Share The Love – Valentine’s Inspiration

Share The Love – Valentine’s Inspiration

Be inspired by Artisan created Valentine’s Jewelry and Component designs.

If you find something you like, you can click on the image to go to their Instagram page and comment or review their profile for more info or many will be adding their info in the comments below.  Also, you can share an image to your favorite social site by hovering over the picture: Dk Blue = Facebook, Lt Blue = Twitter and Red = Pinterest.

If interested in adding your work, please scroll to the bottom for the details!  Enjoy!

  • Unexpected Heart Donut  bobbiejwilsoncomproductunexpectedheartdonut handmade fusedglass cbcvd
  • Pretty pink and ivory pearl memory wire bracelet with pinkhellip
  • Sweet heart earrings  bohostyle bohemian handcrafted handmadeatamazon bandanagirl heartearringshellip
  • Sweethearts Forever! Fabricated from copper sheet Argentium wire and lotshellip
  • First wave of Heart pairs 30 to start will behellip
  • AztecaDesignsBoutique hearts hoops argentiumsilver simplyher forher giftideas giftwrapped sweetheart valentinehellip
  • bandanagirl silverjewelry heartjewelry moonstone A sweet new design! cbcvd
  • Amber and Dumorterite Sterling Bracelet httpwwwomisilveretsycom cbcvd valentines handmade
Want your Valentine’s items included??  

Excited to share our first INSTAGRAM #hashtag slide show.  If you have a relevant Valentine’s component or jewelry design you would like to be included follow these directions:

  • Go to your INSTAGRAM App and click the Camera Icon
  • Upload a “Valentine’s relevent component, jewelry design or collage. Could be a selfie shot of you or another wearing your design too.  (Remember Instagram uses a “square image”)
  • In the “Add a Caption” Add a description, business name, website link (while it won’t be a live URL, folks can copy and paste to find you)  add any #hashtags you want, but you
  • MUST*** add our CBC # to be auto included in our slideshow.  #cbcvd
  • Click OK…then SHARE.
  • You may also edit a previous Instagram post to add the #cbcvd
  • Check back in an hour to see your product shine!
  • Please limit to maximum of 15 images
  • In comments below: You may add your Instagram Name, Business Name, Website URL  and any other pertinent info you want include.  Please create one Comment for all info.  This way folks can find you easier! Comments must be approved so you may not see them until someone has time to do so.

We hope you’ll share our page with all your friends to inspire them for Valentine’s…It’s all about the love!  Let’s share each others beautiful jewelry and component designs.  Just maybe we’ll all get a little love and find some great new Artisans to connect with! Any ideas for other Instagram feeds?  It’s a great tool and seen by a huge audience!  Let’s build our businesses!

How To Price Your Jewelry Like a Pro

How To Price Your Jewelry Like a Pro

Pricing my handmade jewelry is one area that I seem to take light consideration to.  For many years, I have been practicing new techniques until last fall, I finally committed to taking the leap and work towards a unified jewelry line with hopes to offer wholesale products as well as a bigger platform for my jewelry line.  I’m also continuing my component and supply line on Etsy, which has been my mainstay for these past few learning years.

I’ve come across a few great blog posts that are perfect to reference and build your own calculator that fits your products.

Patina Designs

Silver Designs

Gold Designs

Leather Designs

Read the full article from Launch Grow Joy

How to price your products – handmade, Etsy and beyond

This is the simplest formula you can use:

(Labor + Materials) x 2 = Wholesale price

The x2 takes into account your profit and overhead as well, so you’re covered. As far as what your labor costs should be, think about how much you want to pay yourself per hour or how much you would pay someone per hour to make your products and divide that number by how many products you think you can make per hour. If an hourly wage is not what you want to measure, then think about how much salary would want to pay yourself per month (or per year) and use that number instead of the hourly rate.

If you plan on selling your products to other retail stores, you’ll have to take that into account. Your retailers will usually mark up your wholesale price at least 2 times.

