Who is your competition in this world of jewelry making? Is it the other jewelry artist in the local art gallery? Is it people who post their creations on Instagram and have infinity number of followers? Is it the person who has a "shop update" once a month and everything sells out in five minutes? Is it the people who use cheap labor to make cheap jewelry that always undercuts you?
I'm here to tell you you shouldn't be worrying about any of them.
First of all, there will ALWAYS be someone who sells better than you. So what, WalMart sells better than you. Do you want to be Walmart? (If you answer yes, stop reading... my words are in a foreign tongue... heh)
On a weekly basis, I hear bemoaning about "mass-produced imports" killing someone's business. I understand. It's totally hard to sit at a show with $150 pendants in front of you while passers-by say to one another, "No, go to THIS booth (pointing in another direction). They have the same kind of necklaces for $25!"
I can promise you they are NOT the same kind of necklace. ROFLOL
But here's my point... those people aren't your customer anyway. And even if you do shows that only allow real handcrafted items made by the vendor... someone can still undercut you. Maybe for them it's a hobby so they couldn't care less if they make a profit. That's not your business. Your business is YOUR business.
So what can you do if that happens? I can think of a couple of things.
- Continue making what you're making if that's really want you want to do and continue to sell where you're selling... but spend a ton of time (and maybe money) in marketing.
- Another thing you could try is shifting who sees your work. Try to get it into places where the average customer may care more whether something is handmade or machine made, whether the piece is sterling silver or silver plated, whether the artist is local or not, etc.
- Another tactic is changing what you make. If you're making the same kinds of things that are coming out of mass-production factories, consider starting on some pieces/techniques that would be harder to imitate... that would require more skill. There are customers out there who appreciate technical skill and/or originality in design and have good money to spend on jewelry.
I always say I'm gonna come in here, say my spiel, and be out in 5-10 minutes. I never am.
Final words... GOOD WORK ISN'T CHEAP and CHEAP WORK ISN'T GOOD
Remind yourself of that often.