Started making new pieces & ended up with this wire wrapped aventurine necklace, will be posted in gallery soon
I set up my facebook page kars Jewellery and put photos of my pieces up, and then had a look around to see how to set up a web site. Through the Dublin enterprise board you could set up a free web site, so I decided to do that. Was not really sure how or what I was doing, I am familiar with computers as I use them everyday in work, but not with the setting up side. So via the enterprise board I started with the web company they were collaborating with. First you pick a layout/theme for your page and you put your banner/pic - everything you do, you have to click and publish, so that you keep it and don't lose it. But once you click to publish you had to wait - could be quick or up to an hour. So a bit of a slow process, on first page which was the about page I wrote a little blurb about how I got into making Jewellery and my inspiration & living in Dublin. Then I set up different pages one for necklaces, one for bracelets etc... This all took time to get headers and text right on each page, especially as you have to wait for each thing to be published. So if you up dated and then clicked to publish but then reviewed it and thought no i need to make changes, if it had not updated, then you had to wait. Also some things I had to contact site for help/advice. Eventually after a few months I had all my pages set up how I wanted them. So the next step was to start putting photos of pieces on each page, but disaster I could not sell through this site. It was only after doing all this work & setting up, when I went to photos on that I found out you cannot sell through this type of web page. If I wanted to sell I had to use a different web page set up and there was a fee, which was not that cheap. So I decided after all my hard work to just put photos and contact details on. The site was free for a year and after the year I did not bother to renew. In between this someone suggested Etsy - so I set up my Etsy shop in January 2014.
After a while I had quite a few pieces of jewellery made, so I decided to have a Jewellery party in my house about a month before christmas. I invited a few friends and neighbours, not to many, sold a bit. But felt that maybe they felt obliged to buy, so did not feel keen to do again. Then my friend told me about a craft fair starting up in Cabinteely church hall once a month on a sunday, so I rang and booked my place. Loved the set up of this, it was in a small hall about 20 stalls & had a seating area where you could get coffee/cakes, just a really nice feel to it and everyone was friendly, only one other Jewellery stall & they did not make jewellery, they bought it. Sold a few pieces, but the market was not very well promoted, people attending church did not even know craft fair was on in the hall attached. It finished for summer & never really got started again, such a shame, as it could have been really good. I looked around for another market, but as I work part time 5 mornings could not commit to do it every weekend, & a lot of them are dear to book. I then tried a boot fair up at 5 in the morning - that was not very good - people wanted the jewellery for nothing, & would really try to haggle - so that's a no go. My friend had a small clothes shop & I put a few pieces in, a few sold but not for what I wanted and then her shop shut. But really by the time you have priced your jewellery - the cost, time etc.. and added on some profit, in a shop is selling by the time they have added on their margin, its probably too dear. So I then started to think about selling through the internet...
After I took my class and bought a basic kit, I made a few pieces, but you need a lot of beads - a stash - as you need to incorporate other beads into pieces. So if you buy a strand of beads or a couple of strands that go well together, you need other beads like sead beads or spacer beads to complete piece. So I set about looking where I could buy beads, there are two small shops in Dublin city centre & I heard about a bead shop in Bray Co Wicklow. The first time I went to the shop in bray I must have been in there for over an hour- they had such a vast range of beads, it was heaven (sadly this shop has since shut down). I also scoured the internet & over a year purchased quite a few beads, my stash. The only trouble with buying over the net is sometimes the beads can be disappointing and do not live up to their pictures. I also went to the Rock & Gem show in Brighton when I was on a visit over there, and bought quite a good supply of beads & findings.
My husband said he was a bead widow, as every night would find me with my bead board on my lap, playing with beads. First I made pieces for myself, then I started to give them as gifts to family & friends. At first I did worry what if it comes apart or breaks, but as all pieces are done on wire, they are probably stronger than most pieces you would buy in boutiques. I took a couple of other classes, learning different techniques and there are a lot of tutorials available on line to watch.