Thursday, December 16, 2010
If you are still looking for a gift for a hard to buy for family member, friend, work mate, and they love the beach/ocean, then come on down to Jersey Made tomorrow night!
I will have a portion of my sea glass collection with me, along with wire to wrap pendants, and a few sterling silver chains.
Or you can bring a piece of sea glass and I'll create a custom wrap for you. I also have several new jewelry creations that I will be bringing with me, along with some pre-drilled pieces of sea glass, that can be used to create earrings, or bracelets.
Jersey-Made is located in the Mill Race Village section of Mount Holly, NJ and the meet and greet is scheduled tomorrow, Friday December 17th, from 5pm- 9pm. Stop in and talk sea-glassing and bring your prize "finds". We would love to hear your stories!
Hope to see you tomorrow!
Monday, November 29, 2010
With the arrival of Thanksgiving, the holidays are now upon us. And so is the holiday shopping frenzy. The news and the internet are filled with the insane videos of shoppers running over each other in the stores to save a few dollars.
Well at Etsy.com, all of the handmade artisans have found a way for you to purchase quality one-of-a-kind gifts for family, friends and yourself. Browse the site today, find coupon codes in the shops to save money, and stay at home with a cup of tea and shop. Why bother with getting rammed by a shopping cart, empty shelves from sold out items, and playing bumper cars for the last parking place in the lot?
I have my Authentic Sea Glass Jewelry creations available at 15% with coupon code
BF10WEEKEND, and I'll pay the shipping fees! Check out my shop throughout the day, as I'll be marking down items today so you can save even more money on Cyber Monday.
So snuggle up on the couch with a cup of tea...I'll be open all day and night. Keep your eyes open for my Cyber Monday specials and I'll be adding new inventory all day!
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Friday, November 19, 2010
The Full Moon on Sunday will be a key day for sea glass hunters. At this time of the year, both the sun and moon are nearing their closest points to our planet. If you recall your science lessons from school, you'll recall that the moon affects the tides.
And since the moon will be quite close to Earth during this weekends Full Moon, the tides should be more severe than normal.(bet you never thought you'd ever need that science info...hehehe)
The recent easterly winds we've experienced on the east coast of the US has stirred the ocean up nicely for this Full Moon, and just in time, the winds have now begun to come out of the west. This will set-up a nice situation for a sea glass hunt during low tide.
In previous years, going out to the beach at the height of low tide has proven to offer the chance to walk on the surf that is usually under water. The combination of west winds, and the severe pull back of the ocean caused by the low tide cause the ocean to pull way back during this period...usually by an additional 15-20 feet or more!
So the sea glass hunting stage has been perfectly set for this full moon. Remember that the west winds will bring cold air with it, so dress appropriately!
I have created a discount code for my Etsy.com shop, and all my sea glass jewelry is available to my blog followers at a 15% discount. Just use the following code when checking out to receive the 15% off... NOV2010
And remember, I offer FREE shipping during the month of November! (and the top image in this blog entry has already been marked down over 20% for today only!)
My next blog entry will have more info on my Meet and Greet next month at Jersey Made in Mt Holly, NJ...so find some sea glass this weekend and bring it to Jersey Made and get it wrapped!
Good Luck on the beach, save me some sea glass...and be careful out there!
'til next time...
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
There hasn't been one handmade artisan I've spoken with that can say they have not been hit hard by the current state of the economy. Traffic at shows seem down slightly, but more and more of the traffic appear to be "just looking" and often leave the show empty-handed.
Personally speaking, the upper end pieces that used to move quickly from my inventory have stagnated, and even at reduced prices, they remain in my online or brick and mortar consignment shops. There was a time when I could not locate enough rare jewelry quality pieces of sea glass. Now the only time I add jewelry-quality pieces to my collection, is when I find them on the beach. Even when I have a chance to privately purchase a nice lot of quality sea glass, I have to pass because my customers have been hesitant on making higher-end purchases.