To set your retail price, use this formula:

Wholesale Price x 2 = Retail Price (or MSRP)

So if each set of earrings you make costs you $2 in materials, and you pay yourself $15 for the half hour it takes to make them, then your wholesale price is $34 and your retail price is $68. To figure how you should price your products, download the free pricing worksheet below – simply plug in your own numbers and you’ll have a range of pricing to start with. Please keep in mind that if you plan on working with sales reps or distributors, you will want to factor that in to your pricing.

Andrea from Launch Grow Joy, also offers a downloadable calculator on her blog and offers many business building articles as well as seminars that I’ve attended.


Read the entire "How do I price my handmade goods" by Create and Thrive, article here: 

Jess Van Denn of Create and Thrive, offers some terrific insight and steps to implement this pricing. She offers the same calculation as above. 

Cost Price (labour + price of materials) x 2 = Wholesale

Wholesale x 2 = Retail

Now, if you want to make a profit – which is the amount you have to grow and re-invest in your business – you should double this amount for Retail, which equals $60. (By the way, the retail price is what you should be selling for online, and at markets.)

Sounds like a lot, hey?

But, in professional handmade business circles, this is standard practice. It is difficult for those of us who do this as a hobby to look at it like this sometimes – and when you’re competing with people who sell at a price that doesn’t even begin to come near their true costs, you might feel like you’re being greedy.

Remember – hobbyists aren’t trying to make a living out of selling their craft – they’re just trying to cover materials costs and maybe get a little extra on the side. That is how they can afford to charge so little – their livelihood is not relying on this money!

Also – if you’re selling internationally – and especially if you’re selling in another currency in some places (for example, I still sell in USD on Etsy because I’ve found through experimentation that listing prices in AUD puts off my American customers from buying, but it doesn’t bother Aussies to buy in USD) you need to take exchange rates/paypal fees/paypal currency conversion fees etc into account.

For those of you who want to do a super-serious, completely in-depth calculation to work out your prices, check out this excellent article by Australian Jeweller Simone Walsh.

When you graduate from a hobbyist to a business, you’re going to need to re-think your pricing. Starting with a simple formula like the one above is an excellent start… but it’s not the end of the story. Once you know mathematically what you should be pricing, you need to turn around and look at your price from another perspective.

2. Price with the Heart

There’s more to price than the basic in and out formula. Why do you think Apple has such a huge profit margin compared to other tech companies?

It ain’t because their materials and labour costs are way lower. No, it’s because they’ve built a brand that enables them to charge twice as much for pretty much the exact same technology as their competitor – and their customers are not only happy to pay, they’re ravenous, raving fans, just dying to drop another wad of $$ on the new model eye-phone, even when their ‘old’ one works just fine, thank you very much!

That, my friends, is the power of branding, and that is where pricing with the heart comes in.

Someone who outlines this very issue excellently is my friend Megan Auman. She actually wrote a new post on this recently – but she’s been writing and talking about this issue for a long time now.

You need to start looking at your brand from the outside – through the eyes of your customer. Visit your shop and pretend you have never been there before. That it’s just a shop you’ve stumbled upon while browsing Etsy. Even better, pretend you’ve stumbled across your band on a stand-alone website, or in a retail store! (Etsy can sometimes have the issue of making people expect artificially low prices.)

What does it say to you?

  • Does it say ‘professional artisan’?
  • Does it say ‘high-quality craftsmanship’?
  • Does it say ‘unique, exclusive design’?
  • Does your brand scream ‘cheap’ or does it scream ’boutique’?

I want you to be intentionally blind to the prices – blind to the fact that you make these things. I want you to pretend you’ve never made one of your whatevers, and that you don’t have the skill or the inclination to make it.

What would you expect to pay for it? What would you be willing to pay for it?

Take this to another level. Are you even your target customer? Because hey, maybe your target customer is someone who is willing to pay WAY more for your whatever than you would. What might someone really be willing to pay for your wares?

A good way to research this is to show your product to friends or family. Especially those who are a little bit removed from what you make. Ask them – ‘if you saw this in a shop, what would you expect to pay for it’? You might be surprised.

I’d like to let you in on a little secret.

I actually raised my prices 2 times last year. The first was a small, 10% rise in April. The second was a much more dramatic rise in September (and honestly, I have to thank Megan’s talk at the Artful Biz Con for finally giving me the push I needed to take that step).

