Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ways to Promote Your Jewelry

As you've read in this blog, we've been selling our sea glass jewelry at art fairs and festivals. We've also been selling them on the web at Etsy. Etsy is a large website that hosts stores for artisans, suppliers and vintage sellers. Etsy is an easy way to get your product for sale on the web as they provide the website, simple steps to get started and also a check out/buying cart. I would recommend Etsy to artisans just getting started on the web. You a can see our Etsy store at

Okay, so we are on the internet, but how do people hear about us? Find us? Well, at festivals, we give out our cards which list our Etsy site. We list our site on all our emails underneath our names. This is advertising and a way to promote our sea glass jewelry, but it isn't enough to just be on the internet. The internet is HUGE, so we have to do things to promote our site. First, we joined liked minded sites to promote our Etsy store like Facebook - you can see my Facebook page of Sisters Jewelry Design at there you can like our page and tell others about us. Also I joined a site that promotes Etsy artists called "We Love Etsy," This ning site gives you a home page where you can talk to other artists and/or advertise your work with pictures and comments - like - "hey, look what I just created." We also pay for a small site on Handmade Spark which is a marketing service for people on Etsy. What I like about Handmade Spark is you can find everything we are doing in one place, ie., blogging, shop, twitter etc. You can click on this following url to go see my site on Handmade spark -

Here is a badge they give to you to put on your sites Find My Shop on Handmade Spark then you click on the sign and off you go to my advertising site. There are other sites to promote your website/store on the web and just a few are Linkedin, Stumbleupon, Handmade Artist Hangout and more. You can twitter about your jewelry - promote your work! There are so many ways to promote your art on the web even this blog is a way for me to share and PROMOTE our sea glass jewelry.

You can spend hours promoting your work on the web or you can hire other people to do it for you. You can spend money on Google ads, we haven't done the ads yets because I want to have a website first. Hours and money can be spent on advertising.

We've also tried a few unconventional ways to promote our sea glass jewelry. My sister Shirley belongs to several charities and is often called to help decorate or set up an auction, a dinner, a lunch. Recently, she was involved in a charity where you buy a table and invite friends. Well, often when you buy a table at an event you can decorate it the way you want! Shirley decided to do a center piece of sea shells and our sea glass jewelry. Here are a couple of pictures of the table (sorry about dimness of photo).

Note how the sea glass necklace on a card lays over the napkin or is tied around a star fish.

One man at the table did take a necklace home by mistake - his wife called Shirley the next day to say they had her necklace. Our jewelry wasn't for sale at the event, but everyone at the table got a good look at some of our pieces. You never know when someone needs a gift and will remember something they saw recently - like our sea glass jewelry. You can also contribute a piece of your art to a charity for auction which is a great way to promote your product.

Another way, we advertise our jewelry is by having it in a case at Shirley's Travel agency. The case filled with jewelry sits on a side table and above the case hangs a picture of sea glass jewelry. Sometimes, someone takes a look and/or even buys a piece. Here are a couple photos of Shirley's set up -

The above ideas are just a few ways we are trying to promote our sea glass jewelry. It is an ongoing learning process. We'd love to hear from you readers if you have any suggestions.

Stay tuned as next we tackle creating our own website!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Santa Cruz Sea Glass Festival 2011

Krista Hammond's Booth Santa Cruz Sea Glass

Krista Hammond's collection of Sea Glass

The first weekend of November 2011, found Steve and I heading up to Santa Cruz, California, for the Santa Cruz Sea Glass Festival hosted by Krista Hammond at the Cocoanut Grove on the boardwalk.  This would be our second time attending the festival.  We were excited and the long drive didn't really bother us.  After checking into our hotel, we headed to the Cocoanut Grove - .  

At the Grove, we found our space and quickly set up displays.  We would keep the jewelry with us and set it the following morning.  We strolled the room and met up with some other sea glass artists that we'd met at other shows like Joan the Surfer and Don The Beachcomber.  Here's a picture of Joan setting up their booth.

Joan setting up Don The Beachcomber Booth

Joan is a really fun person and I'd met her up at the Fort Bragg Festival earlier in the year.  At Santa Cruz she gave me a sea glass marble which I cherish as I've yet to find one myself.  

The next morning we arrived early and started laying out our sea glass jewelry.  The room was a buzz with artists setting up.  Here are a few pictures of vendors getting ready for the day.

