Sunday, July 28, 2013

Production of One of A Kind Earrings

I have been meaning to write this post for ages. 

I have over 100 pairs of production earrings..  All of them are well made, one of a kind earrings. 

Production earrings blue and white glass

Here is a sample to get started:

My production earrings require the following supplies:  wire cutters, round nose pliers, in-expensive nickel free ear wires, head pins, focal beads, and embellishing beads. 

My production earrings are priced at $10.00 each.  I make a good profit on the earrings.  They are intended as impulse purchases.

Sample focal strand of mustard colored cinnabar

You begin with a strand of focal beads.  I always buy my beads in strands.  These cinnabar beads I will price at $0.78 each when calculating my final retail price.

Next are the embellishment beads.  First are crystals.  These are small crystals, 2mm, 3mm, and 4mm.  They are all fire polished Czech crystals.  I am guessing the average cost per crystal is $0.06.  I buy them by the strand and I am always on the lookout for more.  They are handy for earrings and for spacers in larger necklaces. 

You may also use small round stone or glass beads as well as pearls.

After my last necklace I discovered I did not have enough brightly colored crystals, so I purchased a few strands on my last visit to Manhattan.

Large seed beads

 Then there are seed beads.  I really like size 6 and size 8 seed beads. 
I do not even price these.

The secret to production is organization.  Take a look at some more production earrings:
Production earrings yellow stone

Each pair is different.  There are three different red beads in these yellow stone earrings.  There are 6 mm round red stone bead, 4mm red crystal rondelles, and 4mm round fire polished Czech crystals.  You will also note grey rondelles, clear purple lined size 6 or 8 seed beads, indigo blue seed beads in size 6 or 8, and blue drop glass beads.

Carved rose quartz production earrings

My production earrings are all simple loops.  Wrapped loops require more time.

I use the entire strand of focal beads in a single sitting just to be sure each earring is one of a kind. 

All my seed beads

As I said, the secret to production is organization.  When I was making these earrings I had some bead trays that were more like paint pallets.  Each filled with embellishment beads, each tray organized by color. You know it takes time to organize your bead stash, but it is time well spent.

Production earrings, quartz

 One more set of production earrings.

These are not as creative as my usual work.  They are fun and quick.  And, as I said above, are intended as an impulse purchase.  These replace a purchase your customer would make at a big box store or even a smaller reseller like TJ's.  They are priced not to put a big dent in your customer's wallet.  They will give an outlet to the desire to purchase something different, something handmade- which is what drew them to the venue in the first place.

I always place a big price sign in front of the display.  I also have a separate suggestion sign that these make great stocking stuffers, birthday gifts, teacher gifts, secret santa gifts, etc...

One final thought.  If you are selling high priced pieces, lower priced earrings might well imply that your higher priced items are over priced.  I still have not finished that debate with myself.

Good luck in your sales. 


  1. Hmm...but then if you are making 100 of them, they are not OOAK anymore, right?

    1. I must have written it poorly- I am making a lot of earrings. I have over 100 earrings. None of the earrings are the same. Some of the earrings are similar, in that they have the same focal bead. I used to have 10 pairs of the blue and white focal earrings pictured in this post. None of them looked like the 5 remaining pairs. The 5 remaining blue and white beaded earrings are different from each other in that they each have different embellishments. Thus, they are OOAK.

      Moreover, my guess is if we both started out with the same focal, and our own bead stash we would end up with different earrings.

      Hope this makes it more clear.

  2. I think they're lovely and simple. Each has a character of its own, which is what will draw your customers to them. I'm always surprised what a small change in color does when you present a couple pieces to a group of ladies. They each flock to something different.

    You also have have a bead stash larger than what I started with! We use the same containers, by the way.

    Great post, KJ! <3

    1. Simple is the key. They are nice earrings. They are easy to wear. The ear wires are inexpensive, but non-irritating. The focal beads, however, are of the best quality.

      Sometimes there is not much variation from one earring to the other; there are other times when the variations are quite dramatic. It does, in part, depend on what the focal will support.

      I love my bead stash, it has taken me many many years to amass. What I wonder is will I ever have enough? Probably not.

  3. I love it that many have an additional articulation for movement, but some do not. This is a very sensible approach to producing the kind of thing that might make a customer spend time in your fair booth, considering which to get, and encourage further looking at higher price point items. They are lovely and absolutely OoaK, in my opinion, since no two are the same. Nice work KJ!

    1. I sold a ton of these earrings at work so I know they are well liked. I originally envisioned a young teen girl ready to go home after a long day of window shopping and finding something in her price range. My Mom hit upon the stocking stuffers and teacher gifts. Basically, these are quick and easy purchases to satisfy all those urges you were unable to satisfy because of price throughout the day. The real trick was fitting them in with the rest of my wares- I think it works.


  4. It's a great idea KJ. Having a line of lower price point jewelry can be very profitable as customers will often purchase several pairs at a time.
    I like your production earrings and am happy to see that instead of cranking out dozens earrings that all look identical, you've chosen to make each pair unique with slightly different combinations of beads or a different overall pattern in the way the elements were put together. :)


Thank you for sharing. I had to turn off anonymous comments because spam was being posted.