For example: at this time last year, I was selling this pair of sterling silver earrings for $22 ($22!! I seriously can’t believe that figure now – SO low!). Then it was $25. Now it is $35, and I’m much more comfortable that I’m on the right track with my pricing. Megan would probably tell me off – tell me I should be charging about $60 retail for them – but I’m not quite there yet! Like I said at the beginning, you’re never ‘done’ with pricing.

In the first 2 months of 2013, I sold around the same volume of jewellery on Etsy as I did this same time last year. (I sold a lot more overall this year because the business on my own website is much, much higher now). However, guess what? My revenue – the money I earnt – from those same volume of sales? It’s DOUBLE what I earnt last year. Therein lies the power in raising your prices to what you and your work is worth.

Not only that? I am much more comfortable with my prices now. I am a professional artisan. This is my livelihood. I have years of skill and practice. I make an excellent, quality product.And my prices reflect that.

Do yours?


  1. Visit your shop and do the above ‘I am a stranger’ exercise. I’d love for you to come back here and share your findings!
  2. Take just ONE of your products and work out a price using the formula I gave you above. It is very basic, but it’s a good start. Share with us what you discover – are you pricing way too low?


Read the entire article Professional pricing for craft and design, By Simone Walsh here: 

Calculating wages:

Your business should pay you a realistic wage for the amount of time you spend working in it, including covering income tax and other costs.

If this makes you feel uncomfortable, think about how much you would need to pay someone else to do the work that you do. Also think about how much you’d want to be paid if you were employed doing the same work you do in your business.

You are just as entitled to earn a living wage from what you do as anyone – even if you love what you do! Read more about what it means to truly support indie designers.

Calculating non-chargeable wages:

Most makers at least know to incorporate a labour rate into their pricing for the items they make to sell. However, wages shouldn’t end there.

Consider the time you spend in your business over the course of a year which is not chargeable as part of creating an item. This might include time spent photographing, marketing, doing admin work, researching, sourcing materials, packing and posting orders, etc..

Start by estimating the number of hours per week or per month you think are needed for this type of work. Then determine an appropriate hourly rate for this work – what would you need to pay someone else to do it for you?

Then calculate the time and hourly rate into an annual figure based on the number of weeks you operate your business each year. As an example:

  • 10 hours per week x $20 per hour = $200
  • $200 x 48 weeks = $9600 per annum

Set this annual ‘non-chargeable wage’ figure aside for now. It should be included in your overheads calculation as part of your breakeven analysis (see below).

Calculating chargeable wages:

Your chargeable wage is the income generated by the labour rate included in the price of each each item you make to sell.

Every piece you make should have your labour factored into it. It doesn’t have to be timed down to the last second – I make an educated guess as to what a piece will take me to finish on average once I have it in production.

To help work out what your labour rate should be, a great place to start is to calculate the annual personal income (on top of the above non-chargeable figure) you need or would like to be earning from your business.

Then determine how many weeks a year you will work in your business (allowing time for holidays, illness, etc – 48 weeks works for me).

Finally, estimate how many hours a week you expect to work on making items which you will then sell. Remember to allow time for all of those other business-related things you need to do – and don’t forget you need to have a life, as well!

Divide the annual amount you wish to earn from your labour by the number of weeks you intend to work per year. Then divide that figure by the number of hours per week you estimate you’ll spend actually making work to sell to get your hourly rate.

As a fairly outrageous example, let’s pretend you want to make $500,000 a year in wages and you only intend to work 5 hours a week making what you sell:

  • $500,000 divided by 48 weeks = $10,416 a week
  • $10,416 divided by 5 = $2083 (that’s your hourly labour rate!)

If whatever your hourly figure works out to be looks unreasonably low or high, then take a step back to the big picture and reassess. Keep doing this until you have a figure you’re happy with.

Of course you can always adjust this figure at any point: this is just a method to help you come up with a realistic amount, based on your own life along with your economy (almost every country will be different as to what an appropriate labour rate looks like).

Use your final hourly rate figure to calculate costs for your time for everything you make and include it in your spreadsheet or whatever method you are using to add up your direct cost of sales (such as materials and processes for each piece).

Note that this chargeable wage figure does not get added to your overheads (see below).

