Tuesday, November 22, 2011

new herringbone line: charm and focal possibilities

One of the neat aspects of my 2012 herringbone line is that all of the pieces will include at least one detachable charm.  As many of the pieces in the line can be worn as bracelets or necklaces, the attachment will function as a charm when the piece is worn as a bracelet and as a focal when the piece is worn as a necklace.  You got an early reveal of this for my November challenge piece.

As you can see in the picture, the charm attaches with a lobster clasp.  I have also considered using a split ring for the charms.  The lobster clasp is a little more user friendly but stands out a little more.  Preferences/opinions?  I really want this line to do well so I want to do what will sell, not just what I think will work.

I want this line to be very versatile.  One of the aspects of the versatility is the charms and how they:
1) will hang differently depending on how the piece is worn
2) can be switched out for new charms at any point
3) can be removed entirely

I am planning to offer at least one charm with every piece.  This is another aspect where I would like feedback.  Would it be more desirable to include two or three charms?  Obviously this would increase the price but again would increase the versatility.  Not all of my charms will be handmade, such as metal charms that I purchase, so I don't feel right selling all of them separately.  I am planning at least two different types of handmade charms that I can list separately.  Would this be desirable?  Or should I just include the charms with the herringbone listings?

This brings me to my original inspiration for this post: What types of charms would people like to see?  What would you want to buy?  I don't just want opinions on what looks good.  Put yourself in the buyer's shoes and consider what would or would not make these wrap bracelet/necklace listings marketable.

I am planning to continue to use large beads for focals, as I did with this challenge piece.  Of course leaf beads have been the first thing on my list.  What else would work well?

I am also planning to start making glass pendants.  Should I offer silver chains so these pendants can be worn separately?  Again, this would add more versatility to the listing but it would also increase the cost so I don't want to include something that won't be used/isn't necessary.

I will also include metal charms with some listings.

Metal charms are very easy to order so I can customize this option as people like.  One thing that I will mention in listings is that I can add initial charms.  Are there other popular charm options that I should suggest or consider including?

I am going to order lampwork, sea glass, and other hand crafted/hand drilled charms as I can to include with listings.  Is there anything specific from this category that people would like to see?

Here are some other options that I think would make good charms.  I'm not planning to make or order these myself, but I could customize them for people so they are detachable charms that would work with my line.  What do you think of these final ideas?  Is there anything else that you'd like to see here?

My official release for my herringbone line will be early January 2012. I would like to have a plan in place with the charms by then.  I need feedback for this to happen.  Any and all answers to the questions in this post would be greatly appreciated as well as any other thoughts on this topic.  Thanks!

I included this post in Erika's It's a Wrap Link Party 11/28.


  1. This is such a highly personal area I would not venture an opinion because I have very specific likes and dislikes (such as - I hate lobster claw clasps LOL) which probably run counter to the general wisdom.

    I might say tho that offering pendants without some way to wear them can be chancy - I've bought pendants thinking to use them on an existing chain or choker only have a problem with the bale - either too large or too small. And chains should be either sterling or gold which of course drive up the price. What suggestion I can offer is that "cord" chains are lovely - especially when done in a complimentary color to the pendant. I've seen beautiful braided or twisted "chains" in silk and other soft feeling materials. I suppose there is a market for leather "chains" but that was never my style LOL

  2. Hi Rose!
    I think you already have such a wonderful variety of pieces, but having the option to add an "initial" charm is a clever idea!

  3. My opinion is different than Grace's in that I never use the chain that comes with pendants. I prefer my own style and length and have on etsy asked to not have the chain included and the seller took off the cost of the chain.
    However, I have had a problem which Grace mentioned--the bale for one pendant is so small that I have yet to use it though the bale seems more like it was meant to be a bead than for a pendant!

    Good luck with the line.

    It’s a Wrap Link Party at Artful Rising

  4. I think add the glass pendant to the bracelet. You don't need a chain because you already make beautiful jewelry that you can attach it to. That's just my opinion.

    I gave you an award! It's in today's post.

    For Love of Cupcakes

  5. How fun that the charms in your herringbone line can be swapped out! I'm always a fan of stars and skulls on jewelry. Pretty much anything celestial or nautical, really. ;D

  6. Hmmmm...so much to think about!
    I like the ease of use with the lobster clasp, but I agree that it stands out. But if a split ring is like a key chain...I wouldn't like that. Too hard to change out!

    I don't think you need to add a chain to your glass pendants. Most people have a chain they can wear it on if they decide to wear it on it's own. One less thing to worry about.

    I do like the idea of the initials and the stamped custom pieces. People always like custom :)

    And I like the current focal you have and the sea glass and lampwork will look great with your beading as well.

    I think I would sell one charm with each piece. And then maybe sell the charms in sets?

