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Artist Spotlight: Jessica Hall

Artist Spotlight: Jessica Hall

Jessica Hall - Bluebird Designs LLC, Asheville, NC

Jessica Hall is the artist, owner, and creative mastermind behind Bluebird Designs. Her substantial line of charming and colorful enamel pieces are desirable to women and girls of all ages, making it a perfect addition to most stores or galleries. The strong “bird” theme ties the line together, but an overall happy look with a heavy nature theme makes it complete.

Describe your work.
The process behind each piece of Bluebird Design jewelry is quite involved and all happens start to finish in her Asheville, NC metal smith studio. Depending on the individual piece, they start by either being punched via a hydraulic press or cast via the lost wax casting method. Step by step each unique item is prepped for enamel and/or final polishing to result in a beautiful finished piece of jewelry. Jessica kiln fires the enamel work in a multi-layer process involving between 3-8 firings per individual piece. Punching, grinding, drilling, filing, sanding, and polishing are all in a day's work at the workshop.

How did you get started in the crafts business?
I first started selling my jewelry when I was 17 years old and competing on a snowboard circuit. I needed extra money to get to and from the different events held all over the state and region. A little general store at my home mountain generously offered to sell my jewelry designs there. I don't remember if they even took a commission! Time passed and eventually I knew my snowboarding career would come to an end (I retired at the ripe 'ol age of 24) and I started a prior jewelry line called Some of A Kind Designs. I attended craft shows in the Seattle area and picked up some wholesale accounts with that business. Time passed and my jewelry evolved into what it is today.

I've never lost my passion for jewelry making and metal smithing, so I think I will be involved in this line of business for many, many more years to come.

How long have you been wholesaling?
I have been wholesaling the Bluebird Designs line since about 2011. Having had a few previous jewelry lines gave me the knowledge and wisdom in setting up the Bluebird Designs line with wholesale as an option from the beginning. I only just recently adjusted my wholesale price line sheet after all these years, and most everything went down in price! This is testament to a well thought out product line I think. I understand the importance of both quality and affordability and my productions capacities.
 
What percentage of your business is Wholesale? Retail? Commission, etc.?
Currently it's a good balance of about 33% of each. This allows room for growth in all areas.
  
What are your top 3 marketing methods for reaching new buyers?
I am lucky to have my studio located in a place that attracts many visitors. I have a gallery built into my work space and often I pick up accounts through people who come directly to my studio and own or manage stores or galleries. I also utilize online marketing strategies including IndieMe and my own website. And lastly, I travel and seek out places that I think would be a great fit for both sides. I love to travel and this allows me to mix a little business with pleasure in a productive way.
  
How has IndieMe helped your business?
IndieMe offers a beautiful online platform for me to showcase my work to a multitude of buyers from all over the country. I first started working with IndieMe under the prior name, Wholesale Crafts, about 6 years ago and still maintain great sales relationships with accounts that were established back then.
  
What advice do you have for new craft artists?
Understand your market, your product, and your desired outcome. Learn as much as you can about your craft as well as running a successful business. It's not just about making your product well, but about all the other details in allowing you to continue to make your product and in doing so affording you a gratifying career.

What advice do you have for new craft galleries?
Know your customers and their needs/wants and understand the importance of a well-planned retail space. Make the space your own "creative" outlet. Be sure it is inviting and alluring to customers. If so they will want to stay and shop and also tell other people about it. Also learn a bit about the products you are selling and the people behind them to be able to share with your customers. This element of connection between product/designer/maker is what will make a good gallery and/or store stand out in my opinion.

Showing 2 Comments

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Deborah & Vanessa Vahanian

We tried to locate your work on Indieme.com because of this article. We could not locate your name Jessica Hall or Bluebird Designs. It would be very helpful if they included a link to your page in the article. We have been in business since 1974.

last year
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Diana Papazian

Perhaps she is on vacation and has taken her shop offline for a little bit? One of my friends did that recently.

2 months ago

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