So on to the topic -- Christmas and Holiday Beading. Can you believe I've already started?
My holiday beading usually starts in the summer, so I don't let time sneak up on me and Woah Nelly, I'm frantic to churn things out. I've found that as early as my September shows, people will ask if I have Christmas tree earrings or snowflake jewelry. I even had a customer in July catch me as I was setting up for a show and ask if I'd brought any Christmas stuff with me, and she ended up buying half of what I had. So you never know.
This is what my table looked like last year as I was moving along the winter path. Lots of snowflakes, some adorable handmade snowmen from Moonraker Lampwerks, and penguins that I added scarves to.
One thing to keep in mind when making holiday jewelry is a variety of price points. My Christmas tree earrings in Swarovski crystal are $15 and they fly off the rack. I think I sold 200 pairs of those at shows and galleries last year. With the economy what it is, that price was just right. I did buy the beads in bulk, so this year, I don't have to buy ANY more beads for this style. If you're at all able to, buy as many of a repeatable component as you can -- it works out in the long run. On the other end of the spectrum, I make some over-the-top snowflake charm bracelets that go for around $125. Basically -- know your customer.
Also, remember to make non-denominational jewelry. Snowflakes, snowmen and snowgirls are a great example of this type of holiday jewelry.
Bead by Moonraker Lampwerks
I also found out from a Jewish friend that finding Hanukkah jewelry is next to impossible to find at a craft show. So with her help, I made these, using the Star of David in pewter and the colors of the Israeli flag.
(Star of David pewter charms from Quest Beads)One of the best things about starting early on your holiday jewelry? If you find yourself in a rut, pull out a box that you've set aside with all your holiday jewelry components and just start working. Chances are (especially with earrings) you'll be in production mode, and that can sometimes help clear the mind.
I hope you've enjoyed our little walk down the snowy path! It's nearly 100F here and I'm about to roast, so I think I'll pull out some icy clear Swarovski crystals and see what I can make.
Lori Anderson makes jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs, and she also blogs at An Artist's Year Off. She lives in Maryland.