Jewelry Making

By Karla Turner, Wise Owl Jewelry
Like most of us, when I go to a small town farmers market, I expect to find fresh produce, baked goods, honey and maybe homemade jams. I don’t expect a big variety of other handmade items there. But at the Clear Lake Farmers Market, you’ll find the traditional items, plus hand-crafted clothes, rugs, soaps & lotions, art work and jewelry. Lots of handmade jewelry.

I started making jewelry in the winter of 2016. It was fun, and something I could do while at home watching TV. I looked into selling at the CLFM and got in. Now I just had to hope someone would like what I made enough to buy it.

That’s what we all hope for when we sell at markets. I learned that if I liked something I came up with, others would too. I also learned that even if I wouldn’t wear a particular color or style, it didn’t mean no one would like it. What fun. I can make almost anything that comes to mind and more than likely it will “jump out” to that special person.

But there is also the business side. All of us in the jewelry-making business have to research product for quality before we use it. We buy products that we turn into our works of art as economically as we can, so that we can sell a top quality product at a reasonable price. I strive to do this everyday.

When you are looking at a display of similar items, you may see a variety of prices. In my case anyway, I may have 2 bracelets that look similar, but one is priced higher because that one cost me more to make.

It is important to me that I keep my prices reasonable. But this is a business for most of us at market. We want to sell our products, so we price them as reasonably as we can. We are selling items that we put a lot of time and passion into, and we are not a “garage sale.”

What I have found during this 2 ½ year adventure kind of surprises me. I can’t say that I started doing this not hoping to supplement my income – I certainly did. But what I didn’t expect was making so many connections with so many wonderful people. Being in my third year and having customers who are in their third year of wearing my jewelry – or their third year of just stopping by to chat – what a wonderful experience. And I hope it will be for many years to come.

Just remember when you are at a market or craft fair of any kind: no matter what we are selling, we have many hours of work, passion and care (not to mention money) invested in our product. We want you to get a quality product for a price that will benefit each of us.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Clear Lake Farmers Market.