As time goes on, all jewelry makers become acutely aware of the need to pull in and tighten up. They must progress and learn to brand their work by making it recognizable. They need to think hard about who their key customer is and what that customer would want....and how they can provide that for them. That goes not only to the work itself but the way we present our work.
This is why once a year for three months, I present the BUILD A LINE MASTER CHALLENGE CLASS. Via this class you will discover there may well be new and better ways to make money with your jewelry design, than what you are currently doing.
You don't necessarily have to stop doing the repurposing thing or the one of a kind thing.
BUT! you may need to become more cohesive in your work, understand your inventory better and also, explore the possibilities of being able to reproduce a few of the things you make. If you can learn to do that, you will make more money for the time you spend, and you will grow your brand.
I know how to do this because I DID do it. I had a line of jewelry that was sold nationally to approximately 500 accounts in the 90's, for the better part of a decade. The line was handmade, and I used the same supplies then ---that I sell, now. We grew rapidly and we stayed in the black.
Somehow in my gut, I got the concept of building a line. No one taught me how. I had my hits and I had my misses.....If I was do what I did then, again, today....there is not a whole lot I'd change except the misses! Amazingly, I find that all of the principles still apply.
The badge above is from last year and shortly we'll have a new one for the 2017 class. Sign ups will commence Monday, November 14, 2016. I hope to have 35 active participants in the class, although I will conduct it if there are only 25. Usually we fill the class fairly quickly, but this year I will take applications up until a week before class begins on January 9, 2017.
Also joining us for class will be last year's best in class winner, Erin Whitacre. A few alumni from previous years will be serving as judges, monitors, mentors and admins for the class. Those serving as such will only speak in class on select "Judges Weekends". The rest of the time they will be silent. They will not be participating in the day to day activities or required blog hops, but they will be reading along.
Last year I created a line along with the students, which you see in the first photo. THIS YEAR: I will be pulling together a line of proprietary findings, which is a whole different animal! Students will get to be privy to that process as well as offer their opinions on choices for the line.
TO APPLY FOR THE CLASS:
1. The class will start January 9 and go through April 12, 2017. There will be two blog hops, February 10, 2017 and March 31, 2017. Previously there were three but we've cut that back to allow more time for students to work on their lines without having to meet that extra deadline. SO: because we have blog hops as part of the class exercise, YOU MUST HAVE A WORKING, FUNCTIONING BLOG when you apply for the class.
The hops may NOT be missed. They are vital to the class. Sadly, if you do not participate in the hops, you will not be allowed to continue the class.
2. You must also have simple knowledge of a photo editing program like PicMonkey, Picassa or even some forms of Photoshop. I use PicMonkey, it is so simple and intuitive, there are tutorials in the program and it's made for 'dummies'. You must know how to make a photo collage for the class as we use the collages as tools in our studies.
3. You must choose a theme. I will not accept more than two students with the same sort of theme. So when you apply, choose three if possible, so if yours is taken, you can do something different.
Only FIVE prototype jewelry items made in that theme AS A LINE must be made. Some make far more, that's up to them, we love to see them all. But you only HAVE to do FIVE. They must ALL be made inside your theme, in a cohesive way. You will learn more about that in class.
4. You do have to use some items from http://www.bsueboutiques.com B'sue Boutiques, the sponsoring website, in your work. It doesn't have to be all B'sue down to the last jump ring, but you must include visible pieces. They can be pieces you already own and have ready in your workshop or they can be new ones you might want to purchase. You will be invited to use your own special skills or techniques to make your line, there are no restrictions on the techniques you use.
Your use of our product is one of the reasons why a three-month master class that demands a great deal of my attention can be offered for so little. Similar classes elsewhere would cost 3 or 4 times as much.
5. Class fee is 100.00 for new students, 75.00 for alumni who would like to repeat. Payment can be by PayPal or by credit card. If you want to use a credit card to pay for the class, please tell me in your application so that arrangements can be made to get your payment. Otherwise, please provide the email you use at PayPal to make billing you efficient. All fees must be paid within 48 hours of acceptance.
There is a new provision this year as well. Some folks are really interested in this process but are worried their schedules may not permit them to make the deadlines, or just don't feel they can get a blog ready right now.
I will accept three auditing students for the class this year. These students will be put into our virtual classroom at Facebook and be allowed to view all the class chapters or modules. They will be able to see all the feed and observe the process. They will not participate in the exercises and they will not be permitted to speak in class or ask questions in class. They will be completely silent. The charge to audit is 125.00. I am charging more because truly, this class is nothing without active participants. So if you are not going to participate fully, you will need to pay the 125.00 fee.
6. You must be a member of The B'sue Boutiques Creative Group
SENDING THE APPLICATION
Starting Monday morning, November 14, 2016 you will send your application to me by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
No Facebook messages or applying by phone, please. Just send to email@example.com Thanks!
1. Name and PayPal email address for payment.
If you will be paying by credit card, let us know and we can work that out by phone when you are accepted.
3. Phone number
4. Website if you have one (not mandatory to have a website!)
5. Blog URL (a URL being your blog's internet address)
6. Name of the photo editing program you use and assurance that you can use it to make a photo collage.
7. your theme for the challenge....ideas:
Will your line be a fashion line? Victorian, vintage, Art Deco, geometric, shapes, a certain color palette (I did Chocolate Frosting last year) Boho, Retro, Minimalist, Rockabilly, Steampunk etc are ideas
Will your line be a gift line? Dogs, cats, animals, jewelry for nurses, jewelry for teachers, Sister jewelry, BFF jewelry, charm jewelry, locket jewelry, chain jewelry etc,coffee, tea, wine jewelry.
Think outside the box and see what you come up with. It's great to make pretty, eye-catching jewelry, but when you do that and it has a theme/purpose as well it almost always sells better.
For help, explore some of the themes people are using in their Etsy shops!
This is a theme done last year by Erin Whitacre:
And a theme done by Marica Zammit:
Just a few of Marcia Tuzzolino's Bloomin' Tulips:
Hopefully those visuals get the ideas flowing.
I don't have this year's syllabus written yet, but you might like to review last year's. Just remember, this year we are only doing two blog hops and the curriculum will contain a few extra modules to consider, and be more refined.
And, you might like to read Tammy Adams' blog post about her Build a Line experience:
Once you are accepted to the class...and I will let you know quickly! You will make your payment and then I will go ahead and place you in the Build a Line virtual classroom at Facebook. You will be able to use the time before class begins to scroll back through the feed from last year. That way you will get quite a look at how things move along. Also, the current modules are stored there in the FILES section. Some will be revised before we do them in class, but you can read ahead a little.
One point I must make about the modules in class: they are for your use ONLY, they may not be copied by link and shared elsewhere on the internet. The material is all copyrighted material. You may, however, print them out to put in your own personal journal.
AND! there's a BIG benefit to graduating from this class: Upon closure of each year's class, everyone who finishes the class work will be placed in a special ALUMNI group. This is a tiny group of folks who have already taken the class. Our discussions continue casually, there. And, all the modules are also housed at this group. Right now there are only about 77 members, but all have taken the class.
I'll be looking for your application on Monday, November 14, 2016!