If you've browsed sites like Etsy for shopping, you may have the hankering to create your own handmade goods to sell. If you have an interest in jewelry, you may want to try your hand at wire wrapped gemstone jewelry. Here are four tips to make your online shop a success.
Start with Simple Creations
While it may be tempting to pump out tons of elaborate constructions with numerous gems, simpler designs that have quality will trump quantity--especially when you are just getting started. Wire-wrapped stone pendants are a great piece of jewelry to start with since they only require one stone and one chain. These kinds of pendants will be good practice for you to become adept with needle-nose pliers as you wind wire around the stone in decorative swirls and then attach the remaining wire to the necklace or bracelet chain. Once you've mastered the basics, then you can move on to pieces that may also include advanced techniques, like soldering.
Get Inspiration From Both the Past and Present
A site called Handmade Artists says that wire-wrapped jewelry dates as far back as Biblical times. Since this jewelry has been prevalent through much of human history, you can draw inspiration by taking a look at collections online, like those found at the British Museum. By searching ancient cultures, you'll be more inspired to use unique wire and gem shapes, like paisely from ancient Persia, magatama from ancient Japan, or the chevron from ancient European heraldry.
Along with getting inspired from the past, take a look at places like Pinterest and Etsy to see what current jewelry is being made. You don't want to copy other's ideas, but if you look at trends, you'll be better able to understand what types of jewelry will sell better at your store.
Put Yourself in the Customer's Shoes
While your jewelry may be beautiful to look at, you need to consider its utility. Will your customer be able to wear it without being uncomfortable? Heavy jewelry with sharp or rough spots is a no-no. To avoid these kinds of problems, invest in a jewelry file or a cup bur--both of which can soften any problem spots, like the ends of wires that have been cut and are sharp. To strengthen your wires without making them heavier, invest in some steel wool that you can rub on the wires to strengthen them.
Ship Care Requirements along with the Jewelry
The right tools and techniques will only take you so far in your endeavors. If you want your online store to be successful, be sure your shipments include proper care instructions. You may have to do a little legwork beforehand by contacting wire or gem manufacturers to see how your finished creations should be cleaned and cared for. Many gems can't be cleaned with household cleaners since these can stain wire and loosen any glues. If you forget care instructions, then your customer may blame you if their jewelry is damaged (even if it was their fault). As a general rule of thumb, remind your customers to keep the wire-wrapped jewelry out of extreme heat and out of water, both of which can wear down the jewelry.
By following these basic guidelines, your store should be off to a good start! Check out other stores, like Sand N Stones, for more.