Thursday, February 19, 2015

Build A Line Challenge from B'sue Boutiques, Kat of Midnight Kat Productions, Part Two

 OK, here is where we left off last month, with the first piece of my line done -- 

you can see that post here  The Build a line challenged is hosted by Brenda Sue and her wonderful full line of brassy goodness B'Sue Boutiques .  If you want to learn more about the challenge and it's overall group goals you can check out B'Sue's blog posts on it here.

The part of the challenge I"m really focusing on this month is making jewelry deliberately at certain price point.   I really want these Broaches to be fun and affordable, the warm-fuzzy piece you pick up because it makes you smile.

One of the things we have talked about during this challenge is our line can be a pyramid.  The basic idea is you will have have a few expensive, draw people in type pieces , and then a broader range of pricing for everyone.  

I've made my pyramid in 3 steps.

The base and foundation of my pyramid is the less expensive pieces, the bread and butter of any business.  (It's what I like to call the impulse level of jewelry.)  Specific pricing depends on the artist & where you sell of course, but this range for me is $15-30.00 .  It's what you might spend on yourself or your friend as a pick me up, and it doesn't break the bank or make you feel guilty.  Most of my earrings fall into the base, and I try to make all of my rings and pin/ broaches fit in this category as well.  

The  middle of the pyramid are the pieces that sell $31 to $85.00.  This would be bigger pieces, like necklaces or bracelets.  The top of the pyramid would be OOAK pieces , statement pieces, and commissions.

I think it's useful to think about structuring my jewelry pricing in this way.   Looking around at my inventory I've more or less been doing this already.

This is what my work table looks like while I'm riveting pieces together.. a mess!

The part that is new about using a pyramid is the idea is you would have a couple of overlapping designs in your line, and you would "dress up" or "down" to hit the different levels of the pyramid.  I really like this idea, moving up and down the pyramid to achieve a good mix of pieces and pricing.

Toying with that idea, I need to get my broaches where I can price them around $25.00 and still make a profit.  

The problem is they take so much time.   

The first one I made, my "prototype" took 64 minutes to make.  I need to get my time investment down to 30-35 minutes each piece.. or I need to sell them at a higher price.   So this week I've been making them, changing a few things, trying to get my time down.  The other possibility is making them simpler by using fewer components. ( which would also probably knock time off the project as well)

As much as I love the draping chain, that sucks up bunches of time to get it to hang just so.  So my first modification was to drop the chain.  I really don't like that look.. it makes it too simple and the chain is one of my design elements I really wanted to have (chain, watch face, heart, pearl drop) , so I played around and decided a small tassel with one large pearl incorporates the chain nicely, and it's much faster and cheaper to do.  I don't think it looks bad, but as you can see it leaves the broach still looking a little plain .  

So I decided to add one more element, a small clock gear. 

.  I think this one is my favorite so far.  Course blue is my favorite color! 

My time is still running higher than I wanted, so I think I will just price them at $30-32.00.  I just can't get the time lower than 45 minutes and still do a good job that I'm proud of.  The idea is to have a variety of price points, not to cheapen your product!! 

One other thought I've had, start with a smaller base.  I might be able to simplify the design and it won't look plain since it's smaller.   Hm.... that bares further thought.

So here are the 4 completed broaches so far:

I think they look very cohesive in a group!   Which is the point, right?   My plan for the next  blog is to work on at least one other level of the pyramid and still look like it belongs with the broaches. I have some ideas lurking around my brain-box as I type!! 

NOW!! for the fun part.... it's time to blog hop!!! Here are my class mates.. be sure to stop by and check them out and see how they are processing the class info.  That's surely the most interesting part of this challenge... seeing all the different ways people take the information and run with it!

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B'sue Boutiques
Marcia Tuzzolino
Jann Tague
Judy King
Linzi Alford
Cynthia Wainscott
Carole Carlson
Lynn Stinten
Marica Zammit
Catherine Shattuck
Michaele Collie
Mary Craig
Lee Koopman
Erin Whitacre
Monica Casady
Leila West
Cindy Peterson
Leila Belcher
Gloria Allen
Pamela Anger
Tammy Adams
Lynda O'Mara
Elizabeth Hildreth
Dana Hickey
Janet Calardo
Maria Clark
Lori Beekman
Jennifer Kroeger
Amy Jorgensen
Robin Reed
Ingrid Anderson
Louise O'Shields
Susan Killam
Mary Katherine Deis
Nike Bottalico
Susan Bowerman
Kristy Le
Jan Peters
Mitzie Crider
Gina Hockett
Linda Anderson
Alexandra Sefton
Melida Boman
Teresa Shurter
Melissa Latimer
Renee Hong
Nadine Edris
Lori Meyer
Jennifer Merrill Williams
Denise Lussier Poirier
Renee Allen
Autumn Adams
Elizabeth Owens
**** Kat BarronMiller <<<<< you are here! ****
Sandra Ballard
Coral Law


Marica Zammit said...

You raise some good points Kat. Things I haven't yet thought about!

It's taking me forever to design my line for the many reasons that I give on my blog but I'm hoping that once finished, a piece wouldn't take me that long to reproduce.

I have to take this into consideration when I'm pricing my stuff so thanks for bringing this up.

I absolutely adore your brooches and yes they look very cohesive! Love them.

Bravo! A job well done!

B'sue said...

Great job, Kat....I love your brooches and so glad you are taking your line in a little different direction than usual in a way that has meaning for you. Be sure to share the thought behind the pieces with your customers. Folks LOVE stuff like that. THANKS for your post!

Sandra Ballard said...

