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bjorn

Seeing what works for others

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So as I start out on my journey of trying to make the hobby that is slowly turning my hands into claws make money for myself...

I find myself at a crossroads of sorts. So I wanted to throw this out into the ether and see if anyone could give my ship a heading.

Should I focus on jewelry or go the armour route?

BJ 

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It really depends on what sort of exposure you can manage. I started off making armour, strictly for myself. Later, while looking for something "quicker" to do, I started producing small jewellery pieces, starting with a 3/16", 20 gauge German Silver chain for my security card, for work. Where people were interested in the armour, from an academic standpoint, no one was willing to pay for the time that sort of project would entail.

OTOH seeing the chain resulted in sales. Which had me posting my jewellery work on Facebook. Which resulted in more sales. I've donated jewellery to a couple of local causes for auctions. I do motorspports photography (in more normal times) and had some marshals ask me to bring samples to the track, many of which sold. One of the marshals even got involved in the hobby because of the pieces she bought from me.

These days I'm not selling much except for the odd commission, mostly because I'm not actively pushing it, but I have made some CosPlay grade armour pieces for friends as favours, or as presents.

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That's pretty much the way I started as well. Had some time off from work and there is only so many times one can clean your equipment before you wear a hole in it. So i looked online to see how to get started and started working on a coif and a shirt. 

I bought some stuff from TRL and I'm going to move forward with small pieces. And needless to say eeeeeveryone is getting chain stuff for Christmas.

BJ

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I got started with jewelry and have just started dipping my toes into armour/clothes.  Euro 4-1 is really boring to me, so armour making just wasn't appealing.  I got started to impress a girl, so I made her a bracelet.  It kinda clicked from their and I've been making jewelry for about 3 years. 

I do pretty well in my area, and on IG.  I find making jewelry for women more fun because I can be a lot more experimental and play around with colors, weaves, how a piece drapes, and on and on.  There's also applications in the BDSM field.  People pay for quality collars.

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8 hours ago, MidgardMetals said:

I got started with jewelry and have just started dipping my toes into armour/clothes.  Euro 4-1 is really boring to me, so armour making just wasn't appealing.  I got started to impress a girl, so I made her a bracelet.  It kinda clicked from their and I've been making jewelry for about 3 years. 

I do pretty well in my area, and on IG.  I find making jewelry for women more fun because I can be a lot more experimental and play around with colors, weaves, how a piece drapes, and on and on.  There's also applications in the BDSM field.  People pay for quality collars.

4 in 1 isnt difficult in the least but for me it soothes the itch of having to do something with my hands when I watch a movie or TV show. Don't have to think about it just easy.

The different weaves of jewelry is more intensive and is better when I have more direction like " OH you want that? I can do that."

Harder for me to just pick up and go.

As far as the third item. I had never even thought about that side of it... Interesting route to pursue.

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In my experience it's much easier to make a living with the jewelry side but I find the armour more rewarding. You'd have to get very good at armouring to compete with the options that are already out there.

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Yeah when I can look up armor on Amazon that sells for 50 bucks... As horrible as the reviews may be. 

There's no way I can keep up with armor on a commercial scale but I could probably do it case by case basis.

I do have a problem with unless I have a track to follow i.e. an order I don't really make a finished piece.

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I saw an unboxing video for one of the "$50.00 shirts." Guy pulled out the shirt, then dumped a few dozen butted rings out of the box that had become 'undone' in shipping. And that was a supposedly steel shirt. My aluminum shirts don't fall apart like that in shipping.

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Well now I know what my next rabbit hole for youtube videos will be.

Currently I got sucked into watching electrolysis rust removal.

And I don't think that any shirt should fall apart at all.. short of being hit with ratan or sticks and such.

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From what I remember from the video, the presenter found many barely closed rings. If you've got machine cut rings and leave them closed to say 50% of the wire's diameter, eventually the closure points of abutting rings will meet. The result; the shirt falls apart.

That's likely what happened as it rattled around in the box, during shipping.

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Thats always the most annoying thing about trying to take bags of rings apart. 

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They've definitely got the low end of the market covered. The high end of the market is pretty well covered by people like myself, knuut, mithrilweaver and Erik Schmid.

That leaves the mid range market, which is where most hobbyists land and is more often about DIY projects than retail sales.

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The mid range is definitely where I see myself falling. 

Unless I can manage to land an apprenticeship or some such with one of the afore mentioned or you.

The DIY and youtube route just doesn't appeal to me.

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