What Makes Your Jewelry Line Different?

Design Idea F517 Earrings
by Dan Day, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Style--it's important for making your jewelry stand out. Art historian Ernst Gombrich defined style as a “[A] distinctive, and therefore recognizable, way in which an act is performed or an artifact made ... ” Style is derived from your sense of self, your personality type, your sense of personal artistic style. What are your influences, what kind of jewelry turns you on? In her ''Style and Education'' video, international designer Gulten Dye says her best advice is learning to allow yourself to be creative on your own terms without having to follow anyone. The great news is your style can be whatever you want it to be. There are no rules, nothing is off limits. Be wild, be adventurous, be outrageous, it's easier to tone it down later. And, there is more to making your jewelry line stand out than merely the jewelry pieces themselves.

Another way to make your jewelry line different is by developing your brand. What is “your brand”? A brand is much more than just the jewelry pieces you create. The American Marketing Association defines a brand as, “A name, term, design, or other feature that distinguishes one seller's product from those of others.” And here the “other feature” includes reputation. How well known and regarded is your work? Do you have a devoted following that spreads your fame via word of mouth (brand loyalty)? These customers like your work and are able to, in some way, explain to others why they like it. How do you achieve such a desirable state? By learning who you customers are, what they want and how you can add your artistry.

Sunstone Uniqueness
Of course, the materials you use in your designs can make them distinctive. A great way to achieve this is doing some research and use materials unique to your local area. For example, since Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® is located in Southern Oregon, I did a web search for Oregon gemstones using sites such as geology.com to learn Oregon produces many gemstones including deposits of the famous sunstone. According to resources, Oregon is the only place in the United States it has been found. The Gem Notes on the FMG website confirmed this and provided additional information.

Also, using mixed media or found items, such as computer parts, small toys or game pieces, to create distinctive altered art designs is discussed in the article ''The Art of Mixed Media Jewelry'' by Jamie Smedley.

Once you create a jewelry line, or lines, using unique materials or combinations of found or repurposed materials you now have the raw material to ...

Design Idea E8AB Bracelet

Tell a story
Presentation is another key to being distinctive. You want a complete package that tells your unique story. Using displays and a well-lit, well-designed booth or store to make your pieces look professional is important as well as taking professional-looking photographs and creating a showcase website.
Showcase Your Designs

Design Idea E812 Bracelet And the final piece to your presentation skill set is you: Don't just sell, tell a story! Make a connection with customers by telling an interesting story about your jewelry pieces. What was your inspiration? What unique materials did you use? What special challenges did you overcome? As I wrote in my article ''Can You Take a Compliment?'':

''You can relate a particularly challenging aspect of your effort, such as trying a new and difficult technique. If, at one point, you felt discouraged or even like quitting, share that, those feelings happen to the most successful people, but the point you are making is that you persevered and that's always inspiring. Now would be a good opportunity to explain why you designed the piece the way you did.'' Dan D.

This is a great way to establish a relationship with your customers and build brand loyalty for your distinctive line of jewelry.

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