Friday, February 20, 2015

Build A Line Challenge from B'sue Boutiques, Coral Law of ab:coraldesign,Part Two

Design Process
While many participants of this challenge is on the way to build their lines, I am kinda stuck at how to build a cohesive line which is very crucial.
As mentioned in the last post, my concept of this line is to use engraving Chinese to express my thoughts through the arrangement of stampings. Before I started, I didn't have any idea about how to make a real cohesive line. I looked for all the stampings in pairs from the box where I keep all B'Sue products. 

From what I have, I picked the connectors as the first trial so for the second design, in order to be cohesive, I used the silverware one and engraved "珍惜" which means "to treasure".  

We all know many natural resources are reducing, animals are extincted, forest is getting less, ice is melting and etc. Yet, many people are still not aware or ignore the situation. As parents, we want to give the best to our kids or next generation but not many think about what our ancestors left to us are environmental problems. All of us need to change our habit by reducing energy use and waste and treasure what we have. 

abcoraldesign earrings

Back to the difficulties I encountered. In the past few weeks, I saw many participants are creating their lines with components of the same theme/materials in one or different color. The video about disassembling a statement piece into smaller pieces, shared by Brenda is very inspiring. However, the more I see how others create their lines, the more lost I feel.

Should I stick with these connectors to create bracelets and necklaces as well?
Should I use one color only but with different stampings?

I hope I will figure this out soon.

New insight about one-of-a-kind design
I always like to make unique design as I don't like duplicate my design unless customer requests. I thought this could add more value on my jewelry. From my experience, it does but it also has shortages. One of the problem is time. Every design needs to be described and photographed for my online shop, which took a lot of time for my design. If I create a cohesive line that can be duplicated, it could gives my customers an impression of my style and also saves my time in post-design. Will this affect those customers who like one-of-a-kind? I hope not as I can still alter each design within the line to create a unique design for these customers. As the line can be duplicated, the other advantage is that it can reach more potential customers who may help promoting my jewelry. Instead of one customer wearing one design, it could be several customers wearing one design.

Stay tune for the final hop on March 20th.

Before you leave, check out other participants of this challenge. 

Brenda Sue Lansdowne, B'sue Boutiques
1. Marcia Tuzzolino
2. Jann Tague
3. Judy King
4. Linzi Alford
5. Cynthia Wainscott
6. Carole Carlson
7. Lynn Stinten
8. Marica Zammit
9. Catherine Shattuck
10. Michaele Collie
11. Mary Craig
12. Lee Koopman
13. Erin Whitacre
14. Monica Casady
15. Leila West
16. Cindy Peterson
17. Leila Belcher
18. Gloria Allen
19. Pamela Anger
20. Tammy Adams
21. Lynda O'Mara
22. Elizabeth Hildreth
23. Dana Hickey
24. Janet Calardo
25. Maria Clark
26. Lori Beekman
27. Jennifer Kroeger
28. Amy Jorgensen
29. Robin Reed
30. Ingrid Anderson
31. Louise O'Shields
32. Susan Killam
33. Mary Katherine Deis
34. Nike Bottalico
35. Susan Bowerman
36. Kristy Le
37. Jan Peters
38. Mitzie Crider
39. Gina Hockett
40. Linda Anderson
41. Alexandra Sefton
42. Melida Boman
43. Teresa Shurter
44. Melissa Latimer
45. Renee Hong
46. Nadine Edris
47. Lori Meyer
48. Jennifer Merrill Williams
49. Denise Lussier Poirier
50. Renee Allen
51. Autumn Adams
52. Elizabeth Owens
53. Kat BarronMiller
54. Sandra Ballard
55. Coral Law
ab:coraldesign (You're here!)


  1. Very insightful, Coral. What you would need to do to make pieces that are reproduced and sell them in your shop is maybe try it, do maybe three pair of earrings exactly the same. You could say that due to the handmade process, small differences may occur but the design, measurement, products used are entirely the same. Then, take a photo of one pair and use all the photo blocks, show them worn, on a person; shown them flat, show up close, etc. Then instead of listing just one pair, list three. This way you sell one, you have two left to sell. Or you never know! Someone may LOVE them and want all three pair! SALES TRIPLED.

