also take the assignments just as seriously.  My assistant started with a few small tasks and has asked for more responsibility.  I look forward to giving her expanded duties in 2011.

I reduced the number of galleries I work with that are "consignment only ".  While this reduced the total amount of my jewelry in retail outlets by more than half, I managed to increase my overall sales volume by working with cash, wholesale customers only.

So what wasn't successful?

I'm disappointed my advertisements I bought in wholesale catalogs didn't bring more leads. I don't know whether this is due to not advertising the right jewelry, not having an "eye-catching" ad, or perhaps that it wasn't the right place to advertise. I have put this on hold until after my wholesale show next month when I can see what resonates with wholesale customers.

I started another website, Handmade Resin Jewelry.   My hope was that it would bring more sales to my KMS Designs Resin and Acrylic jewelry website.  While it may still be too early to tell, the results have not been exciting as of yet.

What decisions am I contemplating now?

I am mulling over the possibility of having an outside source manage the commerce portion of my retail website.  I am exploring options now and hope to have a decision made by the end of January.

I would like to expand tasks to another person (hired or intern) to get more public relations exposure.  There are a lot of bloggers and media outlets I would like to work with and obtain press coverage from.  This would also give me more time to work on jewelry!

What things are you considering for 2011?

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