Saturday, January 31, 2015

Renew or Re-Do Old Listings? Bringing a Fresh Perspective to Your Shop for 2015

The Allure of the New

I've been making and selling jewelry on Etsy for about 5 years.  I have found that my "eye" for jewelry design (my own and others' creations) is always developing and changing.  I am always eager to explore new materials and try new ideas.  In fact, the quest for the "new, rare, one-of-a-kind" element (beads, pendants, etc.) that will make the next piece a knockout can become obsessive!

Reviewing the Old

In the New Year, however, I decided to take a critical look back at items that had expired or been renewed multiple times.  Some of those pieces represent a significant investment in materials. But instead of helping me fund new supplies (or recoup past expenses) they were just 'sitting on the shelf.'

The first older piece I redid with a new vision of its possibilities sold almost as soon as it was listed. Other pieces I've redone haven't sold yet, but I'm happy that they better represent who I am now as a jewelry designer.  Not all crafts lend themselves to makeovers as easily as jewelry, but looking back at past creations and reflecting on what worked and what could be stronger can help all artists to grow.

Look Elsewhere

Looking objectively at your own work isn't easy, however.  Here is the single most important tip I've found for bringing a fresh eye to your own pieces:  Look elsewhere first!  Go hunting for inspiration! Look at a LOT (hundreds, at least) of creations by other people working in your craft.  Don't limit yourself to a single style or time period or theme, or to what you already know you like--just look for ANY jewelry (or pottery or fiber art) that makes you catch your breath, makes you want to reach out and touch.

Make an Inspiration Gallery

Use Pinterest or your Etsy favorites to make a good-sized collection of the pieces that resonate for you. Do you notice any patterns, colors, or small details that stand out in the pieces you especially love?  Which ones surprise you or intrigue you the most?

Don't worry about being influenced by other artists' work.  As long as you're not copying someone's creation, there is nothing wrong with absorbing fresh influences and then bringing them into your own creative process.  Artists have always been inspired by each others' creations. Chances are, when you come back to your own pieces, new possibilities will jump out at you.

Here are some pieces by other jewelry designers that caught my eye--and some words for what inspires me in them:
Storytelling, Asymmetry, Unexpected, Bold Colors

Small Changes Add Up

One other tip I've learned from revising my past jewelry designs:

Sometimes a small change can make a piece feel new.  Here is one piece I redid, adding a pendant to give the necklace more interest.

Sometimes, also, a new photo of the same piece may be all that's needed!  Product photography is another topic and a HUGE challenge for jewelry sellers--one I'm still working on.  I just bought my first DSLR camera--now I need to learn how to use it!

There is certainly more to growing and developing your shop than revising older listings. But if you make pieces that can be altered, looking back at older listings might present the opportunity to refresh past creations, revitalize your shop, and boost your sales for 2015.


Once upon a time I wanted to grow up to be an artist. As it turned out, I became an English teacher (which I loved) and a mother of two amazing children (which I loved) and somehow I never found much time for art. When I started exploring crafts, it was like a flip got switched. There is now paint and paper, shells and driftwood, beads and wool and more beads spread all over my kitchen and I feel like a child who doesn't want to stop playing...



  1. Great advice and tips for all Etsy sellers!

  2. There is a LOT of excellent advice here!! You've given me a lot of inspiration to do some updating to my shop. Thanks so much!

  3. Great article! Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Great article! Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. This is a great, thought provoking piece. I've had an inspiration gallery for some time, but never thought to apply it to re visiting much less re-doing pieces! Thank you for posting.

  6. Thanks, I'm looking to redo and renew too. Great araticle