  2. Your insight concerning time spent preparing each unique design is true. However, I agree that "like" designs can be time-saving in that regard as well, since it would be fairly easy, as you said, to make that design unique. I still love your concept!, Coral!! Gina H

  3. When I started out making jewelry four years ago I had your same thoughts. But now I see that even though I am making things very similar and cohesive there are still slight differences that make them one-of-a-kind. So try it with your line you have a good start. I think you'll find that you can make cohesiveness and still have one-of-a-kind pieces or limited-edition pieces maybe that's a better way to put it

  4. I love your blog, and your insights~ reading you has helped me formulate more of my own thoughts and how I feel about this class (challenge). Thanks so much! I cannot wait to see how you develop your line of jewelry~

  5. Good luck, I can't wait to see how it all turns out!

  6. I really like your theme/concept Coral. I think it's very unique. I also LOVE the story behind your "To Treasure" earrings.

    I'm sure that you will get your aha moment soon.

    Can't wait to see how you decide to move forward with your line.

    1. Thank you Marcia. Yes. I treasure what I had like this challenge.

  7. I love these earrings. I think the unifier in your line is the concept itself, the engravings and their meanings. Each one could have it's own demi parure. Earrings, pendant, bracelet. I'm sure your aha moment will come soon, your idea is too good for it not to.

  8. Follow your heart and enjoy the ride. We are each seeing this opportunity via our own uniqueness. And some seeds that are being planted for each of us will mature when they should. In the meantime, glean as much as you can for the time being and decide where you want to take the concepts in the future. Celebrate you!

  9. Coral, I'm not sure exactly how my line is going to turn out either and I understand that can be frustrating at times. I LOVE your engraving on the pieces and hope that you will continue on with that theme. I can't wait to see more.

  10. Anonymous9:46 AM

    You have such a unique idea. Your insights are valid but I don't think you should be comparing what you want to do with what others are doing. Embrace your uniqueness and ideas! Love the earrings.

  11. I love the engraving. Keep up the good work, I think you'll be surprised how well everything comes together. :-) ~Elizabeth

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. Great post, Coral, and thank you for sharing your thoughts. Jewelry design isn't as easy as we think sometimes, but I know you'll do wonderfully in your completed line. ;)

  14. Anonymous11:00 AM

    Love the engraving! Keep going, something great is beginning!!

  15. Hi, Coral- I enjoyed reading your post, especially the part about our treasured resources. Your earrings are beautiful. Please be patient with the creative process and trust that you will create something wonderful and entirely your own. ~mary

    1. Thank you Mary. I am much more patient after reviewing my designs and reading all supportive comments.

  16. Very interesting insights. I'm curious to see where your journey takes you. =)

  17. The components you have pictured have piqued my interest, can't wait to see your finished line. I think this challenge has given all of us something to think about, with both the design and business aspects. I didn't know whether I would like earrings that didn't "match," but yours are lovely, you've definitely changed my mind about them. :-) I'm looking forward to finishing this race with you!

  18. I like the colors in your earrings, and I also like the components. I'll be interested to see which way you decide to go.

  19. I love your ideas of treasuring what we have! And those earrings with different elements on each one are very cool! Looking forward to seeing your whole line!! :):)

  20. There are a variety of customers out there for all of us. Many enjoy one of a kinds, but making simpler pieces in an affordable range means you reach more people and more sales. You have some interesting insight and I look forward to seeing where it takes you as well.

  21. Coral your blog is just so beautiful!! I love your concepts and I think that you should just do your thing as it comes to you because you are truly creative in expression for sure!!! I love your theme in preserving our earth and most of all I love your concept of treasures! Awesome findings classmate!!!

  22. Intresting post,love your elements and colors. Can't wait to see what you decide.

  23. Anonymous3:08 AM

    I love what you are doing so far and can't wait to see the finished line. As I have worked through this journey I've tried to find common elements in pieces but change the enough so no 2 are exactly the same. This has helped me mentally satisfy my need to make one of a kind pieces. Go with what makes you happy and I'm sure your customers will feel the same.

  24. The earrings, and the sentiment behind them, are lovely. I've decided to use the same component but vary the color for my line. I think using many different components in the same color theme is also a perfectly wonderful way to have a cohesive look. Can't wait to see which path you choose.

  25. Coral--I appreciate your awareness of environmental issues and considering it in your line. I love your concept and the engraving. I'm interested to see what direction you go.

  26. I love the way you've combined and recombined the various elements you are using. Those earrings that are not symmetrical are really nice. Looking forward to the final reveal.