The reasons are always the same. They like a specific piece of jewelry, and they may come back to my display two or three times to look at it. But in the end, they walk away from the piece saying something to the effect of "I just can't spend the money"
Creating a lower end line of sea glass jewelry has helped. My surfer necklace line is very affordable, but it's more of a teenagers line of jewelry. The price does bring in potential customers to my display, but at this time the line sells to a niche market, within the niche market of sea glass jewelry customers.
I have found more and more customers asking to purchases a wrapped sea glass pendant, rather than buy the entire necklace. And in a buyer's market, there have been a few customers looking to "negotiate" on the final price.
Selling my handmade creations has been getting harder and harder as this year winds to a close. Show sales are down, online sales are way down, and so are my profit margins. Adapting to budgets of potential customers is a must, and I've had a little success with the newer creations. Adapting further is certainly needed, but I see this holiday season slipping away because I don't know if there will be a mad buying spree in the last few weeks prior to the holidays.
How have the sales been at your shop and shows? Have you found lower prices meant increased sales, or have your sales remained stagnant...and how have you adapted your creations to what the market is willing to bear?
'til next time..
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Once again days have to turned to weeks, and my blog has gone quite some time without an update. Before I get into the events, shows, etc...I'd like to answer one question that was posed in a convo to my Etsy shop.
"Why do I constantly change out my featured items?"
I base the changes according to the previous day's views. There are periods where I go 3-4 days before changing the featured items, but when I zero out my views using the "Heart-O-Tron" site, I will base the changes on what the visitors to my shop are looking at. Today's changes will reflect the top my top 4 viewed items from yesterday.
And now onto the regularly scheduled blog post...
I will appearing this Saturday in Vincetown, NJ at The Easthampton Historical Society's Holiday Bazaar in November show. This is my 3rd year at the show and the show never disappoints...great traffic, well run (well promoted, great vendor variety) and possibly the best craft fair food. The show runs from 9am - 2 pm and is held at the Firehouse (yes, an indoor show!)
At the show, I will be promoting my upcoming "Meet & Greet" at Jersey Made on December 17th. I will be bringing a large part of my sea glass collection, and will be creating custom jewelry for customers to purchase for last minute gifts. This will be my first attempt of "Creating on the Fly" for customers, so if you have a special piece of sea glass that you'd like to have made into a one-of-a-kind keepsake piece of jewelry, then Jersey Made on December 17th is your chance!
Jersey Made can be located in the Mill Race Village section of Mt. Holly, NJ. They are open Wednesday-Sunday and I believe they will expand to 6 or 7 days a week during the holidays.
One of the most important days for die-hard sea glass collectors occurs later this month during our next full moon. In response to several blog readers questions, the winter is the best time to search for sea glass, and there are two key days, with the November full moon being one of them. I mention this in advance for those that are seriously considering venturing out... prepare to be cold, very cold, and if you have water-proof boots & gloves, you'll be able to find a couple handfuls of sea glass (last year we located approx 75 pieces the first day out and that was only in a 2 block strip of the beach!)I'll have more about this key sea glass hunting day in a blog post next week...so if you have questions, feel free to ask.
Hope to see you at the show on Saturday (and hope to not see you on "my special sections of beach" later this month...hehehe)
'til next time...
Saturday, October 23, 2010
In a blink of an eye, October is quickly coming to a close and another Holiday season will quickly be here.
I have several new items ready to go into my Etsy shop and the shops I consign to, are fully stocked and ready to go. With only a couple shows scheduled for the rest of the season, I find myself on the fence about adding another show or two.
The economy seemed to be perking up at the end of the summer and it continued to look good through September. But it appears to have stalled a little in October and that has me in a quandary... do I risk one of my few weekend days off from work for a poor turnout, or spend the rare Saturday/Sunday off from work with my family? Decisions, decisions...
So as it stands right now, I have a show in Vincetown, NJ on November 13th. This is my 3rd appearance at the Eastampton Historical Society's Holiday Bazaar in November.
