Why I opened an Etsy Supply Shop

4:48 PM Posted In , , Edit This 2 Comments »
I do so love getting new beads!

I've enjoyed selling my creations at local galleries and in my LunasBaublebilities shop for several years now. However, every year I spent almost as much on supplies as I brought in from sold items. I don't like to do production work - or making multiples of the same design, so my bead and supply inventory was always feeling stale and boring to me. I was always scrimping, trying to place the smallest possible order to avoid spending too much or having lots of leftovers. This made designing stressful and uninspiring as I would get "precious" about certain beads and supplies, trying not to use them all up in one piece. But no longer!

These lovelies just arrived today.

The ones I am most excited about are the pearls in sand and copper colors. My niece is getting married next month and I get to make her wedding jewelry! ( I love making wedding jewelry.) She wanted pearls in earthy colors in a vintage looking style so I ordered lots of warm sand and copper colors in button and rice shapes. I have some wine colored pearls to round out the colors in my existing stash. I am thinking that they will be linked together with wire and a little bit of chain with maybe a vintagey doo-dad slightly off center in front.

I'll be sure to post my progress as I work on it.

I also ordered some blues ad soft sage-y greens just for good measure. I'll probably put up some more pearl mixes in GoblinsMarket in the next few days as I unstring and sort these babies into jars.

I also got more of these incredible sparkling glass spacers and a strand of copper spacers. There are at least 500 beads on the strand of copper spacers. I do not want to take them off the string - they look so amazing all stacked together like that!

The really great thing about selling supplies is that I can order tons and tons of stuff at once and have plenty to work with in my own designs without worrying about having a huge deadweight inventory left over. Buying in such enormous quantities gets me great prices and I can then re-sell things in my Etsy shop for approximately the same price per bead that a customer would get if she bought from my suppliers in smaller quantities - but she can get more variety for a lower cost. For instance - the large faceted glass beads sell at GoblinsMarket for about the same price per bead as they would from my supplier in their highest price point, but a customer can buy just two beads from me instead of having to buy the whole strand.

That is a deal that seems to work for everyone. I get lots of beads and unload my leftovers. My customers get great beads at reasonable prices without having to meet a ridiculously high wholesale minimum orders or buy hundreds of dollars worth of beads to get the lowest possible price. Plus Maxx & Molly love to play pirate. The hardest pat of unpacking is keeping track of where all the strands of pearls and beads end up!

I have found that running a supply shop takes up more of my time than I would sometimes like. Our house is only marginally clean this week because Bryan is off work for mid-winter break and molly conjured up some magic - or some helpers - and scrubbed the living room and kitchen while I was at work last Thursday. But I am learning how to manage my time and my tasks. For instane, I've trained myself to only go to the Post Offuice once per week s I was originally spending at least an hour each day trying to package a few small orders - packaging 18 or 20 orders assembly line style with Molly's help once a week actually takes only a couple of hours and therefore I save lots of time.

The fun I get from unpacking new beads almost evey week, the increased inspiration I find in having lots of beads and supplies to design with and the financial freedom to take a wild chance on some expensive new beads (like these incredible aqua terra jasper beads) are totally worth the extra time I'm putting into rnning a supply shop. Sometimes I even toy with the idea of opening a real life bead store - maybe in a cute little yurt out back . . .


storybeader said...

I think I need to sell some of my leftover beads! Nice to be able to buy a lot at one time. Have fun designing the wedding jewelry!

Virginia Burnett said...

You're right, Storybeader, having all that "extra" inventory to design with is life-altering. I'm learning how not to be precious with my supplies and am creating many more wonderful things than before. I love it!

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