Sunday 14 June 2009

Swarovski bicone bead to be replaced with Xillion Bead

Swarovski are to replace their ever popular and customer favourite bicone bead with the new and improved Xillion bead.
From June 2nd through September 2009 CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements will transition to the brilliant XILION upgrade of the 5301 Bead, represented by the new and improved article:
5328 XILION Bead.

The revolutionary XILION cut, with its alternating large and small facets, results in distinctively higher brilliance and particularly intense light reflection. In addition, this cut is differentiated from all other products on the market and copyright protected. The increased number of facets enhances the overall appearance of the bead and the rounder belt line result in improved wearing comfort of the finished design. You will benefit from the unique XILION brilliance, leading to clearer differentiation between your products and designs and those of your competitors.

The fascinating XILION cut will be applied to all standard sizes of the bicone bead except for 2.5 mm, which is too small to be upgraded. As was the case for all other XILION products, the article number will also be changed and will now become art. 5328.

The new article will be available – without any additional price increase – in the same assortment as the existing article 5301. For application, the 5301 and 5328 XILION Bead can be combined as their dimensions and geometry are complimentary.

From June 2nd through September there will be a transition period. During that time art. 5328 can only be ordered and will only be shipped, if the counterpart 5301 is out of stock.

Sunday 8 February 2009

Top tips to start a Jewellery Making Business

In the current global economic climate with no job security and uncertain futures, many are looking for opportunities to earn some extra cash. Starting a jewellery making business is one such rewarding opportunity both on a financial level and an emotional level.

Jewellery making is fun and addictive. Most jewellers start for fun, making jewellery for themselves. This generally leads to positive comments from friends and family. And before they know it, they are taking commissioned orders and selling their designs. If you love designing jewellery, turn it into a business you can run from home by following these great tips:

  1. Research current jewellery trends - Carry out some research to see what the current styles of jewellery are on the market. Read fashion magazines and window shop at jewellery shops and department sores. Find out how the jewellery is made, what its made from and what it sells for. This will put you in good standing when it comes to creating and designing your own jewellery.
  2. Making your jewellery - Most jewellery are made from the same basic jewellery components and use the same basic jewellery making techniques but it will be your creativity and design ideas that will help you stand out from the crowd. You need to create desirability. This can be done by using beads or a combination of beads in a way that is unique.
  3. Price your jewellery - 'How much should I sell my jewellery pieces for?'. This is the most common questioned asked by beginners and in some ways the most important. If you don't price right, you will not make money. The biggest mistake a lot of jewellery designers make is to undersell their pieces. Many jewellery artists price their work by simply doubling the cost of their supplies - charging £10 for that necklace made from £5 of jewellery supplies. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to have a profitable business with that kind of pricing. It doesn’t cover all of your costs. You need to account for your labour time and skill used in making the jewellery piece as well as the material costs. What is your skill worth? Work out your hourly labour rate. This could be £20/hour (of course, your own labour rate may be much different, depending on your reputation, your speed, and your skill level).
  4. Simple jewellery pricing formula - Price = material costs x 3 + pro-rated hourly labour rate. For example the necklace you just made cost £5 in jewellery supplies and took you 30 minutes to make. Using the formula Price = £5 material costs x 3 + £10 labour (Your 30 minutes of labour equals half an hour. So half of your £20 hourly labour rate equals £10 of labour on this necklace. This gives you a selling price of £25.
  5. Market price of jewellery - An additional step in using the jewellery pricing formula above is to take into account the following to adjust the the resulting price: (a) what will your target market be prepared to pay; (b) how unique is the jewellery made; (c) what do shops charge for similar pieces. Remember this is all subjective and the formula should only be used as a guide.
  6. Maximise profits - Remember it can be better to overprice your jewellery and reduce prices than it is to under value and increase your price. Success depends on selling your jewellery high enough to make a good profit and low enough to achieve good sales.
  7. Added value to your jewellery - it is a good idea to consider the use of jewellery presentation boxes and pouches for the display and selling of your jewellery. Not only do they enhance the beauty of your jewellery pieces but they also help increase your sales. Not only would the box protect the jewellery piece, but it also allows your customer to present it as a gift.
  8. Selling your jewellery - Selling your own jewellery requires patience, persistence and thick skin. There are many avenues to follow to sell your jewellery. Here are a few avenues in increasing sales potential:
  • Sell to friends.
  • Sell to co-workers.
  • Sell at a home jewellery party.
  • Sell at a Craft Show.
  • Sell at a Market.
  • Sell wholesale to a Jewellery store.
  • Open your own shop or on line jewellery store.
Remember learning to make jewellery is easy and fun. Make jewellery for fun and profit. The difficult part is standing out from the crowd. As an artist your creativity and skill will help you do this.

Tuesday 27 January 2009

2009 Recession

A quick message to all our loyal customers who may have noticed some price increases recently on certain items. As you are in no doubt that we are all in a recession, with the newspapers quick to spread doom and gloom.

The good news is that crafting and jewellery making tend to do quite well during these times as buyers look for cheaper alternatives to high priced retail jewellery.

The bad news (good news for all our Eurozone customers) is that the downturn in the UK economy, this time, has seen the Pound Sterling weaken against many currencies. It has weakened considerably against the US Dollar and the Euro. And since we mainly import goods using these currencies, it is costing us more at present and unfortunately we are having to pass on some of these costs.

For those of you who have been buying from us for a long time, you know that we offer quality products at competitive prices that rarely increase. The raw price of goods we have been buying from the manufacturers have been increasing for a year or two, but we were able to offset these increases against the strong Pound and we were able to maintain prices. However market forces are working against all importers at present, making the cost of goods ever more expensive.

We are absorbing as much costs increases as we can so as to help keep prices down. However you will notice certain products increasing in price more frequently than normal. We are only doing this for products that we have recently imported (and therefore cost more). Prices won't change for items where we already have stocks.

Of course if the Pound strengthens significantly in the future, then you will see our prices come back down. Please be assured that we are doing everything we can to keep prices stable. May I suggest that where you buying items that have increased in price, that you look to increase your selling price as well. This will ensure you are still making a living from all your jewellery making.

We will endeavour to keep sourcing new jewellery ranges and beads in 2009 in a bid to keep things fresh and to give you more ideas and choice.