Beach Glass Bingo Artists 

Lewis Jewelry

Kira and a friend

Kira and Gary Ruvo have been sea glass friends for awhile and we love seeing them.  You can find Gary's work at    Gary is a very talented silversmith and both Steve and I are in awe of his work.   Kira is a talented graphic artist and sea glass beachcomber.  She has found wonderful sea glass including vaseline glass which you use a black light to see the colors.  This year, Kira created a beachcombing kit which sold well.  She also had her sea glass puzzles which are really fun.  

There were 35 amazing sea glass artists at the festival this year.  And here are a few pictures of some of the artists with their displays -

Joyce of Jewelry By Joyce Chadderdon
Victoria Roberts' Angels

We met Victoria up in Fort Bragg earlier in the year.  I love her sea glass angels.  So pretty.  You can find Victoria's creations on Etsy.  

On one side of our booth was Mary Jessen who sold handmade soaps.  We talked a lot between customers and I found out that she owns her own farm and raises many of the herbs and flowers used in her soaps.  Here is a link to Mary's site where she sells her soaps, and much more - .  
Victoria Roberts at Mary's booth

Now for a few shots of our booth - Sisters Jewelry Design -

Earring Board and necklaces

The other side of booth with pendants and necklaces

Closeup of Shirley's Crochet Necklaces

It was a fun weekend.  We sold a lot of sea glass jewelry, saw some old friends and made some new ones.  We had planned to eat out every night with some other sea glass vendors, but both Friday and Saturday nights everyone, including us, were too tired to make a party.  Krista Hammond who put on the festival treated everyone to appetizers on Saturday night which everyone enjoyed.  Steve and I ended up alone for dinner all weekend, but hey, that was good too.  Twice we ate at the FireFish Restaurant on the pier.  The seafood was excellent - try them if you are in Santa Cruz -    Monday, we were back on the road heading to Palm Springs.  

Next we decide to create a web page of our own.  Will we hire someone?  Or try to create a website on our own?  Come back to find out what we learn and what we do.  

Click on side with pictures of our sea glass to go to our Etsy website.  

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bend Art Festival - Don't Quit

From Ashland, Oregon, we traveled to Sunriver, Oregon near Bend. We had a few days on the river before the weekend art festival in Bend, so we took advantage of the free time and went fishing on the Deschutes River which flowed right outside the cabin. Steve was in heaven, he could fish all day and into the night which he did. Sometimes, you have to leave the jewelry making behind and just relax in nature. It is Shirley and Pat's cabin and they came up to the river on Thursday with our Mother Jane in tow. Two of Shirley's kids came over to the cabin too and we all had a fun dinner laughing and talking to family - a big part of what Sisters Jewelry Design is all about. I've mentioned in earlier posts that Shirley and I started our company as way to spend more time together doing something we love - collecting sea glass and making jewelry.

On Friday afternoon, July 8th, we headed into Bend, a half hour drive from Sunriver, to set up our booth. If festival organizers give you an afternoon before the festival to set up, do it as it will save you time and aggravation on the day of the festival. And we got there right on time, as we'd just had the experience of being late to set up in Ashland (see earlier post). We got to the street, found our spot and pulled the SUV into the lane to unload. It was tricky as the there were booths running down both sides of the road and in the middle. We had a middle space. Needless to say, there was a lot of careful driving between the booths already set up and anxious vendors yelling "don't get to close to my table, etc."

Here is a shot of a bench sculpture that is at the corner where we'd turn in to set up our booth.

And here is a picure of the street where we set up our booth. Our booth is the fourth one down in the middle. This picture gives you and idea how close the booths were. Because, we were in the middle of the street, we set up using only the two sides of the tent that connected with the other tents, so customers could walk through the tent. The walk through idea is good in that no matter which side people walk they can enter from either side. The bad or downside of this type of set up is that often people just cut through your space to get to the other walkway. In the future, if posssible, I'd prefer to have a space on either side and not in the middle. There are pros and cons for either placement.

Here is a shot of Steve looking down the street from our tent.

It was a bright sunny day and it got hotter as the day progressed, which is another reason to worry about where your booth is placed. Sometimes, you don't get to choose where your booth is situated, but if you have the choice take into account - weather, foot traffic, light If you are indoors, you'll notice that people enter and usually turn right so a good spot for your tables would be to the right of the door. We watch the flow of traffic and are still trying to figure this all out. There is psychology behind how people move through a room or down a street. Think long and hard about product placement.

