Monday, January 30, 2006

The Pictures are Up!

Okay - the pictures are up. The prices and full descriptions will be up tomorrow night at the latest. Here are a few more previews:

Posted in Jewelry Previews_

Which Sharma are You?

I know I know. The new jewelry is not up yet. I am talking the pictures again right after I post!

I am very excited to have hired Mei-Lynn at Hella Good to write up some category descriptions for me. I have always wanted to have little blurbs describing what kind of woman wears each style of necklace. Mei-Lynn is super talented so I am sure she will come up with something great for me. Then you can find out which type of "Sharma girl" you really are!!

I changed up the look of the blog a bit. What do you guys think?

Posted in Website News_

Thursday, January 26, 2006

New Jewelry

First of all...the shop by color function is live! Do you want to see the brown necklaces? Maybe the pink? I am so happy that I decided to make this function available. I love it! are a few new pieces. I was not able to get all of them done. For some reason my pictures were just not working for me. It may be due to my raging ear infection that will not go away! (Are adults supposed to get ear infections? Argh)

So hopefully over the weekend the rest will turn out and I will be able to get them up:

Posted in Jewelry Previews_

New Website Features

You asked and I listened. As I type my web designer is working on making my handmade jewelry searchable by color! Hopefully it will make shopping at Sharma Designs just that much easier!

I have also added categories to my blog so you can check out posts by topic. I am still tweaking the code so if it doesn't work yet rest assured that I am still perfecting it.

Do you have a blog? Let's exchange links. Just shoot me an email or leave me a comment.

I have been hard at work making jewelry and will hopefully have the new pieces up by tomorrow night. What to expect? More fun Valentine's Day jewelry!!

Hope you're having a great week!

Posted in Website News_

Monday, January 23, 2006

Number 1 Single

Did anyone catch this new show on E on Sunday night? Lisa Loeb is the star of a reality tv show where she is looking for a man to settle down with. I have always loved Lisa Loeb and she is just so darn cute on the show! And I have to admire her for taking her single status to a reality show. I could NEVER (not that I'm single but still..).

My favorite part was 1) When her blind date was singing a horrible karaoke rendition of "Stay" to her. 2) When she said "Smarmy Smarmyton". It is such a Sharla word. Love it!

Anyway it's a cute show. You should check it out.

Posted in Other things I love_

A word about pricing

I have wonderful customers. The results of my poll were so encouraging. The only question I felt needed a little explanation was the pricing question.

A few people said they felt Sharma Designs jewelry was overpriced. I understand how someone might think that without an explanation of the work that goes into each piece of jewelry. So let me explain why my jewelry may cost more than what you might pay at the mall...

I spend hours searching out unique beads. I really want Sharma Designs jewelry to be jewelry that you feel that you can't find in every online shop or store.

Once I have the perfect beads I spend time designing each piece. This may be a quick process if the beads magically fall together into a stunning presentation on the first try. However, it usually takes a few tries until I am convinced that the piece is perfect.

Once designed, I must assemble the piece. I either string the beads onto the wire or I wire wrap each bead together. The wire wrapping takes longer. You may have seen that the pieces that are wire wrapped are priced at a higher price point. This is because of the time that is put into a piece of wire wrapped jewelry. It is hours of tedious work.

Now the jewelry is complete. I am satisfied with the way it looks. However, my customers can't see the piece unless I take pictures of it. I have seriously spent hours and hours perfecting the way I take my pictures. After I get the perfect shot I spend hours editing the photo.

So you see, each piece of Sharma Designs jewelry has a lot of love put into it. I have spent hours of my time on each and every piece. I have been making jewelry for years and I feel that I have really streamlined my process but it just takes time.

I hope this helps explain things a little. I personally am a big supporter of handmade items. I would rather pay a little more and know that I have a quality piece that has received a lot of love and attention from the designer as opposed to something that has been produced in an assemby line somewhere in a factory.

