The response ‘wow, that sounds like fun’ is often elicited when folks enquire what I’ve been up to in the past few months so I will give a run down of the ‘WOW so fun’ factors of my upcoming jewellery business.
The past few months have seen me tinkering between various tasks, all foreign to me in order to get my JC Lane Jewellery website up and running. My web designer from Plankton web designs has been ever so patient & accommodating.
Days & nights consist of designing pieces, sourcing materials, waiting patiently for components to arrive if they ever do, hand making each piece, sometimes taking days to complete, more waiting for components to arrive, culminating in bouts of crippling neck pain hunched over my humble workbench.
Now comes the tedious process of pricing of each piece which initially involves costing each tiny intricate material involved with sometimes 10 or more little beads & bits. Many jewellery artisans would understand this has to one of the most challenging tasks & can often resort to the good ol eyeballing method ie rough estimate but I prefer to use a formula.
Handmade jewellery always tend to be relatively more expensive and for a well justified reason. The time & effort involved in designing each piece, sourcing the materials, long hours burning the midnight, oil hand making each piece sometimes taking up to days to complete, factoring in overhead, labour, set up, & marketing costs certainly justifies the slightly higher price point & it’s important for jewellery artists not to under price themselves out of business.
Now for measuring each piece, sometimes chain by chain for a piece with 20 or so chain tassels,(note to self, never design with long chains again) recording everything on a spreadsheet for reference.This particular spreadsheet often features vividly in my dreams….or nightmares.
Then comes the descriptions for each piece, rethinking, rewriting, analysing,rewording and then simply realizing my sanity slowly diminishing……
Now comes the bane of my life…photography shoots. The mention of photo shoots used to make me want to crawl into hole. Perfecting the photos with sometimes a few reshoots, testing different placement positions, to use or not to use model, mannequin,branch or other various props & then the long slow arduous post processing of the shots to ensure the photos do justice to the actual jewellery piece whilst maintaining a clean sharp look overall.
Thankfully my multi-talented cousin Ray has kindly offered his knowledge, expertise & extreme patience in this field. Jewellery pieces do not take well to commands and will simply not position themselves, thus a range of nimble tools from tweezers to toothpicks is required to assist in the often time-consuming fiddly positioning of each piece. However the shoots are definitely becoming easier and I’m extremely pleased with what we have achieved to date.
All the above plus lots of little but nonetheless necessary bits & pieces to sort out in between, business card designs, packaging materials, researching marketing options, business plan write-up and the list goes on and on.
So you can see it’s not all fun & games but mostly it’s extremely rewarding building something from scratch and conquering each little milestone. For anyone thinking of starting your own little business I would say planned persistance with a major dash of insanity is the key ingredient in this adventure and oh don’t forget to have some ‘fun’ along the journey.