Selling handmade jewellery

23 01 2013

Following my exploration of pricing handmade jewellery, I have been considering the options available to sell handmade jewellery.

I’ve been thinking the options available for selling handmade jewellery are:

  • ‘bricks and mortar’ jewellery gallery
  • craft / artisan market(s)
  • commission / out of studio
  • online

I’ve thought and written a lot about the importance and place of the jewellery gallery (the ‘bricks & mortar’ kind) over the last few years [Place of Gallery, Galleries & Artists]. There’s a lot for an artist to consider when entering into an agreement with a gallery (if given the excellent opportunity that is!); including:

  • exclusive collections for each gallery
  • personal policy for referrals for commission approaches
  • agreements on pricing if also selling through other channels

Quite a few friends sell through craft / artisan markets (eg. Markit @ Fed Square, Craft Hatch, Harvest Workroom Fiesta, Melbourne Design Market, Finders Keepers, and more). My thoughts are that this would require quite an investment in stock production, to ensure enough selection at such an event, and stall presentation … and so it’s not really a viable option for me at the moment.

Selling via private commissions, out of your own studio, would be a great option … though really only one for an artist with an established reputation and practice. So perhaps in time … wishing … maybe ….

More realistically – online selling. I’ve noticed the most popular options are Etsy or one’s own website (often powered by BigCartel platform). If you’ve had experience with either of these, please do share your tips for those of us considering entering the fray.

Would you help me?
If you’re a contemporary jewellery maker, would you tell me which method you use to sell (multiple selection is allowed)?

As always, comments are more than welcome!
Especially if you have tips for managing multiple selling channels.

Update: I was thinking about this with respect to non-exhibition (or post-exhibition) jewellery, as exhibitions are almost always bricks & mortar gallery spaces.

Strangely, the day after I drafted this post (days before I published it of course!), there was an article in The Age on crafting and how to sell jewellery! Amazing how these things just collect in the minds of like-minded people yes? …


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