Courtney Gray On How to Sell Handmade Jewelry
Courtney Gray: Welcome to Creative Side Jewelry Academy of Austin, online at creativeside.org. I'm Courtney Gray. I started my school here, Creative Side Jewelry Academy, four years ago. I'm here in Austin, and I'm going to tell you about jewelry making today.
So now that you've made your beautiful handmade collection of jewelry, and you're ready to take it to market, I'm going to give you some ideas on how to get that out there, how to get it on people, and get people wearing your work. The best way to start I think, and you may have already discovered, is friends and family. Get those pieces on your friends and family. Don't give it away; let them pay you something for your work. You at least need to cover your materials when you're starting up. Now there's a number of artists' markets out there; you can create a nice booth space, create a nice atmosphere for people to come and shop, and then you're there, behind the booth to represent your work. Getting into some galleries is a great idea. There's probably local shops where you are, and if not, you can start looking around as well for shops that fit your niche: what you're creating, the style that you're representing. And maybe send them a proposal and try to get them to pick you up and carry some of your work wholesale.
Also, you can try online; there's Etsy, Facebook, creating a store, getting people to like you and to make comments and post photos of your jewelry. Get it out there as much as you can; talk it up. It's a full-time thing trying to get a business going, especially in the beginning until you establish a clientele and have them coming back to you for more. Treat your clients really well. Though they will come back, they'll collect your pieces, those people actually become your walking advertising. You have to market yourself to these people, not just showing them the jewelry but showing them a piece of yourself. It shines through your work, and people really love that and they'll wear it and cherish it for years to come.