Friday, March 19, 2010

Future of Lush Boutique

I'm writing this blog post so you all will hold me to it. And so you will give me advice. I need advice.

A few months ago, my husband let me quit my job to start my jewelry business. I sell on Etsy. On Etsy, I can hide behind my pretty pictures and cute descriptions, and I don't really have to go out there and actively sell my products to customers. My biggest hurdles in this business have been complacency and fear – I’m too scared not “ready” yet to sell wholesale, or “business on Etsy will pick up soon, there’s not too much I can do about it.”

Now, my husband has been accepted to business school and we are moving from Sacramento to Boston in six short weeks. I’ve been struggling with the fact that I will be the only one with an income, and I will have some huge decisions to make regarding my employment and my business. My Etsy shop is definitely not providing a decent income right now, as much as I hate to say it.

I've decided this morning that for the next six weeks, I’m going to work like HELL to get those wholesale contracts, get my jewelry into shops, and get my name out there. It’s make it or break it time!



  1. You can do it! I was scared too when I first started and sometimes put off calling boutiques by 2 months. You have to face your fear and get out there! Your pieces are beautiful and boutiques would love to carry them. Call them, make an appointment and don't look back.

  2. I've heard several Etsy jewelry makers who live in America say that they are offered to do in store sales. Stores also seem to take jewelry and sell it for the Etsian.
    As far as I can tell, this doesn't happen in UK where I live. Shops have their buyers who deal with established firms and they do not want in store competition.
    So I think you are well placed to try to get "out there."
    Your confidence will grow.

  3. Pitching to boutiques is really not as scary as it seems, and I think a lot of places would LOVE your stuff.

    Start by scoping some out in person, but DON'T ASK right then and there, see if your style would fit in, and try places that aren't already carrying a ton of jewelry, especially if it's similar to yours.

    Once you have a handful to contact, go home and practice what you'll say. Write it down if you have to (I do, I get flustered/distracted easily on the phone).

    Once you call them, tell them you love the style of their store and really think you things would fit in nicely, and help to, not only boost sales of current customers, but attract new ones as well.

    Boutiques are almost ALWAYS willing to, at least, meet in person and discuss. Set up a day and time that is convenient for them (be REALLY flexible).

    Pick out a nice selection and range of items but NOT everything. Bring different price points, OOAK and small quantity items, and ones that you are the most proud of. Bring a way to display them professionally (usually a couple of nice busts and a jewelry box does well, for me).

    Make your prices reasonable but not under-priced. This was the part I struggled with most, so no advice there.

    Be professional but not stuffy, making them laugh helps a lot, compliment their digs and RELAX. And don't forget business cards.

    Alternatively, doing craft fairs is a nice step in this direction, namely juried ones where you have to go through a jury to be accepted.

    WOW, novel. Sorry.
    You'll do wonderful, your stuff is fabulous and if one rejects you, just know it's nothing personal.

  4. And don't forget a portfolio of all your items, in case they want to look at more!

    I'll stop now!

  5. You'll do great. Your stuff is gorgeous. More than I spend on jewelry most of the time, but I know that most people are not as cheap as I am. :)

  6. Oh Jenni what a fun and exciting opportunity you have. I would be totally terrified just like you. But take heart, you're designs are gorgeous, totally unique, and completely "branded". You have such a presence on Etsy and your items are so easily recognizable as your style by the way you photograph, style, and market your items.

    Remember to be yourself, be confident in your designs, and present yourself off-line the way you've been successful presenting yourself on-line. You'll do wonderful lady, you're amazing!

    Lol this is all coming from advice I've read and totally not advice I've taken for myself!!! Hehe

    I'm excited to read your progress and successes!


  7. You can do it! I read something about selling jewelry to store that helps me - walk into that store like you are doing them a favor by letting them carry your jewelry. And dont take it personally if they dont! Good luck!! Your stuff is great, and you'll do great too!!

  8. You can do it! You can do it!! You can do it!!!

  9. Best of luck with everything! :)

  10. you are all amazing. thank you so much!

  11. I went to Barnes & Noble today and stumbled upon this book. After reading your post today I thought this could be helpful for you. There's a section on wholesale that looks really helpful for writing up the terms of sale. Plus it's less than $15 and has some other cool looking worksheets and sections on trade shows, retail shows, marketing, etc.

  12. This could be the push you need to get out there & make your big break. I read your story & it seems like such a great opportunity to really do what you love & make a living out of it, something that most only dream of. I love your designs & I think you definitely have what it takes to really be successful with your talent. Best wishes to you! :)

  13. Go for it! You are young, very talented and your jewellery is gorgeaus (the Serena for instance, now lives happliy in Sweden and is very admired wherever she goes!).
    Furthermore, I think your business concept already is very professional, you have a very good sense for important details like beautiful packaging, marketing of your products and you are a good communicator.
    I agree that this may be the chance of you life and that you may regret is afterwards if you didn't give it your best shot. I can really see your jewellery selling well from boutiques and posh stores and I am positive that you have what it takes to be successful. So believe in yourself and good luck!

  14. Jeni, I know exactly how you feel. I am going thru the same thing except for the move part. I just can't seem to take that next step to the outside world (to shy). Etsy has been my full time job for over a year and lets be honest I am not making any money.

    I wish you the best of luck and if you learn any new tips other than what is here let me know.

  15. I read your post and the responses with great interest. I can't believe that anyone would think that your jewelry is overpriced! I'd leave my prices as they are and quote them as wholesale prices.

    I just happen to be wearing one of your bracelets at this very moment. I own 2 of your bracelets and 3 of your rings. I would own more if DH wasn't unemployed

    Follow your dream. You can make it work!

    Ruth Ann

  16. Sell like the wind! ;) I found your Etsy shop and though I don't have an account, I really love your designs! I have a fashion/beauty/faith blog, Girls for God, and was wondering if you'd want to do a small giveaway with one of your lower-priced items (perhaps Spring Flower earrings or something along those lines) on my blog in return for a feature and possible advertising. If you're interested, please email me at . Thank you!

  17. Just read this post and wishing you all kinds of luck with your business! Your jewelry is awesome! I bought a piece from your etsy shop and can't tell you how many compliments I get when I wear it.

    I've just recently started selling my own handmade jewelry on Etsy so I can definitely understand the fear part.

    Will you still be selling online?


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