Very nice Kat! Keep up the great work!

Freestyle Elements said...

Great job explaining the pyramid concept behind creating a line. I love your brooches, and they do look cohesive to me. Good job!! Gina H

Cindy Peterson said...

First of all I love your blog it is really easy on the eyes. And your brooches do look like a cohesive line. And you brought up points I hadn't even thought of like time.

onecanvasatatime said...

Really like your broaches, looking forward to seeing the complete line

stregajewellry said...

Kat, the brooches are beautiful. I do think that one thing we have to keep in mind when considering our time on these pieces. Our first ones will naturally take longer. We are still learning and designing. I bet that once you have your line complete and know what you are doing to do before you do it, you can get it done much faster.

Amy J said...

Your work is lovely. You do a great job explaining the pyramid and the relationship between the time it takes to create each piece and how much it costs.

WindDancerStudios said...

Very cohesive look! I'm liking the direction you're taking with it and looking forward to seeing more!

Susan Bowerman, Woodside WireWorks said...

Your line is looking great. Those pieces will start to flow more quickly now that you've got your groove on! Very pretty work, Kat!

Nike E. Bottalico said...

your work in gorgeous and thanks for such a great read! I love your work and you will do great!

Nadine Edris said...

I love your brooches! Definitely looking like a line here. Just great!

lilisgems said...

Your brooches are lovely and definitely look like a line. I enjoyed reading about your process and decision making about pricing, it was quite helpful!~Ingrid

Irene Hoffman said...

Great blog post Kat. Your steampunk brooches are so very cool. You're doing a fantastic job!!

Pamela said...

Wonderful brooches, Kat ... your line is looking great! Some good points you made about time and pricing, and I'm looking forward to seeing all of your line! :)

Chiron Sky said...

Great post - you have given me a lot to ponder. Your look is very cohesive and of course I adore brooches - your design rocks! Thank you for sharin.

Lori said...

Time can really be an issue. I think that now that you have the designs down, there will be less "designing" happening when you make them, which will drop the time down a bit more. Your design is really cool that each piece is unique, but they are still cohesive. Very very nice.

Mary Craig said...

Hi, Kat- Thank you for walking us through your thinking process about the various ways to control your prices and work within "the pyramid." And your brooches are just beautiful! ~mary

Monica Casady said...

Hey, I'm an Iowa girl, too! Great blog, Kat! I'm the same way, it is taking me forever to get one piece the way I want, therefore my design time takes hours. Once we get it down, we'll be good to go! You have great designs, looking forward to seeing your finished pieces for this challenge.

Carole said...

Time per piece is a big issue for me too, as my line involves a lot of wrapped loops. Your idea to simplify the brooches to reduce time was a good one, and I think the gear added just the right touch.

WilyWolverine said...

Really enjoyed how you explained the steps you've been taking--that makes so much sense and you came up with really classy pieces. When you added the gear/cog the piece really popped--and wise idea on the tassel instead of drapey chain wich could be for a big expensive piece. I also take way to much time to do my pieces and will have to put thought and time (LOL) into how I want to deal with that. Great blog!! :):)

Leila West said...

Awesome direction, looking forward to your finished line!

Unlimited Inspiration For You Too! said...

Oh yummy I just love your creative vision in all of your work!! Your blog is always just fantastic I can not wait to see more!!! Louise

Renee Allen said...

Looking good, Kat!

shatteredtimejewelry said...

These brooches are great! They really are back. The last show I did a lot of people asked for pins and brooches! I'm sure these will sell in a blink!

Tammy Adams said...

These are adorable brooches. They would also look great as pendants. Maybe some of them could have those convertible brooch/pendant backs?

Lynda O'Mara said...

Kat--You bring up some really good points that we need to consider. I really like the brooches with the different colors.

Sweet Willow Designs said...

Your line does look cohesive. You're really analyzing your time investment which I think a lot of us don't do. Looking forward to the final reveal.

Robin Reed said...

These are seriously beautiful!!! I love the vintage feel and the variety of design even with it being a cohesive look! Great Job!!! Be Blessed!

gloria allen said...

Loved your post and the Brooches are great!!

Kristy Le Trendy Jewelry said...

I just love your theme and I've always have been a huge fan of your steampunk designs, your rock girl. Great post! XOXO!

DragonzWench said...

You can never have too much chain, I love the flow and movement chain gives a piece.

Susan ~ Killam Creative said...

These are turning out so well, Kat!


Jann Tague said...

Kat .. love your focal pieces and I'm looking forward to seeing more finished pieces on March 20th

Teresa Schurter said...

These look amazing Kat. I'm impressed with how fast you can make these even if you feel you need to do it faster. You do a great job with the rivets- impressive. I think that the combinations of all the parts makes for a beautiful whole. Great work.

Aurora Designs said...

Kat, I love your line! It's so you! And the way you have the finished brooches laid out, it looks like they could be on one of Bsue's necklace blanks as a collage for a statement piece. You've got this!

Aurora Designs said...

Love your line. It's so you! The way you laid out your finished brooches looks like they are on one of Bsue's blanks as a collage for a statement piece. You've got this!!

Miss Swish said...

Love your Clock hearts idea- looking forward to seeing your completed line , Linzi said...

Love the look of your design line. I really liked your blog with the process you went through To get to the end design. Loved the blue one too. Looking forward to seeing your line.

MadScientistsDesigns said...

They are definitely cohesive. Can't wait to see more pieces. :-) ~Elizabeth

Micheale Collie said...

Great brooches, Kat! Love your designs.

Renee Hong said...

Looks great, Kat! You've been busy!