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Image of Beach Themed Textual Collage Necklaces Piling Up

Created by Julia Dziuba, these are beach themed, textual collages created with shell, stone, semi-precious gems, fresh water pearls, collectible glass and sterling silver.

I create and create because I cannot stop but since I have not been actively trying to sell the jewelry it piles higher and higher. Now I have to decide the best way to start selling. Up to this point it has been  through referrals of friends and family. Online is always an option but then there are local stores to consider too. What is the best mix when you have limited time to invest in promoting?

The online market place is limitless… so they say. Artists sell on Etsy, Ebay and other market places along with their personal sites. But I’m wondering how one can stand out in such market places. I found a post that was over a year old that described the number of Etsy shops and their sizes. At that time there were 290,877 sellers on Etsy with items in their shops. Of these shops 21 had over 2500 items in stock, 13 shops had between 2000-2499 items, 180 shops had between 1000-1999 items, and about 1000 shops had 400-1000 items in stock. Those are amazingly large numbers! It takes a bit of time to create a new Etsy posting and that is after the time of making the jewelry, photographing it and recording it in your own inventory records. These must be small armies working behind these shops! Will my little shop with @20 items EVER be found in the jungle of Etsy?

The shire volume on online market places makes me think local may be better but I’d like some facts to help make the decision. It turns out only 7% of retail sales are online. And this is only expected to grow to 8% in 2014. These predictions are by Forrester Forcast. So we have many many many individuals selling but not too many sales?

While an online presence is important and I will grow my Etsy shop I think finding local shops that will carry my jewelry is crucial in the early stages of a business. There is something to be said for a local community. Talking with local shops and artists will help my career in more ways than selling jewelry.

And on that thought I will go. But I have to ask…

Artists: How do you sell your work, local or online? If both what percentage of your sells come from online?

Jewelry consumers: Where do you buy your jewelry, local or online? How do you feel about buying jewelry online?