I will also be back in the Burlington County area again on December 17th, at JerseyMade in the Mill Race Village section of Mount Holly, NJ. I will be doing a Meet & Greet at the shop & creating keepsake pieces of sea glass jewelry for customers. Customers can bring in their favorite pieces of sea glass and I'll turn them into one-of-a kind jewelry creations... a perfect last minute gift for yourself, or the hard to purchase for person on your holiday shopping list. I will also bring several pieces of pre-drilled and loose, jewelry-quality examples in a variety of colors- all available for purchase and on the spot wrapping.
JerseyMade is a gorgeous shop displaying handmade creations from approx 40 local artisans. Good luck walking out of the shop without finding several wonderful items that you just have to have! For more information about my Meet and Greet, give Holly a call at 609-914-1536 or visit the JerseyMade website at www.jersey-made.com.
You can also contact me personally via my shop on Etsy.com.
I also have a show in Ocean County in early December...more info in my next blog update. It's a full moon tonight, and in an hour or so (hopefully)there will be a prime sea glass hunting opportunity... I have to stock up on some new sea glass... I need to replenish my supply of New Jersey sea glass for the shows!
'til next time...
Saturday, October 2, 2010
The Witches Ball is one of the most popular October events in Western NJ. Next Saturday evening, October 9th, Mount Holly NJ will once again host the popular outdoor show.
This is one event I wish I could attend as a vendor, but my creations need a lot of light to show off my sea glass jewelry. So I have sent some items to the popular handmade shop, Jersey Made (located in the Mill Race Village section of Mount Holly).
I will be attending the Halloween event with my family, looking for my EtsyNJ team peeps (like Doreen of SeaHorse Designs) and visiting Holly at her Jersey Made shop.
Maybe I'll see you there...I'll be dressed up as a sea glass jewelry-maker, so don't be afraid....lol
The images above are of a few new items at Jersey Made, in my Etsy shop, etc. Hope to see you at the Witches Ball!
'til next time...
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
After a sluggish holiday season in 2009, and an equally slow first 7 months of 2010, there seems to be signs of life in the economy. Now I find myself scrambling to put together a plan for the upcoming holiday shopping season...or at least to upgrade my current holiday plan.
A couple of my "staple" shows seem like they won't have fall/winter events this year (a further sign of the times?) and that has me looking to other venues and hoping to find a few with openings. This weekend, I did fill an opening on my holiday calendar by scheduling a Meet & Greet at my favorite handmade store, Jersey Made.
Jersey Made is located in the Mill Race Village section of Mount Holly, NJ, and I'll be appearing at the store on Friday, December 17th, from 5pm until ??. I will be displaying sea glass found all over the world, including some rare pieces/colors.
I'll have my wire wrapping tools with me, so if you have a piece of sea glass (or two) in your collection that you would like to have made into a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry, bring it with you. (or you could drop it off at the shop)
I will also have some loose jewelry quality pieces of sea glass (great for pendants), along with some pre-drilled sea glass. (perfect for earrings, bracelets or anklets) Create a piece of jewelry for yourself, or that "hard to buy for" person on your holiday shopping list. And while you are waiting for your sea glass to be turned into a gorgeous piece of jewelry, check out the handmade creations of more than 35 local artisans that display items at Jersey Made.
I will post more information on this blog as it becomes available, and if you would like to contact me, you can click on an item in my Etsy shop, and send me a convo. Or you can call or email Jersey Made for more info ( www.Jersey-Made.com )
For those local to the Mount Holly area wanting more info, I will be appearing at the "Holiday Bazaar in November" in Vincentown (hosted by the Southampton Historical Society) on November 13th. The show runs from 9am-3pm.
'til next time...
Saturday, September 18, 2010
I've had a few customers/sea glass hobbyists recently ask how I can come up with some of the jewelry that I have recently created. People innocently ask if I tumble my sea glass... if the question wasn't asked so very innocently, I'd probably be offended by the question. But knowing what kind of sea glass we find here in New Jersey (very angular), I can understand the inquiry.
