How not to sell jewellery to me
For every item I squeak with excitement about, though, there are dozens of others I have deemed unworthy of my affection.
Given that there are no doubt a great many jewellery-makers who would far rather not sell their wares to a pernickety old bag such as myself, I thought it might be helpful if I were to provide a list of sure-fire methods for successfully evading my interest.
Fit lever-back findings to the earrings you are selling. Lever-backs are the work of the devil, particularly for somebody with one very stiff shoulder. Not only are the hook bits far too short and stubby to be inserted easily, but clipping the damn things shut always, always, traps a tiny bit of flesh at the back of my ear. Ow.
I know the hook end of the earring isn't always its most attractive aspect but, if you leave it out of the photographs, and you don't state categorically in the description that you've used a fish-hook or a shepherd's crook finding, I'm going to assume you've used a lever-back.
Camouflage your wares in your photographs. I'm ever so thrilled for you that you own a variety of attractive vases and fabrics which you feel the need to share with me. But I've got better things to do with my time and my eyesight than to play, "Where's Waldo?", with your listings. In any event, cynical old bat that I am, if you're not willing to photograph the item clearly, then I'm not willing to take it on trust that said item is well-made.
Assume I have the neck measurement of an anorexic heron. You will not endear yourself to me by insisting that I will be able to knot and loop the 18" lariat necklace you have listed in several different, attractive ways. Around one finger, possibly.
Include the word "fashion" in the item title. If I wanted this season's fashionable jewellery, I'd be shopping at Accessorize. I'm a grown-up. I'm looking for something which will suit me. I couldn't give a flying f-word what the fashion mavens have arbitrarily chosen as the current "in thing". Seriously.
Fail to recognise when it's time to stop. So, you've learned how to wire-wrap beads, eh? That's cool: I'm a big fan of the effects which can be created by a spot of judicious wire-wrapping. But I'm not actually looking to have my ear lobes dragged half way down my neck. Less is often more. There really isn't any need to attach every briolette, rondelle and lentil within arm's reach to one over-loaded length of chain just because you've gone all plier-happy.
Produce "eclectic" multi-media pieces. I appreciate that there's considerable creative satisfaction to be gained from cannibalising old bits and pieces and interpolating them into your designs. And I'm not saying it never works. Generally speaking, though, I'm not really looking for keys, electrical supplies and bits of old watch faces dangling from otherwise inoffensive necklaces. (Prisms from old chandeliers, on the other hand, are an entirely different kettle of fish...)
Ship within the USA only. A big and immediate turn-off. I buy from all sorts of delightful people in the US. Have done for years. I know it's possible to post from the US to the UK. I'm pretty sure, in fact, that it's possible to post from the US to Every Other Country In The World. I'm going to have to be completely bowled-over by what you produce to go to the bother of getting in touch with you and asking you whether you could possibly be persuaded to post to the UK. (Which is exactly what I did with Gerry P and the wonderful earrings she makes out of David Christensen furnace glass beads - but Gerry's stuff is really special.)
Blow your own trumpet. I know you're proud of what you've made. There is no reason why you shouldn't be. Hey, I'm all for supporting the work of artisans. But you won't do yourself any favours with me by telling me that you've knotted the silk cord "skilfully". I'm a Brit: we don't respond very positively to people who feel the need to show off.
Well, that should about do it, I think. Any one - or, better still, a combination - of the above, and you can be quietly confident that I won't be darkening your doors any time soon. For which relief much thanks, I'm sure.