BALC Blog Hop #2 – Who am I and Where am I going?

 

This class is certainly a challenge!  On so many levels.  I haven’t had to think this hard in a very long time.  I am so inspired by my classmates.  Many of them face daily personal challenges much greater than my own – and they continue to create beautiful jewelry.  My hat is off to all of them.

For the second month of class we have focused on:

  • Why we should care about high fashion as seen in Vogue magazine and how it influences our jewelry making.
  • Define where we are in jewelry making – Hobbyist, Jewelry Maker, or Jewelry Designer
  • Managing our jewelry inventory so that we can determine our own personal supply and demand needs.
  • Pyramid pricing – creating price levels in our jewelry line
  • Pricing our jewelry for profit.

VOGUE – Ugh!

One requirement of this class was to subscribe to Vogue magazine.    I resisted this but finally caved.  Lots of photos – mostly advertisements – of skinny women in strange clothes.  Lots of dark colors.  I did like the Land’s End and J Crewe coats.  Must admit, I loved some of the purses.

The class module on Vogue said we should analyze the featured fashions.  Analyze the fashions??  I wanted to send the designers to analysis!  And I wanted to feed the models! So, I picked the photos apart – my version of analysis.  Began to look at the lines and the colors – mostly the colors.    I was disappointed at the lack of jewelry shown with the fashions.  The color combinations were interesting – some quite beautiful.  I began to imagine the kind of jewelry that would work with the clothing lines.

The result of my very rough analysis is that I still don’t like Vogue – will not be renewing the subscription.  But I will follow fashion online.  And I will be going through the issues I have and tearing out the things that appeal to me – colors and lines and shapes.

So, sorry Brenda.  No Vogue convert here.  But I did see the value in viewing the issues and considering the clothing as art as well as fashion.

If Not Vogue, then What (or Who) does Inspire me?

Why Pinterest, of course.  I get many ideas for composition and color combinations from the photos of vintage and contemporary jewelry.  I love the designs of Miriam Haskell, Juliana, and designers from the Victorian era. I like the complicated compositions and the colors that grab your attention.  I love analyzing vintage pieces to see how they are constructed.  Because Pinterest is the place you find things that people love, you have a good chance of seeing what your target customer loves.  I hope to appeal to women from their 30’s to their 80’s.  Women who shop for jewelry that speaks to them.  Women who truly enjoy wearing jewelry – even to the grocery store.

Most of my inspiration comes from members of the B’Sue Boutiques Creative group on Facebook!  – including the wonderful Miss Brenda. There are so many talented jewelry artists in the group.  I constantly discover a different way of using a component – usually with a slap to my forehead and a “Why didn’t I think of that?”.  Before joining the group I had never thought to use a bead cap as a bezel; had never tried to spray paint metal stampings; had only used patinas for dollhouses; had never added small accents like pearls; had never riveted jewelry; would never have used a heart stamping upside down or smashed a bead cap; and, heaven forbid, would never ever have mixed metals.  The list goes on and on.  So you guys and gals in the facebook group are my real inspiration.  I would like to spend a few days with each of you just to watch you create.

 

The Devil Wears Prada

One of my all-time favorite movies!  I adore Meryl Streep!  Meeting this class requirement was a treat.  And, I loved the fashions in the movie.  I would wear any of the Streep outfits. (And maybe some of Stanley Tucci’s suits.)  Can I have her hair also?

Costume designer Patricia Field was 65 years old when the movie was released.  Her designs set the tone for the movie. They illustrated the story of Miranda Priestly (Anne Hathaway’s character) so very well.   The “Cerulean Blue” scene is priceless.  And, the lesson is obvious.  The decisions made by couture designers influence clothing buyers for years to come.  Their runway fashions are altered and modified to sell in high-end boutiques, chain department stores, etc.  Most of us, I think, do not see the influence of the designers when we buy that pretty outfit at Macy’s.  But we are reaping the benefits of their imaginations.

So Who Am I? Hobbyist, Jewelry Maker, or Jewelry Designer?  

