For my first Feature Friday, I'm featuring someone who I have been following for a few months. Back in October, I wrote a post about Jemyl and the tough times she was having. Ellen L. "jemyl" Johnson lives in northeastern Florida. She has had some physical ailments that have plagued her over the last six years and she depends on selling the jewelry she makes in order to supplement her limited income. Like many of us, making and selling handicrafts is a creative outlet and a means of support for her.
Although Jemyl's blog is basically a journal, it has helped connect her to to people all over the Internet. When her sales picked up the last few months of 2010, that presented some challenges. Her online store was starting to get international sales and Jemyl had to make some adjustments to deal with the higher postage rates involved.
Jemyl's specialty is wire jewelry. She has wire wrapped gemstones as well as fun creations out of wire that she calls her "Funky Fun Stuff" collection. I love the variety of gemstones and colorful wires she uses. She did hit a snag a few months ago with waiting for supplies to arrive so she could complete some custom orders.
Jemyl also does live sales. Since she lives out in the country and transportation is sometimes a problem, this isn't always possible. She has experienced the same frustrations I have with hoping there are enough sales at an event to justify the booth fees.
When Jemyl questioned in a recent blog post how people price their jewelry, I remembered how much I struggled with the same things. Some people do the same work and charge really high prices while we try to keep our own prices reasonable and wonder why nobody is buying our stuff. Handmadeology did a great article on pricing your handmade jewelry and I agree with what they said about not dropping your prices too low. Unfortunately, the immediate need for money for someone like Jemyl, me, and other sellers means we keep our prices low so we at least get some income sooner rather than later.