Very few of the local sea glass jewelry vendors have the rarer colors in their inventory. The vendors that do have pieces with extremely rare colors, often charge quite a bit because it's probably one of the only pieces of sea glass they have in there collection of that color. And since they don't know if they will ever find another piece like that, they are going to get paid when that rare piece finally sells.
Recently, I have created several pieces of jewelry with red sea glass (the 2nd rarest color of sea glass) and with so many red pieces for sale, it's hard to imagine that my family and I could have found all of these pieces at the beach...and they'd be right in thinking so.
The fact of the matter is for some of my sea glass, I have traded, bartered and made outright purchases with reputable collectors that I've known for years. And even though I have these contacts from several locations all over the world, it sometimes takes months, and even years for some of my jewelry creations to come to fruition.
The "stack" necklace of blue and white sea glass had been a work in progress for several months. The final piece, a cobalt blue piece of sea glass was found last December on LBI. I had been hoping for a deeper cornflower piece to finish the creation, but the sea glass Gods never presented me with what I was looking for.
The red sea glass earrings that I recently sold contained a red piece of sea glass that I had put aside over a year ago! When one of my sea glass friends had sea glass to trade (well, trade & sell) and it contained a couple pieces of reds, I jumped on the opportunity. It wasn't exactly the shape I was looking for, but the sea glass Gods also don't take requests for size, shade, shape... believe me, I've asked many times (regardless, the customer that purchased the earrings seemed quite happy)
I have several pieces of sea glass in various colors for future creations. They sit in small jewelry boxes on a shelf above my craft table... jewelry puzzles, waiting for a missing piece to turn up. And when one does, to this long-time sea glass collector, it's a thing of beauty.
I love it when a plan comes together!
'til next time...
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
One of my favorite fall events, The Beach Plum Festival in Island Beach State Park, runs this Sunday, September 12th. The showers projected for Sunday appear like they will hold off until late afternoon/early evening.
Last year's festival was well-attended, as evidenced by the huge customer lines waiting to purchase jars of Beach Plum jelly (sorry, I'm already turning down orders for a jar of the unique jelly...and I'll have my DH standing in line all day to fill family orders...lol)
If you opening weekend of the NFL doesn't thrill you , and you're looking for one more day at the beach, head over to Island Beach State Park (just south of Seaside) It's a beautiful state facility with miles of gorgeous beaches. Stop by my display if you come down and say Hi!
A new payment processor is about to come on the scene and perhaps pose a challenge to Paypal, the leading online processor. The company is still in pre-launch and is offering a decent promotion for members who join. Currently PayBox is offering a $50 sign-up bonus, and offering members to voice their opinions on what we would like to see from a payment processor.
At this time, they aren't asking for any financial info, just a name, email address, log-in and password and your in. Attracting possible more sales with a new processor is well worth the 60 seconds it took to sign up and verify my email address. Take a look and let me know what you think. http://www.paybox.me/r/ridethewave
Hope to see you at the show!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
So another summer has come and gone, the children are back in school, and the beaches are fairly empty. Hopefully not to empty this coming Sunday...
This Sunday, September 12th, I'll be vending at the The Beach Plum Festival in Island Beach State Park. It's not very often I have the opportunity to do a show near the beach, but last year's show was so much fun. I'm very excited to be coming back again this year (I'm going to get a jar or three of Beach Plum jelly and I don't care how long I wait in line this yr...lol)
The top image is probably the most looked at piece from prior shows. I placed it in my Etsy shop earlier this morning, and it's marked down nearly 40% from it's show price. A pre-show special for my Etsy customers that are not able to attend the show. It's a very unique English sea glass necklace, and the piece has a bold red splash in the frosted white glass...a beautiful piece that has had customers coming back to my display at recent shows to look at it again and again. The current listed Etsy price will be adjusted back to full price after the show, and I will also end the Free Shipping promo that has carried over from the summer.
Last week's hurricane/tropical storm produced some beautiful surf. larger than normal waves pounded the Jersey shoreline and caused some minor erosion on LBI. Other New jersey beaches were hit much harder, so I suppose we were quite lucky.
