Lee in his Jewelry Studio

I mentioned in my January 30th “Snow Days-Planning Time” post that we were participating in an online seminar series for jewelry designers. While the final session was several weeks ago, the follow-up from those in the group has continued.

What, you ask, do jewelry designers talk about? Lots of stuff is the short answer. All the usual concerns of those in business—serving customers, pricing for a fair profit, keeping product in stock, etc.

Most of us in the seminar group had one thing in common: we are small independent businesses designing, making and selling handmade jewelry. Yes, some have their designs mass-produced, and some only do custom work for high-end clients.

What did we glean from the seminar? Two things: A second look at the wonderful folks who buy, wear, and give our jewelry as gifts. Why do they shop for handmade jewelry? Why do they buy from us? What else should we design and offer that will meet their needs?

The second thing? All of us making handmade—individually and collectively—need to “tell our handmade story”. We all have an “About Us” page on our web site, and web statistics and customers tell us that page is important. But there appears to be a renewed interest to tell the story of a business that makes handmade goods.

So what has been our response to analyzing our customers and telling our story?

Our customers buy from us because they know us—friends of friends, word of mouth and a referral to our web site. They appreciate the quality of handmade. They appreciate the value our products offer—a fair and reasonable price for quality jewelry. They value excellent design—contemporary, yet timeless. They value good selection—colors that will go with many outfits as well as offerings in their “favorite” color.

What about our response to “telling your story”?

We had decided before the seminar series that we wanted to expand our brand visibility and add an Etsy store (www.etsy.com/shop/LeeBuchananJewelry) in addition to our own website. Once the Etsy store was open, it was time to add the “About” page. Ah—the time had come to revise, update and tell our full, handmade beaded jewelry story and add some photos of Lee at work in his studio on our About pages on both of our web sites.

In addition to the photo of Lee above, here’s Our Story in our new Etsy shop:

Lee examines a necklace

Lee Buchanan Jewelry--Timeless Jewelry Design ®

In the mid 1990’s, we began as Heritage Visual Arts, Inc. Our goal was to promote Lee’s artistic endeavors under our corporate HVA business umbrella. Our adventures include fine art, commercial art, and handmade beaded jewelry.

Lee’s interest in beaded jewelry evolved from his artistic interest in color, light, form and texture. We both had fond memories of jewelry that our mothers wore, and I have a charming necklace that I had as a young child.

A couple books on making jewelry, some web research, a visit to a regional bead show, and our jewelry adventure began. Lee’s focus was on design, and applying his expertise with color, texture and form to creating his unique style of jewelry.

My learning curve involved a new language of gemstone names and meanings, bead types and styles, and an understanding of the many and varied “findings” that are necessary to construct a necklace, bracelet or earrings.

Family and friends offered encouragement, and our new jewelry adventure came into being as Buchanan Family Jewelry, part of Heritage Visual Arts, Inc.

We currently offer a wide variety of necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Many are available as three piece matching sets. All clasps and earwires are sterling silver or gold-filled. Lee incorporates Swarovski crystals into many of his designs, as their variety and quality are well-known. You’ll find semi-precious stones and pearls in some pieces. Lee continues to explore new and different types of beads and stones.

You’ll find announcements about new products in our Shop Announcement area and in our blog. (End of About Us on Etsy.)

***ANNOUNCEMENT***

Since tomorrow is April 1st—April Fool’s Day, we’re offering special Family Value Coupons on both of our web sites.

Visit www.buchaanfamilyjewelry.com and enter Coupon Code AprilRabbit and get 10% off all of our regular price items.

Visit www.etsy.com/shop/LeeBuchananJewelry, enter Coupon Code APRILRABBIT and get 10% off all products in our store. We accept Etsy Gift Cards, too!

In summary–we value our customers, we’ve shared our story, and announced Family Value Coupons—no fooling!

As always, we value your comments. Thanks for visiting with us!

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