MY AMAZON EXPERIENCE WITH MY FIRST SALE

The mailman just picked up a package for me. The package was going to my first Amazon customer. I had made a sale of one of my jewelry items, the first in more than a year.
It’s been tough. I joined Amazon Handmade a few weeks ago and entered more than 50 necklaces for sale on their site. I have been promoting this, as well as my other two jewelry sites, since joining, and have been patiently waiting for some action. It finally came in the form of a sale last evening.
I spent quite a bit of time getting the package put together with a packing list, a pouch for the necklace, and packing materials to ship it in. It took me a while to find all those things and be sure I didn’t forget anything.
Since this was my first sale on Amazon their forms were unfamiliar to me and seemed complicated. I had to make sure all their conditions were met. For instance, they asked for a description of the package I was using. Since it was an ordinary mailing envelope, one of those brown heavy paper ones with bubbles, I couldn’t figure out how to enter the sizes of length, width and depth. The envelope was 5”x8” but the depth? I entered 0” but that was not accepted. Finally, after several attempts to figure out how to resolve this, I entered 1” and it was accepted. As you know, those envelopes have no depth. Obviously they would want depth for a box, not an envelope, but I ship most of my jewelry in padded envelopes, not boxes. I guess I wouldn’t qualify for the shipping department job I saw in the newspaper…
Then, when I finally got all the info entered, I had to click on “Confirm Shipment”. It was indicated as being at the bottom of one of the pages, but it wasn’t there. Not on the indicated page, nor any other of the multiple pages. I just couldn’t find it.
I went to bed out of frustration. I thought a good night’s sleep and a clear head might tell me what I needed to do.
Early the next morning I attempted to contact Amazon to ask what I should do about not having the shipment confirmed. Nothing in all my paperwork with them had a telephone number for Amazon. I needed an answer before I felt secure in the shipping, this being my first sale with them. I didn’t want to delay it by trying to get an answer online.
Finally I found a page in the notes I had copied while setting up my Amazon site that had an option where I could ask them to call me. My phone rang almost immediately after I requested it and a nice woman answered my question about the confirmation. She responded that the confirmation was already completed and I could ship the package. Apparently Amazon furnished the completion. But I did not see that in my shipping page, so was confused. Her email message to me sent after the close of the conversation informed me that the shipment was confirmed, the buyer would be notified of the shipping and expected arrival dates, the tracking number was given to her, how she should make the payment and the date on which the payment would be deposited in my bank account. Now that seemed very efficient!
I sell on other sites and I think I am quite experienced in providing the information each one requires. I am confident that I will become accustomed to Amazon’s way of doing business. They are an enormous company and have millions of sellers and customers and have developed their sales accounts to be effective. My little shop is just a drop in the bucket, but the person who helped me this morning told me to send off the package today. Everything was completed.  I am an Amazon seller!
I

DON”T READ THIS, if you are a woman under 30 | woman under 30

This message is about those of you who have reached the age of 30, or older. I picture you as probably possibly married, having one or more children and working. You could have completed your education, have a job, and a husband, (maybe not that last item). I think of you as you get up each morning, take care of your family’s needs before your own. Then get ready for your daily routine and leave for work.
One of those chores is choosing an outfit to wear that day. Maybe you are tired of your clothes and accessories and need something new. I can help with that. There is nothing like a bright new necklace to make an old dress or pant suit show off your style. I make jewelry for you.
I make necklaces, bracelets and earrings that are suitable for the workplace. The colors of my creations are bright and the styles are very different. Every item is unusual and one-of-a-kind, not to be seen as ordinary. They can make an old outfit sparkle like new.
Just to let you know, some of my creations would be perfect for a night out with your favorite person.
So, I invite you to take a few minutes and browse through my multiple varieties of colorful selections in the three sites listed below. I think you might find the selection and prices worth your time. There is something about wearing a new accessory that will perk up your day. I hope you find it in my creations.

http://mizmlu.etsy.com

http://jewelryalamode.com

www:amazon.com/handmade/mizmlu

New necklaces in JewelryAlaMode

P1680658Over the last week I have added 25 necklaces to my JewelryAlaMode site for your pleasure. You’ll find them in all different colors and styles. There are fresh water cultured pearls in pink and blue and white, clear glass beads, cloisonné, large and small, casual or dressy, even metal beads. You should be able to find just the right accessory for your activities, whether they are at work, meeting friends, or just wearing something pretty around the house. That last one works for me.
Shipping is free to residents of the US for items costing less than $10 . All others are at the USPS charge. I do ship Internationally, but since the Post Office has a different charge for each country I charge what USPS charges me. And I do not have a handling charge. Each item is packed in an organza pouch to protect the necklace or for gift giving if that is your intent.

Surely you will find something that pleases you or something to go with that special outfit. I’m looking forward to sending it off to you as quickly as possible.

