Selling Jewelry to Niche Markets – Polymer Clay Bead Making Tips

Polymer Clay Spoon Jewelry

Too Much Competition At Your Local Craft Fair? Focus On Niche Marketing Instead!

Are you feeling like a little fish in a big sea when it comes to selling your jewelry designs?

Well, you’re not the only one!

Over the last few years, competition in the handmade jewellery and bead making business has gotten fierce. A few years ago, if you sold your own handcrafted jewelry, especially polymer clay beads, at a craft fair… you were the only one. Now you are one of many.

Yesterday, I received a comment about that very problem from Tina Holden, a veteran in the polymer clay bead industry. Her comment was in regards to some tips I published for home based jewelry business owners to beat the bad economy.

Great advice Cindy! As always, your experience and tips are not only helpful, but positive and uplifting.

I just wrote an article in a beaders group about the negative side to beading, how much competition there is today, compared to just 10 or 15 years ago.

My focus was mainly on the Corporate magazine industry, how they create more subscribers, how much they know about their subscribers, and how many more new beaders they create on a regular basis.

It’s very hard to stay ahead, not just with the down-turn of the economy, but keeping up with the competition. Galleries, shops, markets and fairs include more jewellers than ever. Beads are a drug! lol

~Tina-H

I know exactly what Tina is talking about and have also been concerned about the increasing levels competition in the marketplace. So what are some things you can do to survive and even thrive?

Well one way to compete is to NOT compete at all! Obviously I’m saying that kind of tongue in cheek. But it is to make a point.

So how do you NOT compete? One way is to market at venues and shows where the theme has nothing to do with jewelry. This way it is unlikely there will be other vendors at the event with anything remotely similar to what you are offering.

Contrast this to traditional craft fairs where there is pretty much guaranteed to be lots of direct competition.

But you have to play it smart. And by this I mean you have to create niche products that will be of interest to those attending the event.

Some examples would be: Selling dog theme jewelry at a dog trade show; Grapes and vineyard fashion accessories at a wine tasting event; Golfware at the driving and putting expo; Gardeners things; Herbalists; Travel Industry; etc., etc., etc..

You can even narrow your niche down further by choosing to only make jewelry for Chocolate Lab puppy owners, for example. Can you imagine how successful you would be as the only seller at the Chocolate Lab Convention with earrings that look just like the attendee’s pets?

If model trains are your thing, how about making polymer clay image transfers of vintage steam engines for pendants and key chains to sell at the next train conventions? Really the ideas are endless if you start thinking outside of the box.

One of my students knows very much about the successes you can have making beads for a niche market. Being a rose enthusiast, Bren sells her rose pendant jewelry to other rose enthusiasts with great success. You can read about this success story here: Selling Rose Pendent Jewelry On Etsy

Some venue ideas for selling rose spoon pendant jewelry such as the one pictured above, are: Flower shows, antique furniture sales, or even in a specialty tea shoppe.

Why not sit down and take a good look at what you make as a jewelry designer and see if there is an interesting niche that you could fit into. Let me know what you come up with, by leaving a comment below!

 

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


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Comments

  1. Hi Cindy: I view your site as my own personal polymer clay guild as I am not able to get out to join one that is local to me. I truly appreciate being given the opportunity to be a member of your “club”. Thanks so much for everything that you are doing. I am learning so much more than I ever would on my own. Warmest regards.

  2. Here are some more niches to think about: chocolate makers, bakeries, skiers, cat owners, birds, dragons, fairies, geekery, trekkies, harry potter fans, miniaturists, fast food, doctors/dentists/nurses, kids, babies, vintage cars, rock and roll, music, skateboarders, steampunk, etc.

  3. Hi Cindy, I am new to Polymer Clay Jewelry and just fascinated by your tutorials. You are so full of wonderful helpful information. I am trying to take it all in. I am retired and not ready to get old. I have so many ideas, my mind is overflowing. I just found you today, November 16, 2008 reading about your recipes for color. Is it too late to join your membership club? I will be checking on your website daily. Thank you so much. Dianne

  4. Hi Dianne,

    I am so glad you found the site and that the information is fascinating for you. The wealth of things you can do with polymer clay will definitely keep you from getting old!

    In regards to the membership club, you are definitely welcome to join. I plan on tutoring from many many years to come. Follow the link by my name above to the sign up page.

    And since you are new to polymer clay, you also may be interested in the Polymer Clay Basics Course. This is where many of my present students got started.

  5. Cindy,

    Thank you so much for the free videos!

    Do you have any video’s on how to make polymer clay babies, fairies, dolls, etc.

    Ev

  6. No tutorials on clay babies, fairies and dolls at this time, Ev. But if you are brand new to polymer clay, my Polymer Clay Beginners Course will be very helpful in getting you up to speed with everything you need to know about the basics of working with clay… no matter what you end up wanting to make. The link by my name will provide you feedback about the Beginners Course from students who have already been through it.

  7. Enjoying all of the info here on the web-site. My mother and I have a polymer clay jewelry and accessory store in Cleveland, TN. Business has been slow of late. We have a good inventory and do a lot of “special orders”. Any ideas of how to promote a small business such as ours? Thank you, Regina Williams.

    • @Regina Williams: Hi Regina, I don’t know much about small businesses. But, I was wondering — do you have a website? If you add your URL to the comment section, it will allow all of us members to visit your site and see what you have to offer…

  8. Sorry, Regina, that sounded a bit weird, didn’t it? It sounded like I wanted us to be able to find out what YOU have to offer, when what I meant was your store. I was thinking along the lines of seeing pictures of your jewelry, what clays and tools you carry, if you have online ordering, etc., as well as the name of your store. Sorry that came off sounding so strange…

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