Saturday, September 26, 2009


There was a time in the not-too-distant past when I enjoyed shopping, especially bargain shopping. I would keep up with sales, clip coupons and carefully plan shopping excursions around those exhaustively researched sales dates and organized clippings. I would frequent all of the discount stores and thrill at each amazing deal I found. But now, I am so over that. I still love to find incredible bargains; but I no longer painstakingly hunt for them. I let them come to me, serendipity fashion, i.e., entice me. Entice me, either with irresistible products, unbeatable pricing or, preferably, both. There are so many shops out there. I have a multitude of choices. In fact, my choices are staggeringly overwhelming. So when I do find a place where I enjoy my shopping experience, I will go there repeatedly. There are a number of reasons for this: 1) I love the merchandise on offer and the products are of high quality. This is a must. 2) The pricing is acceptable to me. It doesn't have to be the least expensive, just reasonably priced. 3) The shop is orderly. I love a tidy shop. Disorder will turn me right around and out the door. 4) The shop is attractive. If I like the window dressing, I tend to linger. All of these factors play a role in persuading me to become a regular customer.

In my own business, I strive to remember what I enjoy and expect as a customer and apply these points to my own shops. Naturally, I want the beads and jewelry that I offer to appeal to customers. But I also want my customers to feel like they have been treated fairly, that they are purchasing quality, that the pricing is reasonable- in short, that they have been duly pampered as my customers.

Running a business on the Internet is incredibly time-consuming. I just completed a two shop overhaul: new banner, new photos, new products, clear organization, etc. I am not a photographer, though digital cameras do raise my competence level. Still, it takes a lot of practice to make your photos clear and detailed. It is not so easy to take a photo of a bead or bracelet and make it interesting. You have to consider the lighting and the background color. Then there is the time spent editing those photos- sizing them, making minor adjustments to them, labeling them- making certain that, in the end, the pictures are a fair representation of the offered product.

I think often of the phrase "starving artist". I'm not literally starving, but I see how challenging it is for an artist to support himself by selling his work. An artist needs to be somewhat business-savvy to achieve a measure of success. Speaking for myself, I am much more drawn to the creative side of art rather than the business side. That is a "no-brainer", as they say. The result is, I have to discipline myself to promote my business regularly. I'm still working on this. Though I now put new products in my bead store on Etsy every day and I put new jewelry in my Artfire store every couple of days. My goal is to stock new products every day, once or twice a day, at least.

I take very seriously how necessary it is for an Internet vendor to be very clear and prompt in communicating with customers, to be lightning-quick in shipping packages, to be eager to work out any problem that may arise in such a way as to make the customer feel true satisfaction. Mistakes will be made at times. This is part of the learning process. Occasionally we may encounter a challenging customer, particularly if we do custom work. But overall, if a vendor keeps her cool and treats others kindly, thoughtfully and compassionately (as she herself would want to be treated), a strong customer base can be built up. People will want to shop in that type of store. Suddenly, I want to visit my virtual mall and see what's out there. The beauty of Internet shopping is: NO LINES. Happy shopping!

"The quickest way to know a woman is to go shopping with her."- Marcelene Cox

"We always hold hands. If I let go, she shops."- Henny Youngman
(Necklace featured in this post is for sale in my Artfire shop.)


  1. We are so in sync, it's almost scary. I just completed a shop overhaul as well. I've decided to commit completely to Artfire for now. I started a post very similar to this one...I'm going to have to revise it a little though because I had a disaster happen with one of my new designs...and it was SO cute! Arggh. Not back to the drawing board, but some "engineering" work needs to be done...sigh.

  2. Fabulous posting and I couldn't agree more! I share many of the same thoughts and feelings about our business and always try to keep the customer in mind when selling.

    Having also purchased your beads I can say you are a wonderful Seller with top quality creations for sale!

  3. Jenn- I can't think of a better person to be in sync with! I've decided to sell beads seperately from jewelry. It's that obsessive organization compulsion thing I have. Don't mix the carrots with the peas. I'm looking forward to seeing the new designs!
    Sharon- Thanks again for your very kind words and your encouragement. You are a gem!! I'm so glad you liked the beads.

  4. I love that necklace! You are very talented. Good luck with your store!!

  5. I totally understand about the business side. Beautiful work!!

  6. Thanks everyone for all the nice remarks! So glad you enjoyed the post.