Breakeven analysis:

A major step towards professional pricing is to do a ‘breakeven analysis’ for your business. This will give you a big picture view as to the margins you need to add to your work in order to make ends meet – and hopefully make a profit too.

The one thing that so many design/craft pricing methods forget is that your business must cover all of its costs – not just materials and labour. Every tool you use, every advertisement you pay for, every business card you have printed, etc. must ultimately be covered by your business turnover.

Even if your business isn’t doing this as you get established, you need to aim for this to happen in the longer term. To do this you need to know what these costs are and how they at least should be impacting upon your pricing.

There’s much more to complete Simon’s overview.  I’ve just pulled the highlight from his post, please visit the link above to read.

Following the advice from these professionals, will push our hobby businesses into professional businesses.  I believe this is a hard concept to get your head around but, but once we leave our hobby diapers and put on our professional pullups, we will never look back.

I would love for you to link your favorite business strategy posts, comments of what’s worked for you or even questions you may have and I’ll do my best to answer.  Please understand I am still wearing diapers at night…but I’m getting better every day! Haha

How about you?

Amazon To Add New Handmade Market

Amazon To Add New Handmade Market


Amazon is launching a new marketplace for handcrafted goods called Handmade at Amazon. Etsy sellers discussed an email invitation they received from Amazon with great interest, and those who didn’t get an invitation were eager to learn more from those who did. The email invitation said, “Introducing Handmade, a new shopping experience at Amazon. amazonWe’re offering artisans like you a first peek at Handmade, a new marketplace for handcrafted goods.” Amazon included a link to a form where sellers could provide information about their businesses in exchange for receiving exclusive updates in advance of the launch. Amazon wanted sellers to indicate the primary category in which they sold, giving them the choice of selecting one of the following categories: Apparel; Accessories; Baby; Beauty & Personal Care; Grocery & Gourmet; Home & Kitchen; Jewelry; Pet Supplies; Sporting Goods; Stationary & Party Supplies; and Toys & Games. Sellers discussing the new marketplace wondered if could provide a suitable environment for handmade goods, or if it would have to be a separate marketplace from its main site, though the latter method is not in keeping with Amazon’s usual approach. Some of the concerns about selling handmade goods on the regular marketplace included fees (“Keep in mind, Amazon takes 15% for product AND shipping for themselves on their regular site. I know that can kill margins for lots of people.”) and expected speed of preparation and delivery time (“People will expect 2 day delivery just like with Amazon Prime.”). Sellers were also concerned about the amount of work to list items on and about whether other sellers would piggyback onto their listings – some were particularly concerned about the possibility of others using their proprietary photos. Both Amazon and Etsy spokespeople declined to comment for this story. Story ffrom Please visit their site ~

Etsy Team Discussion

Here are a few of the comments from the Etsy Team Discussion and here.

I only have a few sales since I’ve opened in Sept. and probably won’t be getting any until next winter, but I’ve been hearing that a lot of sales have been dropping. I think the IPO has been getting people’s attention, but not in the good way. They hear bad things, so they decide to stay away. At least that’s my impression of it.
Just got my invitation. Looks like they will be offering direct competition to Etsy, IMO. From the email, sign-up for info form, looks like they are in the early stages of putting this together. It will be just handmade, it seems. Interesting.
I’m definitely signing up for more info, thanks for the link! I haven’t found a single other venue that I’m interested in selling on, but I have been a long-time happy Amazon customer, and I would be willing to try selling there. I’m very interested in seeing how this goes.

I’m all around happy with Etsy, and I will stick around here as long as I make sales, but I don’t feel the same loyalty and love I used to.

I got the letter as well. I am extremely interested. I know that Amazon is not known for being all unicorns and rainbows when it comes to sellers but I am a business person and if it appears it will be good for my business then I am on board. We will have to see.

It is way too soon to speculate on what the Handmade at Amazon is all about but I hope their definition of handmade aligns with mine. Sadly Etsy’s does not anymore.