    Okay...I wrote you a novel :)

  7. Customization! Yes! I agree with Duni.. I think initial charms are great, I know I personally am a sucker for anything I could customize with my kids initials..

    I just had a "duh" moment.. I heard of the term "lobster clasp" before, I guess I never gave it much thought as to what that is.. well, now, I know, and for that, I thank you. (clearly my jewelry knowledge is very little, all I know is when "stuff is pretty" lol, I am hopeless.)

    I can't wait to see the glass pendants! Rose, you are just all the time FULL of inspiration!!

  8. Dear Rose, I like the personal touch. You can interchange the look. Blessings, Catherine xo

  9. I haven't bought pendants before but usually anything I buy I don't like the chain so switch it out anyway. You could offer the chain separately for those who want it so you please everyone. Good luck with your new line!

  10. Wow - and then there's me... The lobster claw clasp doesn't bother me. I would be more annoyed and less apt to change if it was hard to do. I like the idea of having one charm with it and then singles or sets that could be sold separately.

    And I like the chain with the glass pendant. I rarely have a necklace that I change pendants on... I guess I look at the chain as part of that pendant. Having said that, however, I would make it an optional item or a separate item to purchase. So purchase the pendant and your choice of chain or several pendants and one chain.

    Beautiful idea =) Hope your new line does well!

  11. wow, so much to think about. Here are my thoughts:

    I think ease of use is probably the most important when considering how to attach the charm. As a jewelry-maker, it's easy to think everyone will get how to do it. But most people don't work with these materials so have something like a small lobster claw would probably work better than a spring ring.

    As far as pendants, I like the pretty glass leaves and metal charms. You showed off a metal stamped circle at the bottom and that could be nice and easy to personalize.

    You could probably make a basic listing with one or two charms. I like your idea of selling a few hand-made charms in different listings. But I would think simpler is better. As a buyer, I can get overwhelmed when a seller floods their listings with options and directions.

  12. Lots of neat ideas here. With the pendant I think it would be cool to have the chains separate, or offer a choice of the type of chain/cord/lace in the listing. Options are awesome!

  13. Someone said the jump rings would be hard for people to open and close. That's definitely true - some people don't even know you can open them! I wonder if there's something other than a lobster claw, or maybe just a small one. The glass pendants are sure pretty! Good luck with them! {:-D

  14. I agree jump rings will be hard for some people to use. Lobster claws are probably the best for both ease and security. A barrel clasp is another possibility.

    Leaves are a great motif. I think hearts and stars are really appealing too. I like the idea of using handmade beads and charms a lot.

    I would include a basic chain with your pendants in case you customer is not crafty (if they are crafty, they will probably use the chain for some other project). I really like the idea of using cording for the chain. I think it has a nice look.

    Using initials and hand-stamped charms is a great idea. You might consider some way to incorporate birthstone colors with them so people could make family jewelry.

    This product line seems like a really great idea - good luck with your launch!

  15. Here's my suggestions (if this were me, you can ignore it if you want haha):
    -Don't actually include a chain in the listing/price, say that if the buyer wants it then to convo you to have it added to the price.
    -Offer one charm with the bracelet/necklace, and then, in the last photo of the listing, have a photo of several other charms all lined up and numbered. Tell buyers that if they want additional charms as well, or if they wanted to swap the original charm with another one instead, to convo you with the charm number, and you then adjust the price accordingly, if applicable, and then they buy it!
    -Also, I like lobster clasps. You could always try a toggle, don't know how well that would work. eg, Have the ring part already on the bracelet/necklace, and have a bar part of every charm. Once again, dunno how well that would work. Just an idea. Also, I have had bad experiences with barrell clasps unscrewing, I don't like them and avoid using them in as much jewelry as possible.

    I hope that all makes sense, and isn't highly confusing to understand. :) All the best with your new line!

  16. Love it Rose! I'm still partial to the lobster claw. I think user friendly is the way to go and I do not think this distracts from the piece. I also think that if you offered 2 charms (perhaps one could be an initial charm??) it would get people to like changing charms and hopefully come back for more. I also think anything personalized is the way to go. Think of all of those "mom" necklaces that sell like crazy with the birthstone jewels and the initial stamped stuff. I say include lovely large beads as your standard ones but offer the option of personalization as the "extras" they would have to buy, you know?

  17. lots to think about...
    Sometimes when I'm considering a possibility, I look at what's out there-especially what's sold. Some shops offer the chain separately.
    I think charms can be very personal. That makes me think buyers would want to choose the ones they want. A possibility is to offer a discount on additional charms if one is buying a charm bracelet.
    People love personalization such as initials, names, words, etc.
    good luck with your new line(s)! I'm sure you will be successful!

  18. I love the charm idea, Rose and I like the lobster claw, but I think you should find the smallest ones you can to minimize their visual impact. I think the chain should be a separate entity, with a separate price. I think the personalization aspect is genius.


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