How to Make Jewelry

I'm Making Jewelry in my Jam Jams (the newsletter)

August 30, 2008

It's BACK TO SCHOOL TIME

All mothers and fathers of school-age children rejoice!

I'm a-gonna make this quick because I have to take my daughter shopping for a shiny new backpack for school (she's in KINDERGARTEN now you know). I'm sure it will need to be very sparkly so we have to head before the sparkliest ones are all snatched up.

In this Issue:

Survey Update and New Video
My blathering on about my life, and how my 3 year-old son shamed the family today.

Other Stuff
Website updates: New questions, new answers, and new friendship bracelet pages.

Jewelry Business Chit Chat :
What you should be doing now to jumpstart your December profits

About this Newsletter...

I'm Making Jewelry in My Jam-Jams is a weekly (or so) newsletter written for jewelry makers, jewelry sellers, and other crafty type people by Christine Gierer of How-to-Make-Jewelry.com


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Survey Update and New Video

Hey guess what? I made a video for you filled with (shhhh!) s e c r e t s.

What's that have to do with surveys you ask?

Well remember that survey I asked you to do a couple of weeks ago? The response has been AWESOME by the way! Thanks so much! I can't believe so many people took the time to answer those questions for me. I truly truly appreciate it.

I'll get back to the video in a sec. but I got a lot of emails asking for the results so here's a quick overview of the first question's results. It asked whether about experience level:

And the results were.... (drum roll here):

beginner: 30.4%
intermediate: 50.6
advanced: 17.9%
ninja master: 1.2%

Pretty interesting no? I thought so anyway. I was kinda under the impression there were more beginners but it just goes to show that you just never know 'till you ask!

BACK TO THE VIDEO

Another one of the questions had to do with "frustrations" and I got all kinds of responses back. Some had to do with techniques, time, costs, lack of knowledge, and a ton of other concerns.

THAT PESKY, FRUSTRATING WIRE LOOP, DANG IT!

And one of the techniques I got a LOT of people being frustrated with was making a simple loop with wire. And that got me to thinking that there are quite a few tricks to it, and really knowing how to make a perfect loop is one of those essential skills - like using a toilet.

THAT's right. A TOILET. (Just waking you up if you're scanning) Using a toilet seems so easy right? But if you've ever toilet-trained a toddler (right in the middle of it now and evidently using a toilet is VERY complicated both logistically and psychologically for my Edgar), you know that a great deal of detail goes into something that after awhile we do without thinking.

(It just occurred to me that my husband could use a little bit of technique training too but we won't get into THAT.)

It's the same with making those simple loops at the end of eyepins and bead links. Very basic, very essential, but a little tricky until you really "get" it Much like learning to use the toilet.

So I put together a video explaining some secrets to making a simple loop including tricks for measuring and making them consistent.

You can watch the vid here:
The Secrets of Making a Perfect Wire Loop, Every Time.

I think I went a little overboard on the editing - I stayed up late last night adding in all these little text reminders that were probably totally unnecessary but you know, that twiddling compulsion (don't all of us crafty people have it?) is so insistent. Are you like that too? The bane of my existence. The "I'll do just one more thing" syndrome that is really the road to hell.

(Do you like that? I give you philosophy too. I'm a one-stop shop).

Here's the video - go watch it. I came up with SEVEN secrets (at least I think it was 7) Even seasoned jewelry makers might learn a trick or two. And if you have any tricks of your own, just go ahead and add them into the comments.

And try to overlook the bad video part of me at the beginning. You'll notice that the voice and my face don't match up properly. That's what happens when you use a cheap webcam instead of a proper camcorder. Oh well, the life of a solo web publisher...

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OTHER STUFF

Website update

There are lots of new questions and answers this week but I really don't feel like writing the synopsis. Not that I'm not grateful for everyone taking the time to write. I really really am! So here are the links:

Questions with Answers
How to Tie a Knot Using a Stretch String
Instructions on Slider Closures

Questions needing answers:
Resin Ring Mold Making
Ending Off Loom Work

Oh - and something new for the Teen Crowd!  Here are some new friendship bracelet patterns and info:
The Floss Bracelet Basics
Chevron friendship bracelet pattern

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And Now for Something Completely Different

Jewelry Business Chit Chat

AND LASTLY SOME BUSINESS TIPS:

For those of you who are in the jewelry making business, well this week I got nothing. No wait, I do have something.

What you should be doing now to jumpstart your December profits

It's September - so that means it's time to start ramping up your mailing list mail outs to prep for the HOLIDAYS. Yes, already! Here's a suggestion. Offer an early bird discount now, and say it's because the Holiday season is your busiest time so in an effort to lesson the load, you're offering an incentive for early ordering.

And then think up something to offer like custom orders put in before October 30th are 50% off, or even better, you'll give them a $40 gift certificate with their order so they have 2 good gifts already set for the price of one! (And then, of course, giving away the gift certificate introduces someone else to your business and people always buy more than the certificate right? Think VIRAL, baby! Always try to think of ways to expand your paying customer base)

So go do that right now. This stuff is pure gold and money in the bank. And keep mailing. Remind them about Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other holiday that's big for your customer base. Doing this marketing and relationship building stuff is what separates the thriving business from the failing one.

And I said MARKETING and RELATIONSHIP BUILDING. I hate those spammy mail outs that are all about hitting their list with offer after offer and give no real value to the customer. Those are relationship killers not builders.

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy life to read my newsletter!

I'm off to Sparkly Backpack Land with Princess Zoe.


Take it easy chiquita,
Christine
Learn cool jewellery making stuff with me!


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