Thursday, December 15, 2011

Taking Crafting From Hobby to Business

 Hand Made Jewelry for Fun and Profit is a new E book published by Marie Starr, a long time seller of beaded jewelry and jewelry patterns, and owner of Bead Patterns Boutique.  We at Bead Patterns  Boutique (shoppers and designers alike) call her "our fearless leader" with a big smile.  She has many years of experience in the business of crafting and marketing and eagerly shares much of her knowledge with us in the users forum as well as the designers forum.

In her latest E book you will find detailed information on how to:
Build your stock & Decide what to carry
Prepare to sell your work
Price what you have made
Find and approach your potential buyers
Close that deal
This information can be applied to any  hand made craft and is sure to help you get started in turning your hobby into a business, or if you're already running a business it can help you find customers and close the deal and increase profits.

On the same topic, I was doing some research for a friend who was wanting some information on bead programs.  As usual, I got sidetracked on something else.  At least this time it was related.

I found this free Jewelry Pricing Calculator Software. Yes, I said free! This calculator is free to download and will walk you through, step by step,
Working out the EXACT hourly rate you should be charging.
Calculating your overhead costs.
Totaling ALL material costs for your pieces.
Instantly calculating your Wholesale and Retail price.

If you're considering taking your hobby to the next level and turning fun into profit I hope these two items will help you get started and enjoy a profitable business.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Twin Cross Earrings and Twin Seed Beads

I've finished another pattern using the new Preciosa Twin Seed beads. Here's my Twin Cross earrings. The pattern is available at BeadPatternsBoutique and The Bead Coop.  Although I'm finding handling these beads a challenge, I still have many designs going through my mind.

There are just so many stitches and techniques that lend themselves well to these beads that the possibilities seem endless.  The main problem I've had so far is finding a variety of colors available by retailers and I'm not in a position to buy in wholesale lots.

I did find that Sparkle Spot has added some more colors, mostly metallics, to their inventory.  A friend from South Africa provided a link to West Coast Wholesale Jewellery.  I found that they are located in the UK, but ship internationally for reasonable prices. They have 59 colors available.  Viki Szabo, from Hungary provided this information:
"The shipping is 2.45 GBP flat rate for domestic shipping, but if your package is small, they won't charge you more for the international shipping either. If the shipping to your country cost more than 2.45 (it depends on the weight of your package) they will contact you with the information and the actual shipping cost. The twin beads are on pre-order, it takes about 1-2 weeks to arrive to their shop. If you have any more question, you can always contact the shop owner, Pam, she is extremely helpful and e-mailed me back very fast."
Although they are a wholesale company they have no minimum order size, their products are available to individuals, and the really big bonus for me. . .they accept PayPal!  If you need a currency converter to determine cost you can find one at .

Now I'm off to clear my bead area.  School will be out for the holidays next week and my 6 year old granddaughter may want to come bead with me.  I need to clear a space so we can both sit and bead at the bead table.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Make it a Hand Made Christmas

'Tis the season.  It's time to start that mad rush of holiday shopping. . .unless you're one of the well organized who shop and craft all year to avoid the shopping crowds.

This year across America the theme seems to be "buy American", but I'd like to suggest having a handmade Christmas.  Of course if you're not a crafter, you can buy hand made from small, independent businesses who sell online or at craft shows.

Here are a few suggestions, mostly for the ladies, of bead patterns that make up quickly and would be great gifts for those special people on your gift list.

Debbie, of Debger Designs, has been on a roll with her tila bangle designs.  Her latest, Tiara, is a big hit with the beaders of the BeadPatternsBoutique forum.  Here's a picture of one beaded by Bethel Anthony.  Isn't it beautiful?
The pattern for Tiara is available at Bead Patterns Boutique.

Lori, At Out of the Flames, has gotten her website back up and running with a completely new look.  She shares a picture of her Snow Blossom Necklace.  She hasn't decided whether to make a pattern for it or not, but it's a real beauty.
Out Of The Flames: Snow Blossom Necklace

Marie Starr, of Starr Design Studio, and also the owner of Bead Patterns Boutique, is revamping some of her older designs and has posted her Southwest Diamond Bracelet pattern to the Boutique this week.

Tila beads and the new Preciosa Twin seed beads seem to be all the buzz.  Many of the designers at BeadPatternsBoutique are busy designing with them.  Like their fan page on FaceBook and keep up with the new designs being listed.


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