Selling beadwork designs is not easy because it is such a labor intensive technique. The designers who do manage to turn their hobby into a paying one are mostly instructors. I often feature the outstanding ones!

But not easy doesn't mean impossible.  It can be done. 

Breanna Deis is a Dene bead artist from Vancouver whose awesome work effortlessly melds traditional native work with more than a dash of contemporary.  Her designs certainly appeals, particularly to the younger crowd.

She is also an excellent instructor through her various social channels including her Youtube where she shows people how to make and perfect modern bead embroidered earrings and brooches. 

Her tutorial on how to price your beadwork is a good guideline for beaders who are unsure what to charge so that they are adequately compensated for their time.  It is by no means definitive but it is a great start to figuring things out.  The spreadsheet she mentions is in the video description, so head over to Youtube to download it. 

Note that her particular esthetic results in less complicated designs, which in turn, reduces work time and thus overall prices.  The size of the finished pieces also impacts on the labor. 

She doesn't say it but it is evident from her online presence that she also has excellent photography, videography and social media skills:

As she says in her video, she also knows exactly who her target market is. 

She is a shining example of an artisan being successful enough to leave Etsy (and its huge buyer numbers) where she first started out and strike it out on her own with an independent Shopify shop. Breanna has built up a loyal fan base and brings in her own traffic with her social media activities. 

What she didn't cover was the hosting costs of a Shopify shop (US$29/month) or a separate website with Paypal payments.  I would agree that if you are making enough per month to be able to easily cover the cost for something like for Shopify, a move is beneficial.  Social media promotion is then very important as there is no longer the Etsy traffic for new customers.

Irregardless of selling platform, vendors still need to promote via ads and social media to some degree. They both cost either money or time. 

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM