Why aren't my creations selling?

Does it surprise you at all when that piece of jewelry you're most proud of sits in your shop and doesn't sell for weeks, or months on end?

Artisans, like musicians, generally create pieces that are stylistically similar, or share a common theme. The challenge for both is to get a new creation into the hands (or ears) of those who share the same appreciation of a particular style. It's a bit unrealistic to think that you could peddle an Andy Gibb album at a Megadeth concert, but I believe it's possible to cross stylistic boundaries in your online shop if you create different items that share a common color theme or design style. This is important because you're bound to have people who appreciate many different types of styles find their way into your shop. If you only make green leafy earrings, for example, and a customer stumbles into your shop looking for blue leafy earrings, you've just lost a potential customer. Similarly, if they are looking for a green leafy necklace, you've lost another potential customer if you don't have any necklaces for sale. Yes, people can ask for a special order, but I believe most people will just click into the next shop to see if they can find what they're looking for there.

My point is that you can stay true to your genre, but you can also push the boundaries, and create things that might appeal to others, even if they aren't necessarily the things you enjoy yourself. I read recently that a bottled tea company that was losing money turned itself around when the owner decided to sell what his customers wanted to buy, rather than what he wanted to sell. Think about that for a minute. We all like our own creations, but what are the buyers looking for?

Create from the heart with passion & integrity.
Anything created passionately, and from the heart, will outshine any mass produced item available.

Create similar items that will appeal to as broad a range of people as possible.
Not all items will appeal to all potential customers, so it's important to offer as many different (similar) items as possible. Keeping to a common theme or style helps prevent an inconsistent, or non-cohesive look in your shop. Create similar earrings in different colors, or create earrings of the same color theme using different materials.

Offer items that span as great a price range as possible.
I'm not suggesting that you compromise, but the fact is that most shoppers looking for a $10 pair of earrings won't even enter your shop if your items are all $50 and up. I'm proposing that you use creative ways to get your creations the views they deserve. The $10 pair of earrings happen to be for a co-worker, but the shopper looking for them might very well be willing to spend $100 on herself -- the key is getting customers into your shop.

I haven't yet found a magic crystal ball, but hopefully these ideas will help get you thinking about different ways you can get (and keep) customers in your shop.

Have a Happy & Creative Day!
- Tammy