Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Being Thankful

One of the things I am most thankful for is my large group of repeat customers. When you have a business where you create the items with your own two hands..and then try to sell them, you open yourself up to the world. Your mind fills with "Will anyone like it?" and "I know my items aren't as awesome as other people's work.." at first. And then "What if nobody buys it?"

Yep. That is the kicker. You can think your art is amazing, awesome, the bee's knees, the cat's meow. But when you put a price tag on it..insecurity can arise. So the best thing that can happen after selling something is...TRC. Oh yes, The Repeat Customer. The Holy Grail of customers. What does TRC mean??

They like you! They REALLY like you!  Okay. They might not like you but they like your items. Same thing! Or is it?

With my RC's, I want them to like me as well as my items. I want a relationship with them. How do I do that? By offering the best customer service that I can. What is that?

1. Communicate clearly with the customer. Do they have questions about the item? Answer them politely in a timely manner. Let them know that you received their order and thank them.

2. Package their item(s) safely and maybe even make that packaging unforgettable. I like to make getting an order from me a fun experience. Part of that is my packaging. Even if the customer is shopping for themselves, its still a gift. Make it personal and again, thank them. I always include a little handwritten note, showing my appreciation.

3. Ship their order in a timely manner and let the customer know when you shipped it. Come know how it is when YOU buy something online. You wait..and wait..and can't wait for your box to arrive on your front step. Don't make your customer wait and wait!

4. Once your customer(and hopefully soon-to-be RC) gets their package and if they are not pleased, deal with it like a professional. Nobody wants to hear that their customer is unhappy with their purchase but lets face it, it happens. Purchasing something online is somewhat of a gamble. You can describe the item perfectly, you can take the best photographs but still..somebody can be unhappy or even have buyer's remorse. Whether the customer doesn't like the blanket they ordered or the earrings are too big..just suck it up and act like a real business. You don't hear Amazon saying "I don't accept returns because those earrings are too big", do you? Nope. Do what you can to make that customer happy again..whether its accepting a return or even a refund if you cannot accept returns.

Sounds simple right? It really should would think all sellers would treat their customers in a wonderful way. Sadly, I read stories all the time about how so-and-so at Etsy or Artfire screwed over a customer. It might cast a shadow over the whole handmade shopping experience but frankly, I like to look at it as a good thing.

A good thing? Am I CRAZY?? Well probably but hey, I view it as my amazing customer service sets me apart from those unprofessional people. And my many repeat customers definitely agree. Now, I know everyone has difficult customers. I'm not saying you have to treat them like royalty. I'm simply saying "Treat them just like you would want to be treated."

Thank you to everyone who appreciates and purchases Bella Sweet Jewelry. I love all of my customers and am so thankful that you allow my designs to grace your jewelry boxes and your gorgeous bodies!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A New Life

One of my favorite things in the whole world is to go to flea markets and antique co-ops on the weekend. I am always looking for 3 things:

1.Black Americana items--My Mom collects Aunt Jemima items
2. Amazing vintage purses/compacts
3.Vintage jewelry for my Renewed Designs line

I recently hit the vintage jewelry jackpot when I stumbled across a group of sisters that were selling their mother's estate. They have suitcases full of vintage costume jewelry!! Having experienced how hard it is to sell off a loved one's estate, I am happy to give their Mom's jewelry a new life.

The center of this awesome Biwa Stick Pearl flower was once a vintage clip-on earring!

Why do I use vintage elements? I think its the perfect way to ensure original designs and to offer my customers something nobody else will ever have. I also think its great to incorporate the vintage styles of the past into a fresh, modern look. What was popular years ago can be popular again but in a new way.

The vintage leaf brooch is covered in glitzy purple rhinestones

I am always looking for unique vintage jewelry since these designs have turned out to be something that sells fast. Check my Etsy as well as my Artfire shops frequently to see new designs!