The class participants were asked to determine what category we fall in and whether we are happy in that category.

I have had many, many hobbies.  Some were born of necessity.  I took Wilton classes and decorated cakes because I couldn’t afford bakery cakes for my kids.  That ‘hobby’ was ‘work’ – walked away from it pretty quickly!  The wedding cake for my brother was the straw that broke that camel’s back.

Some of them remain wonderful ways to relax – cross-stitching and miniatures for example.

Two of my ‘hobbies’ transitioned to small businesses – very small businesses. We built dollhouses and vignettes for many years and I was a decorative painter also. For many years we sold at more than 20 craft fairs a year.

I returned to jewelry making after we closed “Sunflower Folk Art” – our retail store where we taught decorative painting and sold supplies.

We hosted several jewelry classes at our painting store.  After the store closed, it was jewelry-making that pulled me out of a deep dark hole.

I started out with simple stringing and then beadweaving.  And, then, discovered assemblage jewelry.  I will still do some beadweaving but assemblage has become my first love.  And I get to paint!

Began doing craft shows again about ten years ago. Had to support my habit. I love meeting people and listening to their comments.  There is nothing like direct contact with the customer.

Booth Photo Collage

So, I am no longer a hobbyist.  I am definitely a jewelry maker and maybe borderline jewelry designer.  That term implies that I create original designs.  Not sure that fits me in that you can find many jewelry pieces similar to mine.  When I create a beadwoven piece, it is most likely a  pattern that I purchased.  Although I may alter the pattern, I certainly did not design the piece.

I want to grow my business – especially my online business. I want to develop a brand that customers recognize.  I want  to transition from doing so many craft fairs.  Simply getting too old to do the hard work of set up and tear down.  And doing juried shows mandates travel – with all the costs involved.  Ideally, I would like to do five or six shows a year – good, juried shows.

I also want to have a line that I can present to retail shops in a 100-mile radius of our home.  My price points are established so that I can offer wholesale and still have a good profit margin.

The Pyramid of Sales

Pyramid of Sales Graph

This graph is an excellent tool for determining the levels of jewelry that you make.  As indicated by the pyramid shape, you should have the majority of your jewelry priced in the bottom two levels.  That will be the majority of your sales.  And, in my case, the bottom two tiers represent the items in my line with the highest profit margin.  I love making the statement pieces and will always make them.  But I will concentrate on the lower tiers.

 

My “Pretty in Pink” Theme

2015-09-23 14.08.10

This photo of “The Lady Elaine” necklace gave me the idea for “Pretty in Pink”.  She was created for a blog hop challenge in September 2015.

So, Where am I Going with “Pretty in Pink”?

PIP Step Out Pink Rose Statement Piece

I am working on several pieces for the line.  The constant theme will be the color pink, in many shades.  The collection I plan to finish for class will feature porcelain roses.   The photo shows components for a necklace that is nearly done. Wonderful components from www.BSueBoutiques.com

I have finished a necklace and am playing with ideas for simple pendants, brooches, earrings, and maybe a ring. Taking lots of photos as I go.

Where will I go from here?  I want to develop several collections to present to shops.  This floral pink line will be one.  I hope to expand on the floral theme to include other colors. I am developing plans for other collections such as  – Romantic, featuring hearts, cameos and figurals; Western, featuring cowgirl stuff.  I like the idea of “Collections” – lines built around a theme or a life event.

I will continue to make jewelry using vintage components. They will be one-of-a-kind or limited editions.  I now offer my “Yesterday’s Treasures” collection  in my Etsy shop and at craft fairs.

Streep in purple

Thanks for reading.

If you would like to see more of my jewelry, please visit my Etsy shop to see what is available – www.Etsy.com/shop/LynnLeighDesigns.

Looking forward to seeing my classmates’ blog posts.  Please continue the hop by selecting any of the links below.

