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Jeweler Rediscovers Craft

New Etsy store helps new seller take hobby to the next level.
Featured Seller: Gemini Jules

Jeweler Julianne Riddle is not a flashy person. She doesn’t make “statement” pieces when she crafts a new necklace, bracelet or ring to sell on her Etsy store, Gemini Jules. She makes accessories that women can wear with any outfit.

“I feel those types of accessories will get more wear and be more cherished,” she explains. “My greatest goal is to make timeless pieces that won’t be discarded when the next trend comes around.”

Riddle’s fondness for jewelry comes as no surprise to those who know her. The jewelry maker has been honing her craft since she was a teen—14 to be exact. She frequently dons eye-catching gemstone earrings and colorful necklaces. But it’s only been within the last year that her passion for creating has reignited, and spurred her to take her pastime to the next level.

“I was obsessed—constantly sketching ideas and feeling empowered by watching them manifest into such unique pieces”

The lure of online

About a year ago, Riddle began taking a class in soldered jewelry at a local adult school. The experience re-inspired her, she notes.

“I suddenly became enthralled with creating jewelry again,” Riddle says. “I was obsessed—constantly sketching ideas and feeling empowered by watching them manifest into such unique pieces.”

The result was Riddle sketching new designs all the time—designs her boyfriend found everywhere around the house—and Riddle feeling that she was ready to have a home base for her items. Her venue of choice was Etsy, a marketplace for artisan goods like hers.

Riddle knew Etsy well. She had shopped on the marketplace several times and “loved the concept of Etsy—everything homemade,” she says. The store would let her reach a broader audience and help her focus more on selling.

Riddle had offered her necklaces, rings and earrings at local farmer’s markets and other events. She loved interacting with potential customers at these events, but setting up stands at events involved merchandising and displays.

That takes time and money, Riddle notes. “With Etsy, you can upload a few photos and you’re done,” she adds.

Bewitching online buyers with jewels

Since Gemini Jules’s launch in October, buyers have responded well to Riddle’s merchandise. She’s made a few sales through her “part-time gig”—as she calls it—adding that she spends from 10 to 20 hours a week on her Etsy store. She’s also earned 100-percent positive feedback.

One shopper noted on her site that the necklace Riddle crafted for her “exceeded” her expectations.

“I was shocked how quickly it was shipped and by the absolute warmth that seems to radiate from it. [It was] way prettier than the pictures. Great design,” the buyer wrote.

Riddle says Etsy’s “shop stats” have proven helpful in her quest to become an online seller, allowing her to see which items buyers have clicked on and which ones buyers are looking for.

“I always complement a woman on a piece of jewelry because she’ll always have a story to tell about where it’s from and a different time in her life”

Jewels that tell a story

Riddle admits that though she’s been making accessories for years, the attention she puts into her hobby has gone in waves before now. At times, she’d craft like crazy, and then she would put aside her hammer and gems for months to focus on other things. She works on “whims of creativity,” she explains.

But as she’s working on a piece, she always thinks about how it will sparkle off a woman’s ear, “or play up a bare wrist,” she adds.

The jeweler describes her pieces as light, delicate and simple. Some pieces only take minutes to make. Others, especially rings, take several hours to perfect.

“When you’re putting a flame to metal, there are several stages it must go through before it is perfected,” she explains. “It has to soak in a solution then be polished, sanded and polished again.”

Still, the final product is worth the effort, she notes. The stories that come with a beautiful piece of jewelry only add to their appeal.

“I love how a special piece can almost become part of a woman’s identity,” she explains. “I’m always vocal about complementing a woman on a piece of jewelry because she’ll always have a story to tell about where it’s from and a different time in her life.”

Looking to the future

Riddle hopes to add more listings to her store this year and expand her customer base. Along the way, she anticipates challenges like standing out from other sellers and having her items discovered on Etsy with so many items on the site.

She’s still learning ways to cope with these challenges, but sharing her items on Pinterest and Facebook has helped give her work more exposure. So has having supportive family and friends who also share Riddle’s creations among their circles.

When she sells her items at events, she’s also sure to include her Etsy URL on business cards to let customers know where they can find her products.

“As I’ve dedicated more time to this art, I continue to hone my skills and create more and more unique products,” she says. “My hope is that I will be recognized for my work and people will continue to support me.”

In the meantime, she’ll continue hammering out new designs in the workshop in her garage, and using her very own torch to finalize creations.

Visit Gemini Jules on Etsy.

About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of TheOnlineSeller.com. In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.



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