Welcome To My World

Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower. ~Hans Christian Anderson

Life's Best Recipe for Success


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

"Tonya Davidson is an artist, entrepreneur, coach and mentor. She helps other artists better their techniques and business skills by empowering them to live creatively from the inside out. Her ezine goes out to over 11,000 subscribers. If you want to learn to create a life you love, sign up for a FREE subscription at http://wholelottawhimsy.com. Be sure to check out her blog at www.tonyadavidson.com for more articles like this one."

Thank you Tonya for sharing your very special words with us this holiday season.

Five Ways to Make Gratitude a Part of Your Everyday Life

I just love Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday. I love thinking about all the things I am blessed to have in my life. I find myself pinching myself. How could I be this blessed! However, I must admit that I am filled with more joy when I participate in a weekly thanksgiving. So I'd like to share my tips.

1) A Gratitude Bowl

Pick a beautiful bowl in a central part of your home that can be used as a receptacle. Cut up small pieces of paper and place near the bowl with a pen. Every time you walk by it, write down something you are grateful for.

It's a snowball effect. The more gratitude you express the more aware of other blessings you will become. Then more blessings will come as you are attracting them with your gratitude vibrations.

When the bowl is full, make an offering if you'd like, by burning them in the fireplace. This way you make room for more blessings.

2) Carry a Tiny Notebook

Jot down any idea, thought, quote or creative spark that comes your way throughout the day. As you open yourself and become receptive to blessings, more and more will come. Give thanks as you write these ideas and thoughts down and acknowledge their presence in your life.

3) Exercise your Creativity

By performing an act of creativity you are expressing gratitude for your gifts and talents. You are welcoming a habit of being creative and giving attention to your genius. Energy flows where attention goes.

4) Weekly Summit (Sunday Summit)

Once a week write down 30 things you are grateful for. They can be tiny or substantial. No matter the week you've had or your doubt, you'll be blown away by how blessed you are after recounting them. This exercise gets easier and easier every week with practice. Plus it gives you 5 or 10 minutes to sit quickly, reflect and meditate on your week.

5) Express your Gratitude Verbally

Every chance you get, tell someone or something (dogs, trees, flowers, etc) how much you are grateful and blessed for them. I stop those in military uniform, I write notes to wait staff, I waive and mouth thanks to the person that lets me into traffic in my car, the person that holds open the door for me, the lady at the post office, etc. It makes it real when you verbalize it. It rubs off on others. My 15 year old is possibly the most polite person I know. Parents and coaches tell me this all the time. We didn't instruct him to say thank you to everyone, he just does it, because we do it. It's infectious.

Join Tonya on Facebook and take the 7-Day Gratitude Challenge. Go to her home page, copy and paste the challenge into your home page and post your gratitude!

I love these facts about Thanksgiving:

102 brave people set out in 1620 to cross treacherous seas for 66 days in search of freedom. (Thank you for being so brave to seek religious freedom)

The pilgrims were befriended, when they needed it most, by Squanto, a Pawtuxet indian, how to cultivate corn, extract sap, catch fish and avoid poisonous plants. (Thank you for reaching out and helping the settlers).

Govenor Bradford wanted to celebrate the pilgrims first corn harvest and invited the Native American allies to join them in a food fest for 3 days

George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation which was repeated on one or more occasions by other presidents

Sarah Josepha Hale campaigned for a national holiday for 36 years by publishing numerous editorials and letters to govenors, senators, presidents and other politicians (Thank you for your efforts over 36 years and not giving up on this national holiday)

Abraham Lincoln heeded her request and in 1863 made it a national holiday

I realize that there is controversy with every historical accounting. As a native american myself, I understand that this wasn't a rosy picture of pure love and joy between the settlers and natives. However, if it makes us stop and reflect on the things we are grateful for, I'm all for it!

Thanks Tonya!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Bit on Pricing

Last week, Jess of http://www.rosyrevolver.com/, asked some of us if we would participate in a blog discussing the issue of pricing our jewelry.  It seems that everyone was in agreement that this is the most difficult part of selling, especially in today's market.  The following is a great article in a newletter written by jewelry artist Eni Oken.

Everything she says, was reiterated in the blogs on this subject written by
these artists:  Check them out for their input at their respective blogs or go to http://www.rosyrevolver.com/  for some great reading!!

