Showing posts with label customers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label customers. Show all posts

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Note About Custom Orders

Many years ago, when I began selling my handmade jewelry designs on the internet, I started to get requests from people for special order items.  You name it - they came in - everything from pieces featuring particular saints, to family members to specific themes.  I wasn't sure if handling custom orders was the right thing for me to do at the time, but in hindsight, it ended up being a good move for me, business-wise.  In the 14 years I have been designing and selling  jewelry online, I'd have to estimate that nearly one-third of my retail sales are custom orders.  By accepting custom orders, I found that I was given "free" advertising and new business from people who'd order from me because they couldn't find exactly what they wanted in the marketplace.  Word of mouth spreads, and the next thing I knew, I began receiving orders from friends and family members of customers who wanted their own individually created jewelry pieces.

On EBay and Etsy, where I sell many of my designs, the custom order requests for loaded charm bracelets, domino pendants and wooden cross necklaces came in several times a week.  To accommodate these requests, I set up special "custom" listings for people to order these items through the sites without having to contact me first.  Upon checkout, they let me know the specification for their designs.

Custom loaded Catholic saint charm bracelet

Custom charm bracelet - Graveyard Angels

Custom charm bracelet - Graveyard Angels - detail


Sometimes, I've found that if one person is looking for something in particular, it results in additional sales to others.  For example, a person with the last name of "peacock" asked me to design some peacock-themed resin jewelry pieces for them.  I ended up getting numerous requests for peacock-related designs from others who saw the original design and I had a hard time keeping them in stock.

Custom peacock resin pendant

Custom peacock resin ring

Custom peacock resin earrings


The special orders I initially accepted have expanded into wholesale orders for businesses, as well.  Several years ago, the Director of the Jell-O Museum gift shop in New York purchased a pair of polymer clay Jell-O salad earrings from me on EBay.  This was the start of a regular business relationship for us.  The museum has provided me with specific images they want used in their jewelry designs; I make all of the Jell-O earrings for their gift shop and have been doing so for many years now.  I have expanded this to include novelty polymer clay candy piece earrings for a candy store in Pennsylvania, among other entities.

The Jell-O earrings that started it all for me with the Jell-O Museum gift shop in New York.

Jell-O earrings similar to those being sold at the Jell-O Museum gift shop.


The orders didn't stop there.  When St. Damien of Molokai was canonized as a Catholic saint in 2009, I was commissioned by the Catholic Church in Hawaii to make hundreds of St. Damien pendants for the state's canonization celebrations.  (A little side note about St. Damien - He ministered to the lepers of Hawaii in the late 1800's; he eventually passed away from leprosy himself in 1889.)

Saint Damien of Molokai pendants in process.


St. Kateri Tekawitha pendants in process for a St. Kateri Tekakwitha conference this summer.
St. Kateri Tekawitha wood cross necklaces in process for a St. Kateri Tekakwitha conference this summer.
Our Lady of Guadalupe polymer clay necklaces made for a church group in Texas.


Last week, I designed and made domino pendants and key chains for the Christian band, Third Day.  The dominoes featured images of the crucified Christ with the words of one of Third Day's songs imposed over them - "Cry Out to Jesus."  Needless to say, the band loved the designs.

Domino key chains and necklaces made for the Christian band, Third Day, June, 2014.

Domino necklace detail made for the Christian Band, Third Day, June, 2014.


All in all - if you create things as a part of your business and have pondered about whether to take custom orders - I'd say, "go for it".  Take it from me. You never know what it can do for your business and your sales. 




Saturday, November 30, 2013

$25.00 Gift Certificate Giveaway - and Published in Altered Arts Magazine!



It's so hard to believe today is the last day of November.  It's been such a whirlwind of a year for me between beginning college this past spring (for the first time ever), remodeling my craft studio, working on orders for my jewelry customers and the like.

I have the best customers and blog/Facebook followers.  I really do.  I have met some of the nicest people through my jewelry projects and want to say "thanks" by having a giveaway - just in time for Christmas.

I will be giving away a $25.00 gift certificate to my Etsy shop, Two Crafty Mules.  The gift certificate may be used for any ready-made item in the shop.  It may not be used on custom orders.   You can enter the giveaway by leaving a comment on this blog post, and/or by leaving a comment on the Two Crafty Mules Facebook page under the giveaway post.  Leave one comment on each site, and you will have TWO chances to win!  The deadline to leave comments is Sunday, December 15 at 11:59 p.m.  One lucky winner will be selected on Monday, December 16.  Just in time to shop for Christmas!  WOOT!  Please spread the word - tell your friends, post the giveaway on Pinterest, etc.  An additional prize will be added if we reach comments from 200 people, with additional prizes added for each 100 comments thereafter!  How awesome is that?

So - what are you waiting for?  Let the commenting begin!  :)  Good luck, everyone!

P.S.  While we are talking about freebies - who doesn't love a freebie, especially at this time of year?  One of my Christmas art doll projects is currently featured in the Altered Arts Bonus Christmas 2013 project issue.  The magazine is available for purchase - and - for a limited time only - available for FREE digital download.  Be sure to check it out and get some free Christmas project inspiration while you are at it.




Wednesday, June 17, 2009

EBay Negative Feedback Horror Stories

It's no secret that many EBay sellers are frustrated with the changes EBay made to it's feedback system about a year ago. Sellers can no longer leave negative feedback for the buyers, so the ball is definitely in the buyer's court. Unfortunately, this has resulted in inaccurate and unfair negative feedback being left for sellers by some unscrupulous buyers or inexperienced new EBayers out there.

For the most part, I've been pretty fortunate with my feedback situation. I've had my share of difficult customers like everyone else, but, for the most part, those have been a rarity. Until this past month. I don't know if people are extra cranky from the heat, the economy or if there's been a continuous full moon out there, but WOW, I've been slammed with 4 negative complaints in a 30 day period. That's more than I've EVER had in ALL of the years I've been on EBay.

I wrote an EBay guide on my latest feedback experiences entitled, "EBay Feedback Horror Stories". Please be sure to check it out - and vote "yes" for it, if you would like to. Also, feel free to share your comments with me here on my blog. As always, I enjoy hearing from you!
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