I mentioned in a prior post that there would be a lot of changes for both you, my customers and readers, and myself this year. I thought it only fair to give you a little sneak peek of what is to come.
Vintage costume jewelry is what first brought me to the jewelry trade. I sell a fair amount of it on Ebay, but I also maintain a website for sales of vintage costume. While that site has served me well in the past, it’s time for a change. In 2006, when I started the web store, it was a good solution for me. But times change, and so does internet technology, and my current framework doesn’t have a lot of the new “bells and whistles” that customers need and want, and that will help me maintain the site. The current back end is clunky compared to what is available now, and that has caused me to avoid updating the store. Not good.
I’m pleased to announce that I am in the midst of totally revamping the store to something that will be fun to use for you and for me. New features for the customer will include the ability to search by designer, the ability to search by attributes such as color, style or theme, the ability to sort and filter by price range, a fully functional shopping cart, the ability to compare, rate and review products, the ability to interact with me via comments and polls, and the ability to set up a permanent customer account on the site. We will also be taking advantage of new photo technologies with bigger and brighter images, with more images, and the ability to zoom in on photographs. The site will also offer various reward programs to frequent customers. You can earn points for every purchase, and points can be converted to dollars for future purchases.
There are a lot of changes, and I don’t have a projected launch date yet, but I will keep you posted. I foresee this happening late winter or early spring.
I’m also revamping my inventory management system. I have been maintaining this in Excel for many years, and when I only had a few hundred pieces, that worked fine. But now with thousands, it’s not so good any more. I have located a database program created by the Antique and Art Information Network, and I’ve been testing this the past few days, and I’m ready to implement it. While you won’t directly see this, it will be a benefit to you in terms of the ease with which I will be able to maintain my inventory, and tie it into my store back end.
As you know, I also sell jewelry that I create, primarily on Etsy. The past few months have been full of personal issues, and have put a crimp in my creativity. I have so many new techniques and media that I will be working with this year, and my Etsy store will be a reflection of that. I will be combining my love of gardening and canning with my art to create and market a new jewelry line. These are all original designs, centered around my vegetables, flowers, and the critters that inhabit my gardens. Patterns will be for sale on Etsy, as well as the finished pieces. Here’s a sneak peek at one of them:
There will also be big changes in the way we do live shows. Home shows are becoming Trunk Shows, and we will be physically storing and transporting our inventory in a way that will speed things up for show preparation. We will also have the ability to print catalogs, something my home show customers have asked about for years. If you’ve considered a home show (or hosted a home show) in the past, now is the perfect time to acquaint yourself with our new Trunk Shows! We will be ready to start doing these in the early spring. Think about booking a date now!
I’ve also been working with a great graphic designer, and some talented people on Etsy to design and create new marketing materials. Everything I sell will be tagged with my personalized shop information, whether in the form of a metal hang tag, or a paper tag, or custom earring cards. Our pink cowboy hat logo will remain,
but you’ll see it even more predominately in our marketing materials. Packages that ship in the US mail will be brightened up as well.
I am very excited about all of this, and I hope you are as well. I felt that I needed to change my business model from the ground up, and I think you can see that is happening. So although my focus has not been on creating or selling of late, I have still been very busy! Thank you for your loyalty-I look forward to a great future together!