Wire Jewelry Ideas: 6 Ways to Find Your Uniqueness in Jewelry

By on March 21, 2012
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by Rose Marion, Wire-Sculpture.com

Wire Jewelry Idea for March 21, 2012

Today I want to borrow a concept that marketing professionals talk about all the time; they call it a USP. It’s not a shipping method: it’s called a Unique Selling Proposition, and a lot of successful small businesses have it clearly defined when they start making money – or they think they do.

Your USP is what makes your business unique and you, to your customer. It’s what makes you, you, as a jewelry designer.¬†Here are 6 ways you can identify what makes your jewelry unique.

Do you pay attention to customer details? Are you the jewelry-maker who always remembers your clients’ birthdays and special occasions, her favorite stones, her preferred style? It’s a great idea to keep a customer card on file for not just custom orders or ring sizes, but also the dates that are important to your customers. Even though your August-born client may be buying Christmas gifts from you, she may be tempted by a peridot ring you show her, now or near her birthday.

Do you have a unique product? In your area, you may be the only wire artist for miles! Online, however, there’s stiff competition. Marie of SuperiorAgates is an example of a unique wire artist online: she creates wire jewelry from the agates she cabs herself, found in her own back yard! (Lucky!) If you cut your own stones or make your own lampwork glass, this is a valuable thing that is interesting to your customers. Is your business dedicatedly nickel-free, like Naturally Nickel-Free? Do you offer a lifetime guarantee? Do you specialize in remaking clients’ old jewelry into new, wearable pieces? There are several unique products and services, even within wire jewelry, that you can explore.

What do you do with your proceeds? Several of our customers donate a portion of their profits to charities, such as animal rescue organizations, children’s charities, local organizations, and medical research. Do you make donations through your wire jewelry business? Your customers may value knowing how you contribute to groups you believe in.

Do you have a unique style? Are you a weaving and coiling, a sculpting, or a traditional wire jewelry artist? Again, with wire jewelry, you may be the only wire artist for miles – but you are still unique within wire jewelry. As an artist, express yourself through your jewelry, and then take a step back. What connects your jewelry? Is it the way you finish wire ends – in spirals, rosettes, trimmed close, swooped away? Is it the top-of-the-line gold filled and Argentium wire that you’ve polished to a gleam to match the sparkling druzies you wrap? Is it the liver of sulfur antique finish you give each piece? Of course, make sure this is something you love. If you hate the smell of liver of sulfur and the whole process of antiquing, don’t become known for your antiqued jewelry! Discover the commonalities in your pieces and play it up. Zoraida is one of many wire artists discovering bare copper wire as serious medium in wire jewelry, and she’s come to be known for that unique characteristic.

This can also include whether your jewelry has a Modern, Art Deco, Steampunk, Victorian, Asian, or Southwestern feel to it. What draws you to that style of jewelry? Including more information about the time period or culture you’re paying homage to will give your customer the feeling that they’ve stepped inside a whole other world, and you’ve given them a piece of jewelry and a new experience, as well.

Similarly – do you use stories to sell your wire jewelry? While this works well online, when you can tell a story for much more time than at a crowded craft fair, you can try it anytime you sell your work. Millie Fee has a great example of a story here. I found this quote especially inspiring after looking upon a blister pearl: "All art is autobiographical: the pearl is the oyster’s autobiography." (Frederico Fellini) What a story in a nutshell!

Do you know your stones inside and out? Being an authority on the materials you use is a unique treasure that not every artist has. You read our Gem Profiles with interest, but you already have a few gem books on the shelf. Maybe you can instantly recite the history and location of the stone you wrapped, or maybe you know the metaphysical uses of stones by heart. From my own experience, I sold my first pair of earrings to my yoga teacher; she had picked out a pretty pair featuring purple fluorite and was considering buying them. She asked what the stone was, and I replied "Fluorite," and there was an awkward pause. One of my classmates immediately came up and said, "Fluorite! That will be perfect for you, I know you have a lot of decisions coming up ahead. Fluorite is great for concentration and making decisions. This is the perfect stone for you." Sold! I immediately resolved to either have a story or to "know something" that I could talk about for each piece that I made.

While you may not have officially decided or written out your Unique Selling Proposition, it’s important that you investigate it and keep your mind open to it. It is an ongoing process to discover what you offer to your customers, and it will pay off for you in the end. However, try not to leave it up to your customers to decide what kind of jewelry artist you are: decide for yourself, and then present your work. What one customer thinks of you may not be the image you ultimately want to present. When you find the unique qualities of your jewelry and your business, you can build on those strengths, and further establish your jewelry-making style and skills, and attract the appreciative customers you’re designing jewelry for.

Happy Jewelry Making!

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7 Comments

  1. avatar

    zoraida

    March 21, 2012 at 6:12 am

    Thank you so very much for mentioning me!! I do love bare copper wire and want to make it appreciated as a real and valuable component of jewelry, not just for practice.

    I love all the articles posted here on Wire-Sculpture-com. They are extremely informative and inspiring. Every jewelry artist, especially those of us who sell our creations, should read them!

    • avatar

      Rose

      March 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm

      Thanks Zoraida! I love seeing your creations on Facebook!

  2. avatar

    Donna

    March 21, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Thanks for the tips. Also thank you for mentioning Naturally Nickel Free! I’d love to know as much about my stones as I do about my wire. All in good time!

  3. avatar

    sue beebe

    March 21, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I am just starting and really haven’t adopted a unique style. The one thing that I do that is different is I get big, decoratively colored buttons, glue bails on the back and then design a necklace coordinating the beads with the colors in the buttons. These are fun to make (kind of a challenge as some buttons only have two colors!) and the finished products is inexpensive and fun to wear in spring or summer (I wear mine all year long). I haven’t sold any yet, just given as gifts, but hope to soon. I would like to create necklaces around a customer. For instance, I knew a lady at our medical center who loved red and glitz. So, I made her a necklace of mainly red Swarovsky crystals and earring cuffs as her ears weren’t pierced. I gave her the necklace and earrings and told her to be my model and she was really thrilled.

    • avatar

      Rose

      March 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Great, Sue! You’re off to a nice start. That is really thoughtful of you to make that gal earring cuffs since her ears aren’t pierced! Best of luck :)

  4. avatar

    Ruth Tillottson

    March 21, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    Thanks very much for sharing these interesting and helpful tips!

  5. avatar

    allen

    March 21, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    that article is great to read

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