Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Martha Stewart: American Made

"American Made spotlights the maker, supports the local and celebrates the handmade. The journey culminates in a signature event this October in New York City. Join us and uncover the next generation of great American Makers."

Voting continues through September 13th.  Please consider voting for Bergeron Woodworks. Some of you might recognize the name and remember that I had David make a custom frame with a vintage bronze screen insert which I use as a jewelry display.

custom frame by Bergeron Woodworks
(Please ignore the next door vendor's vintage clothing in the background.)

Not only is David's work beautiful and extremely well-made, it is also eco-friendly in the truest sense.  When you buy a piece of his furniture, you have bought a piece of South Louisiana history and kept that wood out of the landfill.  Those old houses that cannot be restored are given new life as modern furniture with a twist.  I love that the lines of much of his furniture are a little more modern.  Juxtaposing the salvaged wood against more modern lines really highlights the rustic nature of the wood.

David is a talented woodworker and artist but also a nice guy.  When my husband and I drove down to Thibodaux to pick up my frame, we ended up chatting with David like we had known him for years.  He's extremely personable with a wicked sense of humor, too.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that David is also a member of the Louisiana Crafts Guild.

Bergeron Woodworks is now on Etsy:

I'll admit that there are lots of talented people but my votes will be cast for Bergeron Woodworking.  Please consider giving David and Tiffany your support, too.

Monday, August 26, 2013

An Update To A Post...

Etsy is at it stats have never been this low before:

Compared to 1-26 August 2012, my views are down 39%, favorites are down 37%, and sales are down 57% which translates to a 70% decrease in revenue.  The economy is supposed to be better this summer than last but you wouldn't know it from many Etsy sellers' shop stats.

Like usual, business is positively booming for the bubble necklace re-sellers and their ilk. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Insurance For Jewelry Designers

I've recently realized that the value of my stock,  tools, and supplies is far more than I would be comfortable losing in the event of theft, fire, or natural disaster.  I started my search and found that it's actually a bit difficult to find much information on the internet and that most of the policies detailed on the internet are geared towards "jewelers" selling gold, platinum, and diamonds.  After a bit of searching, I found some information through The American Craft Council Association Insurance and Cerf+ offer a .pdf pamphlet download Business Insurance Guidebook For Artists.

I also learned that not all well-respected galleries insure the work that is consigned to them.  Even with fees as high as 50%, they somehow plead that they can't afford the policies and pass that off to the artists.  I had been lucky and had only dealt with those that covered consigned items against theft or destruction to the value the artist would have earned upon sale of the items.  I'm now searching for a policy that will cover consigned work--many Business Owner Policies do not cover work that is not in the artist's "custody".

I find it very sad that it's almost always the artist who must assume all the liability and financial risk.  I'll post updates as I make my way through this process and eventually find the right insurance for my businesses.

I'd really appreciate any information that readers might have so, if any of you have policies that you like, please post the names of the companies and your agents (if you don't mind).  Thanks!

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Craftsmen's Guild of Mississippi

July was a really hectic month with my mom's days in the hospital and the projects that were keeping my nose to the grindstone.  I can finally tell you about the second time-sensitive project.  I also applied to The Craftsmen's Guild of Mississippi and they accepted me!  The application asks upon acceptance whether an applicant would like his/her items added to the the Mississippi Craft Center gallery on consignment.  Items submitted by those who are not accepted must be picked up or they ship them.  I agreed to list my jewelry so, you can imagine how I felt when it was returned to me about a week ago.  I was certain that I was not accepted...and then my letter arrived! 

Getting my applications prepared for the two guilds was a lot of work but the real work is just beginning.  I, now, have to get ready for all the upcoming markets and holiday shows!

I'm pretty excited about the Chimneyville Crafts Festival but I must admit that I'm feeling a little overwhelmed.  Chimneyville Craft Festival is "is continuously named a Top Twenty Event in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society."¹  That's a huge leap from my previous markets/festivals. Eek!

