Okay time for some changes... I really like to offer my customers options. For quite sometime I have offered to hold/reserve items for customers and I also offer a payment plan option. I personally think these are great options to offer. Since opening my new shop and having these options available I have been learning through trial and error on the best way to handle reserves and payment plans. I have realized now that I need to set some policy changes in order for these to work and benefit both the customer and myself. If you are a customer who reads my blog my policies have now been revised pertaining to reserves/holds and payment plans. I will be making notice of it tonight in my shop announcement of a revision in my policies.
My biggest concern and problem with reserves/holds and payment plans is a lack of communication. As a small business owner and being an independent artist I feel it isn't really fair to hold items or offer payment plans and be left without contact for over a month, unless we have agreed upon such a time period. When this happens I know I need to make some changes. I want to make a note that I will still work with my customers and am happy to do so. On etsy I really have had what I feel to be a great and growing success as well as some very awesome customers. This change of policy/rant isn't concerning any particular individual. Most items I hold or reserve are for return customers who contact me and stay within the agreement. It is just a change that needs to take place. A change that is I feel is fair to everyone. Fell free to stop by my shop and give these new changes a look over, located under... Additional Policies and FAQs :)
Another subject that I have learned through trial and error is pricing. I've spoken about it several times on my blog and will again :) With trial and error and taking some good advice from an experienced far away friend I have found a system that I feel works best for me concerning pricing. Every item currently in my shop reflects this system. This I feel is another system that I feel is fair to everyone. When I have a "sale" in my shop the prices change reflecting the "sale" price. The "sale" price is in effect for the given time explained in my shop announcement as well as each listing. "Sales" are for special moments such as seasonal, special dates/times, and occasionally a particular weekend that I may choose. "Sale" prices do not reflect my normal price system but is offered as a promotion or a simple thank you to my customers. Occasionally I will offer a "Secret Sale" that is only available to my blog readers or Facebook Fans. If you would like to become a Facebook fan, you may do so here... Facebook Fanpage
Also in my shop I have a "SALE" section that is listed to the left of my shop's homepage. Items placed in the "SALE" section are items that have been in my shop for longer than I like so I price them below my normal pricing system. This is a way to get a quality piece at an exceptional price that will only happen occasionally.
Creating jewelry is something that I absolutely love. And jewelry is something I have fallen head over hills for as a little girl. I feel I have grown so much since I first started creating my own pieces. I will always evolve and change, it is inevitable. In every aspect of my life, I evolve and change. Some designs that I create are simple because I feel that is all that is needed for that piece. Maybe the simplicity is due to an exceptional stone that speaks for itself or maybe the simplicity is the route I have decided to take at that given moment because I'm feeling like a pretty simple girl at the moment.
Sometimes an event in my life inspires and brings on an idea, sometimes it is walking outdoors collecting trinkets from nature that I try to duplicate in my own way in a design, sometimes I look at the night sky in such awe that I feel I must use stars or represent the moon, sometimes my love for cultural jewelry might find it's way into a design, or sometimes I just can't sleep and am having an overwhelming desire to create what is on my mind at that instance. Sometimes multiple stones are used, sometimes it may be a solo, sometimes brass, copper , or gold may find it's way to play along with the silver. Sometimes it's shiny and bright, sometimes it's rustic and earthy. Whatever it may be it comes from my heart and means something to me. It means something enough that I start and finish it and put a price tag on it to offer it to the world. It may be beautiful, it may not even appeal to you, it may be set with the simplest techniques and setting, it may be symmetrical, or it may not be. Whatever the design may be..I fell in love with it and I created it. It is mine that I offer to you.
I'm a self taught girl. Everything I know I have researched, whether it be a tutorial or reading material. Somethings I have learned have been taught to me by other artists. One thing definite, lots of trial and error. Every time I have what I consider to be a "moment" in the studio, I learn something new. Which is often. I learn, "Oh no, I can't do that!" or "You mean I could have done this the whole time?" Sometimes I have a plan and work on several pieces at a time, sometimes I work on one piece for what seems to feel like forever. No matter what the situation each piece I offer in my shop is built to last. Before I set a stone the metal it is tumbled for a lengthy amount of time. In the beginning I researched the properties of silver and learned that the tumbling process strengthens the metal. After the ring is completed I wear the piece for a while. Kind of like a test drive, so to speak. If a piece can withstand a few hours or more of me juggling normal life running after a very active toddler with no problems, it passes my test drive ;) Upon other inspections too, of course. Afterwards I repolish and place the piece in an airtight ziplock baggie protecting it from any moisture or temperature changes and place the baggie in a jewelry armoire until she is sold. From start to finish she is made and built to last.
The Last of the Ranting
I mentioned earlier that it is inevitable for me to change, to evolve. I remember first starting out, feeling so limited. I remember thinking "It has all been done?!" Even your thoughts change, evolve. The more and more I have fell into myself on this path that I have chosen, I have realized that I now feel limitless. What I once thought was all done, has never even been touched. I have nights where I can't sleep because I keep designing not even wanting to. I probably think about it too much, but it almost feels like it's not an option it just happens. I couldn't tell you how many times I have had an idea in my head and put it in silver and the piece turned out awful, lol, thinking it would be great. Not to mention turning nice raw inventory into scrap. But if I didn't try I would never know (it was crap or great). You have to take risks... You have to learn...And you have to allow for change....
Ahhhh, this is just me (raw) and my silly rant. Sometimes I feel the need to share everything on my mind at the current moment.
Anyhow this silly ranter must try to catch some zzzzz's. Thanks for reading about my policy revisions and my ranting ;) Have a good night and a fresh morning♥