Saturday, July 10, 2010


I've been selling my work for a while now, here and there, but not with a great focus. Making things is something I do easily; selling them is NOT.

One of the things I did at Bead & Button for the last several years, between taking classes and teaching classes, (and shopping, of course) was to observe those who sell. Of course, selling commodities like stone beads isn't quite what I'm watching.

I'm looking to see how the artists I admire present their work. What do they bring? What is the price range? What sells well? How do they display it? How do they change or not change things from year to year? How do they present themselves? How do they package the sold goods?

That final question was especially intriguing to me. I found that as an artist, I was captivated by clever, original packaging of a treasure I had purchased. The package itself became part of the art. So I began to look at packaging with that eye. How could I make my choice different than all the clever things I'd seen, consistent with my "look," easy to transport and use, and inexpensive? I've mentioned this before in blog posts, for over a year.

The standard cardboard jewelry box, lined with cotton, struck me as conventional and in need of personalization. I looked at higher end leatherette jewelry boxes, like my friend Lorena Angulo uses, which are much nicer, but also more expensive and still in need of personalization. The clear plastic pillow boxes, stuffed with tissue and a card, that Gail Crossman Moore uses seemed like a cleaver solution, but I didn't want to blatantly copy. Kristina Logan's plastic bag tucked into a matchbook folded glossy printed paper was especially original (see it here). Jennifer Geldard's plain paper bag with paper attachments such as stamps joined with a fancy staple seemed simple but very effective.

How to come up with something interesting, but different than what my favorites were doing? I pored over packaging websites, looking at boxes, bags, and other containers. The tipping point came recently when I printed the mini-Moo cards to attach as price tags to jewelry. Suddenly I knew I wanted to attach those to the box or bag. I finally selected a tab-top favor box in black to show off the cards. Then I raided my collection for white maribou feathers to add an extra bit to the finished look. I haven't looked at the fancy staples yet, but my regular stapler does the trick.

Voila! A tiny treasure, waiting for opening. Don't you want to see what's inside?