Monday, August 29, 2011

Jet of the Day - SilverSmack

Men's Sterling Ring

Hi, this is Jean from SilverSmack and I'm going to talk a bit about the difference between fine silver and Sterling silver.

Fine Silver Pink Topaz Eternity Circle
Sterling silver differs from Fine Silver in that Fine silver (.999) is a much higher quality than Sterling Silver (.925) because it does not have any added nickel. It does not tarnish like sterling silver and is much whiter and brighter than sterling.

Fine Silver Earrings

That being said, each has their own special qualities. Fine silver is a bit softer, takes on texture well, resists tarning better, and is able to be fused.

Fine Silver Stacking Rings

Men's Sterling Ring

Sterling Silver is harder, takes on a patina better, and needs to be soldered.

Sterling Silver Wire Wrapped Labradorite Earrings

Hope that helps!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Jet of the Day - Shazzabeth

My Design Inspiration
One of the questions I am frequently asked is where my design inspiration comes from. The trouble is that although the question may be simple the answer isn’t.
Often my designs can be inspired by the materials I am working with. A clear example of this is my recently completed wire art necklace – Oceania. This was very much inspired by the gorgeous ocean themed lampwork beads that I used in the necklace. Of course, the ocean itself also added to the inspiration for this piece.

Other designs are inspired by what has gone before, designs evolving with previous designs inspiring new designs. One good example of this is my Amazonite Shapes Necklace. My shapes designs started with my Geometric Squares bracelet. This evolved into a design  featuring a necklace of Kambaba Jasper Rectangles (since sold), with the Amazonite Shapes Necklace being a further evolution of the design theme.

Then again, some designs literally create themselves and come into being as I work on a piece. One of my pieces that this happened with is my Entangled Necklace. For this piece I just started with the base row of Prehenite beads and the rest of the design grew from there.

Of course, I am also inspired by the world around me as can be seen by such pieces as my Blue Kyanite and Gold Flowers Necklace or my Sterling and Crystal Web Pendant.   

 Thank you for reading,

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jet of the Day - The Bead Girl

My name is Lisa. Most people know me as thebeadgirl, or beadgirl, or just plain ole bg. But all of that is odd, because my actual business name is StudioJewel. Let's just chalk it up to a lesson in branding in yourself WRONG, and how it can stick...shall we?

Modern Earrings - Champagne Cubic Zirconia
Who am I really? I am a fun loving, glass half empty, mother, rocket scientist, wife, dog walker, photo taker, music lover, coffee drinking girl, who is just as happy swinging a hammer as she is wearing 3 inch heels. Did I mention I'm 5'10"? Notice the contrasts? Notice the "untruths"? Probably because I am just not easily defined.

Truth? I love passionately. I am loyal as a golden retriever. And when I believe in something watch out.

I love people. I love artists. I love individuals who are passionate about their dreams of entrepreneurship. And I love my job as metal smith, jewelry artist.

It is here I get to fulfill my passion. A hammer and a torch, they just might be my two BFF's.

Here is a glimpse into the pieces I create, but I also wanted to share my tips on taking your craft to the next level. I posted this Tuesday on my blog, and based on the response...I think it bears repeating!

Message Token - in Sterling - Personalized - Custom

Square Ring - Recycled Metal - Skinny Band

Rough Cut Topaz Necklace
Square Ring - Hand Stamped - Custom Message

How do you become successful on Etsy? How can I make my craft my full time job? 

I get asked these question ALL the time.

So I thought I would share a couple pieces of advice.

You have to quit what else you are doing full time. If this is what you really want to do, you need to take the plunge. You need to make your craft your number one priority. I know it's a risk, but that is what fuels being an entrepreneur.

Quitting your day job and plunging takes commitment. You WILL sacrifice your time. You WILL sacrifice your freedom. get to do what you love. Just remember, it takes time to build a business.

SURROUND yourself with supportive people. Here on Etsy, find a team, find a place you can go to ask questions...a place to vent...a place for feedback...a place to celebrate your wins. The people I have met on Etsy through my teams have become some of my very best friends. I rely on them...and they on me. It's a give / take relationship.

Retake your photos. Work on your tags. Rewrite your descriptions. Never think you can just remain static.

Social media. Find a place you are comfortable spreading the good news about your items. Do you love Twitter? Develop relationships there first and then share your items. Do you love Facebook? Make a fan page and let them fall in love with you! Do you like to write? Then blog your passion.

