Jennifer Bulger is a self-proclaimed hand craft seller. JUST. LIKE. YOU. She lives over on the Western border of the U.S. And while she’s been crafting and selling those crafts for almost her whole life, just joined the Etsy community back in November of 2011 (same time as me!!). Her favorite materials to work with are copper wire, swarovski crystals, and yarn. She makes some of the most unusual and truly beautiful gifts. Especially if you’re looking for something for Mother’s day, you might just want to check out some of her great products!
Here’s a little bit more of who she is, straight from herself!
I have always been a creative person, even as a little kid. I used to make my own newspapers, perfume, cards – the perfume never really came out right! – but mostly I thought of myself as a writer. My full-time job is as a technical editor and graphic designer, but I just don’t get to be as creative as I’d like to there. I started making jewelry about two years ago on a whim. I was at Micheal’s, and noticed how much cheaper it would be to buy a cute pendant rather than buy a whole new necklace at a store. It all sort of snowballed from there, and I was making myself necklaces, earrings and bracelets. People asked if I could make them something, then started offering to pay. Finally I’d found a way to express my creativity and actually make a little money doing it! I’ve always enjoyed going to craft fairs, so it seemed natural for me to start showing at them. I was slower to take to the internet, because I worried that it was just too vast, and how would I stand out in the crowd? But I’ve slowly been building up my presence online, and it’s paying off in sales!
I sell wire jewelry in a few different forms. My most popular items are my rings. I do wire wrapping with natural gemstones, crystals and glass. I also love doing just free-form wire designs. Recently I started experimenting with creating words with wire. I’ve also begun to crochet, and I now sell beanies, headbands and hair clips. Since I consider myself a seller of “gift items,” I also have things like beaded bookmarks, trinket boxes, ornaments, and key chains. People ask how I learned to do all of this, and I feel a bit silly saying I taught myself. But I never took any classes, or read any books. Occasionally I’ve looked closely at an image and attempted to recreate it, but mostly, it’s just been trial and error. Though my mom is the one who taught me to crochet!
I would tell anyone interested in starting their own crafting business to start with friends and family. They are my best customers! It’s a great way to spread the word about your work. For instance, my boss bought a ring from me recently, and wore it to her mother-in-law’s house. Her mother-in-law commented on how pretty it was, asked where she got it, and, voila, I’ve got a new customer! The hardest thing for me has been deciding on what to charge for my work. I felt, because I was able to get my materials at such a low-cost, that I shouldn’t charge a whole lot. But I really think it’s true that if something is priced too cheaply, people assume that it’s cheap quality. So price your items according to what their presumed worth would be. I learned a lot by going on Etsy.com and researching what other people were charging for similar items. And the best advice I could offer is to put your best into every piece you make, make it with joy, and never sell anything you wouldn’t be willing to wear/display/use/etc. yourself!
JenBee Card Company
That’s right, you see it, she’s got her own Physical Store Front. This is a girl who seems to have done things backwards than what most of us are trying to do. Most of us are trying to get established on the internet FIRST, but she’s only just recently started the online portion of her business. I think that we could all really learn from her experience here. Stop by, give her some love, and feel free to comment on this post about how awesome her work is!!