I always loved jewelry. As a kid, I would drag my mother to see all the pretty pieces – no matter if it was a high end fine jewelry store or a handmade piece in a craft show. No mass produced, cheap costume jewelry, though – I was quite the young snob!
I also loved stones. Smooth cabs with interesting patterns, gemmy sugarloaves or faceted stones – all are beautiful to me.
One day it hit me. Why didn’t I make jewelry myself? It seems so obvious, but it was quite a revelation. I found a teacher, took classes and learned to saw, anneal, forge and solder. Then I learned more on my own. And I found some workshops. And so I learned my craft.
I live in Brazil and handmade artist jewelry is not much appreciated. We do not have many craftshows and galleries still turn away jewelry as not “artistic”. I needed to get word out to people who would appreciate my work and value it. I wanted to reach the world, not just my little corner of it. So I started listing on Etsy.
2- Selling on Etsy has been an eye opening experience for me. Perhaps the hardest lesson for me has been opening up to the buyers and exposing who I am and what drives my work. Since I am a very private person, my first listings were very cold and impersonal. Until I was told that my shop was so cold that it was like buying from a large chain. That shook me! I redid all my listings, my photos and bio to reflect me and my passion for my work.
3- My advice to new buyers is to get good photos that look polished and professional. That is what will draw buyers to you and make sales. And it doesn’t have to be expensive – a simple white or grey background, some good lights and a point and shoot camera will do it, if you research first how to use them.
Also, open up to the world. What makes you different, what drives your work?