I was contacted by an amazon rep last week about this. I had honestly never thought about selling on amazon until they contacted me…. through facebook actually. we spoke on the phone yesterday and I think I will sign up soon. She sent me all the info and instructions on how to do it. Seems like you can offer custom items, which is what most of my stuff is but I also make a lot of jewelry that I don’t have listed here. For non-custom items, you can send them to amazon so they can be eligible for prime.
I would run from this not walk.

If any of you have seen the documentary about how amazon got started and how it stays so successful its because they compete with their own sellers. They track what sells best and then contact the manufacturer to buy in bulk and sell directly at better price. Its Walmart of online shopping.

Most of us cant copyright our stuff. For instance i cannot copyright my best selling baby blanket so what would stop Amazon from acquiring some manufacturer to create a blanket just like mine so they can sell at better price.
I’ve had about 50 sales since i started 5 months ago and i have no doubt i would be successful on Amazon but im terrified of having to compete with Amazon.

I’ll pass.

Keep in mind many of us have been selling handmade there for years. So that part isn’t new to Amazon. What is new is Amazon having a “handmade market” and promoting it as that.

I think their strict rules will still be in effect for this too. And that will probably turn a lot of Etsy sellers off. Many Etsy sellers are not used to a venue that is actively involved with the buyers. They even time you on how fast you answer messages. They expect all messages to be answered within 24 hours 7 days per week. And they would prefer it be just a couple hours. The buyer is always right on Amazon which is why so many prefer to buy there

Amazon is not for everyone. But I have always said if you are a trustworthy seller that cares about your customers; you will do fine. If your one of those that thinks the customer is always wrong, that getting a package to destination is not your responsibility-Amazon is not for you,.

Here’s an article from Etsy-preneurship : Jason Malinak

Through the years, alternative selling venues have come, gone and lingered . . . this seems to me like it might be different though . . . a big ecommerce name with lots of resources = solid competition.

 Handmade Marketplace for Artisans


A number of Etsy sellers already sell some of their products on Amazon, but what appears unique in this case is that Amazon is using a few words key words to describe this project:


  • Handmade what will Amazon’s definition of handmade be and how will they enforce it?


  • Marketplace a unique place for handmade to be sold as compared to being lumped with everything else on Amazon?


  • Artisans They didn’t use the word “small-scale manufacturer” or “reseller”. . . but for artisans (higher quality standards)?


Amazon is known for their higher fee structure, fast shipping, and high seller standards for response time and shipping.  They focus on the buyer experience at high levels.  Amazon is a much bigger marketplace in total transaction size, traffic, and name recognition.


In this email, Amazon sent out an interest form. (I’ll share the link so you can access it at the end of this article).


Handmade at Amazon Artisan Interest Form 1


It looks like Amazon is just getting started and are currently “setting up shop”. . . I wonder if Amazon is trying to place themselves in the market before the upcoming holiday sales rush?


Handmade at Amazon Artisan Interst Form 2


You can also see that Amazon is trying to learn more about the product categories that would apply in the new marketplace.


Handmade at Amazon Artisan Interst Form 3


Amazon specifically asks about sub categories in the Home & Kitchen category and Jewelry category as these are markets that cover a lot of products that are for sale on Etsy.


Finally, notice the last line . . . “Know any fellow Artisans who may also be interested in Handmade?  Forward the email we sent or list their email below!”


They know there is going to be big interest in this . . . that’s why I’m sharing it with you now!

So what do you think? 

What are you looking for in a selling venue.  What do you like and what don’t you like.  Would love to hear your thoughts!

Why Resist the Temptation to Sell Your Jewelry Too Soon?

Why Resist the Temptation to Sell Your Jewelry Too Soon?


Why should you resist the temptation to sell your beginner jewelry pieces?  Whether you started making jewelry as a hobby or with a business plan, the question of when you should start selling your finished work is important. Why is it important? Once you transition from hobby to artisan you want a certain level of quality associated with your good name. Right? Tell me I’m right.

Wire Weave Pagoda pendant

One of my first wire-weaving attempts. It’s supposed to be a pagoda. And it’s definitely not suitable for sale.

It’s easy to jump the gun on this one, especially if you’re low on funds or are trying to make a living off your jewelry sales. Or you’re just enthusiastic about getting started. There can be a strong temptation to get your stuff out there for sale as quickly as you can finish making it. (more…)

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