Here is a shot looking through our tent.

As you looked through our tent to the other side you could see a vendor playing a long guitar and selling cd's. I don't know what it is but we can't seem to get away from these music men. This man was nicer, but after two days of listening to his music all day long it got old. The first time, he took a break, I thought great, a little quiet, but then he loaded his cd into a player and we got more music. I don't want to ever hear "Greensleeves," again or "Free Bird." Also crowds would gather in front of his booth blocking the walkway which did little to let traffic into our booth. Here is a picture of my mother Jane and Shirley's husband Pat - in the background you can see the music vendor. Bend was a two day art festival that covered four blocks of art, crafts, stores and food. And the days were long, going until 7 at night. After the first long day and without many sales, we thought about not coming back for Sunday's sale. It had been really hot and really discouraging. As we drove back to the cabin at Sunriver, we talked for ten minutes about quitting , then for the next twenty minutes we talked about why we should go back on Sunday - we were there, we'd paid for two days and sales might get better.

Sunday dawned bright and early. We were out the door by 6:15 and heading into Bend. It was going to be another hot day. After setting up our displays again, we took turns going to Starbucks for coffee. We talked to other vendors and looked at other people's wares. There were some really fine artists at the festival. I wanted to buy a copper salmon sculpture, but Steve pointed out that we hadn't sold enough to cover the cost. I ended up buying a photograph of a river scene in Oregon from the vendor across from us. Then we got down to business. Again, the sun started to beat down without mercy. There were lots of people, but mostly lookey-loos. By lunchtime, we were discouraged again, having made only one sale. Shirley was still smiling, but she was no longer standing. The day trudged on with a few people saying they'd come back. You hear that a lot, but don't count on it. Our boredom was high. We talked Steve into watching the booth and Shirley and I walked the blocks then stopped for an icy blended drink. We ate cookies, we talked on the phone - anything to make the time go faster. Finally, around 4:30 a young woman came into our booth, she'd visited earlier. Well, now she was ready to buy. She bought a sea glass pendant and then her mother arrived and she bought one too. They had barely left the booth when another woman with her daughter came into the booth and started buying and buying and buying. She wanted gifts to give all of her girls and some friends too. She bought pendants and necklaces. She bought more in that last hour than we'd sold Saturday and all of Sunday. She made our day which is why I've titled this piece "Don't Quit." Sometimes, you have to wait to the very end to make sales. And sometimes, those lookey-loos do come back after seeing everything else at the festival. So don't quit when the going gets tough. Sea glass pendants - one in sterling, one in gold filled wire. On top a sea glass necklace with sterling wire wrapped pendant. You can find us on Etsy at ttp://

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lesson Learned - A Mean Music Man

July 4, 2011 found us at the Ashland, Oregon Art Festival in Lithia Park. Yes, we did this festival last year. Not a big money maker, but we like the setting and the people - at least we did until this year. Or I should say, we like the people, except for one busybody vendor and a mean Music Man.

We got to the park a little late, but still early enough to unload and get the car out before the 8:00 deadline of moving the car. Drove right up to our assigned space, the same one we'd had last year, jumped out and stopped dead in our tracks. There was a scruffy young man with an odd looking modified guitar, amplifiers, tables and chairs in our space. Shirley walked up to the Music man and introduced herself, then pointed out that he was in our space - a space we'd paid for and reserved. He went into a story about how he'd traded spaces with another vendor up the line and her space was next to ours, but since we weren't there, he'd taken it upon himself to take our space. About this time, this older woman vendor-busybody comes along all smiles and cheerily tells us that she "thought" it would be fine to let the Music Man have our space.

