About Me

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Juli grew up a shy, middle child and is a woman of few words whose jewelry speaks volumes about herself, her feelings and her perspective on the world.  A modern alchemist of design, she melds industrial imagery and organic aesthetics together to create new and unique designs.  Juli's love for asymmetrical design was immediately made apparent in her very first bead craft:  a pair of mismatched earrings created when she was sixteen.  She developed her eclectic style by reading about and experimenting with every style and technique she could get her hands on, from stitched bead jewelry to riveted metals and from wire wrapping to precious metal clays.  No matter what Juli creates, her sense of humor & fun, love of the craft and sense of style come through.  Juli would probably blog more often if her rather large tabby cat, Rocky, didn't insinuate himself between her hands and the keyboard.  However, she does regularly update her facebook fan page for Juli's Jewels.  Juli is always paying-it-forward, not only on a personal level, but through her company with "just because" giveaways.  Juli's Jewels ArtFire artisan shop is jam packed with earrings, pendants, necklaces, anklets and more that are ready to ship and she loves to make custom orders for people too!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

More fun with Enameling

I'm finally feeling comfortable enough with my enameling to add it to designs using my favorite metal, natural brass. The designs have been fun to play with and I like playing with colors and textures.

Here is what I've been doing, in order of completion:

Peirced and Layered
Lovely Layers
Stamped and Embossed
A little bit of everything
Textures and layered colors
I think they are really turning out nicely; what do you think?

Monday, August 19, 2013

How to survive an outdoor craft show-repost

This is a pretty good post, so I thought I'd share it again.

Okay, I know we've all seen the great lists for being prepared for craft fairs/shows, what to take, etc. This is not that kind of list. This is more survival based...
  1. Know what the weather is supposed to be like, in advance. Check with the Weather Channel or AccuWeather the day before the show. Check it again in the morning, it might have changed while you were sleeping. Also, if you are near where the show will be held, look out the window. I cannot stress this enough.
  2. Prepare for the weather to change during the day while you are at the show. I have set up my booth in the rain in the morning and been roasting with the intense heat and humidity by closing time. Wear light layers and if you wore tennies, bring sandals (or vice versa).
  3. If it's going to be windy, forget the canopy. Yes, you can get sand bags or other kinds of weights for your canopy, but they don't always help...better to be same than sorry. It's just not safe, your canopy can move or worse, fly. Duct tape comes in clear! Get a roll. People don't really see it and your displays will be less likely to blow away. Also, keep your displays low or flat. .
  4. Table cloth clips are cheap and you can purchase them at your favorite big box store (i.e. Target, K-Mart, etc.) in the camping or outdoors section.
  5. Those chairs you get for camping will save wear and tear on your good folding chairs, as long as they aren't too comfy. (Falling asleep is just not professional.)
I know this sounds a little tongue in cheek, but I'm serious. Also, if you live in the Sacramento Region, outdoor (especially parking lot) sales in October are crazy. It will be windy, it may be rainy, It might be hot or really chilly. Just be aware. Oh, and try to have some fun.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Starting your crafty business, Part 2 - Okay, I've decided how I want to sell it, how do I price it?

Okay! You've made the big decision to sell your handmade awesomeness and now you are ready to price it...umm...yeah...but how?

It's a pretty big deal, getting the prices right. You want to be able to make a profit otherwise you might as well go back to giving it away. You want to be competitive with other artisans and crafters, too.

Do not sell your stuff cheaply! It, and you, are worth more than that. Undervaluing your items hurts you in the long run, but it also hurts the handmade marketplace. That being said, there is also a limit of what your regional market will bear. Yes, you have to take your customer type into consideration when pricing your items, but that doesn't mean selling an item for less, sometimes it means revamping your line to fit your customer base (i.e. making less expensive pieces for the church bazaar vs. the high end ones you make for the gallery).

You have to remember, this is now a business. Even if you are just a hobbyist, you are going to need to keep records of your supplies and what you paid for them. You are going to need to know how long it takes you to make a piece (including design time). You need to decide what your time it worth. Imagine you did this as a job; what is your boss paying you per hour to create your awesomeness? Most artisans rate their time in the $18-$20 range. I think you're worth it, you should too. Trust me, you wouldn't do this job for minimum wage. You also need to add some overhead for packaging and other materials that can't make it into the rest of the price, because all of that stuff really goes into making your sale.

There are several formulas for pricing items to keep you competitive and profitable; the one I use is pretty simple. First I figure the base price, that is the price it cost me to make it. I add parts plus time (labor) plus overhead (I use a flat 20% on the parts + labor to get my overhead). To get my base. (P + L + O = B)

My parts on this piece were $5, my labor was 15 minutes at $20, so $5, my overhead then was 20% of $10, so $2. Adding these all together, my base price for this item is $12. This is what it costs me to make this item. If I were to sell the item at this price, I would have no profit whatsoever.

On top of my base price, I have 3 price points; wholesale, direct and retail. The markup I use for wholesale is 2.5 times parts plus labor and over head. (P*2.5 + L + O = W); for direct it’s 3 and for retail it’s 6.

So, an item that costs me $12 to make would be priced at $19.50 for wholesale, $22 for direct and $37 for retail.

You will have to decide what you think is the right pricing for your craft business, but remember, there is no benefit to you or anyone for underpricing (and undervaluing) your work.



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