Many thanks for looking in my JewelryAlaMode shop. This will get you there:  jewelryalamode.com

Take advantage of free shipping

Next week, between Feb. 6 and Feb. 9, 29 pieces of my handmade jewelry will be discontinued for sale from my Etsy shop. If you would like to purchase one or more of them, shipping in the US will be free, as usual. All of the 29 pieces will go up for sale on my Jewelryalamode site, where I do charge for shipping for any item over $10. If you are interested in saving the shipping cost, take advance of this feature. After February 9, they will no longer be listed on Etsy.

What is my style?

What is my style? How do I describe it? This was a question recently put to me. It’s really not too hard to describe.  I like variation, diversity.  I look for ways to use that in the jewelry I design.  It might be an unusual color, one you don’t see wherever you look, such as fuschia, magenta or teal.  It could be the shape of the bead or a design embedded in it.  It could be a touch of glitter.  I like that.  Then I spread the beads out on the beading form and see how they look.  They may need a touch of a contrasting color, or shape or size.  Or they may need a little help to make their appearance more attractive.  Quite often it takes many choices to arrive at the best result.

I urge others to see what I see, which is something that no one else will have. I want them to wear my jewelry and have someone comment on it, such as “Where did you get that?”

I do make the ordinary type of jewelry because I like it as much as the unusual and I want to share my work with everyone.  My pearl necklaces fall into this category and I am pleased with their appearance.

So, when you see one of my pieces and wonder why I chose to make it, that’s why.  Check out my creations at one, or all, of the following sites.  They have different jewelry items.

http://mizmlu.etsy.com

http://jewellryalamode.com

www.amazon.com/handmade/mizmlu

Unusual magnetic jewelry

P1630854Come see the four new items I just added to my Jewelry Ala Mode site. I had some pieces I couldn’t list on Etsy because I didn’t make them. But I had purchased them because they were different and interesting. Three of the items are combination necklace/bracelets. They are made with magnetic beads that stick together so they can be wrapped around your wrist. The picture shows what the bracelet looks like. I could only list one picture. Those three bracelets have black beads with either gold tone or pink, or a mixture of reflective dark colored beads. You can see all three pieces on the Jewelryalamode site listed at the end of this page. When the bracelet is unrolled, for lack of a better word, it becomes a 35” necklace which can be worn doubled. The stringed beads come together and stay. Someone with imagination can wear this necklace in different ways. I wore one of the bracelets one time and it was noticed and commented on. You would probably get the same result wearing one as a necklace.
P1630887The fourth item newly listed there is a set of three pastel glass bracelets in pink, yellow, and blue. They are very shiny and when worn as a set are quite attractive. The set is on sale for $8 and the magnetic necklace/bracelet items are $6 each. I hope that you find them interesting and share in my enthusiasm.

http://jewelryalamode.com

How Marlene’s Necklace Affected My Jewelry Making

Marlene-necklaceI belong to a group of ladies who meet once a month for brunch and to exchange the books we have read and pass them around. We originally began meeting to discuss our yearly trips to the library for family research in Salt Lake City. Four of us, Pam, Ruth, Kay and I were avid genealogists and made the trips each winter along with a few other friends. Kay has since passed away, too soon, and the three of us no longer make the trip to Utah although Pam is still involved in finding her ancestors.
It’s been a long time since those days, and as our small group grew in numbers the book exchange was the next step giving us a reason to meet and compare our activities. There are now up to 9 of us who meet, but often there might be 7 or less each month. I am, no doubt, the oldest of the group. One lady who was older recently passed away in her sleep. But I have a story to tell about her and her necklace, and how it affected the necklaces I now make.
All the ladies know that I make jewelry and I wear a different necklace to each brunch gathering. One day Marlene asked me if would make her a black necklace and I said, “I’d love to.”
Marlene couldn’t describe exactly what she wanted, but knowing her, I thought I could create something she would like. I had some beads in mind and I put together three different short length bead patterns with alternating black and silver beads. She chose one and I made the necklace and gave it to her. Needless to say, she was delighted and wore it many times. However, it broke. Beads fell all over the floor. She and her daughters collected as many as they could find and gave them to me. I made a new necklace for her at no charge. I don’t remember what she paid for the original necklace. I had offered it to her as a gift, but she insisted on paying me.
That experience made me think that if that happened to one of my necklaces, it could happen again. And indeed it did. One necklace broke while a friend was looking at it. That is not good.As any necklace is worn there is friction on the clasp as the necklace is put on and taken off. The friction rubs the small wire and wears it away. I finally found what I think will help to keep that from happening to the necklaces I now make.
I use a very tiny metal guard that holds the wire and keeps the clasp away from direct contact with the wire. The horseshoe shape guard prevents that friction so the movement of the clasp doesn’t erode the wire. All necklaces are susceptible to wear and tear, but this guard makes it less fragile.
The guard is very, very tiny and it is a bitch to put the ends of the strung beads together. My hands often shake, making it a tedious process, but I do it now for every necklace I make. Some of my necklaces are long enough to easily pass over the head, but not all. So the guard is used on those.
I think that what I do is a reflection of how I feel about the jewelry I make.

http://mizmlu.etsy.com

Hooked!

I am hooked on beading! I have finally realized that what I enjoy doing most is making jewelry. I sit at my table in my little studio and look at the projects I am currently working on. Then I get out the containers with pieces that need help. They may be short on the number of beads required or the clasp didn’t work or they came apart, (worst of all), or I just didn’t like the finished product. And I make myself fix the problem on at least one. A fixed piece is my redemption.
But then the outrageous amount of beads that I currently have prompts me to use some of them by putting together a finished piece. That is the most satisfying.
In days past I have given preference to reading, knitting, crocheting, doing a crossword puzzle, or a jigsaw puzzle, or playing a game on my computer. (I especially like free cell and solitaire.) But the studio calls me. And despite my prior convictions, I find myself back there, looking at the beads, putting them together to make a necklace, a bracelet, or earrings from the leftovers. And usually I find that I need something to complete them such as a clasp, or a type of bead to fill out the design that the beads call for. And they certainly do that.
So, I am off to the bead shop. There are two nearby. Or I check my Fire Mountain catalog that has everything a jewelry maker can need.
And I am hooked. When in the shop I find a strand of beads that speaks to me. It has a special color, or an unusual design, or it says, “Buy this, it’s not expensive, and you know you’ll love it.” And I do. I come out of the store with more than I intended to buy. I have little will power. I cannot wait to get home and see what I can do with my purchases.
I try to imagine who will see my jewelry. I think that it should appeal to the working woman who needs an accessory to add to her daily wardrobe, or the stay-at-home mother, maybe on a budget, who would like to wear something new and pretty.  And a pretty necklace, bracelet, or earrings make a nice gift. However, I do dream about the woman who is out in the world and needs to wear something different and attractive. I like to say that my jewelry is one-of-a-kind. She can say that it is original, handmade, and especially, different.
I hope that this gives you a picture of me and my world as of today.
Come see my creations at 2 sites: http://mizmlu.etsy.com for the newest pieces or http://jewelryalamode.com for the necklaces that haven’t yet found their owner. There are over 135 currently at that site

MY HOME JEWELRY BUSINESS

MY HOME JEWELRY BUSINESSMizMlu'S Creatives
The aim of my jewelry business is to provide attractive, unusual, colorful, wearable and affordable accessories for the working woman, or the stay-at-home-mother or as a gift. My jewelry is not made with silver and gold materials. I could buy and use them but I would have to charge quite a bit more and would not be able to provide the large variety of jewelry that is currently available from my 2 shops, at http://mizmlu.etsy.com and my own online shop, http://jewelryalamode.com.
When I shop for materials I look for the unusual, either in color or design. I want my finished product to be one-of-a-kind and different in shape, color or design. I have never repeated a piece for the simple reason that I don’t buy the same beads a second time. Sometimes my purchase comes in an amount that allows me to make more than one piece, but the design of each is different.
I actually don’t see the finished product in my mind when I purchase the beads. I see the color or the shape and know that it will come together with what else I buy or what I already have when I put them out on my working table. Sometimes I imagine who will be buying my creation as I’m making it. Will she be an executive, a waitress, maybe a mother who spends her day making a good home and children happy or any number of women who just want original designed jewelry?
Because I like beautiful colors I look for them in other items than just jewelry. I have made booties for babies and crocheted afghans or embroidered pillows for my children and grandchildren and personalized wedding gifts for the children of friends. I used to sew all my own clothes, hence making jewelry to match was obvious. I made clothing for my children and my husband until his death.
When I began working for a living I no longer had time for these creative projects and they ended. Now I buy the clothes I need. And I can always find a piece of jewelry in my vast inventory to go with whatever I choose to wear.
Now that I am retired I have re-entered my jewelry making vocation. I had some materials to re-start and then found online shops as well as neighborhood shops that sold supplies. But I got carried away. I have more supplies than I can ever use. I have several finished pieces that are ready to have their pictures taken so that they can be shown to the public, as well as ideas for new pieces with the materials I have.
I like to give little advantages to a purchase. Therefore each necklace I sell is shipped in an organza pouch, just for protection, or if you want to give it as a gift, and shipped free of charge to US customers. My shipping is usually next day.
I hope this gives you an idea of what my business life is like. I am always busy with one thing or another. Aren’t we all? And I hope that never changes.
Look for me on Amazon in about a month. I have applied for a spot in their new section for handmade items. Looking forward to being there.
I’d love to hear from you.
Mizmlu in sunny California