This blog is meant to be a record of my adventures as a new home-based business owner. Starting my jewellery business was one of the most daunting things I've ever done, next to giving birth. Especially since I was (am?) pretty technically stunted. In this blog I will describe the trials, tribulations and, hopefully, eventual successes I experience while navigating the world of (really, really, really small) business. I also plan to use this blog to talk about all the aspects of jewellery design that fascinate me, keep me addicted, and cause me to spend thousands of dollars (What, honey? No, I didn't say thousands...) on gemstones, beads, findings, etc. I welcome your input, ideas, and stories of similar experiences in beading, jewellery design, or running a handcrafts business.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New Line from Bead Planet

Okay, I know I haven't posted in a long time, but I just can't think of anything new to say.  Pitiful excuse, yes, but there it is.  Anyway, I've been busy actually MAKING STUFF, which is something I rarely get time for anymore what with all this promotion rigamarole.  Take a gander at some pieces from my new line of jewellery named after literary heroines. 
Elinor Dashwood Earrings
Anne of Green Gables Earrings

Elizabeth Bennet Earrings

Jane Eyre Necklace

Holly Golightly Earrings    

You can see from these pics that I've been working a lot with antique brass.  I like the vintage look of it.  I love Trinity Brass Company's components.  They have a gorgeous chocolate patina that they get through a special process involving oxidation; then the finish is protected with a non-toxic lacquer.  I buy my Trinity Brass components through a fellow Etsy seller, Fab Beads .  I also love Vintaj brass components.  I can buy Vintaj components at my favourite local bead store, Bead FX , but they're not sold at all bead stores.  I signed up as a wholesale buyer from Vintaj's website, and now I can order right from their website.  You have to be a registered business owner.  You fax or email in your business number and tax number, or vendor's permit, in my case, and you get a password and username.  Then you have access to wholesale prices on the website, and can order from them.  Your first order has to be a minimum of $200, though.  I haven't ordered from the website yet. 

Anyhoo, that's what I've been up to lately.  Night, all!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dealing With Canada Post

Here's something that makes me wonder--When I ship my orders via Canada Post Small Package Surface to buyers in the U.S., I am asked to fill in a customs slip which sticks directly on the package.  On the slip there's a section in which I'm supposed to write what exactly is in the package, and how much it's worth.  Now, if I were shipping pencil sharpener parts, that wouldn't be a problem, but I'm shipping my painstakingly, lovingly handcrafted jewellery.  I might as well write, "Look here! Expensive, handcrafted jewellery in here! Help yourself!"  Perhaps this is a jaded, suspicious view of the world, and I certainly don't want to suggest that the people who work in the postal services are especially suspect, but I've heard of many situations where stuff was waylaid in transit and never arrived at its destination.  That's why you can't send cash in the mail, right? 

So, how does one get around this?  I understand that U.S. customs wants to know, especially after 9-11, exactly what is coming into the country, but geez!  I finally came up with a plan.  Instead of writing "jewellery" on the package, I'll write "beads."  That's what the jewellery is made of, mostly, anyway, so I'm not misrepresenting what's in the package, and "beads" aren't as attractive as "jewellery" to potential thieves.  As for the amount, so far I haven't had any orders over $45, so no big deal.  I wonder what would happen if I got a big order, and didn't put the entire value on the package?  How does knowing the value help customs or Canada Post, anyway?  Do you, readers, have any insight on this issue?  I'd love to hear from you.

Yours, Diana