First light is around 5 a.m. as we camp overnight in the desert. The sky turns from midnight black to a pale grey. Streaks of purple and pinks appear. There are some touches of blues and greens. Everything is still and quiet as the world waits for the giant ball of orange to appear and a new day to begin.
I make my beads to tell stories of my travels and of the world I see. From my beads I spin tales into not jewelry, but wearable art. These earrings are memories of my Australian outback camping trip where I learnt about wild camels, wombats and all the colours a night sky can be.
Each bead is individually made by me! There is no paint on any of my beads, just glass upon glass upon glass. These earrings beads each measure approximately 13mm x 11mm. They hang on handmade sterling silver ear wires for a total length of approximately 30mm.
When you make something, it is just that, a thing. Things have features. They are short, long, round, made of wool/clay/silver/glass etc. You can describe the thing.
When you describe something to a customer it is just a thing. We can buy things anywhere. If all my customer wanted was a pair of earrings they could go to a mall. My customer (and yours) wants more. They are looking for a connection with the actual making of the product. They want a story. They want to know the artist, this is why they have chosen to shop at a handmade venue, either online or at a craft show.
Customers who shop handmade like to own unique work, not mass-produced-in-third-world stuff. The more you can tell them about the process and the story and inspiration behind the work, they more they will engage with it. I want my customer to know why I call my earrings Desert Sunrise. I want them to know that I make the glass beads. If someone compliments my customer on her earrings I want them to respond with “oh, I got these online by a woman who makes the beads. She watched a sunrise in the desert and got inspired to make these. Aren’t they great?”
Telling the story behind each piece sets you apart from your competition. While other designers can make a pair of earrings similar to mine they cannot tell the same story. This is your way of standing out from the crowd. If you are selling online your story is your product description. If you are standing at a show, your story is your conversation with the customer.
Your story doesn’t have to be long and complicated, you aren’t writing a novel. People have short attention spans, sometimes just naming a product is enough. If you aren’t used to selling/telling your story you can start by naming your pieces.