August 2, 2012

Bead Bundles, Production and Designing for Wholesale

Just a quick note to let you know that I am having a little sale in my Etsy shop.  I just put up 10 Bead Bundles that are listed at almost wholesale prices.  It's a great way to pick up some sweet Humblebeads.  This is a special sale and once they are gone, that's it. 

I also have some new leafy beads in the shop - fall is sneaking up on us, poking it head around the corner even here at the beginning of August.

I have been working between bead orders and prepping for the show.  Above is my handiwork from last night. I love mixing ceramic work with my beads.  They add a nice weight to my light-weight polymer and our finishes work so well together. 

I like to work in assembly line fashion with a design, changing out a piece here and there but keeping it the same formula.  It's an easy way to whip up six pendants in a half hour!  And speaking of assembly line fashion...

I have been working on samples and designs for my wholesale line.  One thing I've been working on is the idea of creating collections.  So I'll have a design motif and see how many different ways I can work it into a series of jewelry.  It's a lot unlike working on a series or body of work when I was in art school.  I've found that when I'm working on the designs for wholesale it is a completely different mindset than working on one-of-kind designs.  I have to ask myself:

1. Can I easily reproduce this?
2. Are the materials affordable? (If I work with net 30 terms am I going to have to invest a fortune to fill an order?  I certainly don't want to!)
3. Is this design keeping in my price point that I want to offer to wholesale customers?
4. Can I make it quickly and can I train others to make it too?
5. Is this design cohesive with the entire collection?
6. Is this is a seasonal design, should it wait to be released until later in the year?

Now, I'm moving in a completely different direction than even what I offer at say a local art market. I'm thinking much more in terms of how I can produce these in quantities and offer them to a larger market.  It's a bigger kind of thinking than I've done before and a slower process. 

Would you like to see some jewelry collection samples?  Check out the wholesale shops at Trunkt for inspiration and quite an education!


Lupe Meter said...

How cool is never cease to amaze me! You are so creative and a great business woman!! I really love these and I am sure many people will too!!

glaudius said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and methods. I tend to be more detailed in my sketches. I guess I have not reached the design maturity to make collections. By the end of the first piece my thoughts and vision have generally moved on.

Rebecca said...

Nooo! Don't mention Autumn yet! We haven't even had summer yet in the Uk! And our Autumns aren't all leafy and golden like all the beautiful ones I see blogged about over in America, they are just wet and cold. Hey, that's a bit like our summer so far!!

Back to the Lupe says, you do never cease to amaze me also. And even more than what you do yourself, is how much you share your process. I love it, it's such food for thought for me. It must be so great to look at a simple pendant and think - I made that from start to finish, including the beautiful pendant. I have no doubt your new lines will do well. MORE than well. Your colours, shapes, shades,'s all so recognisably 'you'. And gosh, I wish I had your drawing skills! Thanks Heather, for another great post.

Cilla said...

Your Bead Bundles were a huge hit! Sorry I missed them. That looks like the way to sell!

Cyndi J said...

This is fantastic advise. Best of luck with your new, additional directions.