Nova of Sweden

Alice Istanbul Designs (that post coming soon)

Sissy & Jack's (post coming soon)

Bella-Bijou Jewelry

Blue Piranha

Devine Designs Jewelry

You may also be interested in a nifty downloadable jewelry pricing tool invented by jewelry artist Eni Oken - the Jewelry Price Calculator for Excel.
http://www.enioken.com/ or http://www.jewelrylessons.com/

Important Elements of a
Jewelry Pricing Formula

In my opinion, using a jewelry pricing formula is just the first step in arriving at the final price of a piece of jewelry.

First, I use a calculation to determine a base price that ensures I won't be selling the piece at a loss.

Then, once I've determined that base price, I adjust the final retail price to more accurately reflect the value of the piece to my particular market.

The key is to be sure that any jewelry pricing formula you use compensates you for
your supplies

your overhead expenses

your time.

The Second Step in My
Jewelry Pricing Formula

After using my formula, I add an important second step: Adjust the resulting price to reflect:

the overall outcome of the finished piece

how easily I could replace all of the elements in the piece if I wanted to make a similar item

what I believe people in my target market would be willing to pay.

Of course, these three points are mainly subjective, and require a bit of experience with your intended market. But I know I can't drop the final retail price below the base price the formula gave me, without losing money on the sale.

My Jewelry Base-Price Formula

It's a simple equation:

Base price =

(cost of materials + packaging) x 4
+ your pro-rated hourly labor rate

then + 10% of that total for overhead costs.

An Example of Using My Formula:

For this example, let's say that:

you made a necklace using $5 of supplies

your packaging (tag, box, bow, bag, and business card) for this piece totals $1

the necklace took you 30 minutes to make

your hourly labor rate is $20 (of course, your own labor rate may be much different, depending on your medium, your speed, and your skill level).

Now let's calculate:

1.First, figure out your pro-rated labor cost:

Your 30 minutes of labor equals half an hour. So half of your $20 hourly labor rate equals $10 of labor on this necklace.

2.Next, add up your cost of materials:

$5 of jewelry supplies + $1 of packaging = $6 subtotal.

3.Now multiply your total cost of materials by 4:

$6 x 4 = $24.

4.Then add your pro-rated labor rate to that:

$24 + $10 = $34.

5.Now figure your overhead, which is 10% of that:

$34 x .10 = $3.40

6.Finally, add the overhead to our $34 subtotal:

$34 + $3.40 = $37.40.

7.Our base price for the necklace is $37.40, which we'll round off to $37.

That means we can't price the necklace below $37 without losing money on it. Now we can adjust that retail price up a little or a lot - depending on the uniqueness and overall outcome of the necklace, how easily we could replace the components if we wanted to, and how much our intended market would be willing to pay.

Does That Seem Like
a Big Markup to You?

Many jewelry artists price their work by simply doubling the cost of their supplies - charging $10 for that necklace made from $5 of jewelry supplies. Unfortunately, it's impossible to have a profitable business with that kind of pricing. It doesn't cover all of your costs.

When you sell your jewelry, you need to be paid for the time, effort and craftsmanship you put into all the various aspects of your jewelry business, plus the cost of all of your overhead expenses, if you want to stay in business.

Your overhead expenses include things like your jewelry business website fees, jewelry displays, tools, insurance, merchant account fees for accepting credit cards, receipt books, digital camera (and its batteries) for photographing your work, jewelry magazines, workshops, etc.

If you're in business, your jewelry has to pay for all of those expenses as well as your jewelry making supplies.

And after all the expenses are paid for, you'd like to have a little left over to pay yourself too.

That's what I like about my jewelry pricing formula - by finding the base price, I know I'm not losing money when I sell my jewelry; and the final price more accurately reflects what the piece is worth to its buyer.

Why Multiply x4 in This Formula?

Thanks for asking!

Multiplying your cost of materials + packaging x 4 in my jewelry pricing formula sets your retail price high enough so that if you sell your pieces at wholesale or on consignment to a shop, you'll still make a profit.

Wholesale and consignment prices are typically 50% to 60% of your retail price. So the $37 retail-priced bracelet in this example would be wholesale-priced at $18.50.

The shop owner who buys it from you at wholesale would then turn around and retail-price the bracelet at $37, and sell it to a customer who comes into the shop.

Your $18.50 wholesale price gives you a much smaller profit margin on your bracelet. So wholesale pricing usually requires the shop owner to purchase a minimum quantity of 6, 10, 12, (or however many) items at a time.

When you make and sell multiples of an item, your manufacturing and selling costs are lower, and you make up for the smaller per-item profit by selling more items at a time.

In contrast, when you're selling jewelry pieces one or two at a time to individual customers (at shows, home parties, etc.), you'll need to charge retail pricing to stay in business.

