While exhibiting at Art & Wine Shows, one question that I have been asked several times is “How long does it take you to make a pair of earrings?” With a chuckle, I respond “After your first 500 or so pairs you get to be pretty quick.” This question makes me wonder, what is my customer really asking? I suspect they are trying to place a value on that one pair of earrings. So I thought I would share with you some of the steps that go into offering that one pair of earrings for sale.
My mission at Dolce Beada is to bring you jewelry that combines the traditions of Italian glass bead making with contemporary jewelry styles. This means selecting authentic high quality beads handmade in Italy. In doing this I am always researching new color trends and new styles with the best Venetian glass sources. Choosing new designs is always a risk. I want to offer a variety of choices but I also have to ask myself, “will this color appeal to my customers?” “which colors look best in this new design?” “Is this color going to be a classic or too trendy?” At the same time I am offering new designs, I have to make sure that I have plenty of my most popular styles on hand as well.
After I have made my decisions about which beads to buy and how many, I have to make sure that I have the other pieces I need to make the jewelry. So for earrings this would be the sterling earwires, the headpins and the small silver detail beads that I like to add to accent the Venetian beads. I try to have plenty of these supplies on hand so I can make batches of earrings at one time.
Because each of the Venetian beads are handmade, they all have a little of their own “personality”. So when I make earrings I have to hand match each pair. I look at the thickness, the size, the depth of color, even how the foil lays under the glass in order to match up the best pair of earrings. And sometimes a bead does not match well enough and ends up in my collection of earrings without mates hopefully to be used at a different time.
Once the earrings are made, they are put on a display card, priced and stored until they are ready to be presented at a show or they may need to be photographed to be offered online for sale.
Once I have put together a collection of choices, it is up to you to find the pair that you value the most.
I recently had a friend ask me “What’s the big deal with Pinterest?” So I was explaining to her what I like about it which is basically that it is a great way to collect images in one place, which is fabulous for anyone who is a “visual” type. I have a few of the standard boards that they suggest when you sign up and a couple that I have added. But definitely my favorite board is Scenes of Venice. I find these images to be inspirational and at the same time very calming. I love the way that the light and the buildings reflect off of the water. To capture these moments in a photograph is amazing and makes me feel like I am right there. I wanted to share one of my favorite photographs above by Ashleigh Hodges from her Etsy shop.
Perfect for Valentines Day – or any day for that matter because who doesn’t love a big fabulous glass heart!
I just saw my necklace featured in the latest Giftware News Magazine From the Heart Section. It is always a thrill to see your work displayed in print and I am honored to be included with such a lovely selection of gifts.
I have been working with wholesale clients since I did my first show in San Francisco in 2004. Because my jewelry features the highest quality glass beads handmade in Venice and Murano, I have been featured in some wonderful museums including The Field Museum, The National Gallery of Art and The Frye Museum. I also have several boutiques and gift shops that I have worked with for a number of years including Delaney Street Mercantile in Lake Geneva, WI.
My jewelry is not trendy, it is classic and elegant just like Italy. Yet I always carry the latest in bead designs and colors from the most skilled Venetian bead makers. All of my jewelry pieces are handmade in my California studio in the Santa Cruz Mountains. All Pendants come on slip knotted leather cords and on display cards which tell the story of Venetian glass bead making. Perfect for gift giving. Please check out my Etsy shop to see a sampling of my current offerings.
If you are interested in consideration as a retailer for Dolce Beada, please feel free to contact me at angelakeller(at)dolcebeada.com, I would love to talk with you about the possibilities.
I just placed an order for sterling silver components. How quickly $1000 can slip through your hands!
One of the many lessons I have learned in this jewelry making business of mine is that I have to stay on top of my inventory. Between the Venetian Glass Beads and the sterling silver components, the supplies that I use in Dolce Beada are pretty expensive. Whether it be the supplies or the finished product, if I don’t know what I have already I end up spending a lot of money unnecessarily. And I have had to learn this lesson the hard way. For example last week I discovered that I have 1000 2″ sterling silver headpins – that’s probably 3 years worth – just sitting here. Oops, how did that happen. When I order supplies, I try to think of my supplies as money – I wouldn’t leave $1000 just sitting under my desk right?? So I try not to over do it when I place that order. The other thing I really try to be careful about is that I am really ordering the component that I need. There is nothing worse than ordering a bead for a specific project and then discovering you ordered it in the wrong size!
I think it mainly comes down to being organized. When I have a place for everything, it is much easier to see when and what I need to reorder. The other thing that I did a few years ago was to put all of my inventory on Quickbooks. This was an extremely tedious process but it has definitely helped me to track what I have and also how much each piece of jewelry costs.
Now, perhaps I should clean up my desk – I may unearth some more treasures I have forgotten about.