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Monday, June 1, 2009

Finding Your Voice and Niche In Your Art

It seems like when we are first learning to make beads, we are told to "find our voice" and pick an area in which to specialize. And I know I'm always telling beadmakers, that for selling online, you will be more successful if you specialize in one area, so that buyers know that if they need something specific, you are that "go to" person.

I've found someone who has done both, and I think you should notice what she's doing. Meet Jenny of EmbellishYourself on Etsy.

Jenny's niche is lampwork glass jewelry for Blythe or similar sized dolls (Barbie, Pullip, etc). If you aren't familiar with them, my definition is slightly edgy dolls for modern women. I love them. Their eyes change colors and you can even buy crazy wigs in all colors and styles and Converse high top shoes for them.

Jenny makes fun stuff for these dolls. I can't help but smile, when I see her little skullies, cupcakes and she even has a cute little frog necklace too.

Jenny told me that for years she had wanted to sell what she makes, but at the time she said she wasn't making something that really stood out from what others were doing. She didn't want to be a copy cat. It was important to make something unique.

When Jenny found Etsy, she noticed Blythe and found all kinds of neat fashions for her. She said she couldn't resist a doll who wears Doc Martens. She came across the book, This Is Blythe by Gina Garan where Blythe is shown doing lots of things in great clothes.

Because there were all kinds of accessories, but not jewelry, Jenny found her niche. Blythe is her muse and was her inspiration to get involved in the Blythe community. Since she is a jewelry and a beadmaker, this was the perfect match.

I'm particularly impressed that Jenny says what a joy it is to take photos of her product. She dresses up her doll and has fun with it. I think there are a lot of us who would like to enjoy that part of our business more.

Currently, Jenny is working on some coordinating owner and doll necklaces. They'll be added soon.

If you want to learn and see more about Blythe and her jewelry collection, visit Jenny's blog and Flickr page. Her shop has great product photos where you can see Blythe with her different wigs, jewelry and wardrobe.

So now I'm asking you, what is your specialized area? If you're still looking, can you tie in one passion with another? I love how Jenny has combined both to carve out her very own specialized niche and think there is a unique one out there for most of us.


  1. Great feature, Marcy! I was just looking through Jenny's shop a couple days ago, actually - I love the little necklaces she makes! The skully necklace with the bow is my favorite. The perfect niche for her - and such perfect little beads. :)

    After a year on Etsy, I think I've found my niche in critter-type beads. But I'm also hoping to keep selling my girls' stretchy necklaces and carve out a niche with those. I started those because I noticed lots of girls wearing the choker-style necklaces with manufactured charms on them. I made some with my beads for my own girls, who are 10 and 6, and also gave them as gifts. I sell more of them outside of Etsy now, but I'd like to increase their presence in my Etsy shop.

    Interesting topic, Marcy!

  2. Very cool idea and article! I'm still searching for my niche I'm afraid. :)

  3. Marcy, Thank you so much for such a wonderful feature! You are an inspiration to me!


  4. LOl I love this- I made Blythe jewelry for a flickr swap like 3 years ago, I think that was her favorite thing in the swap box LOL had no idea I was cutting edge. Those little pieces she makes are wonderful.


Hey, thanks for commenting. Visit my etsy shop, seller name: StudioMarcy