Sunday, March 14, 2010

I love semi precious stones-Peridots

I must have inherited the love of precious and semi precious stones from my father. I know he loves all kind of precious stones. Although, like me, he was an accountant, he spends all of his free time reading up on the properties of these stones. He does extensive research on where to buy the best stones and how to identify them. He is the one who told me that untreated ruby, on a wholesale price, should cost approximately $4k for approximately 0.75 carat.  I have been on a quest ever since to get myself an untreated Burmese pigeon red ruby!

Although I do love the luster and brilliance of diamonds, colored stones do have a large place in my heart. Of all the stones I have seen Peridots and Blue Topaz are right at the top on my favourite list. Blue Topaz, admittedly because they are my birthstones. Well faceted Peridots are beautiful. See the pieces below:
These stones come to live in both florescent lights and natural light. Although sunlight lays claim to be the best for all natural stones, the ubiquitous light bulb does justice to the Peridots. I can't say the same for other stones light Blue Topaz or Garnets.
The second picture of the two pendants set made of Peridots  was taken under direct sunlight. It doesn't look worse than the picture of the necklace taken under florescent light. In comparison, the mystic pink quartz earrings comes alive under direct sunlight. Picture paints a 1000 words goes the saying. These earrings sold almost immediately after I put up these pictures. Maybe I should take more pictures under the direct sunlight.

I plan on purchasing more Peridots as I am very much partial to them. I am going to make myself a complete necklace, earrings and a bracelet set!

Tell  me which stones appeal to you. Was there a time you bought stones to make jewelry and ended up keeping them for yourself? I think I might do the same with these.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is this business making sense?

Bought some beautiful bags to sell a few months ago when I went to India. They are intricately designed and expensive. I am still contemplating starting my own business selling imported tops and accessories in addition to selling handmade jewelry, I don't know if starting along the lines of Etsy is the way to go. It has been a good 3 weeks since I listed my first item. No sales. At all. I have been active in forums, blogging, facebook and pass-the-word advertising. Still no sales. Is that an indication that I should not proceed with a full blown website? It is very hard to persevere in the face of possible failure. Is it a failure? Yet? That is the true question bothering me. Am I being too hard on myself? Am I doing all the right things? Maybe the market is saturated to the extent that there is absolutely no room for more. Or my designs and products are not attractive enough to bring in sales. I have to keep asking myself if this is true. Being honest is difficult. But to truly succeed, I have to be honest.

Had I opened a proper store I would still advertise. I would also need  a website. I would have attracted walk-ins. I might have made a sale or two by now. The crowd I am truly trying to attract is sprinkled across the globe. So I can't deny the benefits of having a website. Is Etsy the way to go is my major question.

From the beginning I knew that my designs and pieces are not going to blow anyone away. And based on what I have seen among jewelers in Etsy, very few really are good. So, being honest, I can't say I lose out in terms of the actual product itself. In fact, what I am offering is of a much higher quality than what is being sold in many of these stores. So why then is it taking this long to get a sale?

Monday, March 8, 2010

I have finally taken better pictures!

Finally, I have taken somewhat better pictures. I also downloaded the program called GIMP which is a free software. It is an excellent program that performs similar functions as photoshop. For some reason, GIMP is identified as a Remote Access Trojan by my firewall. I keep getting warning messages about this program being a RAT.I hope this is truly not the case. I downloaded the software from the original site. But these days one can never tell.

All that aside, my pictures have definitely improved significantly. Hopefully this is an indication of better things to come. Time will tell. I have to persevere.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

New friends on etsy

I have found new friends it seems among the Etsians. A group of Etsians have come together to join a group to provide help and assistance to fellow members. I am very happy and proud to have their support. I am trying to be a part of the team too. So hopefully, I can make this "Help Road" a two way street! Hmm.. I thought and thought of what I can bring to the table and I realised that the best I can contribute is in the form of my professional expertise. Isn't that a tad bit ironic. Being a CPA may indeed come useful! Funny how life works. Maybe I shouldn't despise my profession so much. I mean if it can help others why not! YAY!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lessons learnt. on Day 1

What have I learned on the first day of setting up business? Ah.. the lessons are too many. Hopefully, not too painful.

Lessons as follows:
1. Everybody makes jewelry too. How am I setting myself apart.
2. Take close up pictures to show details. Pictures need to be much brighter.
3. If you want more people to see your products, you have to ADVERTISEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

I asked my fellow Etsians and was told the following ways to be the best:-

1. Buy a showcase spot in etsy to improve exposure.
2. Blog about it.
3. Create a facebook group.
4. Include the name of the shop and the facebook group in emails as signatures.
5. Get involved in forums, local craft workshops,etc.

Fine. all of these are good advise. But if I know this, doesn't EVERYONE else also know this? If everyone is ALSO doing this... how am I setting myself apart again?
Sigh.. This is going to be really difficult. However, I have to try.

So action plan:
1. Take brighter pictures this weekend.
2. Blogging.. hello.
3. Do have a facebook group- Jabeen's Asian Creation.
4. Can't do email signatures at work. Will lose job...Not quite ready for that! So private emails only.
5. Getting involved in etsy forums, craigslist and local maker's markets.

So let's see how this goes.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 1 P/L

Hahahaha.. the chances are if you are reading this blog you were searching for guidance on how to account for day 1 profit and loss. You are a trader, accountant, auditor or a true-to-goodness hardworking student... Sorry.. this blog is to document my journey towards my dream. My dream of starting my own business.

I LOVE making jewelry. No pure lapidary but more the basic kind: wire wrap jewelry, costume jewelry, semi precious stones -citrine, amethyst, blue topaz.. you get the drift? Yup that's exactly what I want to do. Make jewelry and sell. As I mentioned elsewhere, I ain't claiming to be the next David Yurman. I know where I stand in terms of jewelry design in the ocean of talented artisans who can put me in my place whenever they want to. I only claim that I can make decent jewelry that is affordable AND pretty. I source the world for the best material. I will walk the length and breadth of Singapore, Bombay, Bangkok or anywhere else I travel to in an attempt to get the best material I can afford. I take this material and make them into simple and elegant jewelry. This hobby has become too expensive to continue. I am like a junkie with a serious addiction she can't break.

So it has come down to two things. Either I start selling what I make to continue to afford doing this or stop this altogether. I can't seem to stop. In the past 9 years since I have been working as an auditor I have been trying to stop. NO GO. I love making jewelry. I want to own my own business. So.. perfect combination ain't it? Time will tell.

I have truly come to the conclusion that I am much better off being a jeweler than an auditor/accountant. I had to ask myself if I can do this. Should I study for the CFA or make jewelry. I have been making jewelry since I asked myself that question. I think I should at least give myself a chance to do this. So.. that's where day 1 p/l comes into place. I have set up shop in Etsy. Day 1.....when this day end, I would know if it is a profit or a loss.

Check out my shop.