Posted in Business Babble_

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Valentine's Day Jewelry

The Valentine's Day Jewelry is going fast so if you have your eye on anything I wouldn't wait another day!

Posted in Website News_

Survey Results

Apparently people like to be motivated to take a survey with a little discount. Fine by me! I am loving all the answers! Here are the results so far:

1. How did you first learn about Sharma Designs?
Friend - 28.6% (yay! I love when people tell their friends about me!!)
Show or Event - 2%
Search Engine - 10.2%
Referall/Link from another site - 44.9% (free advertising! What could be better?)
Other - 14.3%

2. Is the site easy to navigate?
Yes - 100%

3. What would you do to improve the site?
(Lots of answers here I will just list a few that I may act on)
-sometimes, when ordering jewelry on-line, I really like to see a piece on a person (particularly necklaces and earrings) in order to get a better sense of the piece
-Maybe group some things together according to color? I have seen some sites that do that--useful when shopping for a gift.
-more inventory... I love your stuff!

4. What categories of Sharma Designs are your favorite?
-Bold & Brassy-38.3%
-Dainty Divas-19.1%
-Deliciously Dark-31.9%
-Earthy Elegance-34%
-Fabulous & Funky-46.8%
-Simply Stated-23.4%
-Stunning Stones-53.2%

5. Do you feel that Sharma Designs products are:
-Priced Fairly-80.9%

6. Are you happy with your purchases from Sharma Designs?
-Yes 71.7%
-N/A (ie haven't purchased yet) 28.3%

7. . Please rate Sharma Designs in the following areas:
-Selection of products - Good
-Quality of workmanship - Excellent
-Newsletter -Excellent
-Packaging - Excellent
-Shipping time - Excellent
-Customer service - Excellent

8.What is Your Age Range?

9.Is there anything you would like to see more of at Sharma Designs? Do you have any additional comments that have not been addressed?
(various answers)
-I'd like to see a broader selection of colors - or maybe add a 'Shop by Color' area for quick reference.
-I think you have some beautiful pieces and while I said I felt they were overpriced they may not be for the amount of work you put in. I guess in looking at it more perhaps you can put more content on the site as to what you do, how you find your materials, how you make the necklaces, earrings etc. not to give your secrets away but so the customers understand the process you go through to make a unique piece of jewelry. Hope this helps. I find that more content the better rather than just a catalog.
-Longer length necklaces!
-more of everything!

I am very happy with the answers. They give me areas to improve that come straight from my customers. I can't wait to see more answers come in.

Posted in Business Babble_

Monday, January 16, 2006

Ready to go

The new jewelry is up and priced and ready to go. Check it out here.

I bought the cutest apron today from Sommer Designs. You can see it here. The Curry Kimono apron is mine all mine! Is there a cuter way to protect your designer jeans while cooking? I am so in love with it. I can't wait to get it!

Tonight was pretty low key. I finished editing the new jewelry while watching the Golden Globes. I am such a sucker for celeb award shows. Love them! It's mostly the fabulous dresses that I enjoy. I think my favorite was Hillary Swank's dress. She looked amazing as always!

Alright off to bed!

Posted in Other things I love_

New Jewelry

Here are the Valentine's Day pieces I have finished so far. They are up on the site but without prices yet. The full description and price information should be complete by tomorrow night.

You'll see that I can't quite go all out with the hearts and pink and red. I think it's just not in me. I prefer to be a little more subtle in my celebration of the Holidays. I think there is something for those who do and those who don't celebrate February 14th. I set up a Valentine's Jewelry page too so you can easily find the appropriate jewelry.

Here's a sneak peek:

Posted in Jewelry Previews_

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Where have I been?

I have gotten into the very bad habit of neglecting my blog. I was trying to post every day or every other day at least but it has barely been once a week as of late. I am going to try harder to keep it updated.