  27. I really love your asymmetrical earrings! I think your design idea is great and you can use the same components or use the engraving as your "cohesive" element. You have a great idea. I can't wait to see what is next! Have a Blessed Day!!!

  28. Anonymous8:33 AM

    Coral .. your earrings are beautiful .. I love everything about them .. I like what Brenda said above and I even wrote it down in my journal .. some of my handmade pieces are going to be hard to duplicate becasue the stampings are not available or I can't find the same beads etc .. When I list my pieces for this line I plan on adding a statement on how many pieces I have .. Looking forward to March 20th and seeing your jewelry pieces ..

    1. Thank you Jann. Adding a statement on how many pieces I could make is a good idea.

  29. You make great slinky earrings keep working on this you are really going in exciting directions

  30. Coral your earrings are beautiful!

  31. I love your connector earrings, engravings, and designing idea, keep it going it's a good one. XOXO!

  32. Looking good Coral, earrings are beautiful

  33. Coral, I see you're having doubts about cohesiveness and how to proceed. It's almost as if you are too close to it and need to step back a little, if only to see the beautiful idea and work that is right in front of you! You have many different choices, the most important of which (to me) is the combination of a meaningful sentiment written in Chinese characters and US-made components. I love the idea of a cultural blend! That can be done in any finish (brass, brass ox, silverplate, etc) and combination of bead colors as long as you use that same connector for engraving (or as much as possible, anyway). Even if you needed more room to engrave, perhaps you can still use that specific connector elsewhere on the bracelet or necklace. Looking at the two pairs of earrings from your last post and this one, they are absolutely cohesive and absolutely ab:coral designs.

    I feel like I'm rambling here, but I see a ton of possibility with your idea as executed in *just* two pairs of earrings!

    There's no reason you can't continue with your OOAK items to cater to the customer who wants to be unique. As long as you're clear in the description that "this item is part of the _______ line blending Chinese culture and old world American skills"... blah blah... OR "this item is a genuine one-of-a-kind and will not be reproduced", your customers should be fine with both!

    You DO have this, Coral!


  34. Very pretty earrings, Coral. Glad you're sticking with it.

  35. Wow Coral, What a unique skill. By using your skill and hand engraving with the incredible Chinese characters, each one of your pieces is very unique, even if you make half-a-dozen that look similar.
    Just think, Each and Every piece you're making has a little treasured piece of you included, and your clients know that.
    We're being told constantly not to over-think this. That's where I was at until two days before we were supposed to show our progress. Don't let your concerns overwhelm you.
    Think of all the things you want to say- for yourself and your future and present clients, then just take the time to engrave those words in your very own creative style. When those are done try pairing them up again w/ the other pieces in your arsenal and see what you have, I'll bet it will be beautiful!

  36. Great theme and engraving- don't give up - you have the makings of a fab line there. Linzi

    1. Thank you Linzi for your encouragement.

  37. Love your thoughtful and beautiful designs. I love same similar and one of a kind jewelry. I usually do similar styles and the last show that I did one woman bought 2 of the same bracelets and ordered a third for gifts for her daughters. The same with earrings....some I sold multiples of and wished I had done more. I think you will have a great line and I love the earrings you posted. Look forward to seeing your line.

    1. Thanks Janet. That was a very encouraging news.

  38. I can completely relate to the challenges you described! Your finished pieces are lovely and I know you can do this, we all can :)

    1. Thank you Micheale. Yes we all can.

  39. Coral, you've brought up some great points. As I keep adding to my Etsy shop, I have found that to make a one-of-a-kind item, and then:
    1. make it
    2. photograph it
    3. list it with a description, tags, measurements, etc.
    4. It's sold and you must start over!

    VS making duplicates:
    1. when a duplicate items sells, since the number of the item in stock is more than one, it automatically relists itself for you. Less work, and more visibility!
    2. You are more likely to get orders for groups, such as bridesmaids.
    3. saves on cost and time to buy supplies in bulk and create several identical or similar items at once.

    That being said, it is easy to get bored this way, and it's not quite as unique. I think it's good for people like us to have a mix of ooak items and then some duplicate items to save time/cost. Try it! Don't give up, I really love your concept! Sorry I'm late! : (

    1. Thanks Renee. That's exactly what I learnt from this challenge. I like making OOAK items but don't like taking pictures and writing descriptions. Even I just make simple earrings, it took me a while to figure out what components to use. As they are not over the top design, I can' sell a lot to cover my time. But if I can sell duplicate, I can possibly earn my time.


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