A few days ago I published the first part of this two part blog post about what's involved in creating a new range of handmade jewellery. In that post I covered the designing and making phases.
In this post I'll tell you about what else is involved before a new jewellery range is finally launched.
Once all of the new jewellery designs are fully completed, I need to price each piece. This is a fairly laborious process in itself and involves using a complicated series of spreadsheets and making some tricky decisions!
First I calculate the basic cost of each item - the materials and time which will be directly involved in making the piece each time. From there I need to factor in a margin to cover all of my business overheads, plus of course some profit.
And that leads me to working out the offline retail price (including tax), wholesale price and the online retail price in three different currencies. You can see why it's complicated!
Another task which takes some time is writing a description for each piece. I do this in HTML code so that the descriptions can easily be pasted into my jewellery shop in a way that ensure the listings will lay out as intended.
Providing measurements in both metric and imperial is an essential part of selling online. So as part of this process, each piece of jewellery is measured using my trusty electronic callipers (which thankfully also provide me with a conversion in inches at the press of a button!).
It might surprise you to learn that I find photographing my jewellery to be by far the most physically taxing task out of everything I do!
Photographing jewellery not only involves a lot of decision-making and trial and error, but also hours of work while standing in often bent over and contorted positions to get the best shots (even with use of a tripod!). I have a neck injury which especially hates this work!
By the time I run out of enough natural light and have to stop for the day I'm usually in agony and spend the rest of the evening collapsed on the couch dosed up with painkillers!
However, this time isn't wasted. That's when I go through the hundreds of images taken and decide which are likely to be useable and which should be trashed. From there I open each remaining image of a particular piece in Photoshop, make a final decision as to which ones to use and then edit them to get them just right. This step takes hours of time all by itself.
The edited images are all saved at the same size in a folder and given a name which will help me to locate them easily.
Often I'll not be happy enough with the photographs of some pieces or realise that I've missed something - or simply ran out of time to get enough photos taken. So that means it happens all over again the next day - and sometimes the day after too!
Once everything is ready to go I can finally create a listing in my primary shop for each design. This involves pasting in the descriptions I've written and filling in various important fields for price, type of jewellery, tags, etc..
In addition a series of different images is added for each piece before the listing is saved. This process is repeated for every item being added.
I also later add either some or all of the designs to other shops I have on venue sites with different currencies like Dawanda and Etsy.
Finally everything is ready to go! I send all of the listings live and then start telling the world all about them.
But it's still not all over - I then need to start making multiples of the new designs for my own stock and to send to some of the offline shops I sell through. And after that I try to find some time to fall in a heap somewhere for a little while!