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Topics: Marketing, Copyrights

Q.
How do you get your designs copyrighted? When I submitted a design of mine, the copyright office said it was not original enough, it used readily available components. Isn't that what your designs do, since all the components in the designs are for sale in your catalogs? Did I submit my design to the wrong place? Please help!
A.

Topics: Marketing, Testimonials

Q.
A customer wrote me a very nice thank you note recently. When I asked her if I could use it as a testimonial on my website, she said I could but she only wanted me to use her initials. When I see a testimonial without a full name they look fake, but I'd like to post hers with just her initials because it's so positive. What do you suggest?
A.

Topics: Marketing, Custom Orders

Q.
Occasionally, someone will contact me about a piece they want to buy from my website, but say they don't like the color of one of the stones, or they want a different kind of clasp. Should I tell them the piece is "as is," or should I offer to customize it? I don't want to take things apart I already made, but I don't want to lose a sale, either!
A.

Topics: Marketing, Selling

Q.
You probably don't get many questions from spouses, but here's mine: My wife keeps giving her jewelry away to relatives and friends because she says she feels guilty selling it to people she knows. She says she doesn't mind giving it away because they often show it to their own friends and others who become customers. I think they should be paying her. What do you think?
A.

Topics: Marketing, Website

Q.
I'm anxious to get my website up, but it's not complete yet. Any problem with putting one up with "Page to Come" or something similar on pages that are still under construction?
A.

Topics: Marketing, Shows

Q.
A friend of mine is a jewelry maker whose style is very different from mine. We both want to sell at the same local arts event, and she suggested we split a booth and sell together to save money. I'm not sure if I should take her up on this offer because of any hard feelings if one of us sells more than the other.
A.

Topics: Holiday Gift Planning

Q.
When preparing for the holidays, how far out should I be presenting holiday designs? Thanks for your help.
A.

Topics: Business, Sharing Designs, Instructions

Q.
I am fairly new to jewelry making (3yrs.). I have been learning by making items from magazines and books. These items were gifts for friends and family. I recently started creating my own items. In a recent trip to a bead store the shop owner liked my bangle bracelet, when I told them it was my own creation, they wanted to buy my instructions and teach it at their shop. Should I do that? If I do, how do I put a value on instructions? What am I giving up by doing that? I don't have a business. I eagerly await your reply. Thanks.
A.

Topics: Business, Juried Craft Show

Q.
What is a juried craft show?
A.

Topics: Jewelry, Donations

Q.
I make natural gemstone beaded bracelets as a hobby and have been considering making some for my church's fund raiser. I'm not in business and just do it for fun, so if my church could raise some funds with my designs I would like to donate them. Are there any constraints or necessary paperwork, or notices I need supply to a donation of product to a church fundraiser?
A.

Topics: Pricing, Finished Designs

Q.
A few prospective buyers have asked me how much it cost me to make a piece that they were interested in. How should I answer that question?
A.

Topics: Jewelry, Making, Marketing

Q.
I have taken a few jewelry making classes at a local art school. I want to know, do I need to go to a 4 yr university to turn this hobby into a full time business? And where do I begin with marketing myself besides going to trade shows? Thanks for your help!
A.

Topics: Jewelry, Finished, Photos

Q.
Hello! I have a question about photographing my jewelry. I had planned on photographing my pieces, print them out in wallet sizes and put them into page protectors most commonly used for baseball cards. Is that considered unprofessional? Should I use a larger picture, and protectors for them? Also, I don't have a digital or 35mm camera right now, but I do have an iPhone 4. The camera on it, at least to me, seems to be just as good as a digital, although I dont know what the megapixels and other specifics are. Would that be a camera that I could use until I can afford a nice one?
A.

Topics: Jewelry, Finished, Selling

Q.
Pricing: I have read and followed your suggestions on pricing, but am still unsure if I am fair, too low, or too high. I have seen some very nice work on an artist's website and found similar work priced quite low, considering the high end beads and components used. Back to square 1- how else can I determine if I am fair? Thanks for your help,
A.

Topics: Jewelry, Finished, Craft Show

Q.
I stopped doing craft shows about 18 months ago, the economy was so bad I wasn't making any money at them and in the last show it cost me money, and it was the story with every vendor. I have a friend who has sold a lot of my things via word of mouth so I know my things are good and saleable. But those sales are a drop in the bucket. I see so many things on ebay that have no bids on them and I had been successful there a few years ago. I don't expect to make a living off my hobby but I don't want to have it cost me money for a show and I don't want to waste a day sitting there. Are things getting better? It's a gamble but do you think the economy is good enough to go back to the craft-show weekends? I could continue just adding to my inventory until Christmas season gets close and my husband wouldn't get upset about the money I spend on supplies. There is a sign that says "beading is cheaper than therapy" so true!
A.

Topics: Jewelry, Finished, Selling

Q.
I get orders for jewelry, but I have gone thru a troublesome economic situation. How could I keep my customers satisfied? Shall I ask for a payment in order to purchase the materials then charge the rest as labor work and expenses?
A.

Topics: Copyrights

Q.
I buy pendants and antique beads at garage sales, flea markets and other sources. I use these pendants as focal points to build my necklaces around and some of them have a name printed on the back. Do I have a copyright problem or is there some other problem I might have if I want to sell my work?
A.

Topics: Copyrights

Q.
Sometime ago you had an article about copyright laws concerning bead patterns. I just sold a necklace that I now see the author of the pattern says it has been copyrighted--not to use for sale--I am terrified, please help.
A.

Topics: Metal Components, Nickel

Q.
I went to a jewelry party and saw black nickel plated chains. I had an ear torn because of nickel and told a bead store owner about this and she said that it is against the law for us to use nickel in our jewelry. Is this true?
A.

Topics: Metal Beads, Sterling Silver

Q.
Hi, I was wondering if there is a way to tell if a bead is sterling silver or something else. Whatever they are they are solid, nothing scratches off. Thanks
A.

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