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Sunday, September 11, 2016

My First Love...

Welcome!

I remember loving beading as soon as I started but my first love was Peyote Stitch...

I've written about Peyote Stitch in the past here and now I suppose I'm writing again because I've taken a leap of faith...

I have evolved and grown quite a bit with my peyote stitch designs and am so happy with where I am now, but it has been a while since I have made any cuffs...

My leap of faith so to speak is that I recently removed them from my Etsy retail shop and decided to offer them on Etsy Wholesale for boutiques to carry...

I do get a lot of views on them on Etsy but have only sold a few on the past two years, and since I can't wait until I can make more, I decided to try switching tactics...They are just so beautiful and luxurious that I think perhaps they need to be seen in person for the customer to truly fall in love with them...maybe my photos are not doing them justice, though I did go back through and brighten all my wholesale listing photos...again...here is an example
Luxury Peyote Stitch Cuffs Brightened Photos
Luxury Peyote Stitch Cuffs Brightened Photos

 I know...I mean how did I think the top was ok??? and that WAS brightened from the original photo I took....

It is definitely THE most challenging part of my entire jewelry business, but I'm driven and want to keep improving to the best of my ability!

Another reason I removed them from my retail was that the hard reality hit me as I was determining the wholesale price for these...um...I was selling them retail for the wholesale price!!! I couldn't believe it! How did I miscalculate so drastically?  Well I think back when I did calculate I was trying to base my price off of only a few other ladies that did this style of cuff bracelet, not taking into account the many hours of stitching involved, plus materials...so I recalculated and am much happier with the retail price now and feel comfortable selling them at the proper discount for wholesale.

These will be One Of A Kind and ready to ship immediately as they are already finished and just waiting to find their new homes...

I think since these cuffs are so unique they will appeal to some buyers that are on the lookout for something they have not seen before, or had the opportunity to get into their boutiques...at the moment I am the only one on Etsy Wholesale who makes these cuffs.  

There are a few ladies who are doing some loom worked cuffs, but those are completely different.  I learned how to do loom work before peyote stitch and it was very fast, easy and I liked how they turned out...but if you've been reading along for some time you know that I love to create things that are different...

As soon as I saw a photo of the peyote stitch in my beading book (over 20 years ago) I just knew that was the next step I wanted to take!

My designing skills have come a long way--to the very elaborate movement designs shown above--I do enjoy stitching simple designs as well, and know that there are ladies out there who will love both!

I also decided to offer my Beaded Crochet Rope Necklaces on Etsy Wholesale as One Of A Kind and ready to ship pieces.  I was very hesitant to put my peyote cuffs and beaded crochet ropes up for wholesale as they take many hours to create...I do not want to have a boutique waiting weeks upon weeks to receive their pieces, especially if I had multiple orders going on at once...so I decided that they would be best suited as ready to ship pieces. Here are my improved photos of those
Luxury Beaded Crochet Rope Necklace Brightened Photo
 
Luxury Beaded Crochet Rope Necklace Brightened Photo

In the future I would like to offer a few of my favorite peyote cuffs as made to order pieces that buyers can select the size they want, but that will be once I am able to gather the supplies needed to accommodate large orders of them.

Another wonderful characteristic of these two beautiful lines is that they are hypoallergenic.  Meaning that I only use glass beads and thread to create them; no metal at all, which solves the problem for those with sensitivities!  I firmly believe that everyone should have a piece of jewelry that makes them feel beautiful and expresses their individuality!

Now these two lines will not be for every boutique due to their higher price point but I think that the right boutique will know that these will fit their clientele and be excited to have something so unique, timeless and luxurious to offer them!

Looking forward to this week as I will be reaching out to some new boutiques to submit my work for their consideration, as well as following up with the last round of boutiques I pitched my work to this summer...hoping to catch the eyes of some buyers with photos of my new pieces as well as my first love... :)





 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

One Idea Leads To Another...

Welcome!

I realized that my last post was mainly focused on Etsy Wholesale, and I don't want you to think I forgot about my lovely customers that purchase through Etsy; so I wanted to incorporate both into today's post!  

