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Author Topic: Hobbies: Some Antler Rings, hand made by yours truly!  (Read 1739 times)

HedgeAndCave

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Some Antler Rings, hand made by yours truly!
« on: November 08, 2016, 05:09:28 pm »
Hello all!

I'm fairly recent here so you may or may not know me - like a lot of folk who are here to learn, i read a lot more than i post! 

Another reason i came here was to share some of the things i make with like minded people.

I've long hobbied in making stuff from wood, antler, horn, stone and bone - picking up lots of skills (and a bit of an obsession) in previous work with traditional crafters.

Over the last few months i've been planning on trying to turn this into a full time, real life occupation... and at last i have taken the plunge and gone self employed.  Totally scary but kinda awesome too.

I'd really like opinions on my work.  I've opened an Etsy shop and will shortly be lumbering around craft shops in my surrounding area and trying to get workshop and demonstrator slots at country fairs, festis and so on.

So, yeps. Totally quite nervous about this.  In a good way :)

So far all i have are some staffs/sticks and lots of antler rings, with athames, spears and cudgels to come.  I really need to get a wriggle on and finish more projects.

Anyhow, enough typie-typie, time for some pics!



















I've made a ton of these - the inspiration was from engagement rings that i made for myself and my (much, much) better half several years ago - they are a pleasure to make, photography really doesn't do them justice unfortunately.

If anyone would like to see my etsy shop i think i have a link in my profile, but it is HERE too.

All of these rings are entirely from naturally shed antler - i buy antler whole for my rings so i can be certain that they just fell off the beasties head naturally... no animals were harmed in the making of this production  :thup:

Really, i don't know how online sellers do all this, it's more work doing the online shoppe than making the stuff.  I have a lot to learn, so any feedback is most welcome, and if you want to share it with your friends you'd be doing me a great service and i will send you happy thoughts and good vibrations!

I'll show more of my work as time goes by :)
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 02:04:11 pm by RandallS »

Jenett

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Re: Some Antler Rings, hand made by yours truly!
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2016, 05:38:24 pm »
Quote from: HedgeAndCave;198870

Really, i don't know how online sellers do all this, it's more work doing the online shoppe than making the stuff.  I have a lot to learn, so any feedback is most welcome, and if you want to share it with your friends you'd be doing me a great service and i will send you happy thoughts and good vibrations!

I'll show more of my work as time goes by :)

 
Oh, those are lovely!

Stuff I've picked up from friends who do both Etsy and craft shows

- For Etsy, really good photos matter hugely - I like the ones you have on the green fabric best, for what comes across as the best contrast and lighting (some of your shots, you have some light glare, which is totally understandable given the material, but the more you can mitigate that, I think the better you'll do.)

I think the green fabric also has a natural feel to it that I think plays well with the rings themselves, where the red is a lot less so.

- If you could give a visual reference for how wide the rings are, that might be helpful - either on a hand, or on something else. (a branch, marked by inches or centimeters or something?) That's a thing people care about with rings. (I see that some of your descriptions have them, but a visual reference is nice too.)

- Ditto on a description that has any useful keyword you might get searched on. Proofreading (or getting someone else to) would also help clean up your text a bit: I saw several typos/minor glitches. (Which is normal when putting this stuff together, but why put the best forward.) I like the descriptions overall.

- For craft fairs, having things at a couple of price points is really helpful.

The rings are actually cheaper than I'd have guessed, given the hand shaping (and make sure that's a sustainable price for you that doesn't undercharge for labour, though doing that initially is a possible business decision)

The ring price point is a decent one for craft fairs, but if you can come up with something that you could sell at the equivalent of $5-10 (which by today's exchange rate appears to be about 4-8 pounds, give or take) that's a price point where a lot of people will buy something without thinking about it too hard, take your card, and then come back and buy more later or place an order later for more expensive things.

Stuff that springs to mind for likely faster to produce (and therefore cheaper) would be single runes or other inscribed designs on a flat slice of antler, or a flat slice shaped slightly into different shapes, that could be worn as a pendant.

