Archive for September, 2012

Come see us at BeadFest Texas!

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

One month to go, and we can’t wait.  For the third year, Wired Up Beads will be at BeadFest Texas October 26, 27 & 28!

We will be emailing free passes in October — a $12 savings! — so be sure to sign up for our newsletter.

 

Everything is bigger in Texas, and our booth is no exception.  We will be taking up four booths to have room for all the incredible tools and supplies we are going to bring.

We are bringing all of our popular Wubbers Pliers for you to hold and feel the difference.  Patti Bullard, inventor of Wubbers and owner of Wired Up Beads, will be there demonstrating all you can do with Wubbers Designer Pliers, including the Squares, Jumbo Round Mandrels, and Looping Pliers.

Part of our booth is reserved for Ginnovations, our resident lampwork teacher’s creations.  Ginny Hampton-Schmidt does incredible work — stop by and get some beautiful glass beads for your designs.

We will have some giveaways and prizes each day, so be sure to stop by to join in the fun!

BeadFest is held at the Arlington Convention Center, next to the Texas Rangers Ballpark, at 1200 Ballpark Way, Arlington Texas, 76011.  Parking is $5 per day.

  • Friday, October 26: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 27: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 28: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Top Seven Tips for Selling Jewelry during the Holidays

Monday, September 24th, 2012

It’s getting cooler…  Well, at least here in North Texas we wish it were, and if you haven’t already, it is time to start thinking about the holiday selling season.  If you make jewelry and plan to sell it online or at craft shows (the window has already closed for securing wholesale orders – that was summertime!), this is prime time to start getting ready.

Here is our step-by-step guide to getting ready for the holiday season.

Get new products online NOW.

  • The more you have, the more you sell.  Really!
  • If you already have jewelry made, consider taking all the pictures now while things are quiet, then add new items to your online store every week over the next few months.  This will keep holiday shoppers coming back to see what is new.

Stock up on supplies.

  • For making jewelry
  • For packaging and gift wrapping
  • Business cards
  • Mailers/boxes for shipping

Plan your sales and promotions. 

  • Cyber Monday and Black Friday are popular shopping days – take advantage and consider offering a special to attract shoppers eager to buy.
  • Special offers ideas:  Free shipping, flat rate shipping, BOGO (buy one get one free), free gift with purchase, percentage off total, etc.
Anticipate your customers’ needs.
  • Offer free gift wrap at craft shows.  Wrap an empty box for display and set it on your table at shows.
  • Make gifting easy for online customers – offer to mail packages directly to the gift recipient, wrap in pretty packaging, and offer to include a card on their behalf.
Research shipping times.
  • We guarantee it: online (and some craft show) customers are going to wait until the last minute, and will need to know how long it takes to ship something.  Some may need Priority or Express shipping.  Get familiar with USPS.com, UPS.com and FedEx.com well.  Make yourself an expert so you can best take care of your customers.  And not lose a sale when time is an issue!
  • Have packing supplies on hand, including forms, so you will be ready to ship at a moment’s notice.

Make new holiday banners/graphics.

  • Pay a professional (there are many talented graphic designers on Etsy.com) or if you are comfortable with graphics, create special graphics just for the holidays.
  • It can take some time to get graphics just right, so do it now so you don’t have to scramble at the last minute.
  • If you have your sales and promotions planned out, include it in one of your banners so it can catch your customer’s eye.
  • If you are offering gift wrap, buy the supplies now and take pictures of it to show shoppers.
Sign up for craft shows and schedule house parties
  • The big shows might have had deadlines during the summer, but you will be able to find a multitude of school, church, and festival craft shows during the fall and winter.
  • If a friend has offered to host a jewelry party, take them up on it!  It is as simple as your friend emailing an invitation, making some appetizers, and setting out your jewelry.

 

You will be well on your way to making this a successful holiday selling season.  Let us know what you do to prepare for selling your jewelry during the holidays!  Please leave us a comment, we’d love to hear.

Wonderful Video Tutorials Using Wubbers

Friday, September 14th, 2012

We stumbled across this wonderful collection of free tutorials on You Tube (while browsing Pinterest, naturally).  Rachel is a very talented jewelry artist from Loughrea, Ireland, and teaches there.

