Saturday, June 21, 2008

Southwest Jewels: Beadwork Cuff and Earrings

I've been pondering what to offer for sale when I set up on Etsy and what to present to retailers as a coherent line. Embellished RAW stitch cuffs are becoming a kind of signature bracelet for me - they're much faster to make than embroidered pieces (although "fast" is a relative term in beading, of course) and I thoroughly enjoy trying new color combinations and working on different types of closures. The basic material costs have a wide range - depending on which Toho beads I'm using for the base, whether I use a lot of sterling silver (this one has about 40 Bali Sterling beads) & whether I use fire polished beads, stones, or Swarovski crystals. This particular cuff (work time included at a fairly modest rate) would wholesale at $80.00 -110.00 and retail at $160.00 - 220.00. Not much when you consider that it will last for generations and you won't see it on anyone else. Materials for earrings are lower cost - but these babies take a LOT of time to make, even when you're quick. Still, because the components aren't cost heavy, I can price these for Etsy - at about $30-45.00 a pair, depending on length and I really love making the patterns & trying them out. Might be high cost for the Etsy market, but it will only cost me 30 cents a pop to find that out. Nothing ventured, as they say, nothing gained.

I have an official provincial name search being done on Wild Wicked Beads (it's a $53.00 government-required formality) - and when that comes in, for a mere $60.00 I can register it in Nova Scotia and get my business name changed.

Meanwhile, I'm making cuffs and earrings. Working my tail off - and, as always, it doesn't feel a bit like work!


beadbabe49 said...

beautiful design and colors, as usual, but are you sure you're charging enough for the bracelet? that's got to take a lot of time, even if it doesn't feel like work!

The Lone Beader said...

I love the earrings! :D

LJ said...

BB - thanks and probably not (about the cost). I'm paying myself for time at a rate over minimum wage - but there's no charge for the design, for the fact there's only one etc. Sigh. I'm caught, in spite of my belief that we all HAVE to start charging what things are worth and "what the market will bear." This is a real issue for me because my beadwork, when I retire, will be the difference between groceries or no groceries. Any further comment on this issue is welcome. And thanks for calling me on it.
LB - Me too. I don't know how saleable earrings like this are but every time I wear mine, I have women stop me on the street. So I'm hoping. They take the same length of time or darn near it that a bracelet takes. I'd love to sell them. If people are willing to pay the price.

herhimnbryn said...

As you know I am not a beader, but I agree with bb, I think you are undercharging. I looked at both these beautiful pieces and knew that as a member of the buying public, I'd pay more. Mind you that could be because I KNOW how much time is spent when creating.

marylo, la rêveuse said...


I really love the combination of colours used for this set!!!

I'm sure it will inspirate me sooo much!

Thank you for this beautiful set of jewelry.

And Lots Of Love from France!
Marylo, la rêveuse