April marks one year since my very first jewelry sale when I made a collection of handcrafted turquoise rings. A lot has happened since then, so I thought I would start a little blog to talk about my jewelry, learning how to silversmith, and starting a small business. Maybe down the line when I have more experience, I might even post articles on how to make things.
In the past year, I think I have really refined the basics required to make handcrafted turquoise rings and other jewelry. When I pick up some of my original pieces, I sometimes cringe a little because I can see lines I didn't sand enough or minute details I would do better with nowadays. One thing about my early pieces though is that they are sturdy. Making quality pieces that will last for years to come has always been a priority of mine.
This photo is of the rings I featured in my very first jewelry sale. Things I learned from that sale were that y'all love Sonoran Gold turquoise rings and really enjoy Sleeping Beauty turquoise too. The Boulder turquoise (those are the brown ones with the green streaks) did not sell very well. Maybe it's just me who really loves that type of stone. And I learned to make a wide variety of sizes because it's so hard to tell what will sell.
Lately I've been focusing more on earrings because they are one-size-fits-all. Rings are difficult for me because someone might like the stone, but it's not in their size. I have a few made to order rings in my Etsy shop, but the downside to that is that people just have to believe in my vision and commit to buying something when they haven't seen the completed product.
I am starting to make smaller, turquoise stacker rings now. I'll have a table in my local farmers market in Minnesota this summer, and I want to have stacker rings so that I can have some more affordable options. Also, it will be easier for me to replenish my supply week after week if it's a design I can make quickly.
In terms of my business so far, I would love to make it my full-time job someday. Right now, it's at the point where it's self-sustaining and I can spend a bit of money each month to upgrade my supplies and get non-essentials. I'm not really at the point yet where I'm actually paying myself. Maybe this time next year I will be.
T a lot of things I'm trying to figure out how to manage right now. Like, I also started an Etsy shop. It does get a bit more traffic than this website. But I like having my own website, so I'm doing both. I also started an Instagram just for my shop. So far most of my followers are stone sellers on the other side of the world, and not people that might actually buy my jewelry. But I'm sure it's a process that takes a while.