Inside the Studio with Michelle McCarthy

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive, we offer a prize each week to encourage you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries. And here are the results from last week!

In our last Inside the Studio post, Mary Harding asked, “What kinds of textures do you like to use in your work and where do you find them?”

There were all kinds of wonderful answers.  I used random .org to choose lucky #4
Malin de Konig.  Malin has won a sea shell textured set of charms from Mary.  Please contact Mary to claim your prize!

This week my studio activities have been all about making beads and marketing them.  I am so excited to be going on Heather Powers Bead Cruise 2016, which sets sail May 1st.  I have been donating goodie bags to the cruise participants for a few years now.  So I decided to make ceramic stick earring sets for the 65 cruisers this year.  I glazed them in a beachy color combination of brown, teal and specks of black.  OK…black is not beachy, but I love this glaze!

This is what they looked like before they went in the kiln.  Not so pretty….

But after the heat of the kiln, the glaze turned these sticks into this…..

I paired them up, placed them in a bag with my business card and they are now ready for goodie bags!

The next thing I have going on this week is making the kits for my second Firefly Design Studio Designers Challenge.  There is a Facebook group to join if you are interested in learning more.  The timeline is pinned at the top of the group, and there are a few kits left. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1670109743205467/
Summer means beach time, so I designed a starfish on the beach pendant.  Everyone will work with the same pendant, but they can choose side beads in sandy brown or sea blue.  Here are the 2 kits…

Designers will make a necklace, bracelet and earring set with any beading technique.  They will add whatever else they want from their personal stash.  Cory Tompkins is my guest artist for this round. She made a fun polymer clay component that must be used.  It’s a mystery component, so I can’t show you it yet.

So all these beads will be introduced to new and existing customers of mine.  Marketing yourself can be challenging, but it’s necessary for success.  For an artist, getting your beads in the hands of a designer is the best marketing out there.  Hopefully everyone will enjoy their earring sticks and the challenge beads!

This weeks question is this…what kinds of marketing activities have you tried with success?  It’s OK if it is a tip from a different business other than jewelry design.  The winner will receive a set of earring sticks…and I will even throw in a business card and free plastic bag.  WooHoo!

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7 Comment

  1. Reply
    Mary @ MaryMorrisJewelry.etsy.com
    April 15, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    I wrote a tutorial for a magazine. I'm not sure it brought any business bu,t it was a learning experience. I'm excited to get the new challenge kit.

  2. Reply
    Divya N
    April 16, 2016 at 7:03 am

    I have tried many marketing tricks over the years with great sucess but the most profitable one has been conducting jewelry parties at homes and parties of friends where their friends and family get to shop over good conversation and I gift the hostess whatever they want from my collection in the end. No fees, no other expenditure and you end up with so many new clients

  3. Reply
    April 16, 2016 at 7:06 am

    I haven't had any hits with marketing…yet. I am just now getting comfortable sharing my jewelry on my main Facebook feed.

  4. Reply
    Kathy Lindemer
    April 16, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Maintaining an active blog is an important marketing tool for me. It does bring traffic to my online store and it gets my name and reputation out there.

  5. Reply
    April 16, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    I tried advertizing my floral business on those mats you see in a dinner and on the mugs…I got one call…Not going to do that again..the thing that has worked the best for me is handing out my business card and word of mouth. Building a personal rapport with customers seems to have them coming back.

  6. Reply
    Erin S
    April 16, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    marketing is tough, because I hate sales and would much rather be in the studio creating. I have an etsy shop which I barely promote, and Facebook is a good way to get your stuff out there, but its a fine line–you have to be careful that all your posts aren't just "buy my stuff!"

  7. Reply
    gloria allen
    April 29, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Marketing is the hardest for me but my Goal this year. I started a blog in 2014 posting once a month, 2015 I doubled to 28, currently at 16 hope to have a minimum of 52,long ways from 365 but a challenging goal none the less for me. Posting in FB groups (hard to put ones self out their)drives traffic to my etsy.

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