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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Target the Cross Over Crafter to Increase your Sales!

Crafters fall in and out of love pretty easily.  We are a somewhat fickle day it is beading, the next day knitting is what rocks the world.  I crocheted feverishly all winter but will not pick up my hook again until Fall, content to have the colorful "not quite an afghan yet" granny squares decorating the wall in my studio for now.  Florida is already getting too hot  to have a lap filled with wool---what with Menopausal hot flashes and all.  Besides...I want to focus on jewelry for the moment.     Fiber is my passion and fiber jewelry in particular is what tends to make my heart go pitter pat...there is something intoxicating about the marriage of fiber and sparkle that makes me giddy.  I will admit that there was a time when my affinity for fiber jewelry made me a bit of a pariah.  I was a fashion DON'T with respect to my fetish.   

Not so any longer!

One cannot peruse a fashion magazine or scan the web without spying some sort of fibery adornment these days.   It is everywhere!  All of Anthroplogie's recent collections feature fiber of some sort.  The "Layers of Grace" bib necklace pictured below retails for $158.00  PUHLEASE!   A snippet of lace and some brass chain.   A Crafty Retailer could teach her customers to whip up something similar for a fraction of the cost!

Chances are, most Crafty Retailers won't think to do it.  Fiber jewelry is a bit "out there"  for  many standard bead stores.  Yarn shops tend to ignore it as well, concentrating more on garment construction.  The clumsy felt ball necklaces of yesteryear might have scared everyone away---I wouldn't be seen in such a necklace, either!    A quick Google  search for "felted jewelry" turned up over 10 million breathtaking images---the art has clearly evolved beyond the ball and your customers are all over it! 

Fiber jewelry is cost effective...many of the most beautiful creations center upon reclaimed/recycled components.  An old sweater can become the base for a felted cuff.  A broken piece of granny's jewelry can become the centerpiece for a spectacular new necklace.  A sliver of satin becomes a fabric bead.  Use your crafty Know How to fashion classes that your customers can afford!   Need some help?  Maricel, owner of the Etsy shop SolBijou offers a tutorial for making a vintage inspired Re-Creation--featuring delicate ribbon flowers-- like the one pictured above---for a mere $10. 

Check out some of the other fanciful creations I found in the cybersphere:

The spectacular brooches pictured above feature zippers and recycled sweaters.  The artist, Odile Gova, maintains an enchanting  Etsy shop, Woolyfabulous.

  I rarely suffer from jewelry envy but did not pause too long before raiding my "new video camera savings stash" to buy the flower brooch pictured at left.    Sometimes survival is a matter of perspective.  What I think of as "necessary" and what my husband perceives it to be are a little different. Economy be damned.   People are still spending---if you are offering something they want to spend their money on!

Ivy Long, the artist behind Edera Jewelry, creates some of the most romantic and ethereal crochet jewelry that I have ever seen.   The drop earrings pictured below are certainly drool worthy, wouldn't you agree?

The work of Gail Crosman Moore caused me to take back my snide "felted ball" comments---her work ROCKS.  I am inspired!  Hmmmm.......I might have to re-think the whole balls thing.
 Feeling inspired?  Wholesale customers can use coupon code TCR5 to save 5% off any purchase that includes fiber through April 5 from my online store

The judges have spoken and we have a winner for our FIBER EARRING THROWDOWN!  We got a surprising number of entries and our judges were hard pressed to find one winner amongst the fabulous earring submissions...they really were all quite different and each was very lovely. However, life is cruel and decisions had to be made.  First prize went to Angie Shan for her exquisite folded ribbon creations.  Angie will receive a prize package valued at $150.  There were nine winners in all .....Check out all of the winning entries HERE.

We will be announcing two new challenges in April:  
Craft Warrior Challenge will be announced April 20
  Crafty Throwdown will be announced on April 27.  
Come play with us!

Eek!  We have run out of time!  Check with us next week when we feature survival tips from Crafty Retail Rock Star Carol Garfield, the owner of Dancing Beads.

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