Well, it wasn't fine with us. We wanted our space and we wanted him to move down the row to the space he'd exchanged with the busybody vendor. Well, he wasn't about to move - telling us that up the line, further into the park, there were a lot of spaces and we could go there. Everyone was getting angry. Finally, an official from the festival came and she tried to calm everyone down and offered us a two space spot further up. Shirley and I didn't want to go up the line of vendors as we wanted our spot. Steve stepped in and said, "Let's move up there." I could tell Steve was upset and he would get more upset if he had to spend the day next to the Music Man. So reluctantly, we moved our stuff up the line. In the meantime, while we were talking to the official, the Music Man slipped off and hid making it impossible to get him to move.
A couple of days later, we learned from a friend that they hadn't walked all the way up the line of vendors, but had turned around where we had our booth the year before. We could understand as it was a hot day and after the parade and walking up past food booths, some people in the park didn't check out all the booths. Lesson learned - don't get to the festival late - get there early to make sure no one takes your spot. (I am glad we didn't have to spend the day next to the Music Man as later when I walked by he was playing some sort of musak on his modified guitar and I'm not sure I'd classify it as music.) Our booth ended up being across from the hat vendor - nice people who did a brisk business. We set up our tables and took up two spaces as we were assigned.

Here we are looking a bit frazzled after setting up the booth. It was early and the sun hadn't hit our side of the park at this point. Later we would wish we were still in the shade. Shirley sold some of her sea glass pendants.

And I sold some of my sea glass earrings -

So all in all, it was a good show - despite learning a hard lesson from a mean Music Man. Next, we are off to an art Festival in Bend, Oregon where we meet up with another fellowing playing and selling his music.

Please check out our store on Etsy at for more sea glass jewelry.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Second Fort Bragg Sea Glass Festival

On May 27, 2011, we drove up to Fort Bragg, California for our second sea glass festival at Captain Cass's Sea Glass Museum - It is a long drive from Palm Springs as Fort Bragg is several hours past San Francisco. We finally got to our motel and unloaded, then hit the beach. The coastline in Fort Bragg is strewn with cliffs and rocks. There is one sandy beach near where we go, but the best glass beaches are the ones you climb down the rocks to the beach below. One of the very best glass beaches is accessible by climbing, but it is off limits and posted with no trespassing signs. I really wanted to go there, but with my luck I would have been ticketed so we kept to the other sites. We picked up glass for about an hour then headed back to the motel. It'd been a long day and we were starved. The first night we ate at a wonderful restaurant called Chapter & Moon. It is a small place with a tiny staff and you have a view of the harbor. The food is to die for - homemade breads, grilled salmon, fresh seafood and huge garden fresh salads - located at 32150 N. Harbor Dr. (S. Main St.)Fort Bragg, CA 95437.

At the restaurant, we started talking to a couple next to our table, telling them about the next day's sea glass festival. And we asked the restaurant owner if they'd heard of the festival. No one had heard or seen anything about the festival which wasn't a good sign. We'd asked earlier at the motel if they knew about the festival and they hadn't heard of it either. Yikes, no advertising. We knew the town was full of weekenders - all the hotels and motels were full, but would anyone come? We went off to bed hoping the weather would be nice in the morning and the festival would draw a crowd.

The next day, we arrived at the museum grounds and Captain Cass told us we'd be one of six vendors. He also told us he was putting up a sign which could be seen from the highway. Hmmm. Was that it for the advertising? Well, we didn't have time to worry as we had to set up our tent and put out our displays. As you can see from the picture, the day started out nice - blue skies and sun. More about weather in a bit. Here are some pictures of the tents of the other vendors -

This is a shot of Tammy Sue Davis. You can find her on the web at Tammy lives in Fort Bragg and she finds the most wonderful glass. She is an artisan who creates sea glass jewelry and accessories. I love her dog collars with sea glass.

Next to Tammy's tent was a vendor named Victoria Roberts, who does custom designs, repairs and instruction. She makes the most beautiful crocheted bracelets with wire and delicate sea glass earrings. You can find her on the web at You can just see Victoria on the stool in the blue sweatshirt. The husbands were standing around chatting about the weather or whatever.

The end booth belonged to Don the Beachcomber and Surfer Joan. Both fun people and great artisans. They live in Santa Cruz and you can find their jewelry in shops there and at the famous Santa Cruz sea glass festival. Don does a lot of bevel work with sea glass and silver. Joan makes the loveliest sea glass rings in silver. On our last morning in Fort Bragg, Joan and I sat on the beach talking and picking up sea glass - it was fun.

I don't know what happened, but I didn't get a picture of Wendy Craig, another vendor who came all the way from New Jersey for the show. She had made incredible necklaces with marbles she'd found at the beach back east. Really delightful work. You can see her work at - really worth a look.