  1. Brenda Sue Lansdowne  Jewelry Making Outside the Box

http://www.bsueboutiques.typepad.com/

2. Diana Buynak  –  Butterfly Emporium Ceramic Studio

http://butterflyemporium.indiemade.com/blog

3. Irene Hoffman  – Heartsdezirebyirene

http://heartsdezirebyirene.wordpress.com

4.  Clare Wells Nemeth  – Creative Magick

http://www.craftingmagick.blogspot.com

5.  Mary Reckmeyer –  Afrayedknot

http://www.afrayedknot.net

6.  Marcia Tuzzolino  – Aurora Designs

http://auroradesignsjewelryblog.me

7.  Elizabeth Wilks – Wearable Art by Lizzie

http://wearableartbylizzie.blogspot.com

8.  Jeanette Rose Belmont – One Canvas at a time

http://www.onecanvasatatime.com

9.  Lyn Joy Reeve – A Journey from Jewels to Jubilation

http://lnreeve00.blogspot.com/

10.  Belinda Reed-Ingle  – Vogue Rocks

http://voguerocks.blogspot.com/

11.  Beth Trubman – The Journey of Jewelry

http://thejourneyofjewelry.blogspot.com

12.  Carole Carlson – Beadsophisticate

http://beadsophisticate.wordpress.com/

13.  Jann Tague – Clever Designs by Jann

http://janntague.wordpress.com

14.  Shari Gardner – SLG Jewelry Designs

http://slgdesigns.wordpress.com/

15.  Susan Bolton – Fern’s Place

http://www.fernsplace.org

16.  Chris Kemp – NoodlePie Bracelets

http://noodlepiebracelets.com/

17.  Barbara Kelley – Angels’ Keep

https://angelskeepbandbdotcom.wordpress.com/

18.  Susan Bowerman – Woodside WireWorks

http://www.woodsidewireworks.com/

19.  Pamela Anger – Novegatti Designs

http://novegattidesigns.blogspot.com/

20.  Joan Donovan – Hailey’s Cottage

http://haileyscottage.com/

21.  Alison Huie – Ally’s Baubles

http://www.allysbaubles.blogspot.com/

22.  Sharon Palac – Sharon’s Jewelry Garden

http://www.sharonsjewelrygarden.blogspot.com/

23.  Erica Olmos – Beeb’s Closet

https://beebscloset.wordpress.com/

24.  Erin Whitacre – Shattered Time Jewelry

https://shatteredtimejewelry.wordpress.com/

25.  Fran Sitton – Sitton Up Front

https://sittonupfront.wordpress.com/

26.  Ginger Hammond – Lynn Leigh Designs – YOU ARE HERE!

https://lynnleighdesigns.wordpress.com/

27.  Paula Gaskill – Lovely LaylaBug Jewels

http://www.lovelylaylabugjewels.com/Blog.php 

28.  Mary Katherine – The Rose Sword

http://theroseswordmdeis.blogspot.com/ 

29.  Renee Webb Allen – Small Stuff Design

http://smallstuffdesign.com

30.  Valerie Tilghman- ArtJewelsandGifts

http://artjewelzdimensions.blogspot.com/

31.  Chris Cravens Vintage Cravens

http://christinecravens.blogspot.com/

32.  Leslie Carver

http://www.adorndivinedesigns.blogspot.com/

33.  Donna Parry, JewelryDonna

http://jewelrydonna.typepad.com/

34.  Gina-Marie Hammer – Tangles, Twists and Treasures
http://tanglestwistsandtreasures.com/blog/

35.  Kelly Wymer  Winged Wisdom Enchantments

https://wingedwisdomenchantments.wordpress.com/

Please mark your calendars and join us!  The next blog hop is April 1 – No Fooling!