The stronger tides failed to provide much in the way of sea glass, and most of what my family and I found were newer shards of glass that somehow found there way into the ocean. Most pieces were very sharp, and no where near close to being sea glass, so we discarded them into the recycle bins on the beach. We did find a chunkier pale blue piece of sea glass- probably from an old Coke bottle- that was well-weathered. This piece will probably become a piece of LBI sea glass necklace, and find it's way into one of the local shops that display my handmade jewelry. Hopefully this weekend will produce a couple of pretty pieces of sea glass that was stirred up by last week's storm.
If you happen to be looking for a fun event this coming Sunday, and you're in the Ocean County, NJ area, head over to Island Beach State Park. The beaches are beautiful, and I think you'll find several interesting handmade vendors displaying their creations.
I'll be in the same spot as last year (near the clubhouse)or standing in the Beach Plum jelly line...stop by and say Hi, if you have a chance!
'til next time...
Posted by JerseyShore Mom at 6:52 AM
Monday, August 23, 2010
This past Saturday was a rare day indeed. We arrived on LBI shortly before noon to see the mass exodus of renters, as they made room for the thousands of new renters just starting their vacations (yes Rt72, was backed up for miles, and luckily, the back roads were smooth sailing)
Almost always, this means a less than full beach and that is exactly what we found! Some fairly wide open areas made up of mostly year-round citizens of the island. The water was warm, and we were arriving smack in the middle of low tide...perfect for a little sea glassing!
While I watched my youngest venture out beyond the sandbar, my DH headed south to an area that has turned up some pretty pieces in past summers (DH swears that heading south on the island- no matter what part of the island we are on, offers the best opps for sea glassing)My DH came strolling back with 4 pieces of sea glass, and since our sons were just getting out of the water, we ventured north to check out the shell beds in the surf.
These beds turned up pretty much empty...a piece or two of small browns, a couple of "undercooked" pieces, nothing special...so north bound we continued, and as we passed a jetty we noticed a HUGE pile of shells along the jetty and up on the beach along the high tide line...and I mean H U G E! A few inches deep, and several feet wide...3 big collections that were apparently left behind by what must have been an especially powerful high tide...and this collection of shells was found nowhere else on the beach...and we walked several blocks and never even came across a sign that anything like this would be possible on this day (I had not seen a collections of shells on LBI in a couple years, and that was immediately after a severe Nor'eastern that coincided with a New Moon)
So as my oldest son and my DH checked down by the surf, my youngest son and I searched the largest of the shell beds... all while the tide was rising to reclaim the shells it had left earlier. As the waves came up and reclaimed a bit of the shell bed, I was their to examine what might have been uncovered in the bed, while the surf patrol scooped up what was heading back to the sea. Of course we attracted a couple of locals and several other beachgoers...most of those were there for shells.
After about 30 minutes, I had enough. The crowds around the shell beds were growing to large, and the beds were shrinking. Eventually, I was muscled out of my area (how rude!)and I headed back to our chairs to enjoy lunch, and examine our finds.
My DH stayed behind long enough to see a local pick up a nice cobalt piece (the first he's ever seen on this stretch of beach) and as the waves reached further up the beach, he found a nice piece of an old Coke bottle, and a well-frosted piece of what appears to be an old ketchup bottle.
In a short 30 minute span, we found more sea glass on the beach than we had found in the last 5 or 6 months! The Sea Glass Gods smiled upon us on this day, when they left behind those huge shell piles mixed with sea glass. Several of us scooped up pieces that were several decades old...and just as quickly as those shell beds were left, the sea came back to take them away.
I cannot remember the last time I found this many pieces during the summer...and on a bright sunny day! I'm off to take some pictures of a couple new creations, and I'll take a few pix of the weekend finds for my next entry.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
In my previous entry, I mentioned that it appears that sea glass has disappeared from the beaches in New Jersey. The extreme winter took it's toll on the beaches, and the reconstruction of the beach has buried much of the glass. As current and future storms erode the beach, the glass in and near the beach is also getting buried.
