Friday, March 20, 2009

Jewelry Tips Part 3

Tips today have to do with fundraisers or production type of jewelry designing.

I've been asked 4 times to design a bracelet for fund raisers. The first one, I readily admit, I didn't know what I was doing. Well, making the bracelet, yes but the fund raiser part, no.

The first one didn't sell many pieces. In fact, I've never heard from them again. They purchased about 25 bracelets and I really don't know if they sold or not. To be fair to both sides, I did not have good contact with them. So,

Tip #1. Get to know the person you are working with fairly well. Know what they expect and talk a lot about what is involved in making a bracelet for a fund raiser. In my first experience, they wanted a bracelet that, now I realize, was too expensive. Which leads me to

Tip #2. Watch your supply expenses carefully. Don't go "cheap" but don't go overboard either. Determine, before you really get into the design, what price point you need. The $25 sell price seems to work well. As a designer you have room to get good supplies and still give a decent amount to the charity.

Tip #3. Make sure that the materials you choose are readily available. Preferably from more than one source. The lovely Millefiore oval beads in the above SMI bracelet are hard to find at reasonable prices. That also brings me to

Tip#4. Make sure the quality is consistent and good. The Millefiore beads are not consistent in quality. I have a whole string of "rejects" . I've also had a few returned with broken beads. That lesson was used in the Lexie bracelet when I chose the Swarovski beads. Available almost anywhere and excellent, consistent quality.

Tip #5. In order to fit more people, add an extender. I've made both smaller and larger sizes on request but for the majority the extender works.

Tip #6. Be prepared to make a lot of bracelets. (At least hopefully) That means getting efficient in making your bracelets. Make a production line. Have enough stock on hand. Have packaging ready. I put each bracelet in a 3 x 3 inch zip lock bag with a label giving information on the bracelet, website info and of course a Thank you for supporting XXX.

I'm sure there are other tips and experiences. I'd love to hear about them. Especially since I'm now preparing to start my fourth fundraiser.


Pictures above, Left Science with a Mission, Right Lexie bracelet for Cancer Research all available at


  1. Sage advice! I will remember this list if ever I were asked to do a fundraiser.

  2. Great tips to remember, Bev. Hope this next fundraiser keeps you really busy!