Additional information:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Not So Precious Metals Recycling

Like everyone else who works with sterling and fine silvers, I collect my scrap and send it off to be refined. I send mine in to Rio Grande and really enjoy getting the credit applied to future orders.  But what about base metal scrap?  I'm really diligent about saving every tiny snip of wire and sheet and my husband recycles it for me at a place in Pensacola.  I hadn't really paid much attention to the current values of those metals so, I was surprised when my latest batch was worth almost $18.

copper & brass recycling receipt
 How do you deal with your accumulated base metal scrap?

Monday, August 12, 2013

Louisiana Crafts Guild

One of the time sensitive things that I was working on during July was my application to the Louisiana Crafts Guild.  I just learned that I was accepted!  As soon they receive my membership dues, they will get my info up on the website and the jewelry that I submitted into Sans Souci (without worries) Gallery in Lafayette.  I can't wait!  Back in 2006, Southern Living magazine voted Sans Souci Gallery as their #16 pick on their list of the 50 top places to shop. 

This elf has to return to the workshop immediately because more jewelry is needed for the other guild-affiliated museum and art center gift shops.

I'm also a member of Florida Craftsmen.  Unlike the Louisiana Crafts Guild, you don't have to jury into Florida Craftsmen.  Membership does have nice benefits such as free admission to over 80 cultural organizations in 14 states through the Southeastern Reciprocal Membership Program and the opportunity to jury into Florida Craftsmen Retail Gallery and participate in the annual Holiday Show.  I'll be submitting my application for the retail gallery very soon because I definitely want to have my work included for the Holiday Boutique (link shows last year's info).  ~Fingers are crossed that my work is accepted~

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Thinking About Opening an Etsy Shop?

Edited (26 August 2013):
Dear Readers:
If you are considering opening a shop on Etsy, I would strongly suggest that you visit the Etsy forum and read about Etsy's most recent disregard for shop owners before you make the leap of faith and open a shop.

Etsy and the "no Paypal access" test:

Etsy's new star review system:

Rate Etsy:

The fluff piece written about Etsy CEO, Chad Dickerson (pay special attention to the comments section):

The Daily Dot- Why Etsy's Brave New Economy is Crumbling:

The Power of Words (How Etsy "suggests" that customers leave negative comments in reviews):

A blog post from a former Etsy seller who closed her shop and why:

Etsy is currently having a promotion:

"Invite Friends, Get Free Listings!

For every friend that opens a shop on Etsy, we'll give you both 40 free listings."

This doesn't include those who currently have shops on Etsy but wish to open additional ones.  This promotion is intended to encourage people who are not currently shop owners to take the plunge and open Etsy shops.

This is the invitation link from Libellula Jewelry:  Link Removed

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New Work

sterling silver agate necklace by Cicada Silver
Silver Agate Teardrop Pendant Necklace

copper oval link chain by Libellula Jewelry
2-in1 Soldered Copper Oval Link Chain

PMC fine silver leaf pendant by Cicada Silver
 Syringe PMC Leaf Pendant

fine silver leaf earrings by Cicada Silver
PMC & Turquoise Leaf earrings
 Modern Leaf & Turquoise Earrings

Friday, August 2, 2013

Clearing Out The Old Stock

I would like to tighten up the appearance of Libellula Jewelry by clearing out some of my old stock.  The items on clearance are styles that I no longer make.  They would be good small gifts and stocking stuffers if anyone has started with their holiday shopping.  I've reduced each item by $4 to $6 and I'm happy to ship them for free (US) or reduced shipping for all my blog followers.  Just send me a convo before you order and I'll set up a reserved listing.  International shipping will be reduced by $2.50 (earrings) and $5.00 (necklace) which is the same savings my domestic customers will receive.

green faceted Czech glass copper earrings

To all my friends:
I'll be in touch will you all very soon!  I haven't forgotten you guys.  I'm almost finished with the two big, time-sensitive projects that have kept me focused and practically a hermit for the last month.  I'm also happy to report that my mom has not had anymore transient ischemic attacks and that she will be seeing a new specialist for her arthritis in a few weeks.