I also didn't get a picture of the couple next to us - Pete and Kim of Sea Glass Essentials. We'd met them at another sea glass festival and they are the nicest people as well as being great artisans. Take a look at their work at

We all got set up and a few customers started arriving as did the rain. Luckily, we all had tents and could keep semi dry. And we certainly appreciated the customers who came and braved the rain. We made a few sales, but by noon, everyone was packing up and leaving. Wendy from New Jersey decided to stick it out and so did Capt. Cass, but he was inside a nice warm building. My feet were wet and I was getting cold, so we packed up our jewelry and headed to the motel. We had just finished lunch when I saw that the sun had come back out. So Steve and I decided we should go back to our tent and set up again - which we did and stayed open until 5 pm. I don't think we made another sale, but we felt good about trying - which meant being there.

A shot of Steve looking at our inventory. (I think this was taken in the morning, before the rain.)

That night we went to Silvers at the Wharf. A large commercial restaurant down by the harbor. Good food with a full bar which is what you need after a day of rain - stops and starts.

Sunday started off with overcast skies. Gray clouds and a slight wind. I prayed it wouldn't rain. I should have prayed the wind didn't pick up which it did in the afternoon. It got so windy by late afternoon that Tammy's tent was blowing over as was Wendy's. Our earrings on cards were flying off the displays. Again, the others left, but we stuck it out with Wendy from New Jersey. Finally, the wind got so bad and it was late, we packed up. Captain Cass said we could come and sell again on Monday which was the holiday, but we were done. We went down to the beach again and braved the wind, but I was all bundled up and ready for a typhoon. Dinner was at Chapter & Moon again as we both love the food there. Monday morning, hit the beach again where I ran into Joan and we chatted as we picked up sea glass. She was looking for a marble for me as I've never found one. She didn't find one and to this day, I still haven't found a marble at the beach. Here are a few shots of some of the sea glass and pottery pieces I did find -

As you can see brown sea glass is very common and plentiful as is white.

Driving back to Palm Springs seemed like a long haul to do in one day, like our trip up to Fort Bragg, so we stopped way down the coast at Shell Beach which is next to Pismo beach and only 2 hours from Los Angeles. And of course, once we found a motel, we had to run right down to the beach. Here are a couple of shots of Shell Beach, another beach you have to hike down too the sand.There were no shells or sea glass on Shell Beach. Maybe it was the wrong time of year? We had a lot of fun on our sea glass festival weekend - ate some good food, made new friends and sold some of our sea glass jewelry. Here is a shot of one of our new designs to look at until I get back to blogging about our next adventure. (Sea glass from Fort Bragg - sterling wire and sterling mermaid charm)

Find us at

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On The Road Again

It is that time again - summer art festivals. So we are hitting the road on Thursday to drive up to Fort Bragg. Captain Cass of the Sea Glass Museum in Fort Bragg is holding his annual sea glass festival on Saturday, May 28 through May 29, 2011, from 10 to 6. Fort Bragg is on the Mendocino coast above San Francisco. A beautiful drive, if a bit winding. Here's a great site that tells you little bit about Mendocino and northern coastal towns - href=

So yesterday and today, I'm packing sea glass jewelry in boxes and making sure I have all the seller tools in another box like pens, order forms, cards etc.
The above picture is a new design of Jasper coin beads, sterling silver balls and white sea glass wrapped in sterling wire.

Hmm, yes, this is an odd picture of a sea glass necklace on a large shell. I was trying to get artsy. But really, a straight on shot would have been better, don't you think? Anyway, this is another new design using pink pearls, abalone coins, and sterling silver wire wrapped pale blue sea glass.

My sister and the other half of Sisters Jewelry Design, Shirley, is sending down more sea glass jewelry from Medford, Oregon where she lives and works. Last year, we met at Fort Bragg to do the festival together, but she can't make it this year. She did do a festival for us at Art in Bloom on Mother's Day weekend which was a big success. Still it would be fun if she was coming, but c'est la vie.

Tomorrow, we will pack our truck with tables, tablecloths, chairs, a tent, jewelry boxes, displays and other items we will need for the two day festival. And, even though I made a list, I will hope that I haven't forgotten anything.

I'll leave you with a new design of sea glass earrings. Back next week with adventures from the road and the festival.

You can find our store at

Facebook at!/pages/Sisters-Jewelry-Design/328818121698