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Artist Spotlight: JoBird Jewelry

Artist Spotlight: JoBird Jewelry

Sarah Brockman, Bellingham, WA

Hello! My name is Sarah Jo Brockman and I’m the designer of Jo Bird Jewelry. I started making necklaces as a teenager and launched my professional line in 2006. I’m a mother of two little ones and appreciate every day that I can do the work I love right from my home studio. I am most alive in the outdoors and am inspired to make jewelry that can take the wear of an active lifestyle. I run, garden, ski, hike…and I wear my jewelry through all of it. Jo Bird’s designs are often described as subtle and feminine, and is loved for the fact that it can be worn every day, dressy or casual. I hope you enjoy a line that so much heart and soul has gone into making. I love what I do and I love sharing it with you!

Describe Your Work
Simple, light, feminine, and wearable. Customers often comment that Jo Bird's designs are "just enough" to enhance a woman's natural beauty and not overwhelm it.

How did you get started in the crafts business?
The arts are in my blood. My Dad is an oil painter and my Mom is a jewelry designer. They both worked from home studios and toted me along to arts and crafts fairs from the time I was born. I started making necklaces for friends and family as a teenager and started selling at farmers markets when I was in college for side income. It soon evolved into a full time business.

How long have you been wholesaling?
My wholesale business emerged from my retail shows about 10 years ago. Galleries and boutiques started buying from me at arts and crafts fairs. From there, I started doing trade shows and working with sales reps. Now that I'm a Mom of two preschoolers, I am focusing on growing my wholesale business because it involves so much less travel. I LOVE making jewelry at home and shipping orders. It's a dream come true.

What are your top 3 marketing methods for reaching new buyers? Tradeshows, Sales Reps, and Email Promotions.
What percentage of your business is Wholesale? Retail? Commission, etc.? About 50/50 Wholesale/Retail.

How has IndieMe helped your business? I
ndieMe gives me exposure to buyers across the nation. I really appreciate how I can connect with accounts outside of my region. The ordering process is easy for buyers and artists alike, so it's a win-win.

What advice do you have for new craft artists?
Start small. Farmers markets are an excellent way to test your products with minimal risk. You can gain valuable feedback from retail customers and get clear about what your best sellers are. I always test my designs in retail before I offer them wholesale, so I can be confident my designs will sell well for wholesale customers. I want my jewelry to move.

What advice do you have for new craft galleries?

Make a simple statement. When buyers go deep into one or two coordinating collections, I'm confident the jewelry will sell because it will present nicely in the store. When I get an order for one of this and one of that, I know it might sit longer, because the statement will be less aesthetic.

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