Sunday, May 17, 2009

On Niches, and Fitting Into Them

There's a reason behind the current huge clearance sale going on at my website, and it's not just because I wanted to make money to spend at the Rings and Things show next week. It all has to do with niches.

I decided some time ago that my desired niche was fantasy jewelry, but then I continued to make non-fantasy jewelry when the inspiration to do so struck me. Recently, however, I'd been thinking about my business and how my shops (website and Etsy) had a rather hodge-podge appearance. Goth jewelry, faerie jewelry, belly dance jewelry, steampunk jewelry, butterfly jewelry, and "hey, these beads are cool" jewelry. I was trying to cover too many bases.

As such, I decided that I'm no longer going to make non-fantasy jewelry (at least, not to sell). I'm going to focus on my niche. This will give my shops a more unified appearance, and give me a little more focus when I'm shopping. It will hopefully help me attract the sort of customers that I want -- that is to say, girls like me who love Renaissance Faires, sci-fi conventions, and dressing up.

It will also effectively prevent me from ever being featured on any sort of trendy indie blog, or in any fashion magazines, but I'd already pretty much realized that would never happen anyway.

I'm still deciding exactly what will still be allowed as part of my line -- does nature-themed jewelry count as faerie jewelry? Is bellydance jewelry fantasy enough, since I'm designing for Ren Faire dancers? Do I want to keep designing steampunk jewelry, or leave it to all the brass filigree-and-watch guts designers? But in the meantime, it's pretty easy to decide that all of my generic florals and plain woven necklaces needed to go, as well as some sci-fi inspired jewelry. I'm sure that as I become more decisive on exactly what niche I want to fill, I'll clear more things out, and maybe even branch out in new directions. I'm excited about it!

My clearance sale will eventually move to my Etsy shop, too, as I have a few things over there that don't fit my niche. And there are other little changes coming to my business, which I'll blog about over the next couple of days.

In other news, I was out all afternoon and part of the evening, so I decided to carry over yesterday's daily specials into today. I'll set up new ones earlier in the day tomorrow, as 3pm was really just an awkward time to do them.


  1. sounds like you've been inspired by the business muse ;] go get 'em!

  2. The business muse is a rare visitor, so I need to listen when she drops by ;)

  3. All hail the business muse! Seriously, it's fascinating to read your meditation on what it means to you to find your niche. This has been an interesting conversation, starting over on Twitter... Thank you for sharing!

    (@Rings_Things on Twitter)

  4. I can totally relate to this. When I sell jewelery, or when I did and will do again, at various sci-fi conventions in MN, it was bascially that type of jewelery for fandom. Now, I am trying to find our niche in the jewelery making game so we will sell to those customers instead of being all over the place:) I am thinking more of our jewelery as in our vivamexico store in Etsy. What do you think?

    WE still need to get together girlfriend!!! I need some friends who are into bellydancing, fantasy D&D stuff....give me a call and yes, this is my cell phone (850) 384-0034. I need my fix of these things too!!!!!!!!!!! AJ, you're my only hope!

    Funky Monkey Girl,

  5. Dave, I've enjoyed the conversation, too, and thank you for linking my blog on Twitter this morning!

  6. Jolene, I really like what you've been doing with the vivamexico store. It's a nice niche, a popular style right now, and very appropriate for AZ!

    I'm sorry that I haven't called you, I figured you were busy with the new house. I've got you in my phone now, and will give you a ring this weekend :)