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!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Combining Colors; the Basics for Craft Design

A big thank you to Kari Ackeret for suggesting this topic. :-)

Oh so many colors! How do you decide which color will pair nicely with some other color? Let's start with color basics before we move on to combining the colors.

The primary colors – Red, Blue & Yellow

The secondary colors – Violet (Red + Blue), Green (Blue + Yellow) & Orange (Yellow + Red)

The tertiary colors – Red-orange, Orange-yellow, Yellow-green, Green-blue, Blue-Violet & Violet-red

For information sake will keep it to primary and secondary for now, but the rules apply for tertiary as well...

Color mixing basics -

Primary colors easily pair with each other, 'nuff said.

Complimentary colors (these sit next to each other on the color wheel and combine easily); Red with orange or violet; Blue with violet or green; Yellow with green or orange.

Contrasting colors (these sit opposite each other on the color wheel and are a bit more challenging to combine; Red and green (think Christmas); Yellow with violet (think pansy flowers); Blue with orange (think Denver Broncos).

Tones (warm and cool) -

Complimentary Cool Tones
Complimentary Warm Tones
Cool tones; Violet, Blue & Green; these will pair easily with silver, pewter and steel (complimentary), but will pop paired with “warm” metals like gold, brass and copper (contrasting).

Warm tones; Red, Orange & Yellow; these pair easily with gold, copper and brass (complimentary), but will really pop when paired with “cool” metals like silver, pewter or steel (contrasting).

Tints and Shades -

Tints and shades are the degree of a color (i.e.. Light Red, Red, Dark Red). Tints are a color made lighter by adding white; Shades are a color made darker by adding black. It's an easy way to combine colors, as they are all the same color just different degrees of it.

This actually takes me back to my painting class in High School; My teacher required us to do a color blend chart for all of the primary colors using black and white in various amounts (ie. ½ white + ½ red = pink). The Chart actually had white and the bottom, red (or blue, or yellow) in the middle and black on top. It didn't go too deeply into each color gradation, but was kept pretty simple; 100% white, ¾ white + ¼ red, ½ white + ½ red, ¼ white + ¾ red, 100% red, ¾ red + ¼ black, ½ red + ½ black, ¼ red + ¾ black, 100% black...but I digress

Neutrals -

You can combine neutral colors (i.e.. White, black, grey, brown, etc.) with most other colors and with themselves to lovely effect.

Now that you have the basics, take a little time to lay out your crafty project, or paint some swatches next to each other and just see if you like the way the colors look together. If you do, well, get crafting!

Friday, September 20, 2013

The hidden costs in running your crafty business, or what is overhead exactly?

Some of your crafty costs are obvious and you can easily recoup them. For instance, a simple pair of earrings cost you $5.00 in assorted parts, and about 15 minutes to make at your $20 hourly rate (or whatever rate you are paying yourself, as discussed in “Starting your crafty business, Part 2 -Okay, I've decided how I want to sell it, how do I price it?”), so, about $5.00, but what is this mystery overhead?

Overhead is all the hidden costs of doing business. Did you buy a canopy for your outdoor craft shows? The cost of that gets paid in your overhead. Folding tables? Display pieces? Business cards? How about the tools you used to make the earrings? That is all covered in your overhead, as well as the less obvious, but still very necessary. In my overhead are things like the fuel I need for my torch so that I can enamel or work with metal clay; also, my enamel powders. It would be impossible for me to figure out how much enamel powder I use per piece (or fuel for that matter), so I can't assign it a price when figuring out my cost for pricing, it absolutely has to become part of my overhead or I wouldn't be able to continue enameling.

If you don't figure your overhead into your prices, you might as well be giving your crafty awesomeness away. The same goes for making sure you get your time paid for and you recoup the cost of your parts. If you think your stuff is good enough to sell, do it right.

Super Model Mannequins = Overhead!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Craft Fairs - How to Choose the Right One for Your Crafty Business

I've recently been trying to reboot my business by doing more craft shows. Let's face it, people are more likely to buy a piece of jewelry that they can touch and try on over the one they can only see pictures of online. (That's actually why I bought my super model mannequins, Mathilda and Lucille, so people viewing pieces in my online shop can get a better idea of length, hang, drape, etc., but I digress.) So, I've been tuning up my booth display pieces and have been searching out shows to do. It is starting to be craft show season, so there are quite a few out there, but how do you know if it will be a good show?

There are a lot of "Craft Fair(e)s" out there that have almost no crafters. If the show you are doing includes Cookie Lee (and other catalog/resale jewelry vendors), Tupperware, ShamWow, Avon and/or Mary Kay, etc., it isn't a craft fair, it's a vendor fair and you will have a very hard time making sales, unless you under price your craft, which only hurts you. When searching for your show, search for Handmade Only. Also, see if it's a juried show. A juried show will ask you to, at minimum, submit photos of your work and booth set up. Some will even ask for your artist's statement and process pictures (you assembling your jewelry or knitting your hats, etc.). These are usually more expensive for your booth fee, but the people coming to the show are expecting quality handmade goods so you will actually have better sales. The next part is deciding what craft shows are a good fit for your type (and style of craft). I do better in and indie craft fair environment with my collage pendants and bottle cap rings than I do in a church fund raiser craft fair environment, but that doesn't mean I should consider the church one, it just means that I should check out a sow really well before I commit to one. The church may be in a neighborhood like Sacramento's Midtown, where I would be a very good fit. Your hand knit baby hats and blankets will be a hit in a neighborhood with lots of young families, just do a little research.