About those fabulous hand chains...for these I wanted to list something different in my retail shop so I looked through my huge inventory of supplies and found that I had quite a bit of one type of antiqued gold chain, which was perfect for the new hand chains!  As well, some of the Mother of Pearl shell beads have drilled holes of different sizes (a bit frustrating...) so my matte black components did not fit, but the antiqued gold components I have are a bit thinner gauge (skinnier) and they fit perfectly!  

I still could not decide on one placement I liked better for the focal bead so I made both styles again!  Here is a photo of the styles available in my Etsy shop:
Antiqued Gold Hand Chains with Mother of Pearl shell
 And let's talk about those Y-drop necklaces shall we?

I had some crystal bar necklaces listed for quite some time on Etsy, but they were not being purchased, so I thought maybe I could convert them into something else rather than just ripping them apart (I hate to do that to a beautiful piece of jewelry) So partly going along the same lines of the black Y-drop necklace for Etsy Wholesale I decided to try something different, here is a before and after photo:
Before and After: Crystal Bar Necklace to Y-Drop Necklace
 I absolutely love how they turned out! And of course it got me to thinking...what about pearls with black chain...yes I made a few of those also but with my super fine black chain that I use for my stamped bar necklaces and in keeping with that style I used silver wire and findings for those:
Freshwater Pearl & Black Chain Y-Drop Necklaces
 There are only a few of these pearl ones in my Etsy shop and each of them has a different length of drop (some shorter, some longer) this is a style I plan to add to Etsy Wholesale as soon as I am able to get the proper wire to produce large quantities of these pretties!

Of course that did not stop me from thinking about copper....if you have been following along for a while, you might remember how I made a bazillion bangles in copper with Freshwater pearls for intentions of Wholesale a while ago; well they are on my linesheet and ready to be shipped to a fabulous boutique...but again I felt like they had no "mate" so I thought since I have everything I need to make copper and pearl Y-drop necklaces I shouldn't wait on those, here are a few photos of them:
Freshwater Pearl & Copper Y-Drop Necklaces
These are pretty much opposite of the crystal Y-drop necklaces; I pre-made them for listing photos at 16" with a shorter drop, but of course I will still offer the 18" and 20" lengths all with 2" extender chains as I know people like options :)  
Freshwater Pearl & Copper Bangles

The bangles come in sets of 3 in a variety of pearl colors; I decided to only offer a few colors for these necklaces as I feel that all pearls compliment each other and no matter which colors retailers choose to carry in their boutique, the bangles will always compliment the necklaces!

Funny thing about me...I don't really like to create "jewelry sets" (earrings, necklace, bracelet) but my mind wonders if some ladies prefer bangles to go with their necklace, but other ladies might prefer earrings to go with their bangles...ah yes...the ideas are always coming...possibly a copper & pearl earring style is in my future...to make it unique I of course will have to think about that one for a while...

So what about earrings for the black chain collection you ask? Well...black components are not easy to come by...I did find some by chance browsing my new Rio Grande supply catalog, but of course they are on closeout.  This means they will no longer be carrying this product.  Which obviously does not work for my Etsy Wholesale intentions...I may have to contact them in a few months to see what is possible for ordering those in bulk before they are gone, or if special orders are possible...the ideas I had when I saw these components were just overflowing, but I have a budget as everyone else does so I need to just wait and be patient...but it's SO DIFFICULT!!!

So I will write down my ideas for now (so I don't forget) and we'll just have to wait and see what happens...next post I still have a few new items I want to tell you about and I hope you'll come back to visit!

Until then you can find me on Instagram nearly every evening (I do take Sundays off) and I am trying to be more consistent about posting on Facebook as well, I have started posting at the same time as I do my Instagram photos in the evening (helps me to remember to do both at the same time) so pop over to LITVA'S Jewelry on either channel and say hello!


 

Sunday, August 7, 2016

A Very Busy Summer...

Welcome!

Wow! The summer has literally flown by!  I have been keeping myself busy trying to work on my Etsy Wholesale by doing quite a few new things...

