Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Introducing AJU – Antique Jewelry University
AJU is an on-line organization made up of scholars, educators, jewelry professionals and interested individuals from all over the world who share a passion for antique, estate and vintage jewels. Our goal is to make available to the public, and professionals alike, an ever expanding repository of information, useful and arcane, related to the subject of period jewelry.
In addition to generating a vast Wiki style encyclopedia of historical data, definitions, in depth articles and the like, AJU will also host two online forums: one for the general public to have their questions answered by experts, and a second one restricted to qualified members only for the exchange of information, ideas and industry gossip.
The site will also include book summaries and reviews (with direct links to the purchasing site of the author’s choice), a photo gallery/archive, an extensive bibliography to assist in scholarly research, and a calendar of jewelry related events – shows, exhibitions, lectures, conferences, etc.
AJU is being fully sponsored by LangAntiques.com, in response to an overwhelming amount of general queries we receive on our commercial website. It is literally impossible for us to answer each and every antique and estate jewelry related question: “Can you tell me how old my great-grandmother’s brooch is?”, “Where can I learn more about Arts & Crafts Jewelry?” etc. It came as a surprise to us that, despite the abundance of quality jewelry literature available, so little credible information can be found on the web, and certainly not in one place. Hence, AJU.
If you share our passion and enthusiasm for vintage jewels and jewelry, we cordially invite you to become a charter member of our AJU ‘faculty’. Whether your interests are broad or specific, decorative or technical, historical or present-day, we are looking for contributing writers, bloggers, and advisors to join us in this new endeavor.
In addition to writing articles and blogs and participating in the forums, faculty members will be given editing privileges to AJU’s Wiki portion of the site to correct, update, add or suggest changes to certain articles. Contributors will have a choice between publishing an article ‘as written’ or to submit it for peer review by means of the Wiki program. Writers will also have the opportunity to share and publicize other complimentary information (books, publications, websites, organizations, etc.) appropriate to our mission.
Initially, AJU charter membership will be limited to professionals, credentialed individuals and published writers. However, submissions from newcomers, hobbyists and anyone unknown to us will be graciously received and reviewed case by case.
We hope to see you 'on campus'!
This info comes from CNNMoney's Small Business Ask & Answer:
Mona Kahn, Salt Lake City asked: I am a jewelry designer and I want to present my merchandise to a larger audience. How do I get my products on ShopNBC, QVC or similar outlets?
By Christina Crapanzano, CNNMoney.com contributing writer answers: The application process is quick and painless. Both ShopNBC and QVC have applications available online for downloading, and both sites offer guidelines for product submissions. You’ll need to send in digital photos of your product and answer questions about your manufacturing process and price point. The networks are looking for vendors who already have a product - they aren’t interested in ideas, sketches or prototypes.
We asked the shows’ vendor scouts to tell us a bit more about how they pick new products to feature.
QVC has more than 10,000 applicants each year, and also recruits vendors from trade shows or craft fairs. From that, only about 500 new vendors are introduced on-air each year.
“Don’t be redundant,” says Marilyn Montross, QVC’s director of vendor relations. “The first thing we look at is the product. For jewelry, we’re asking, ‘is this something new and innovative versus products we’re already selling?’”
The same philosophy holds true at ShopNBC. “The product is the star of the show,” says Anthony Giombetti of ShopNBC’s media relations department.
Watch the networks you are applying to and get to know their current products and vendors. That will also give you an idea of their target audience and your potential customers. For ShopNBC, the typical viewer is over the age of 45 and is affluent, with an average household income of more than $70,000. QVC says its customers are predominantly women, though its demographic changes hour-to-hour depending on programming.
Knowing your audience’s tastes is only the first part of the battle. The next step for applicants is demonstrating a capability to produce in mass quantities.
“They have to have their ducks in order,” says ShopNBC Chief Merchant Kris Kulesza. “If you can only make five to 10 units of something, that could close the door.” ShopNBC, which broadcasts to more than 70 million homes, might ask vendors to have as many as 5,000 units available.
However, QVC’s Montross warns against jumping the gun - never manufacture large quantities of your product on spec before getting approval from the network. They want to see that you are capable of manufacturing mass quantities, not that you’ve already done it.
The volume demand usually rules out hand-crafted items.
“In order to do both the volume and quality, [vendors] need to be working with a pretty sophisticated manufacturing factory,” Montross says. In rare cases, networks might put vendors in touch with manufacturing companies, but they will not pay manufacturing costs.
“[Merchants] have to be willing to make an investment,” Kulesza says. “Not everything will take off or sell out from the get-go. You may have to make an investment up front.”
Something else the networks seek: A personality and a story to go along with the product. If you become a vendor, you will likely present your product yourself. You should be prepared with all the elements that go into making compelling TV, such as a good storyline with twists and turns. You’ll want to have themes and variations in your product line that you can discuss.
Finally, don’t be shy. Be able to talk enthusiastically about your product, both to the vendor scouts and also, potentially, on air.
Persistence is key: Kulesza says that if you submit an application and get no word back, “Don’t be afraid to make the call directly to us.”
Application To Become A Vendor:
HSN - Become an HSN Partner: http://www.hsn.com/become-a-hsn-vendor_at-4682_xa.aspx?nolnav=1&cm_sp=Global*BN*Vendor
QVC - How To Become a QVC Vendor: http://www.qvcproductsearch.com/become_a_qvc_vendor.htm
ShopNBC - Become a ShopNBC Vendor: http://www.shopnbc.com/pom2k.aspx?category=cc/vendor&page=vendor_steps&title=vendor_steps&displaytype=5&ft=0&cm_re=BN-_-Vendors-_-N
I think the bottom line is, do you have a "business plan"or at least a "marketing plan" ? most of the questions that you will be asked and expected to know the answers to will be covered in a written plan.
There are several places to get the basic business/marketing plan - you just go in and answer the questions.
This should get you started:
Business Plans - http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/results.aspx?qu=business+plan&av=TPL000
Marketing Plans - http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/results.aspx?qu=marketing+plan&av=TPL000
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Bench Magazine has always been printed on Recycled Paper. However, even recycled paper consumes enormous amounts of electricity and water in its production. Plus it uses up valuable landfills just like ordinary paper. In addition, large amounts of diesel and gasoline fuels are wasted shipping the magazine across the country and around the world.
All prices include shipping.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Lazy Link Love...
Feeling a little lazy on this warm Sunday afternoon - so I thought I would show a little Link Love to some of my favorite resources...
Some great info about and examples of Colored Stones:
The Opal Society http://www.opalsociety.org/
Jewelry Television :
The Vault http://www.jewelrytelevision.com/vault
The Learning Library http://learning.jewelrytelevision.com/
Eni Oken & Friends' Jewelry Lessons http://www.jewelrylessons.com/
Hans Meevis http://www.meevis.com/Jewelry-making-class-list.htm
Rio Tinto http://www.riotintodiamonds.com/
Kimberly Process http://www.kimberleyprocess.com/
OKAY - have fun exploring these great sites and I'll see ya next time - going out to enjoy the sun!