#234 Top Business Questions From The Metalsmith Society Answered

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The jewelry industry can be notoriously secretive. In a true demonstration of #CommunityOverCompetition, Metalsmith Society is trying to change that.

Just as we’ve created a supportive space for jewelers to learn about business, Corkie Bolton has established a vibrant community where jewelers can share techniques, ask questions, and exchange ideas.

After graduating from Pratt Institute, Corkie missed the tight-knit community of jewelers she had found at school and felt frustrated by the exclusive nature of the jewelry industry. 

When a friend taught her a clever sautering hack involving a potato – yes, a potato – it was something of an eye-opening moment for her. She knew there must be other metalsmiths and jewelers out there who wanted an open community to help and support each other.

Unable to find anything else like it, Metalsmith Society was born.

Corkie came on the show to discuss some of the questions she hears most from jewelers in the Metalsmith Society. With our powers combined, we were able to come up with some answers.

Click here to download the show notes

“How do I price my jewelry?”

Short answer: probably higher than you think.

It ultimately depends on a lot of factors. That’s why we have five different pricing formulas in our Laying the Foundation program.

What may jewelers overlook is that you need to price for wholesale first. If your retail prices are too low, you’ll be totally screwed when a wholesaler picks you up and expects an even lower price.

Establish a fair wholesale price that still allows you to pay yourself your desired salary, and mark up your retail prices from there.

If you’re looking for an exact formula, listen to the full episode above or check out some of the other content I’ve made dedicated to pricing.

“Should I sell on Etsy?”

I worked with a designer whose primary source of sales was on Etsy. They made nearly $500,000 a year on the platform.

Sounds pretty great, right?

Well, they were located in Houston, and when Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, their internet was disconnected for weeks and none of their shipments made it out on time.

One of their customers complained and, just like that, Etsy shut down this designer’s whole shop – no questions asked.

That’s the risk of building your business on a third-party platform: you don’t actually own it

Etsy is fine as a secondary source of income, but I always encourage designers to push traffic to their email list and website, where you will actually have some control over your brand.

“If I don’t sell on Etsy, how will people find me?”

Build an email list, and send emails regularly.

I talk about this on a weekly basis, because it’s that important. Yes, marketing is a multi-faceted part of your brand. 

But, if you could only do one thing to promote your product, email marketing would be your best bet.

I’ll keep this one short because I have so many other resources on the topic. Here’s the gist of it: you need a compelling lead magnet (something that gets people to opt-in to your list!), and you need to commit to a regular email schedule.

What’s doable for you, is it twice a month, once a week, every other day? Pick something and stick to it, m’dear!

There’s so much more to it than this. If you haven’t already, listen to the full episode above with Corkie Bolton. She’s out here making the jewelry industry a more welcoming place!

Until next week,

xo, Tracy

Sponsor Spotlight!

Are you looking to stand out from your competitors, increase exposure, and generate consistent sales?

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I’ve got an epic FREE masterclass coming up soon – and seats are limited! We’ll be talking about simple, effective strategies to make your brand stand out from the crowd.

Reserve your seat before it fills up!


Corkie Bolton

The Metalsmiths Society

Reboot Your Revenue Challenge

Desired Brand Masterclass

How to Build an Email List

How to Price Your Jewelry



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