After some advice from a very successful lady on Instagram I made postcards to mail out to boutiques across the U.S. though they were a little complicated... but now that I have figured it out I'm sure it will be easier the next time I do it!

Here is a photo of them:
Etsy Wholesale Postcards
By her suggestion to send them out to 100 boutiques...yes 100... there were many weeks of research that went into finding boutiques that I thought would be a place I would like to see my jewelry in, that it would fit with their price points and still be different from what they are currently carrying.


I sent them out in batches as I planned to do an email one week later and a follow up email a week after that, 100 postcards are no problem but 100 emails is another thing altogether!!! 

 So I had a few rejections, some that said they would keep my info on file for future ordering options, mostly radio silence from the majority and a few that seemed very interested and tell me they are planning to place orders!

No orders yet but I am hopeful that they will start coming in as fall weather arrives!  

As I was putting together these postcards and thinking about the products I offer on my linesheet, I of course had some new ideas...

I thought about hand chains...I'm not sure why I thought about hand chains...I just did...and I thought I could use some more pieces that incorporated black chain because I LOVE black chain...(all I had were my stamped bar necklaces on my linesheet) and well, I have lots of Mother of Pearl shell in different shapes and sizes...so I thought I would try them together...

I made two different styles; one with the shell sitting high at the wrist and one with the shell sitting at mid-hand...loved the final result! Here is a photo of both:
Hand Chains with Mother of Pearl shell and Black Chain
 And might I add that photographing your own hand in a photo light tent is the most difficult thing on the planet...

Well of course then I thought what about a different style of necklace to "compliment" these hand chains specifically by color?  The Y drop necklace has always been something I wanted to try so I thought why not now? Here they are!
Black Chain Y Drop & Crystal Necklace

 I am wearing the necklace at the shortest length of 16" but am also offering 18" and 20" with a 2" extender chain...because we all have different length preferences ;)
This style has the same matching rollo chain as the hand chains with Czech Preciosa crystals on a short drop.

Of course...the ideas just seem to keep coming...and I thought...hmmm....these seem to be a "collection" all of a sudden...what about my fabulous petal hoop earrings?  They don't really have a "mate" do they? 

So why not some hand chains and Y drop necklaces in the matching crystal colors? Yes. Definitely yes.

Copper and Garnet Czech crystal collection
 For this Y drop I am wearing the longest 20" length but all three lengths will be available.  I decided to do a longer drop with three petite wire wrapped crystals at the center on this one...I didn't realize it until just now, but the petite crystals on the Y drop necklace match the crystals on the petal hoops and the crystal drop at the end matches the crystal drop on the hand chain...wow, I had it more together than I knew!  The chain for these is very petite (1.7mm) delicate but very strong as it is soldered not open links, so much more durable as I know not everyone is gentle with their jewelry...

Now yes, there are Y drop necklaces and hand chains out there... so of course I wanted mine to be unique, which is why I went with black chain paired with Mother of Pearl shell and Czech crystals---no where have I really seen black chain...I'm not sure why...it's modern, unique and it goes with everything... For the copper collection I accented the copper hand chain with textured antiqued coin dangles, decided to do wire wrapped Czech crystals on the necklace and the petal hoops are unique just on their own!

There are a few more new items I have added but I will wait for my next post to tell you about those...

As I'm sure you are figuring out...I don't like to do what everyone else is doing...I'm not big on hopping on that "gold train" that's going around as I don't particularly like gold very much....

I will always be a silver kind of girl...darker metals like black, gunmetal and vintage bronze catch my eye, I love copper for its natural warmth and that it is something that our body needs and uses, so wearing it is actually good for you!

I like being different. I like being unique. I feel that my jewelry reflects that and that makes my heart and my soul happy. I'm looking forward to finding boutique owners that are looking for something different and unique, and I'm really excited :)

Monday, March 28, 2016

I Must Have Blinked...

Welcome!

What do you mean it's almost April???  I must have blinked like "I Dream of Jeannie" and the time flew by!  Wow...well I suppose I didn't stay on track of keeping up with my posts did I?  I kept thinking "Oh! I need to write a blog about that!" but then I would finish something I was doing, maybe start something else...have dinner...then totally forget!

