Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Making Jewelry For A Target Market

In the following article,Molly of Elizabethjewelry shares with us how she makes jewelry for a target market based on her extensive retail experiences.

In my years of working directly with the customers in a retail forum, I have noticed certain trends. As people are all unique, many people buy outside of these patterns. But a large enough portion of people do buy a certain style for me to make items for them.
Ok, first I start with the gemstone. I make a collection around each of these; peridot, red coral, smokey quartz, champagne topaz, Amethyst, white pearl, garnet, labradorite, and a multi color collection, mostly done with cubic zirconia. I dont have them all up on etsy yet, but that will soon change as I just hired a general assitant. She will be working on my wholesale orders off line, while I concentrait on Etsy.

Let start with Peridot. I have seen a trend that peridot wearers tend to be in their 40's, and are very dignified and rooted. They are professionals, with more disposable income. They enjoy nature, the outdoors and are generally optimistic people who enjoy art, yet are a bit conservative. ( I know this may seem like a sweeping generalization, but I cant help but notice this pattern over and over again). So I make for them a classic necklace that is both delicate and dignified, with just a touch of sparkle. 18". Not 16 as 16" tends to appeal to a much younger crowd. The toggle is a custom heart. It is branded with my name "elizabeth" on it as it has an unconditional lifetime guarantee. People like the fact that Elizabeth Is a brand that once they buy a piece, they own it for life. Especially for this customer. Mature people tend to remember when things were made to last forever, or at least a lot longer than most of todays "disposable" gadgets. I also use french wire to give
the piece a more finished look. Now, using french wire with a necklace strung on beading wire is widely used, however, I was using it at least 6 years before it became a widely practiced technique.

This was one of my first things I listed, so I could retake the photo I believe:

The red coral is another good one where I started with the end user. Men. That is right, as men are proven to be more attracted to red than any other color, and will buy red as a gift more often. So I made this necklace with the idea of men buying it for the women in their lives. Men like to obtain, not normally shop around. So I put it in my top featured items. I sell one of these necklaces to a man at nearly every show! I made it bold, yet feminine with the flowers inside the square. (men also like squares). I also made it simple to both go with many womans outfits. No silver spacers to confuse the matter. Just a great medium sized 6mm round red coral. I think the recipient of this necklace will always enjoy having a classic red accessory that can be worn with the neutrals ( blacks) that is in most wharedrobs. So she will wear it a lot, and make her "man" happy as he knows he accomplished buying her a gift she enjoys. The price is affordable for the craftmanship, yet at a price that is percieved as quality. No too cheap, not too expensive. Again the custom heart toggle. has been featured in a treasury or two.

The next item is for a younger demographic. The late teen to 35 crowd. The cost needs to be lower. I wanted it to be under $35.00 The cool "IN" theme is anything French, or Paris, and less of a beaded look but more of a fun cluster of charms off of a sterling chain. The Quality needs to look like they are buying perhaps their first piece of "real" jewelry. So I hunted down suppliers, finally having one make me the right findings I needed at the right price. Actually, may of my findings and beads are custom for me to provide the best quality at the right price. This has been featured in many treasurys. And we know that the people who are building treasurys are mostly under 35.

The last is my best seller. I sell about 60 or so a month on etsy. I knew that every person who has pierced ears wanted a good all purpose everyday earring. Something that is just a tad more than a simple plain hoop or stud. Something they could put on one handed, with their school books or small kids in one hand. A safe earring that was not boring. I have sold this to all ages from 4 to 96.
This is priced at an impulse buy price. Something they would buy just because they went to work without any earrings. They also tend to get worn a lot. These are the earrings that some people just live in. Some people really enjoy fancy earrings during most of the time, and need a more basic one for days off.
It needed to be strong, sturdy and simple. They are polished, but with a little less than perfect finish, so they don't feel like the earrings cant be worn if they get a little tarnished over time. Many people tell me they have lived in them day and night for years!

This comes in 18 colors to appeal to everyone. Often someone will purchase one color only to put in "notes to seller" that they want a different color than the one pictured, as I tell them to look at my photo of many colors grouped together for them to pick from. I just love that. That the earring itself sold them, no matter what color. So the extra group photo really helps. I do add some pictures of my daughter wearing her pair so people can see what it looks like on a person.

This earring has also been picked by admin once to be on the front page. That really made my day!

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