So, you can now add 'Professional' in front of my Jewelry Designer title ;0) I am SO EXCITED to say that some of my JenLove Jewelry is currently selling at a local, high-end Vintage and Antique store in Virginia Beach! The boutique is called Vintage Revival and talk about the PERFECT place, right? I've recently had such a love for vintage style jewelry, it only made sense.
I walked into this boutique one day to do my usual Vintage shopping. If anyone's read the novel 'A Vintage Affair' by Isabel Wolff, I would imagine this is the closest I would get to Phoebe's Vintage Shop that she opened in Blackheath, London. It's crazy to think that my handmade jewelry is being sold in the same store that sells vintage items by Gucci, Halston, LV, YSL, Hermés and more! The clientele that comes through have a real appreciation for classic fashion and are not worried about the changing seasons and latest trends. That's me! For YEARS I've been thinking about what kind of boutique I would want my jewelry to be sold in, and I've found it.
I've been referred to other stores in the area in the past but they were all too trendy and not my jewelry style. I also felt like I didn't want to commit to a store unless I knew I had all the time in the world to consistently make jewelry when needed. One of the worse things you can do is get a store to carry your jewelry, then realize you don't have the time to keep up with season changes and their demand for newer styles that in the end, your jewelry ends up getting pulled out from their store! Looks bad on you as a designer and your name.
Now my goal as a Jewelry Designer since I've left nursing is right where I want it. I'm able to make jewelry at home on my own time. When I feel the need, I can go to Vintage Revival [or any future boutiques I may sell at in the future] and change or add pieces when I want. The few jewelry I have on my Etsy account are just more for show. I don't really depend on that site for sales, more for doing online transactions. I'm over the phase of pushing my jewelry on friends and family over that a loonngg time ago and now can just sit back and enjoy. Don't have to worry about all the work for applying for local vendor shows and setting up just to showcase my jewelry along millions of other designers. I always love being a spectator of those things but was never a fan of being part of them. I can focus on making jewelry for VR and when the itch comes.. have little Jewelry Parties or Shows on my own, with select people in mind and of course, my loyal JL customers. My jewelry at VR are currently being sold from $70-$180 a piece. It's been hard but I've done so good at not depreciating my work. Yeah.. you can say I'm living my dream right now.
These 2 photos below are from Vintage Revival's Facebook Page. Visit them and 'Like'!
Carved Rose Set
A popular set I've recently made with a combination of antique bronze with green and teal colors. The colors worked so well together and I love the filigree rose pendants.
Here is the second necklace that is going through Rehab. The only part of this that I really loved were the light blue flower bead caps. I was trying to work with the ivory rock pearl-like beads, but in the end I couldn't find a place for them. I thought the colors were different and I liked it so I kept the color scheme the same. This is what I came up with.
I not only kept it a 2-strand necklace but also made a matching bracelet with it. I added turquoise circle beads and white pearls and light pink crystals. It looks fresher and but still has the same elements of the original. It was a fun re-design and I love how it turned out.
The Carved Rose set is currently being sold at Vintage Revival. I may also add this re-design set to the collection!
THE SKINNY: Taking GREAT Photos
I know we've been a victim of it all. The overuse of filters, blurry shots and taking pictures in the dark. Well, I'VE never taken any jewelry photos in the dark. I see too many horrible photos of jewelry out there. When I first started taking photos, they were pretty bad. Not taking shots in natural light. Using a bedroom light thinking it would make it look decent. Looking back at all of those photos, it's pretty embarrassing. Here are some tips I've came up with for taking better photos. Photos of your work is SO IMPORTANT. Jewelry is eye candy and if you don't shoot it right- it can make the jewelry look cheap and, let's just say.. not very pretty.
- ALWAYS use natural light. Photos show up crisper and less chance of having shadows (but not too much sun). It also gives you light without changing the colors of your jewelry.
- Stop using your phone for good quality photos. If you have a website where you're actually selling jewelry, you need to have great quality photos. Sending photos to friends is okay for using your phone camera, but not for showcasing your jewelry online. Yes, that means more work so don't be lazy. Well, you can be lazy but it will show!
- Experiment with different angles. I think always taking a picture the same way all of the time can get boring. It's always better to take photos with a slight angle. Try different styles and see what works.
- Learn some basic Photoshop tricks. Learning how to edit whether it's cropping, brightening and re-sizing photos makes a huge difference. I was a graphic designer back in my days so I'm very familiar with editing many of my jewelry photos. Learning the basics is pretty easy so take some time to do that. You'll be surprised at the difference of your pictures with the before and after.
Of course doing all of these things takes time but if you're putting money and any real effort in making jewelry then you need to take just as much energy showing it off. One of my biggest peeves are seeing bad photos of jewelry from people who just rush to get a picture out after a night of making jewelry [yes.. you can totally tell. It's very obvious]. So take your time and don't make immature decisions because customers notice and it can make the difference of making a sale or not.