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27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kellywymer
    Feb 25, 2016 @ 23:46:56

    Very informative and pretty blog..Looking forward to your pretty in pink creations.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Paula Gaskill
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 08:26:57

    Very good read, I was entertained when you talked about Vogue.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Aurora Designs Jewelry
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 14:11:47

    Ginger, I loved reading all about your career. Thanks for sharing. I am really looking forward to seeing your reveal…Pink, in any shade, is my favorite color!! It’s going to be beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Susan Ferrell Bowerman
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 15:20:22

    Ginger, your blog is brilliant and you are pulling from a mountain of crafting experiences which gives you such an edge. I know your line is going to be glorious and I totally loved your blog (both installments!). Well done, Ginger. Can’t wait for your reveal!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Brenda Sue Lansdowne
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 15:33:21

    Excellent post, Ginger, covering all the bases. I’ll be honest, I would rather look at PIN or pick up one of my fave vintage jewelry books than Vogue. Sometimes the issues come and they sit for a bit til I have time for them. They are more like homework for me. I HAVE discovered—and this may be to your surprise—there are some excellent fashion history articles and some social commentary articles in those volumes that are amazing. Stuff you might not learn elsewhere! And Cerulean Blue….is the whole reason for reading Vogue. I so agree….it CAN be a chore when you have no interest in current fashion. I hate the root feature I am seeing and I hope the trend doesn’t last. I hate the Pantone colors this year, UGH! They don’t look good on about 3/4 of the people. In the long run it’s about exposure to new thought, new ideas, new ways of looking at things. Some folks hate history and old jewelry. Most of us enjoyed that part of the class but others would rather have skipped it! As they say, no accounting for taste, and in the long run it’s more about knowing your customer and keeping them happy while keeping YOURSELF content as an artist. You are doing a great job and I already see that what you are learning is going to increase profits for you. You have a really good business mind. But I gotta stay with my point about Vogue. Maybe one day I will do a good blog post on a current issue and take it apart the way I do….and maybe, the points I made about reading it will be clearer. Or not! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. beebscloset
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 18:36:24

    Dear Ginger, it was a pleasure to read and see your accomplishment I must say your patience is something to envy , I loved your miniature rug and your beautiful doll . I use to collect dolls but my children were afraid of them so I put them away and then hurricane came along and took them away but I still have some left that I was able to save. I am so very much looking forward to see you reveal, the Stamping you have picked are wonderful to work with.
    Erica

    Like

    Reply

  7. Mildred Plant Masten
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 20:29:30

    love your amusing and informative blog very much!

    Like

    Reply

  8. Val Tilghman
    Feb 26, 2016 @ 20:51:24

    I very much agree with you on Vogue…. I got a free subscription…..but I have noticed the same ( very little jewelry ) in many fashion magazines these days. Instyle is the same as well as People Style. We need to just keep working as best as we can….heck everything comes full circle anyway and whatever we make will be a hit at some point 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Charlotte
    Feb 27, 2016 @ 11:30:54

    Amen, sister, re. Vogue. I’m a subscriber for many years, but not for the fashion shoots. Most are ridiculous. I buy it for the occasional in-depth story and the ads. Sometimes jewelry is used to compliment an outfit. More often I feel they SHOULD have used jewelry. Your history is fascinating.

    Like

    Reply

  10. fernsplace
    Feb 27, 2016 @ 14:18:56

    You are so organized. I’m looking forward to seeing what you have.

    Like

    Reply

  11. Clare
    Feb 27, 2016 @ 19:47:19

    Wow! After reading your blog I thought it was something I had written. LOL I too am not a Vogue convert. I find the girls waaaaaaayy too thin and most of the clothes, weeellll. I noticed a lack of jewelry as well along with smiles. 🙂 I LOVE the movie “The Devil Wears Prada”! I could watch it over and over. Looking forward to seeing your line!

    Like

    Reply

  12. christinemkemp
    Feb 27, 2016 @ 20:58:41

    I loved reading your honest candid blog. I could very happily read a few more pages.
    I enjoyed reading a bit about your history, and that challenging craft show schedule that you used to keep. I applaud you Ginger!
    Looking forward to your next blog and reveal, and watching your other lines take shape on Facebook!

    Like

    Reply

  13. lnreeve00
    Feb 27, 2016 @ 21:31:05

    Your blog is amazing! As is your beautiful creations. I can’t wait for the reveal..great job

    Like

    Reply

  14. Leslie
    Feb 28, 2016 @ 03:39:19

    It really is something picking out the useful stuff in Vogue, but maybe we’ll get the hang of it. 🙂
    I enjoyed your thought process here, and I agree…I have learned SO much being in the group, tried things I’ve never tried before, and the class, SO much more! I can’t even wait to see where *I’m* going with all this on top of seeing everyone else’s!
    See you at the reveal!

