Saturday, April 4, 2015

All My Eggs In One Basket

The world of Arts and Crafts is super-saturated with jewelry designers/makers.  I've known this for years but it never became more apparent than after I lost my one and only source of  selling.

 Years ago I used to do the art shows and fairs, granted it was a lot of work to haul everything from my  vehicle over to my assigned booth location and then hassle with getting the tent set up, the tables in place and then arranging an assortment of displays and all the various pieces of my work.  It was easy to envy those who didn't have all those little bits and pieces to fuss over, seemed as though they were able to get in at the last moment, set up and were ready for business in a matter of minutes; likewise they packed up at the end of the event and were long gone whereas I was still packing up boxes of jewelry and displays and still had to face hauling tables to my car and taking my tent down. 

Having my jewelry in a shop or gallery was a lot less work, a lot less hassle, but not totally hassle-free.  Occasionally a jewelry tag went missing and the jewelry was sold with the wrong ID number. Then it required detective work to figure out what piece was actually sold and at what price.  That's when I decided I did not wish to have my jewelry spread out all over the county.  Yes I know that having all my eggs in the one proverbial basket was not a good idea but the thought of trying to keep tabs on a number of items placed in several different shops overwhelmed me. 

When my one and only resource had to relocate her shop and decided to discontinue having an Artisans Gallery, I was forced to look around for other venues.  That's when I was truly struck by how saturated the market was with handmade jewelry.  Shop after shop, boutique after boutique, gallery after gallery met with me and shook their heads saying they already had far too much inventory from local jewelry makers and just could not take on any more.

To be continued ....


  1. This is exactly my problem too. I love to make jewelry the best of all my crafts but everyone's making jewelry too. Right now the popular one is beach glass, which I don't bother making b/c everyone else is doing it too. I gave up on Etsy, I hate doing craft shows and all the shops here are full of jewelry by local artists.

    1. Unfortunately, JoJo, every place that sells beads tries to encourage their buyers to take it up a notch ; "Oh those earrings are so special, Myrtle ! You should really think about selling your work". What they really want is to sell Myrtle a whole lot more beads and jewelry findings.

      I'm forever seeing articles on bead sites telling people how to start up an online shop, like those on etsy . . . or how getting into craft shows can be very lucrative. Of course they never mention that many of those shows cost well over $100 or that having an online shop requires a ton of work: 24/7 on social medias, slaving over photos, writing up descriptions and wracking one's brains thinking up tags and keywords. I struggled for years on etsy and finally threw in the towel as it just was not worth all the time and effort that it required. Plus how can asmall time cottage artist or crafter compete with "handmade-manufactured in China" ?

  2. When I worked at the crafters gift shop, we had more jewelers than other crafters or artists. We had to turn down jewelers on a regular basis because we just couldn't accept more. I always felt bad for them because they're jewelry was beautiful.

  3. Jewelry making is a hobby for me, not a business, even though I was selling at a local coffee shop and it felt good :) I'm not an entrepreneur soul but I understand the huge problem you're facing. I think that the market has a life of its own and may not be friendly even if you follow all relevant advice. I just hope you stay positive!


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