Welcome to my "Happy Things" blog. Here I post any new jewelry items I've made
and share some of the 'happy things' I appreciate in daily life.
I hope you find something that brings a smile and please visit my online handmade jewelry shop
where my pieces are available:


Friday, February 22, 2013

The Artisan Element Struggle

 Ach! I am amidst a struggle over the use of artisan elements ... particularly in earrings. I LOVE artisan elements. Lampwork glass, ceramics, cool/tribal polymer clay, PMC materials, metalwork ... I am in awe at the artist's patience and ability to achieve a vision from nothing. I am always inspired with an eternal list of design ideas for these pieces and it's so difficult for me to decide "which one" is the "right one" and then commit to it!

I have quite a few artisan elements on hand now and am awaiting the delivery of some very cool new things as well. I intend to use the various things I'm talking about, in earrings. I just love to have a "different" pair of earrings on - unique earrings ROCK!! But as I consider my options and await the new materials, I struggle with deciding what to do.
Most of the artisan items I choose could easily stand alone in an earring. No additional flash needed, no complex design in shape or size required to turn them into fabulous. They are fabulous just "being"! But I always feel as though I'm being lazy, or shortchanging the customer and the original bead artist, if I just use them simply in earrings. While I love them that way and would wear some that way myself, I always feel like I "could've done so much more" with them, could have offered more, they could become something even bigger. But with more and bigger comes a bigger price tag.
I find that my earrings sell very well when priced in the $15 - $25 range. But priced above $25, no matter how cool the earring or materials, no matter how many people "heart" it on Etsy, message me raving about them or tell me in person how cool they are ... they typically tend to stick around. This is the point where a conscientious jewelry designer has to start to ask: Is it my design? Is it my shop? Or is it just 'too much' for most people to pay for earrings? I look around and see many other people selling earrings in the $25+ price range successfully ... but mine tend to get "stuck". This makes me think that it's likely my designs, and not the fact that "the over $25 buyers" aren't getting access to my earrings.  
To keep artisan element earrings in my optimal selling price range, I would need to keep the design more simple. Not combine artisan elements (which I LOVE to do!), or maybe choose the style or design that I LIKE, but do not LOVE. This kills me! I have such a hard time with this!
But having invested in so many artisan elements lately, I need to make a decision here about how I'm going to move forward. In other words, I need to PRIORITIZE. This is a concept I have struggled with my entire life (don't get my dad started on this topic!!). Making the sale, or offering my true vision. Hmm.

I guess if someone out there wouldn't mind being bold and telling me, "Susan, you just don't design over $25 earrings well" or "Your photos and designs don't really LOOK like they're valued at over $25", or "I think maybe you're the only one who thinks that's fabulous", etc. ... that would REALLY help me! The only feedback I've been able to get on the issue has been positive, people telling me that they really like my more expensive designs ... but this has been from folks who tend to spend a little less on earrings and wouldn't buy them anyway! And so I continue to struggle.
I'm thinking maybe I should survey my Facebook followers and see if I can get a feel from them? I only have a few people following me (I just started actually USING FB much for new jewelry releases) and they seem to tend to be bracelet and necklace fans ... but who knows, they might be able to help me out? In the meantime, if you happen to read this and are interested in sharing your thoughts, opinions or recommendations, I would DEFINITELY WELCOME THEM! :)
Please feel free to leave a comment, message me on Etsy or email me at MyHappyThingsHi@aol.com
Thank you!

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