So I have quite a bit that I can tell you but I will try not to jump around too much today!

I finished my preparation for Etsy Wholesale (making at least one of each item I am offering, photographing, editing, listing) and published my linesheet at the end of January!  Quite exhausting but very exciting at the same time!

Etsy Wholesale started something new this year on Instagram called "Mini Open Call" where they feature a different boutique each month, tell you what type of product they are looking for and then give you the opportunity to "pitch your line" to the retailer for a chance to be carried in their boutique!  I submitted my new copper petal hoop earrings to a flower and gift boutique in Chicago, didn't get chosen but it was a great experience to learn how to "talk" to a retailer.

I haven't talked about these earrings yet have I?  Well it came to me that I only had one type of earring for Etsy Wholesale (Gemstone chip cluster hoop earrings--which I changed over to hand forged copper hoops and bulked them up a bit) Here is an example of one of my wholesale listing photos:
Apatite Gemstone Chip Cluster Hoop Earrings  

 I offer these in quite a few different Gemstone chips and I just love making them!

But back to the problem...only one kind of earring... so I thought something with my super petite Czech Preciosa crystals would be nice... I'm really enjoying making my own hoops...what about a different shape of hoop...

So I experimented, a lot, I mean A LOT... I knew the shape I had in my mind but I just couldn't seem to get it "right" and it took me a few days, which was frustrating...not being able to make my vision a reality was something so odd for me...here is the first shape I created:
Copper Leaf Hoop Earrings
They were nice...just not exactly what I had in my mind.  I may create more of these later on, but for now I put them aside and kept thinking how I could achieve what I wanted...

After placing an order with Rio Grande for some heavier gauge wire (thicker) and ordered a few mandrels (one steel for hoop earrings and one large wooden for bangles) I got back to it and though it took more trial and error I finally was happy with the shape I achieved!  
 
Petal Hoop Earring in the process

So then I had to decide how I was going to weave the petite crystals...I had tried this on a pair of regular hoops years ago, but then a few years later when I tried to recreate them I just couldn't for the life of me remember how I wove the crystals together!  But I really loved the look so I tried a pair on the new petal shape, not two seconds after I finished I had another idea for a different pattern for the crystals! Here is a photo of that moment:
 
Petal Hoop Earrings in the process

I loved them both...but the full bottom point was very difficult to duplicate...I would sometimes end up with one or two more crystals on the second earring...They look beautiful, regardless, but for boutiques I want to offer something that is easier for me to replicate many times without being off a crystal or two.  I'm sure no one would know the difference...but I do.  So I went with the diagonal line pattern, hand forged some ear-wires and voila! Here is an example of my Etsy Wholesale listing for these:
Hammered Copper Petal Hoop Earrings
 I absolutely LOVE them!  Of course I realized that replicating the exact shape was pretty tricky as a lot of steps go into creating the petal hoop, but it is a handmade item and slight variances are what prove I made them, not some machine in a far off country... anyways, I find that I need to make these in batches, as in: on the same day, if not the shape is still beautiful but how I hammer one day is not necessarily how I will hammer the next day...

OH!!! Of course I wanted to mention, since my last post was ironically about how much better my photos are...that I was told twice in one week that my photos were too dark... TOO DARK? Kill me now... first they were way over exposed, now they are too dark, I thought they looked so much better...will I ever get this right?

So I went through every single one of my listing photos for Etsy Wholesale and with PicMonkey I brightened them up, here is a before and after of some Gemstone chip cluster hoop earrings:
Before & After Editing
 Ok...yes...they do look better...it took a lot of time trying to figure out how to brighten without altering the color of the piece (from how it looks in real life) but I can say that I am very happy with the finished result.  (I then started in on the over 3000 photos for my Etsy retail shop and they look much better as well)

It must have worked because not a week later I received my FIRST Etsy Wholesale order!!!  I was so excited! It was mainly skinny hand stamped cuff bracelets and a few leather wrap bracelets, so I didn't get to make any more petal hoops, but I was still very excited and so grateful that things were staring to turn around!

