Wednesday, May 13, 2009
As many of you readers might remember I wrote to Fire Mountain Gems on behalf of The Art Jewelry Collective to give them feedback on their growing trend to offer cheaper quality materials and less high quality, fine stone beads, and told them that their "promotional strands" were sending the wrong message to the wrong market and that it was alienating those of us who work with fine material in the creation of our jewelry.
Well...I got an e-mail today which suggests that they have thought about this position and decided that they should go back in the other direction toward higher quality bead strands! This is real progress for the industry, as Fire Mountain Gems is a major supplier of jewelry findings, beads, tools, packaging, etc.
Read the letter below (re-printed from an e-mail I received announcing their about-face);
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads is pleased to announce that the largest consortium of gemstone bead cutters in India has appointed us their official distributor in North America.This comes with two changes:
Because of the difficulty of getting rough gem materials, they will no longer be cutting the low-grade materials; these are the strands we normally sell for $1 to $2.
In return for our pledge to sell everything they can cut, they will lower their price by 50% or more on all materials. Our buyers readily agreed to this arrangement, knowing that our designer customers would be delighted to get a supply of fine gems priced at least half-off. We will implement these new prices immediately, starting with the current prices in the Web offering.
We usually can't predict what’s coming in on the next shipment.
Once an item is sold out, it may show up again in the next shipment - or we may never see it again.
If you are selling to a steady customer, such as a department store, we recommend that you secure all of the material that you will need for the entire contract, from the beginning. These are not the same as our regular stock, where you can usually buy more as you go along. Once these are gone, they're gone.
You can mix and match these for our All Assortable pricing program.
Our Ironclad Guarantee applies to these products, as it does to all products you buy from Fire Mountain. You can return anything, for any reason, for a full refund - no time limit, no kiddin'.
We would like to thank our customers who have supported our India gemstone program over the years. Your support has made this appointment possible, and it is only right that you share in the benefits. We wish we could take each of you to the Jaipur area of India and have you meet the families of the cutters who prepare these gemstones. These families are immensely grateful and thankful for your support. You should know that you are helping to forge an unbreakable bond between our country and India, (the largest democracy in the world).
Happy Beading from all of us at Fire Mountain Gems and Beads,
Chris and Stuart
I took a look at the beads they currently have in that collection and though most of them are listed as B-grade, not A, AA, or AAA, I must say that some of the strands of facetted black garnet they're offering are pretty good.
This might be worth watching over the coming months to see what else they are carrying.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
While looking around on Facebook recently I came across a group in which a man was talking about using keywords to bring more people to one's jewelry site.
I have always thought that my use of keywords was pretty good already, but Wordtracker seems to have it down to a science if you are willing to really analyze the raw data it gives you.
Below is only a small sample of the possible key words; there are an unlimited number of combinations pertaining to jewelry, but I included some of the most popular in the order of most to least searched.
This little example will provide you with alot of information about what customers are looking for as well as to help you tag your pieces more efficiently on Etsy and any of the other websites you use to promote your work that rely on tags.
There’s a clever little tool on their website that allows you to type in any keyword (or several together to form a phrase), and it will tell you how many searches use that keyword and also more specific uses of it and how many searches those terms have been used in, for instance I put in the word Tourmaline and notice all the information it gives you. It will even tell you which colors of Tourmaline are most searched.
This tells us that Pink is probably the most popular with 46 searches, then green and Paraiba are running neck and neck with 28. Next in popularity is Watermelon Tourmaline with 21 searches, then Black Tourmaline with 14 searches. Blue Tourmaline (versus Paraiba) with 3 searches is even less popular, and it appears that Berry (2 searches) appears to be the least popular color of all.
In terms of types of pieces (plural and singular) this was what I discovered from most to least popular;
Hoops – 152
Hoop earrings- 55
Stone Varieties in Order of Most Popular to Least Popular
Blue Sapphires- 99
Blue Topaz- 97
Freshwater Pearls- 63
Fire Opal- 61
Boulder Opal- 43
Australian Opal- 30
Black Onyx- 30
Cheap Rhodochrosite Rondelle- 19
Lightning Ridge Opal- 17
Rainbow Moonstone- 9
Pink Moonstone- 7
Blue Opal- 6
Pink Opal Beads- 5
Pink Opals- 3
White Moonstone- 2
Black Moonstone- 1
Lemon Quartz- 0
Beer Quartz- 0
Colors of Stones
Yellow Stone- 80
Black Stone- 37
Blue Stone- 24
Red Stone- 12
Green Stones- 12
Purple Stone- 9
Green Stone- 8
Pink Stone- 4
Orange Stone- 3
Deep Purple Stone- 0
Brown Stone- 0
Style of stones
Bronze Clay- 20
Deep Purple- 1524
A special note to jewelry-lovers/buyers: