How Abbyjewellery got started
Introduce your Etsy shop and tell us your story. How did you begin and decide on what to sell on Etsy, and how do you create your products?
Welcome to Abbyjewellery, my little corner of Etsy! I opened my account there in 2009 but didn’t really start selling until 2013. When I first started selling online, I used it as an outlet for my digital tutorials, but that quickly progressed to jewellery-making kits and finished pieces.
My jewellery is handmade using a variety of materials, including precious and semi-precious stones, sterling and fine silver, gold, bronze, and copper. I have over 20 years of experience, and each piece of jewellery is inspired by the stones themselves, with great emphasis put on showing their natural beauty. I am an award-winning jewellery artist who has judged an international jewellery competition and has written a best-selling book that is now in its 7th edition. In 2009, I decided to pursue a dream I had harboured for many years: to start my own jewellery business! So that is exactly what I did. I love what I do; it is not just a job to me—it's my passion!
Born and raised in North London, I grew up surrounded by artistic people. Living in a very close community with a diverse mix of characters, I was able to try my hand at a whole array of crafts, from sewing to polymer clay modelling. I come from a long line of artists; my great-great-grandfather was Frank Paton, well known for his realistic portrayal of both wild and domestic animals using oil paints, but he is probably more fondly remembered for his pencil etchings. Many other family members have continued the tradition of painting and drawing. Although I enjoyed drawing, I wasn't particularly good at it. Imagine my delight when I discovered the possibility of bringing things to life with wire!
I am the author of Wire Jewellery Masterclass. The idea for writing this book seemed to me like a natural progression from the writing of individual tutorials. It allows me to place the various skill levels in order, offering a starting platform for the complete novice through to the more advanced levels, as well as giving ideas for more experienced wireworkers to develop their existing abilities.
I now offer an extensive range of handmade wire jewellery online, and my customers are from all over the world. I always get a flutter of excitement when I ship a piece to some far-flung corner of the globe!
What are your favorite items? What makes these so special? Why do you think these items might be selling well?
I adore making brooches and hair accessories at the moment. There is something very therapeutic about beating wire into submission with a hammer! They also allow me the freedom to design anything I want.
I am also very fond of my Viking knit kit. I developed this kit some years ago, and after demonstrating the technique at a historical event, the audience was in such awe of the magic they witnessed in front of them that I knew I had to share it with more people. It gives me immense pleasure to teach people this ancient art.
This necklace really showcases the technique, as it is not only used as a chain but also to form a hand-knitted bezel to set the stone.
Getting sales on Etsy
How long did it take for you to earn your first sale and how do you currently attract customers to your Etsy shop?
I started selling on Etsy because I had international customers who wanted the purchase price in US dollars (my own website is in GBP), so I did make sales as soon as I started selling.
I drive traffic these days using social media:
I also add new items to my shop regularly, which I find helps immensely.
How do you manage your shop? Are you running solo or do you have any team members? What tools or services do you use to run your shop and how do you handle fulfillment?
I am a one-woman show, so I do everything myself. A typical day for me starts with processing orders (confirming, picking, packing, and labeling), replying to messages, dropping orders off with the courier, and confirming ispatch. Then I get to work in my studio. I tend to try to make some stock pieces (I have core lines that I call my ‘bread and butter’ that I always try to keep in stock), then allow myself time to work on new designs or one-of-a kind pieces. Next, I work on photography and listings, either adding new lines or editing and improving existing listings, and creating social media posts. Ordering materials and supplies is always the last job to get done!
Of course, this can change if I have a commission order or a large project I am working on. Everything listed is ready-made, which allows me to turn orders around within 24 hours.
I use Etsy shipping labels, which save me so much time.
I use Erank to help me improve my SEO and listing quality.
Canva for banners and promotions
Lightroom for processing images
The future of Abbyjewellery
What goals do you have for your shop in the future?
I want to continue to build and grow my Etsy shop, but my plans for my business going forward are to increase the number of brick-and-mortar shops that stock my jewellery. I have found in the past that when online sales are slower, shop sales are higher, so to make my business more robust, I think this is important.
Advice for new sellers
What’s your advice for a new seller starting an Etsy shop?
You need a strong product that you are passionate about. Educate yourself on best practices and SEO. Learn to take excellent photographs of your products and write engaging copy. Build a strong following of customers by growing your social media and building a mailing list.
Don’t give up or get disheartened; your shop will need refining and tweeking many times before you get it right.