Behind the Scenes: Design Redux

The Moonflower charm featured in these earrings was one of my first charm designs. Unfortunately, it never sold well in my shop so I abandoned Moonflower. I have a handful of these designs that don't quite make it to mainstream popularity, I eventually lose steam, and chose to retire them because I hate to see them sitting around without any action.

Nevertheless, there is a concept I read somewhere out there on a blog that said focusing solely on your most popular sellers might not be working to your advantage. It went something like this:

If everyone is buying dogs, horses, and tree charms more often then others you might choose to invest your time into those designs; however, you may have several customers that buy the popular charms and then round out their order with something that is not a top seller. By providing variety you create potential for a more expanded exchange.

I have a tendency to think in terms of how can I best direct and maximize my energy, so the idea of spreading it out in all directions is quite difficult for me to grasp. Perhaps I'm the rare bird who struggles to make decisions and actually enjoys going into a store with only 5 choices instead of 50.

I'm on the fence about this concept, mainly because it's in my nature to always move towards simplicity. I'm wondering what other people think. What has been your experience selling jewelry or components at shows? Do you retire pieces that don't sell after a certain amount of time? What are your own shopping preferences? Do you like things being narrowed down for you or do you love digging through a bunch of items to find the perfect treasure?

I can't decide if I should revisit my Moonflower charm, but I do know she is always safely tucked away just in case the right day comes along :)


  1. Beth, as a buyer,I usually am swayed to classic looks... mainly because they will out live the trends... The cutesy stuff like the horses, dogs, etc. u mention are fine and one should have a token one... I buy what can be used w/whatever look I am wearing...trends come and go..
    as far as those earrings- those are a definite keeper...

  2. Interesting post. I think I am the opposite! My tastes are quite varied to my creations are all over the place in terms of design and material. I do find that the greater the selection, the more sales I have. I also like a large selection when shopping. Then when something calls out my name I know it is for me! I try to hold off on retiring items since I noticed that when I am thinking of reworking a design, it then sells!

  3. Ah, I'm a little like you in that I like to have choices paired down and my energy focussed. But my experience with markets and festivals is quite opposite of my own preferences. I recently started offering more designs in a wider range of colours and displays that encourage rummaging. It's interesting to see people pull pieces out of my trays, try to decide, then buy several pieces and go for matching earings. My sales have increased with this approach. Keep the moon flower! You've already got the design, it's beautiful, and somebody might want a moon flower to go with their trees and dogs.

  4. Hmmm, good question. I'm one of those that is never satisfied. If I am shopping, say for a blouse, and there are too many choices, I get overwhelmed and walk out empty handed and disappointed. But if I'm shopping for a blouse and there are only a few choices in my size or color, I walk out disappointed that the shop did not have a larger variety. However when I'm shopping for beads I must have endless choices--it's an addiction.

    I hardly ever make the same piece of jewelry twice, so I don't ever have to worry about retiring one that doesn't sell, but I could see how that could be a dilema.

    When I'm selling, I've noticed that if I have a large selection, I have good sales. But if I slacked off making jewelry and my selection is smaller, my sales are not as good.

  5. I, too, really think that your moonflower design is beautiful. I hope you keep it.

  6. I haven't had much time to work on items for my shop, but I would try to have a variety of items. Not so much that it's overwhelming and not so little that it becomes boring.

    I like the moonflower too!

  7. Hey Beth, I've been following your blog for quite a while now and I love the simplicity of your designs. For your current dilemma, I would say as a seller you don't want to have more designs than you can handle, not even necessarily physically, but emotionally. Added stress doesn't do anyone any good. But I think you want to make sure you have enough variety to appeal to the various delights people have. As a buyer, I don't like to be overwhelmed by choice either, but too few choices make it easy for me feel that the shop probably doesn't having anything for me so then I tend to not look as 'deeply' and I have no reason to return. I think a healthy amount of choice will definitely make people excited to do a little digging and eager to find what speaks to them. You never know what may find a place in someone's heart.

  8. This is so fascinating! Thank you all for sharing your personal insight into shopping and shoppers. I've learned so much from your experiences and now I'm actually reflecting more on my own shopping style. I think it is such a interesting question into how people think and make choices, so I'm taking what you've all said and thinking bigger picture too :)

    Thanks so much for sharing your expertise and thoughts on this question of design! Much gratitude for loving this moonflower charm :)


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