Monday, March 28, 2016

I Must Have Blinked...


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 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 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! 

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