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.