Unfortunately, a week after the original shipping date had passed I was staring to feel uneasy... (Etsy Wholesale orders only ship after payment is completed) I tried communicating with my buyer as the Etsy guides instruct you to, (even got some suggestions from some lovely fellow sellers on Etsy Wholesale) with not much response from the buyer I was losing hope...and then she responded...that she thought she had already sent a cancellation on the order.  So meaning she did not want to complete her order and wished to cancel it.  I was so disheartened. I had taken a photo of the order mid-way through packaging it up with my new boutique branding cards and because I was so excited to share it with my followers on all my social media platforms...well here it is:
Etsy Wholesale Packaging
 Since this order didn't work out, I'm hoping my next order will be (well I guess it will then become my first order, again...)  more successful.  I've pitched my line to a few boutiques here in Springfield (3 were not interested, one seemed very interested and I'm just waiting to hear back) I also pitched to a few boutiques that I found though Etsy on the Grid--it showcases retailers in larger cities that are Etsy Wholesale supporters-- and some of them have a few locations which would be amazing!  So I'm hoping that since this account didn't happen maybe God has something special in mind for me next...

I hope I didn't "talk" you to death today!  I hope you enjoyed my little ramblings and I will be back to share more soon! 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015...Quite The Year...

Welcome!

How did the time fly by so quickly??? I most definitely was not consistent in posting this past year...lots of health set backs prevented me from doing so, actually from doing quite a bit and from accomplishing all the goals and dreams I had hoped to achieve.  On the road to recovery again and hoping my health will continue to improve as this new year goes on :)

Not everything was bad...I did get myself a new camera and photo light tent which improved my photos A LOT...I also recently got some new backgrounds that give my products a totally different look.

I had the inspiration to make some long feather earrings and was thinking about how to better capture the bright beautiful colors...lots of other sellers (on Etsy) were using natural wood as a background and the feathers just seemed to pop...but my first thought was "That doesn't go with my branding look at all...but if it was grey..." So I went on the hunt and found place mats, yes I did say place mats, that were grey wood texture printed cloth...FABULOUS!!! I have two that I bought since I wasn't sure which I'd like better, turns out I love them both!

So what am I talking about? Let me show you the progression of my photos (I honestly can't believe how bad they were in the beginning...but it was the best I could do with what I had then)
Old photo vs new photo for Feather Earrings
 I had to edit so much to try to get the colors to brighten up so that they might look closer to how they appeared in real life...hours upon hours of editing...now they don't need any editing at all! The colors just naturally pop and have more depth against the new background.
Photo quality progression of Peyote Stitch Cuff

 The top row was old camera with white sheet for a background.  Middle row was a huge improvement with new camera, photo light tent and hand display.  Bottom row was adding the new grey background to the new set up and voila!  It's a much softer look, and after constantly trying to "brighten" and "whiten" my photos it sure took some getting used to...I kept thinking they were too dark...but the details and color show so much better on the softer grey.  All the feedback I have been getting assures me I'm now on the right track and "more professional" is the main comment I get now, what do you think?

So that was one of the good things that happened this past year, another, well maybe the most exciting for me was getting accepted to Etsy Wholesale!!!

I had applied the previous year (yes...with those not so great photos...) and I was not accepted.  I thought I would try again, now that my photos looked better and I had the BEST Friday the 13th EVER!!! This was in November, and even though I was fighting yet another virus and feeling terrible I was overjoyed!

Now...wholesale is a totally different mind set than retail.  I never wanted to "mass produce" the same thing over and over again...that gets boring to me...and most of my pieces are one of a kind...so there was some figuring to do...