Since their really hasn't been much to look for on the beach, I've found myself (sitting in my beach chair, working on my tan) thinking more about how the current economy has affected my online and craft fair sales. To say the economy is not good is an understatement. It has not been good for quite some time and this has affected my small handmade jewelry business.
Yet as August rolls around, there are many mixed signals coming from the state of our economy, and yet again, it is showing it's affect for me on Etsy. And this time, it appears to be a positive affect.
My DH has always been a number/stats type of person. He has been responsible listing items, and has noticed trends, that have allowed him to predict when I'm about to make a sale. He noticed these tell-tale signs starting in late July, and mentioned to me that things might be picking up soon.
I was quite skeptical because August has never really been a good month for my shop. Since sea glass is more of a beachy, summery type of accessory, I had already chalked up the summer season as another disappointment...just like the holiday season of 2009, the spring wedding season, Valentine's Day, etc. The economy was still shaky, the daily stock market reports resembled a roller-coaster ride on the boardwalk, so I assumed the "things might be picking up soon" comment to be a future sale, perhaps two (welcomed sales, nonetheless)
My hubby always looks to see how many members are hearting my shop & items. Not just any members, but members that don't have shops. It has always been his indicator that a sale could be forthcoming. And from late July thru the first week of August, I saw several "buyer-only" hearts in my shop... and despite what is usually a slow month, despite an economy that just can't seem to turn the corner, and in spite of the end of summer coming quickly...a sale, followed by another, and then a request, and a sale.
After speaking with a few other Etsy shop owners, they also mentioned a few "buyer-only" members frequenting their shops, "a few more than usual" is what one shop owner stated. Since the last days of July, 50% of my shop hearts are either secret admirers, or buy-only members. In the previous 5 or 6 months, I'd be willing to bet that 90% of the hearts received during that time, came from shop owners.
Is this a case of the economy finally rounding the corner, and improving? Or have people been sitting on their money for so long that they are getting restless, and want to do a little shopping...perhaps an early start on their holiday shopping?
I'm not sure, but I am sure happy about the the increased visits to my shop...and I'm thrilled that I'm prepared to keep my shop in the buyers memory by promoting, and listing new items.
This almost makes me want to brave the 90 degree heat, and do an outdoor show...almost.
'til next time...
Sunday, August 15, 2010
We're halfway through the last month of the summer, and the last 2 trips to the beach have yielded zero pieces of sea glass, and only 5 pieces for the last 4 trips to the beach. I don't think I ever came away from the beach empty-handed for two straight trips! And only 5 pieces in 4 trips is also pretty shocking.
The NJ shore has been showing signs that the sea glass supply has been drying up in the last few years. Fewer and fewer pieces have been turning up, and most of what does appear on the beach, tends to be thinner shards of green, brown or clear...and that usually means that people are still discarding their beer and wine bottles in the ocean...and most of these pieces tend to be what my DH likes to refer to as "undercooked" or not quite sea glass. The pieces with sharp edges will never get a chance to become sea glass, as I toss them in the recycling cans along the beach. The more rounded edges, tend to be thicker pieces, and close to being finished, so I'll take them to an area of LBI that is not open to swimmers and give the ocean a chance to finish it's work.
Most of the "undercooked" pieces do get thrown out, because a large percentage of them are the thinner glass (almost always from recent discarding) Perhaps one day in the future, I'll regret not giving the thinner pieces a chance, but I would hate to think some unsuspecting swimmer had a day at the beach ruined by a severe laceration on the foot or leg.
So as summer winds down, and the vacationers head home for fall, hopefully there will be some sea glass turning up soon. At least the beaches will be void of cigar smoking, loud-mouthed bennies that leave their trash behind when they leave the beach for the day. I'm looking forward to Labor Day...can you tell?
Has the hot weathered helped or hurt your sales on Etsy the last 2 months? Or has the weather and the weak economy caused your sales to grind to a trickle? In part 2 of Random Thoughts... what I've noticed occurring during the dog days of summer. The images above are a few pieces that will be working their way into my Etsy shop this week!
'til next time... (probably Tues)