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red agateJust perfect for your Halloween creations -- these Red Agate Evil Eye beads are of stone that was formed from layers of silica from volcanic cavities. Agate is named after the Achates River (now known as the Dirillo River) on the island of Sicily, Italy, whose upper waters were an ancient source of this gemstone. Each strand offered here has 16 round faceted beads, with colors ranging from red to amber, as shown. Each bead is approx. 10 mm. with an approx. 2 mm. hole. Each strand is $10, but for a limited time, take 10% off with the code HALLOWEEN at checkout.


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So you make beautiful jewelry and perhaps you already have your own online shop or on-ground sales venues. But you've noticed that sometimes weeks and even months go by without a sale. How do you get customers to pay attention to what you have, amidst all the other competing (and compelling) lines and collections? This is a critical question for anyone hoping to establish a successful jewelry business. How do you distinguish yourself and attract more clients? Here are a few personal tips that have helped us and/or our colleagues:

- Offer a collection, as opposed to individual pieces

o A cohesive collection can work to entrance your potential customers with a 'singular' idea or theme – much more than a group of pieces that are not linked in any way;

- Stick to a few techniques and/or materials that become your signature

o Amidst the universe of possible techniques, styles and materials you could choose from, commit to/refine just a few that will become your 'signature', and use them in all your pieces – sometimes in unexpected ways. You need to ensure that clients will be able to easily recognize your work, and associate a certain 'look' with your work. It could be the 'family' of gemstones you choose, the way you combine colors, or the way you connect or package them. A rule of thumb for this is that if a client chooses one piece from your collection, that piece should still reflect the 'feeling' of the entire collection. Along with your logo, the personality you portray through your communications, and other factors, this 'signature' style will become part of a distinctive and successful brand for your company – that will serve to set you apart from the crowd!

- Present a Line that Inspires You!

o When you enjoy your work and make it your life's passion, your customer can tell the difference. Choose projects that you love, and let yourself have fun while you're creating. You might even consider naming a particular line or collection – to give them a distinct identity and demonstrate your true engagement. In an increasingly competitive market, presenting a well thought-out collection will give you an edge on attracting the attention of potential customers and making you and your work more easily recognizable.

Here are a few of our favorite artisans from Etsy, with notes on what we think makes their work distinctive.

Copper & Turquoise

Lotus CopperMocahete's shop on Etsy ( features handcrafted metalsmith artisan jewelry in copper (and other metals) and select gemstones. Their style is ethnic and tribal. Here is one of our favorite examples, a one-of-a-kind  copper and turquoise lotus flower pendant necklace. They use traditional metalsmith techniques to create something truly distinctive here -- with a cabochon set in a fine silver bezel, nestled into deeply hammered and textured lotus petals of warm and glowing copper. Lovely!

Kali Amber NecklaceConsider Sandra Webster Jewelry on Etsy( you will find tribal jewelry that distinguishes itself even within the large and competitive field of tribal jewelry! Here Sandra has used her 'trademark' or 'signature' items -- handmade amber resin beads, lava stone, etched Tibetan agate, and copper -- to create this gorgeous piece. We have never seen anything like it -- and everything in her shop reflects these 'themes' and materials.

Our last example (lower right) reflects another of our favorite styles -- more contemporary -- a little whimsical -- again reflecting the impressive skill and creativity of the artist. Cate Yoder of Santa Fe lets her personality show in her work with mixed metal, hollow form, wax carving, and fabrication. Some know her for her very cool dragonfly designs -- and others recognize organic and feminine shapes of nature. (See more of Cate's lovely work here:

 swirl earringsHere we feature her mixed metal spiralearrings -- copper and brass with sterling silver ear wires.

Comment here at the blog on what your special 'signature' is in jewelry design, on ideas you have for getting noticed, or anything at all! We love to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy Stoned: My Addiction To Gems, Crystals, and Just Plain Homely Rocks.

Until Next Time!




0 # Beth Mann 2014-09-28 22:31
Nice piece! It gives me pause to reflect on whether I should specialize ... I always say my style is eclectic. I do have some signature pieces that include the wire wrapped beach stones and glass in one set, and wire crocheted pieces in another, but I also have other styles in addition!I enjoy the freedom to change my style...
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0 # S Ruth O Mclaughlin 2014-09-29 04:54
Eclectic is good too! Thanks, Beth!
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0 # Ellen W Gonchar 2014-09-29 02:11
Great post Sheila!!
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0 # S Ruth O Mclaughlin 2014-09-29 04:55
Thank you, my Dear Friend!
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0 # Patricia Tyser Carbe 2014-10-01 16:08
This is a great post. Very thought provoking. Thank you.
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0 # SRO McLaugh. 2014-10-01 21:39
Quoting Patricia Tyser Carbe:
This is a great post. Very thought provoking. Thank you.

Thank you so much for your comment, Patricia!
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0 # Angela 2014-12-09 08:40
Awesome post Sheila!
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0 # Sortmclaughlin 2014-12-09 21:57
Thank you, Angela!!
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0 # Nathan Pilon 2015-04-11 14:57
Thank you for the post... very nice design and work!
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0 # Nathan Pilon 2015-04-11 14:58
Thank you for the post... very nice work on your designs!
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0 # SortegMclaughlin 2015-04-12 03:40
Thank you for commenting and for the kind words re. the blog and the featured artisans' work!
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0 # Laurens Scott 2015-09-03 10:11
Superbly written and informative blog! As I have my own website, this blog assisted me a lot by providing such useful information about increasing traffic on the website. I have kept in mind almost all the information regarding jewelry designs and also try to implement those in my work.
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