How do you know if the show was a success? That is the big question, and frankly, there is no right answer. Some of the articles out there say you didn't have a successful day unless you made 10 times your booth fee for that day ($75 booth fee = $750 in sales), other's say that just being out there and networking and giving out business cards is a success. Frankly, you are the only one who knows if your day was a success. Do you feel like your time was wasted while you sat there, even though you made a few sales? Not a success. Did you sell nothing, but felt like your time was well used and you wish you didn't have to leave because it was all just so much fun? A success!

Anyway, it's food for thought. Go out and find yourself a good fitting craft show and sell your crafty awesomeness!

How my booth used to look. I'm looking forward to posting new booth pics soon.


  

Starting your crafty business. Part 1 - So, you want to start a crafty business?

So, you've amassed a pile of whatever your crafty madness is...jewelry, collage, afghans...whatever your awesome creativity has spawned and you have that moment, the one where you think "whatever am I going o do with all these?" Everyone you know has one; you even gave one to that person don the street, you know, the one everyone sees but no one knows. Yeah, that one. Now what? Then you get the bright idea (or, in my case, some one says) "you should sell these!" Okay! Hmmm... Okay? How do I do that? 

Decisions, decisions. Online shop? Craft fair? Consignment? Wholesale to that little shop? All of the above? How do you choose?  Well, there is a lot to think about before you decide which way to go with your new crafty busines. Yes, business. The first time you take money for your creation you are leaving the world of crafty hobby and move over to crafty business. You're gonna need to decide if its just a little hobby business that is just a means to buy more crafting supplies, or will it become your sole income. Either way, you're gonna need some stuff. First and forwmost, if you are planning on selling anywhere outside of the occasional one-off with the gal in the cubicle down the hall, you are going o need a sellers permit. Here in California, they're free.  You've got to have one if you are going o sell at craft fairs or to that little boutique. You don't need one if you are going to consign (the consignment shop will have one though).  The cool bonus of your sellers permit is that you can now purchase your supplies wholesale!  Also, depending on your local laws and regulations, you may need a business license, check with your city or county. That will cost you money annually, but for a tiny home-based crafty business it will be nominal.

Does it seem like too much? Yes? Turn back now! No? Alright then, lets go! 

You need to decide how you want to get your stuff out there. I'll leave you with this until next time; how do you want to sell your craft? You'll need to decide that, so you can figure out your prices. No matter what, you don't want to lose money on this endeavor, so you really need to decide that question first. 

So, come back next Wednesday for Part 2 - Okay, I've decided how I want to sell it, how do I price it? 
 




Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Upcoming Show Schedule - Updated

Just a quick update up upcoming shows where Juli's Jewels will be vending.

Restoration Church, 8098 Foothills Blvd #900, Roseville
Saturday, October 5th from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

2nd Annual Craft Fair, Arden Church of the Nazarene. 3337 Arden Way, Sacramento
Saturday, October 12th from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

I've applied to and I'm still waiting to hear back about the Nevada City Craft Fair, which will be held in December, and the Orangevale Parks and Recreation District's 16th Annual Holiday Craft Fair; It's in November. I'm also looking at a couple other dates and IndieSacramento is in the planning stages of a pampering/pre-holiday shopping day! More details to come on all of these.
 
 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday the 13th

It's Friday the 13th and I'm having a Flash Sale in the shop! Everything is 13% off today only. That includes the already reduced priced items in the Clearance section of the shop. Here's the link, just in case.

http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/JulisJewels

New Product Display Cards

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

GoFundMe


I never thought I'd do it but the time has come...I am asking for money. The economy has taken it's toll on my little business, and frankly, if I can't start doing more shows and turning a little profit, I'm going to have to quit...and the thought of that just makes me sick. Making jewelry brings me joy; it has gotten me through some really rough patches, but if I can't sell any jewelry, truly I wont be able to make any more. In the last two years I have actually given away in my little fan page contests and random love, more jewelry than I have actually sold. Sadly, I wish I could just give it all away, as I am not exactly the best sales person out there. Being an introvert and somewhat shy make it very challenging to work my own booth at shows, I am always very grateful when someone comes to shows and helps me sell.

Honestly, I'd really rather have you buy my jewelry, but since thats not really happeming right now, I'm  trying this. Please check out my GoFundMe page - http://www.gofundme.com/49baqs If you can help, I would appreciate it more than you can ever know. Anything will help, but I have set up three levels that will get you a small gift/token of my appreciation. I am asking for funds to replace my canopy, some over used tools, fuel and enamel powders so that I can continue enameling, and funds for show booth fees.

If you can't help out monetarily, please send me your good thoughts and wishes, so that maybe your positive energy will find it's way into my campaign.

Thanks for listening.

Example of $100 thank you gift

Example of $75 thank you gift

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