I decided to only offer items that I knew I would ENJOY repeating the process of, or pieces that even though they are the "same" there are variations within each piece.  For example I had wanted to make some Silk Crocheted "Wear-Alls" with gemstone chips for quite some time (because I have a gazillion...) but didn't really like the idea of multiples of the same necklace...but that's what wholesale is all about! So Perfect fit! As well, when working with gemstone chips you find because they are natural, there will be variations in size, shape, color and pattern; resulting in each necklace being unique in its own way...I like that :)

I also had to think about packaging in a whole new way...no little gift box with tissue paper inside to keep items separated and safe... so I decided on clear cello bags that will hold each individual piece, either on a necklace/earring card, hanging tag or with a simple tag attached with string.  Those were another issue...right now I make my own cards but for boutiques I didn't feel that they looked professional enough for the owners to want to display them.  So I found a wonderful lady on Etsy and placed an order with her, enough to get me started and then when I get some orders I will replenish as I need to.  Here is a photo of a few of the different types of cards I ordered:
My new "boutique cards"
I went with my color scheme in my business cards of red, grey and black and I'm so happy with how they turned out!  I also added "Eclectic. Bohemian." to them because I think that best describes my style of creating and the finished pieces.

Now I can't wait to get an order so I can use them!  But first...making at least one of everything I will offer (almost done with that part) then photos, editing photos (cropping & re-sizing are all that is needed now) after that creating listings and putting together my linesheet...lots to do....enjoying every minute of it and looking forward to 2016!  :)






 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

A Quick Update...

Welcome!

It has been months since I've had a chance to sit down and write! Lots of good, and a few not so good things happened, but I think things will continue to improve as the months go on :)

Just wanted to let you all know that my Annual Holiday Sale is going on in my Etsy shop until tomorrow (midnight CST) 20% off the entire shop--click on the Etsy button--> right hand side of the page & it will take you directly there!

There are SO MANY items to choose from including rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, custom stamped pieces and a few pieces for the guys in your life like braided leather bracelets, a custom stamped cuff, tie clip or money clip!  Be sure to pick out a gift for your family, friends and co-workers...and of course a little something special for yourself!  ;)

I'm still getting over virus #6 since September (my Colitis medication is an immune-suppressant, making this time of year very difficult for me) so I will keep it short and sweet today.

Lots of new and exciting things are starting to happen for LITVA'S Jewelry and I will come back soon to give you all the fabulous details :)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Few Goals Accomplished...

Welcome!

 Quite a bit has been going on since I last had a chance to post...

On Friday July 19th I had my first live show in many years, here's a quick (and blurry) photo of me and part of my table:
Me & My Booth Set Up  
 I was so looking forward to this event! For months I had prepared; buying a few new displays, table skirt, awesome banner, putting everything that could go on cards with my logo stamped & price tags, printing out signs for other items, and pre-stuffing gift bags with my business cards, Care guideline cards and a loyal customer coupon code (the latter two I print out & cut by hand with my fabulous paper cutter) for future purchases from my Etsy shop....

Unfortunately...this seemed to be more of a "promotional" event rather than a retail/selling event...

Aside from two ladies who bought a hand stamped ring each, two vendors came over and purchased some bracelets....

After my booth fee and mandatory door prize gift I didn't even manage to break even...BUT... this was a huge step for me and my health getting better as I was actually able to make it to the event, stay the entire time (even though it got pretty bad with my Colitis and anxiety for a while) and be around 800+ people.

So I guess God's plan for me wasn't to sell a whole bunch but to just accomplish the goal of being able to do something I've wanted to for years.

With medication I'm quite limited, I lose about 4-5 hours each day, so an all day & early morning events are out of the question for now but I'm hoping that this victory was a sign of things to come!

My next possibility will be at the end of April next year and I'm hoping to be healthier and able to do well there seeing as it is an actual shopping event at a local church called their "Spring Market".

So....another big thing is that Monday July 20th marked 1 year for LITVA'S Jewelry on Etsy!  My first "Etsy-versary"!

I'm having an Anniversary Sale of 30% off THE ENTIRE SHOP (excluding custom stamped rings) AND ladies will receive a FREE GIFT with your order!

Did I mention that I ship internationally???

So pop over to my shop (click on the Etsy button in the right hand margin) and browse around...NOW is the time to get yourself that piece you've been thinking about and a great time to stock up on gifts for friends and family! Happy Shopping! :)