You have to spend time fueling your passion and making new items, or you will grow stagnant and your followers will grow bored. Take time each day to sketch, plan and make! Just do SOMETHING!

Those are just a few of the tips I offer people when I'm asked. The biggest mistake I see is people thinking those that have made it, or those that are successful just got lucky. Pshaw!


But being in business for yourself and doing what you love? PRICELESS!

and never forget...

BE creative!
~ lisa

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jet of the Day - Satin Doll

Three Things You Don't Know About Satin Doll & Co.
Yes, we have our Etsy Profiles to give the buyers and sellers a little in depth information on the owner of an Etsy shop. But they do not go very in-depth, so, here are 3 things you don't know about the owner of Satin Doll & Co.

#1    My name: is Gaetana Parris. For some reason I've decided to leave my name off my profile and focus mainly on my background and the jewelry. The name Gaetana originates from Italy. My mother named me after a close friend of hers who was named Gaetana. I was lied to as a child and told Gaetana meant princess, (which is so wrong.) It actually comes from a city, Gaeta, in southern Italy.

Army Chic Beaded bracelet
 #2    I taught myself to make jewelry. One day I just decided to make jewelry and my sister bought me a book that I barely skimmed through. I bought all the necessary supplies and started with earrings. I started selling earring at a vendor location in Brooklyn and they were a huge hit. From there I extended my jewelry making skills to bracelets and necklaces.

#3    I am from West Indian descent, which I think is the reason why I don't shy away from color!  If you look at my shop, I have every color of the rainbow and maybe some that aren't included.

Malibu Dangle Earrings
There are so many different facets of me,  but these are the top three that I wanted to share.
Thank you so much for reading. Now it is your turn to tell us three things we do not know about you!

"Peace" Hippie Wooden Earrings

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Jet of the Day 8/23/11 - Rough Magic Creations

Hi there! I'm Mollie of Rough Magic Creations, my Etsy shop which proudly boasts my Jet team membership.

But I also have a second Etsy shop which, having recently awoken after several months in hibernation, may be an unknown entity to many of my teammates.

Now, before the holiday season goes into overdrive, I'd like to share a few of my experiences in selling seasonal and celebratory items (jewelry, accessories and home decor) on Etsy.

A. To dispatch with one unpleasant aspect straight away …
Especially in a slow economy, people aren't eager to invest in items that they'll be wearing or displaying for at most a couple of months (or maybe only a few days) each year. Specifically, I've learned to stay away from gold filled and sterling silver and stick with copper and silver tone base metals, which allows me still to go with the gemstones that I love.

B. Keeping more than one shop up-to-snuff can be both time consuming and exhausting. I'm eager for the long promised day when Etsy allows us to manage multiple shops with a single account. Till then, I stay signed in to one account on Firefox and the other on Chrome. Needless to say, both browsers have overloaded bookmark toolbars! It's a constant juggling act, especially as I also have an ArtFire studio and a small shop on Zibbet.

C. It pays to keep items rotating in pace with the calendar. I seldom allow an item in this shop to expire. No season lasts for four months, and renewing beachy summer items in the dead of winter would only gum up the works.

Not only does deactivating out of season pieces keep my shop looking fresh and up-to-date, it allows me to group current items in seasonally specific sections.

At the moment, I have eight sections: Autumn, Halloween, Christmas and Winter, RoughMagic Weddings, RoughMagicFun, Religious Jewelry, All Occasions, and Gifts for Men.

The first three are rotating sections. Autumn and Halloween will disappear after October 31, and Christmas & Winter will morph into two sections: Christmas, and Winter & New Years. On January 1, Winter & New Years will change to Late Winter, and two new sections will open: Valentine's, and St. Patrick's Day. When Winter goes out, Spring & Easter will temporarily replace Religious Jewelry, and Mother's Day will come up, Dads & Grads will take over Gifts for Men, and Summertime and July 4th will follow chronologically. Then back to Autumn …

Of course of this all depends on what pieces I have available at any given time, but with each rotation, items that fit logically in new or permanent sections will move there until their gig is up. :)

 For example, when Autumn is over, this necklace will receive a bit of judicious tweaking and move to the permanent All Occasions category ~

And this wreath will move to a newly revived Home Decor section ~

 This necklace, too limited to go anywhere else, will hibernate till next fall ~

D. As the exception that proves the rule (Rule A, that is), I've discovered that brides are happy to invest in sterling silver and gold filled wedding jewelry, whatever the season. They see these pieces as heirlooms to treasure and to wear again and again, to celebrate anniversaries and other romantic occasions. So RoughMagic Weddings stays up all year long, and I do relist those items when they expire, often with fresh new photos/

Another section that stays alive year round is RoughMagic Fun, which is useful for all kinds of things that I'm not quite ready to deactivate, and where I'm now keeping some Mardi Gras and April Fools items.