So here's what has been keeping me so busy (besides being the mom to a one year old who runs and destroys everything in her path):

1. Bead organizing. I have a move coming up in a month or so and I have to move my bead room. I have a million beads and findings. In order to make the task a tiny bit less painful I have been desperately trying to organize everything. I bought what I thought was a good amount of these:

Hmmm turns out I have a few more beads than I anticipated. So I just put in another order. There may be one more after that too. Downsizing is sooo overrated. I really can't wait to get them all filled with beads though. I can already tell I will love it. Of course they will be organized by color and size. I will definitely take pics to share when the whole tedious (yet disturbingly fun) process is done.

2. As promised I am working on new jewelry. I am trying to get a few items ready for February 14th. I like to make a few pink and red things and a few black heart things. The black hearts are for my single friends. Not everyone loves Valentines Day (Day of Death as I have been known to call it. Or Single's Awareness Day) Sounds morbid but it's all in fun. Anyways, I worked my fingers to the bone tonight while watching a Law and Order SVU marathon. So maybe by tomorrow night I will have the first few pieces up.

3. Taxes. Not exciting or even slightly fun. I procrastinate all year and then have to scramble at the end. Not next year I swear! This will be the year of organization. Riiiiggghhht.

I had a few web issues this week too. Thankfully I have an really good web host. Paul at Blue Channel is amazing. He is totally on top of things and does not sleep until things are fixed! I highly recommend him if you are looking for someone. I really can't say enough good things.

So there you have it. Even when it looks by my site that nothing is going on I really am keeping busy behind the scenes. I will try to post more frequently too. Hope you are having a great weekend!

Posted in Business Babble_

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Sharma Designs Survey

At the beginning of each year I like to review the previous business year and congratulate myself on my areas of improvement and look for areas where I can continue to improve. This year I decided to ask the most important people for their customers. I sent out a survey in the last Sharma Designs newsletter and asked my customers to please give me their opinion on various aspects of the business.

Apparently people don't like to fill out surveys. I may have to bribe them because I really do want some honest feedback. I have received a handful of responses though and already I see that a current theme is that I need more jewelry on the site. I find that quite flattering because it means that my customers enjoy my jewelry and want more jewelry to buy. That's definitely a good thing.

When will I find the time? Well that's another issue. This is an especially busy season for me right now. I get up at 7:30 and go until 12:00-1:00 every night. I am determined to make it a goal to get new products on the website every week though. Even if it is just a few at a time. I just need to make a stricter schedule for myself and really stick to it. I may also need to enlist some help. I do have a few possibilities so it will be exciting to see where this goes.

All comments have been very positive and encouraging. I'm glad to know that my customers think I am doing a good job.

And on a very sappy totally un business related note - 1 year ago at exactly this time I was staring into the eyes of my sweet Bella girl for the first time. We had a party for her today that was a huge sucess. Apparently, unlike her mother, she LOVES to be the center of attention. And, like her mother, she loves a generously frosted cake!

I made myself a pair of these earrings at the last minute to compliment my sweater. They are so so cute. I got lots of compliments on them:

Posted in Business Babble_

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Finally! New Jewelry!

I am seriously running at full steam this week. Nice and rested from my break, I am back to my part time job this week. It's never fun to go back to work after a long break. I bring Bella with me to work so the fact that she can now walk around is a bit of a challenge. She makes work fun though.

I am also finishing up her big 1st birthday plans. My baby is going to be 1. I really can't believe it!

So I am pretty proud that I got this finished. I am going to be paying big time tomorrow morning but I feel way less stressed. That what Starbucks is for right? Besides, I am dying to try their new drink.

So here is a preview:

Back to uploading to the site...

Posted in Jewelry Previews_

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

It has been forever since I posted anything. I have been enjoying my Holiday and my friends and family. I have also been making lots of new jewelry. Hopefully, it will be up this week.

I have also marked down some of the older jewelry. I meant to post this last week and a lot of it is already gone but you can see what's left here.

Hope you have a great New Years Day.

Posted in Sales Alerts_