That extra money you receive when you sell your bracelet to a customer yourself (retail-priced at $37) gets eaten into quickly by booth fees, party hostess incentives, travel expenses, wear and tear on your displays, and other costs of selling directly to the public.

So multiplying your cost of materials + packaging x4 gives you the minimum retail price you can charge without losing money.

It also clues you in to the minimum wholesale price (usually half of your retail price) you can charge without losing money when you sell your jewelry to shops or other wholesale buyers.

This article is reprinted from Eni Oken's newsletter.

This is a ton of information and you need to weigh all of the options and choose which one works for you - just don't underprice yourself and others.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Autumn Leaves Jewelry Drawing

 My friend Carolyn--AutumnLeavesJewelry.com--is having a drawing to give away a fantabulous ring. I'm joining the contest and I hope to be the proud owner of another one of her beautiful pieces soon! Visit her Web site to see how to enter the drawing.

http://www.AutumnLeavesJewelry.etsy.com/ or http://www.carolynartist.blogspot.com/

 Love you Care:O)

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Greatest Give-A-Way ever

A Red Creek Jasper Necklace.
Sterling Silver, filigree.

Dapped and textured chains.



Check out this wonderful, generous give-a-way on the following blog:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Todays Sneak Preview

Copper and Turquoise Shelf Necklace

This necklace was so much fun to make.  It is all handmade by me with the exception of the chain, of course.  I used beautiful chocolate/copper stick pearls, hand formed copper dangles, gorgeous chunks of turquoise and miscellaneous charms.  The base of the necklace is like a bookshelf, hence the name.  I hand sawed and forged the piece of copper into this shape and I love it.  The chain has one piece of hand forged copper wire formed into a circle with a sterling silver dot on top near the base.  The necklace hangs approximately 18 inches long.  I've worn this piece a few times and everyone stops to look and rave about it.  I will be making more but each one will have its own personality as they are all one of a kind.  Look for this piece soon in my etsy shop!!
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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Etching, Etching, Etching

A fun, funky ring

 Free hand drawings on metal

The fruits of our labor

My good friend, Madeline, and I have been working like crazy all week on our metal etching. We have been invited to do a trunk show the weekend before Thanksgiving in Tucson, AZ. We are very flattered indeed, however, it takes a large inventory to put on a good show and we are off and running - or etching as the case may be. My pictures don't do our work justice but for the moment it's the best we have. It has been both gratifying and frustrating to work with metal etching. It is a very labor intensive process. We are working with chemicals that require special attention to dispose of, to say nothing of the mess involved!! We've been through several pairs of rubber gloves and rolls of paper towels since this little venture began and we aren't through yet. Aside from all of the cons, there are lots of pros which make it all worth the extra effort. I hope you enjoy the pictures and there will be more soon.

Thanks for stopping by for a peek. I truly love sharing my thoughts and words with you and hope you will leave me a little comment or two once in awhile. Have a great week and take tomorrow off - it's Labor Day!!

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Monday, August 30, 2010

What a Beautiful Site!!

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Who would have thought that we would become so attached to our electronics that we would become unable to communicate without them. My cell phone battery died yesterday and I went to charge it and guess what - I couldn't locate my charger.....oh my. We have no land line up here in Pinetop so without my cell phone, I am unable be in contact with the outside world (unless Of course, I choose to get in my car and drive somewhere, which was not an option because I have tons of work to do here at the house). I emailed John, who is in Green Valley for a few days and asked him to bring my back up charger with him when he returns to the mtns today. I spent hours searching my purse, suitcase, grocery bags, drawers, and any other place I think the little wanderer might be. I KNOW I am much too responsible to have left it at my brother's house last week while visiting Santa Fe.......right!! Oh well, I finally resolve myself to the fact that it really doesn't matter because if there is an emergency, John can call a neighbor to contact me and I go on with my life. I actually became accustomed to not strapping it to my hip everytime I took a step because, God forbid I would miss a call while attending to other duties. Ever onward I say.....John will be here in a few hours and all will be right again. I decided to attend to the laundry in between etching silver and cleaning my studio.....I'm unloading the laundry shute (or is it shoot or chute?) and guess what to my wandering eyes would appear - you got it.....the missing phone charger. I just stood there and smiled for a minute, knowing full well that it would appear eventually, just not sure where or when. So - the great charger mystery is solved and life is back to normal - whatever that is!! Just one more of life's little adventures and so now it is comfortably resting in it's little space and charging up for another day.