Making the Shoppe

November 02, 2010

I started this blog just over a year ago, because I was cluttering my personal blog with too many art-related posts. Right about the time that I began Shealynns-Faerie-Shoppe, I started learning how to make jewelry. It kinda grew.... and grew.... :)

And I made so many things that I could never possibly wear them all.

Making the Shoppe.

It took a bit. For one, I had to wait until we moved.Then I had to find time. I still don't think I've got time, but I've got a Shoppe all the same. :) Now maybe my "wasted" time spent on crafts won't be quite so wasted.

Most of the items I made, cluttering my dresser.

I chose Artfire because they have an option for a basic store-- you don't have to pay them a dime. Of course, you miss out on a bajillion awesome features. Etsy is more popular than Artfire, but my goodness! Do they charge you for everything!

Want to know what it takes to make a Shoppe? Before you begin, research, research, research. Figure out what other people did right. Learn about scams. All sorts of good stuff.

You have to have something people want. Something quality, unique, and affordable. Yes, you can make beautiful necklaces strung with beads. But so many other people do that... find your niche. My Shoppe specializes in chainmaille, fantasy, and religious jewelry (but there will always be an eclectic mix of other things!).

Next, make about 40 things.

Now comes a really fun part: designing your "look." Your look is like a brand name-- you know how Google and Coca-Cola have great typography? how you'd recognize the Blogger "B,"r the Yahoo "!" and Macy's "★ " anywhere? Examples of good branding.

This is where my budding inner graphic artist went, "YEAH! YAHOO! I get to go CRAZY and take over Shaylynn's brain!"

I designed my fairy (see how it progressed), who would become the new face of Shealynn's Faerie Shoppe. My logo. The little sprite who won't leave me alone. After the fairy came a whole design theme.

She's sitting on nothing... 'Cause she's magic. :)

Using this "look," I made all the graphics I needed: banners, headers, logos, favicons, buttons, business cards... the list goes on.

A look isn't any good if it's applied only to the store, so I re-did my blog. 

(Want to see what my blog used to look like way back when? Check out this old post.)

 I'd go into all the design details here, but I'd bore you to death. Suffice it to say that I have MANY new features.

I also updated my Facebook page to reflect the new look. (Check it out, I've got a giveaway going there!)

Next up: photography. 

You've really got to be a mini-professional photographer to sell jewelry. Who's going to buy something when it's picture is all blurry?

You don't need a fancy camera. You just need good lighting-- preferably natural-- a camera with a macro setting, and an editing software. But I'm sure if you have a fancy camera that you can take even awesomer pictures. :) My little guy is like 10 years old.

Take 2-4 pictures of every item. Then edit them.
My photography studio. A Tshirt next to a window and a lamp with a sheet of paper taped onto it.

After this it's all boring... Getting a checking account. Getting a PayPal accoun
t. Writing up your policies-- blech. Spending a couple hours writing creative descriptions for some 30 things-- I'd like to see you try. Learning how to ship jewelry safely and nicely... oh. my. goodness. Did you know it's going to cost me almost $3 to securely ship a pair of earrings?

Research prices. Seriously, this is a headache. How much did you spend on supplies? How much is your time worth? How much to other people charge for similar quality items, and how much of a "base" do they have compared to you?

You don't want to overcharge, but then you do have to pay for your supplies and time. Only if you are well known can you really make a large(ish) profit.

Until you make your first sale. Boring-ness = gone.

My friend C. has the honor of being my first customer!

Question, dear readers: Do you eventually want me to make a couple of posts on how to (or how I) ship jewelry, photography tips, etc.?

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  1. Oh! What awesome advice Shaylynn. And yes! I would love to see some posts on shipping, photography, and etc! :)

  2. OH Shaylynn thx so much for this post i have been wanting to sell stuff on my blog for a wile these were some really good tips!!

    thanks again -Jessie

  3. Awesome Shaylynn! And I would love to see a few posts on shipping and photography. ;-)


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