We were absolutely THRILLED when we saw her using Wubbers Pliers in the videos.  You can see her round nose Wubbers on the far left!  Here is the video that initially caught our eye:

 

We hope you enjoy all of her videos, which you can view on her channel.  She even uses her “well-worn” Wubbers pliers handle to form ear cuffs.  What a creative use of Wubbers!

We can’t wait to see what she does next, and we have to admit we love her accent almost as much as her tutorials.

Rachel gives her advice for beginners working with wire:

I’m a great believer that things happen as they will, and it has not always got a lot to do with us, when making jewellery I suggest that people relax and allow the wire and tools to almost do what they want, I am often amazed and surprised at what I produce. 

The frustrations caused by faulty of inferior tools only add to a stressed environment and I don’t think that beautiful things can be created when you are worrying about whether the pliers will mark the wire or if they twist worryingly when you bend a piece of wire.  Mangled bits of jewellery are frustrating enough when you have years of experience behind you but for a beginner it is devastating, soon they believe that they can’t make jewellery and almost wish they had never tried in the first place, but if they get the basics, the right tools, wire and information and then I think that anyone can relax and let their own creativity take over the task.   It’s what I teach in my classes, there are no mistakes in wire jewellery just new designs and design features.

Thanks Rachel!  Here is some of her gorgeous work, all made with Wubbers:

Growing Your Jewelry Business

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Recently we launched our new line of marketing packages, which grew out of the feedback we received from our customers.  We have heard these comments again and again: “I’m totally in love with making jewelry.  How do I sell my jewelry so I can keep creating?” and “I would love to do this full-time.”

We know exactly what you are going through, because we have gone through it too!  Patti Bullard, owner of Wired Up Beads, started out at her kitchen table making jewelry, and with some great advice, research, and with equal parts of determination and sweat equity, has grown the company into what it is today.

It can be hard to wear all the hats of a business owner – CEO, designer, fabricator, marketer, accountant, fullfillment, customer service…  the jobs never end and you are always on call.

It can be overwhelming and confusing, but you don’t have to feel like you are in this alone.  We have put together a monthly package to inform you of new marketing techniques, provide guidance, and you get a discount on our website to boot!

Our Marketing for Designers subscription includes:

  • Monthly newsletter from Michael Bodnar, our Marketing Director with 15 years marketing experience.  He will share his knowledge of marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and more to grow your business.
  • Monthly newsletter from Tyler Hogue, our Social Media Director who writes on how to brand, personality marketing, social media marketing, social media optimization, and more.
  • An in-depth industry marketing report analyzing online shoppers and their behavior.
  • Chance to be featured on our social media outlets.  One subscriber will be chosen at random per month to be showcased.
  • You Pick First – get the opportunity to purchase new items before they are released to the public.
  • 10% off wiredupbeads.com* during your membership period (excludes Wubbers Pliers).
  • Free access to informative Designer Marketing Webinars, which include a live Q&A.
We know as jewelry makers that having the right tool can make all the difference.  So can having the right resources — we want you to succeed, and you can grow your jewelry business and realize your dreams.  We are here to help so you don’t have to go it alone.
Get started now before the holiday rush starts up soon — you will be happy you did!

September’s Jewelry Making Classes are Now Online

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Can you believe it’s almost autumn?  Neither can we!

We have been busy arranging new classes for you at Wired Up Beads.  Our jewelry making classes are filling up September’s calendar, and we are thrilled to have over a dozen planned for this month.

You can view our class descriptions and register here, or view in calendar format here.

We are especially excited to be hosting Master Lampwork Artist Sam Hibler in our Dallas/Fort Worth studio this month!  Sam has three incredible classes scheduled September 14-16.  If you are in the area and want to learn advanced techniques for making glass beads, this is the class for you.

 

 

We have been having a blast with our $10 Happy Hour classes on Friday.  These popular classes have been selling out – and it’s no wonder!  You get to learn a new jewelry technique, hang out with fun people, and we even give you a $10 voucher to use that day, which makes the class essentially… FREE!

Grab a friend and come join us for some fun at WUB!