Don't be afraid to have a couple of more expensive pieces that show the possible complexity of your work, especially if you're willing to consider custom work for people. They're more of a pain to keep an eye on, but a couple of show pieces will attract attention to your booth.

- Related to having cards: when you get some really nice shots of your rings, use them on your business cards! The friend who I've done the most craft fairs / convention dealers rooms with gets them from MooCards which will let you load a whole bunch of different images (or a smaller number, repeating) on cards that are stylish, sized just a little differently, and the variety is really eyecatching if you lay them out on a table.

- Related to displays  : portable displays that are easy to carry and not a pain to break down or set up are a thing. Also, ideally, an easy way to remove things from secure cases and lock them up again without it taking forever. There are a bunch of options for this, but thinking about it sooner than later is worth doing. (Also, I'm sure there's a ton of stuff online you can search about this, but things advice for what to bring in a day bag to craft fairs are worth looking up. And if you can bring things to work on with you, tht's a thing tht will also get people stopping to look at your table.)  

Anyway, I'm definitely interested in seeing more of your work!
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HedgeAndCave

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Re: Some Antler Rings, hand made by yours truly!
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2016, 05:47:45 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;198874
Oh, those are lovely!

Stuff I've picked up from friends who do both Etsy and craft shows



Wow, that is some seriously useful feedback - i'm very grateful indeed.

I'm currently wrestling with a facebook page and steeling myself for learning twitter and instagram before a soon to be not-so early night, but i will return to your post for sure and process it properly - but so much good info - thanks again :)

Jenett

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Re: Some Antler Rings, hand made by yours truly!
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2016, 06:02:50 pm »
Quote from: HedgeAndCave;198875
Wow, that is some seriously useful feedback - i'm very grateful indeed.

I'm currently wrestling with a facebook page and steeling myself for learning twitter and instagram before a soon to be not-so early night, but i will return to your post for sure and process it properly - but so much good info - thanks again :)

 
Welcome! As you can probably guess, I've spent a fair bit of time table-sitting for one of my friends, and picked up quite a lot from her. There's tons of ways to answer a bunch of them, but in general "best photos you can manage", "multiple price points", "good contact info" and "entice people to your table and/or online space" never go far wrong :)
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Vixen

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Re: Some Antler Rings, hand made by yours truly!
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2016, 05:38:47 am »
Quote from: HedgeAndCave;198870


I'd really like opinions on my work.  I've opened an Etsy shop and will shortly be lumbering around craft shops in my surrounding area and trying to get workshop and demonstrator slots at country fairs, festis and so on.

 
I saw your opening post a while back, think I replied there too. I absolutely love your work and would certainly be willing to help you get a name of yourself by sharing. Do you ship outside the UK?
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Sefiru

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Re: Some Antler Rings, hand made by yours truly!
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2016, 06:42:00 pm »
Quote from: HedgeAndCave;198870
Hello all!

Really, i don't know how online sellers do all this, it's more work doing the online shoppe than making the stuff.  I have a lot to learn, so any feedback is most welcome, and if you want to share it with your friends you'd be doing me a great service and i will send you happy thoughts and good vibrations!


 
This is one reason I never did the freelance thing; I suck at sales.

Those rings are quite nice!

HedgeAndCave

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Re: Some Antler Rings, hand made by yours truly!
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2016, 06:27:22 am »
Quote from: Vixen;198918
I saw your opening post a while back, think I replied there too. I absolutely love your work and would certainly be willing to help you get a name of yourself by sharing. Do you ship outside the UK?


We sure did chat :)

The whole shipping issue is one that i am still learning about, but for small things like rings, i have no problem sending them abroad, and my Etsy page should reflect that. I'm happy to discuss individual requirements and also adjust costs if it turns out that i have overestimated cost once i talk to a courier etc

For bigger stuff like sticks and staffs -  i've kinda guessed a shipping cost so far and will certainly honour any promises/deals made etc until i can get some more reliable ideas of cost and update the info.

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