    Like

    Reply

  15. Christine Cravens
    Feb 28, 2016 @ 09:35:54

    I loved your post, Ginger. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with craft shows and choosing what to participate in. I am branching out into shows on a very limited basis and your insight is very helpful. I love where you are heading with Pretty in Pink – and, I think even Vogue would agree, pink is where it’s at this year! HA!!! 😀

    Like

    Reply

  16. mockinyc
    Feb 28, 2016 @ 11:09:20

    Loved your blog and those miniatures are just gorgeous! Am looking forward to seeing your finished line!

    Like

    Reply

  17. Novegatti Designs
    Feb 28, 2016 @ 19:26:25

    Great post, Ginger! I enjoyed reading it (and glad to know I’m not the only non-fan of Vogue). 😉 I love miniatures and dollhouses, and wish I could see more of your work with those! Looking forward to seeing your completed jewelry line in a month!

    Like

    Reply

  18. Elisabeth Wilks
    Feb 28, 2016 @ 20:04:29

    A beautifully informative blog post, thank you Ginger! Your “Lady Elaine” necklace is so delicate and feminine. I love it! Can’t wait to see your finished line!

    Like

    Reply

  19. shatteredtimejewelry
    Feb 28, 2016 @ 22:45:51

    Love your post! Anxiously awaiting the rest of you line.

    Like

    Reply

  20. trendyjewelrydesignsbykristyle
    Feb 29, 2016 @ 01:01:09

    Ginger what a wonderful and informative blog and I learned a lot about what you all are doing just by reading your lovely blog. Love your choice of them and your color pallet as well can’t wait to see you. XOXO!

    Like

    Reply

  21. Beth Trubman
    Feb 29, 2016 @ 20:25:58

    Ginger, I read your post over the weekend, and neglected to leave a comment!!! So sorry! Very well written blog, and love the pink theme…well done!

    Like

    Reply

  22. Janet Calardo
    Mar 02, 2016 @ 09:48:11

    I loved your blog. It had so much information about the process and loved how you presented it. It was very informative and loved the Vogue part of it. I can relate. I took the class last year and have read the files Brenda posted in the BALC, in addition to reading everyone’s blog this year. It has helped seeing a different perspective of this years participants. Thanks for a great read and I really look forward to seeing your completed line.

    Like

    Reply

  23. angelskeep
    Mar 03, 2016 @ 22:29:30

    Oh, Emily! You had me entertained the entire way through your blog, and it was so much more entertaining than ever I could have wished for. The cerulean blue sweater comes this way seldom if at all and D&G accessories seem to be the only images I can connect with in Vogue. Okay, so we look at the colors and work from there. Your blog post has been the most entertaining to me-LOVE it! and yet we can take some parts even from Vogue and DWP and do something with them. So glad you are my classmate and my friend and hope it will only grow from here!

    Like

    Reply

  24. Donna Parry
    Mar 04, 2016 @ 17:41:41

    I really enjoyed your blog and Etsy store. Very well done! Your pink theme will be a hit for sure!

    Like

    Reply

  25. Shari Lynn Gardner
    Mar 05, 2016 @ 07:35:51

    I love your blog Ginger. You really explain in detail what we have covered so far. It is amazing to me just how much we have learned. I can’t wait to see your finished pieces.

    Like

    Reply

  26. Q settings
    Apr 01, 2016 @ 13:35:03

    Beautiful, beautiful line. Right up my alley. I just love it all. Great work.

    Like

    Reply

  27. christinemkemp
    Apr 03, 2016 @ 00:24:19

    Your line turned out amazing Ginger! My fav is the green bangle bracelet. I love green and pink together and think that cuff is awesome. Your statement piece is incredible too. Really, what’s not to like? I’ve enjoyed sharing classes with you. Congratulations.

    Like

    Reply

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