E. With holiday and seasonal items, color, texture and theme are everything. I can't stress this point enough. For Autumn, olive green, rusty red, burnt orange, caramel, copper (yay!), rustic, woodsy and leaves, leaves and more leaves! Halloween is orange and black, novelty, funky and fun. Christmas jewelry is red and green, and occasionally pale blue and white. Spring … but you know all this!

F. If you're thinking you'd like to open a holiday shop, my best advice:
Go for it! It's more fun than a barrel of ... well, a barrel of Jets.

Thank you for reading,

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Trace Design's "Top 10"

Hi! I'm Tracy of Trace Designs and while I'm somewhat of a newbie here on Etsy, I thought I'd share the most valuable lessons I've learned during my first year. If you missed #'s 1-5, please follow this link . Otherwise, here are the final 5!

6. Go Viral
This should really be a subheading for #5 from my last post but I really thought this
was important to emphasize. DO NOT discount the power social media marketing
can have even by participating only just a few minutes a day.

Social Media has been a huge success for my shop. It can be quick and easy if done
correctly;  and best of all its free!

I get the majority of my traffic and subsequent sales from Stumble Upon, Twitter,
and Facebook. Those are my big 3 but there are many, many more for you to try.
Find what works for you and go for it. Remember to measure your traffic or you’ll never know what has been successful and where you’re just wasting your precious

7. Do not Undersell Yourself
First of all, you’ll go out of business, that is obvious, but also your customers want
quality. Quality materials cost money. The quality time and effort you put into your
work should cost money. Always pay yourself for your efforts, you deserve it and it
will show through your pieces. Your customers love a deal, yes, but they also love
quality work and artists who value themselves as well as their products.

Here’s a great post on pricing, by Norah, with regard to charging for our time.

8. Set Achievable Goals
What are you working for? How many sales do you want to make? How many views
do you want to get? Setting (not too easy or flimsy) achievable goals is a great way
to stay motivated and focused. When you hit your goals, celebrate, then make new
ones! Without goals, how can you feel successful?

One goal of mine? Keep my shop stocked with at the very least 75 items at all times
in order to have a great selection with varying price points! Something for almost everyone!

9. Share those Goals with the World
Tweet it, yell it, write it, blog it! It will keep you honest and on track. Not only
that, you’ll be amazed at how many people (friends, strangers, etc) want to
see you succeed and will help and support you every step of the way. Having a
strong support system behind you makes all the difference in the world. Its very

Join a Well Established, Active Team
This may be the best thing I ever did for my business. Not only does my team, the JETs
(Jewelry On Etsy Team)  promote each other daily (woo hoo!
more marketing) but they’re an endless source of valuable information (woo hoo!
professional development), inspiration (woo hoo! creativity), and of course, a whole
lot of laughs (hooray for sanity)!

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jet of the Day - Ozmay Designs

I have a passion for making jewelry. My pieces only really become complete when they find their owners! I get great pleasure from creating my work, well, from creating art in any form, but my complete satisfaction comes when I hear that my buyers are thrilled with their pieces.

 Do you ever wonder where your jewelry goes? I have said more than once that my items aren't really complete until they find a home. Our jewelry leaves us in our pretty packaging and we're thrilled with the sale and hope it is received well, but do you ever wonder where it ends up? How is a life touched by your work?

 I know jewelry-making isn't rocket science or selfless social service, but it does intrigue me to think about the story a piece I created could tell. I have jewelry that reminds me of times or events in my life. Little tangible reminders. Wearable "remember-whens".

 I know that sometimes people buy jewelry because they like it and it matches their new top, but when we create a piece of work, a little of ourselves goes in. It's the first step of an adventure so to speak. I like to think that sometimes maybe my work made a day better, or a romance blossom. I like to hope that it can make a person feel loved, or even comforted for reasons I will never know.

Not to overstate what we do, but making other people feel good, even indirectly, is a wonderful thing. I hope I never stop caring where my jewelry goes. I think it makes my work better.
Thanks for reading,