Month: January 2018

Light Tent

Jewelry boxOur Jewelry Business

We were selling more and more of our hand made jewelry online these days. Although we still attend craft fairs and small boutique market places. We’ve found over the years that people visit us in the flesh at the venues, like what we do and take our website details and look on there from time to time.

So our website has become a key part of our marketing strategy these days and I had the job to keep it up to date. At first I’d take a picture upload it to our site add a short description, a reference code and a price and that was it. It was just a listing site really and the photos were just bad quality thumbnails. If you wanted to buy you had to call us and we’d take your details over the phone.

That was it for a number of years. It was my job and it was just a choir really, there was no love put into it. As we attended venues up and down the country we met other jewelers pretty much doing the same thing that we were doing – small cottage industries, which we all have a passion for and which pays the rent.

Competition

We met a man and his wife, producing jewelry and they also had a website. They were quite friendly and they showed me the website on their tablet. I was blown away – it was stunning the quality. I didn’t think their jewelry was any better than ours but it looked better on the website, it was just so well presented. So luxurious.light tent - ring

What was more shocking was that they, like I, did it all themselves and the sales process was all automated. They received emails to say that payment had been made and which item needed to sent through secure mail and that was it.

light tent -ringNew Website

They put me in touch with a website builder who put their site together. All I had to do was get a decent camera, a tripod, some cheap lights and a light tent, like the ones here photo light tent

light tent -ringlight tent photography

It was a bit fiddly at first and everything seemed to take forever to make it look right. But I persevered. There’s a lot to learn and that’s where youtube comes in Light tent for Jewelry And now I’m a pro. The light box is permanently set up, along with the lights and the camera sits on a tripod (a mini studio if you like) I set the item of jewelry up the way I want it and shoot. The camera settings never change and the photo goes straight to the website ready for me to work with it.

The equipment cost less than I thought but it’s saved me so much time. Plus we have the same shopping cart as the other couple so turnaround time is quicker. And if that wasn’t enough the site looks so slick, we’re getting more orders through the site now and we’re even doing some international sales as well. This must just be coming from internet searches alone. So we’re very pleased and quite amazed what this new site has done for us.

Further information below

Ideas for setting up your jewelry

macro photography for close ups

photoshop techniques for jewelry

Interior Design for Londoners

London SignBusy Lives, No Time

Those of us with busy lives tend not to have enough time when it comes to decorating our houses and selecting furniture and soft furnishings. A much better use of our time is to select a painting and decorating firm to do it but which one?

There are just so many firms out there, not all of them of a high standard. So how would you pick one? Well “word of mouth” is a good option. But that can be tricky and the good firms are always busy and in demand. So it could be months before they can slot you in.

Contemporary InteriorHire an Interior Designer

A better option is to use an Interior Design Company. Here in London we have many. But the one I want to talk to you about is Kenza Design, you can find them on this link http://kenza.co.uk. They will do as much or as little as you require, including just project management. So that tradesmen and women arrive at the right times and when it’s not inconvenient for you. Through to a complete makeover of a room or a whole house.

We Gave them Complete Control

We had the whole down stairs down, except for the kitchen, refurbished. That involved a reception room a living room and large dining room. We wanted a complete revamp, Kenza got the initial brief from us and the started to design and suggest various treatments, items of furniture and of course the interior colour schemes for each room.

We had some art objects and some paintings. But had we wanted too they could select those as well, within a our agreed budget. But because we had items that we wanted incorporated in the rooms, including a grandfather clock in the hall, that dictated how the décor should be treated.

Flawless Service Provided

Once everything was agreed, Kenza then took on all the project management, procurement and installation/decoration schedules. And we were very impressed with the finished result and the final reveal.

If you want to do it yourself here’s a DIY guide for you yo look at and some planning software to visualize your design

African Sculpture

Shona Sculpture - Shona HeadsThe Christmas Present

I’d like to tell you about the present I got my husband for Christmas. It’s a stone Shona Sculpture, very unusual and very different. I wasn’t sure if it would be appropriate but my husband loved it.

I’d been searching for something a little different and I came across this site Shona Sculpture Which has a lot of useful information about African Shona Sculpture. What I wanted was an animal sculpture, a giraffe or zebra, something African. And I found one, about 18 inches tall, quite heavy but very unique.

Shona Sculpture

In fact all Shona Sculpture is unique because they’re all hand carved, so they’re all individual pieces, no two are ever alike. So our giraffe is a one of a kind and has that rural African charm about it.

Our sculpture came with a little booklet that told us about the sculptor and the town and the region of Zimbabwe here came from. Then it went into some more detail about African sculptor and in particular Shona Sculpture. Explaining the history and the source of the stone used.

Shona Sculpture - elephantStone for Carving

The stone is quite interesting, I thought it was all the same type of rock, a soft rock called soap stone, easy to carve. But it’s not. There are all different types of stone each with its own characteristics. But more important to us is there colors and there textures. Then the skill of the sculptor comes into play making it into a truly wonderful piece of art.

Talking Point

Our stone elephant, looking so regal on the center of our big black coffee table, really works very well. Everyone, that sees it for the first time, passes a comment. And those comments are always positive and will then be followed by a “where did you get it?” Type question.

Well they they do make wonderful gifts and I would highly recommend one, knowing that it would be truly unique.

African Art

Shona Sculpture