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So guys, I'd like to make maille jewelry part time work, hoping to make at least a few hundred dollars a month making maille on the weekends. Right now I have figured out a number of weaves and have some starting supplies. Money is tight though so I can't go getting more rings in every metal and AR all at once.

What weaves and/or metals do you guys sell the most?

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So guys, I'd like to make maille jewelry part time work, hoping to make at least a few hundred dollars a month making maille on the weekends. Right now I have figured out a number of weaves and have some starting supplies. Money is tight though so I can't go getting more rings in every metal and AR all at once.

What weaves and/or metals do you guys sell the most?

i don't have anything to add as far as your question, only more questions to your question.

firstly, if you plan to make THAT much money, do you have good places with consistent purchasing traffic in which to sell your stuff? if so, where? (i'm curious because that would be awesome)

also, the types of metals you use will depend a lot on where you plan to sell. if you're doing a consignment type thing at a high end local jewelery shop, obviously you'd want to go with at least sterling silver, but at a farmers market or medieval fair type setting, you might want to have a few really high dollar items, but some basic bright or anodized aluminum (or stainless steel, a personal favorite of mine) might appeal more because they might be more affordable to the general masses.

as far as weaves go, that really depends on you and, again, where you will be selling. a lot of people say they sell shaggy loops a lot (and that's a ridiculously easy and quick weave), but stuff like dragon scale (just as an example) is gorgeous but takes significantly more time which, obviously, makes the cost much higher, even if you're using the exact same metals.

a lot of the battle with selling, i think, is people understanding that not only are they paying for a beautiful piece of jewelry, but also one that is handmade and not mass produced. they are not only paying for the materials, but also your craftsmanship, time, and expertise.

so, while none of that answers your original question, hopefully it will be somewhat helpful. :)

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Keep in mind this is a goal, I dunno how attainable it is. I don't have any one place I expect to make major cash though, but I figure a combo of Etsy (and other similar sites), a personal website, DeviantArt, and wearing the stuff and having biz cards on me will get me part of the way there. If I can find shops to take my things on then, yes, what they want is what I will make for them, so long as they can sell it.

As for weaves, it depends on what I like to make and can make well at a reasonable pace, but also on what others like. If no one wants to by Full Persian, it doesn't matter if I can toss out a great necklace of it in an hour, I'll have a pile of unsold necklaces, wasting my time and materials.

Edited by JasRonq

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An old tale is that copper is good for health and some people still believe it even know nothing is not proven. I just made a few copper pieces. Yes they will tarnish but they still look good.

I say good luck making hundreds. I have given a bunch of cards out to people who have commented/asked about the jewelery that i have worn out on the streets. I have not had one call back. I had one person want to buy something that i was wearing but they had no money.

So good luck with that.

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You have already said money is tight - do you know anyone personally who would be willing to support your hobby and buy a piece? Figure out what they want to wear, get enough to make that project, and sell it to them. Use the larger amount of money to do the same thing with another piece or two. Even with personal sites and Etsy there are so many competitors (most of them going out of their way to undercut even their own work hours) that you will likely have a hard time getting pieces out the door. Your best bet might be personal referrals and such.

You can get your name out by distributing pieces to trustworthy friends and inform them that they are to sell the piece off of their body for a set price. Business cards will come in handy. Ideally you set a specific amount of money you are willing to burn (this business does resemble gambling, for sure) and use that money for a few starter pieces and ways for potential customers to contact you. Then you can slowly build up from there. You'll soon find out if your target audience and your salesmanship can build up to a few hundred a month in profits.

As far as actual suggestions - anodized niobium and sterling/argentium silver are a great combo if you know your most likely first sales have a few extra dollars to burn on materials costs. You also help minimize any skin reactions which prevents alienation of whatever customer base you are starting out with. Stainless steel seems to go over well with guys and girls depending how you market it. You may need to go visit some jewelery stores in your area and see if they are selling big flashy stuff or if they have better luck with fine chains and other delicate pieces. Enameled copper has great color with no rub off and only plastic allergies and may be an option for specific pieces. Bright/anodized aluminum goes well if you get it all spruced up in a tumbler before showing it but you pretty much need to own up to the black rub off that the wearer will experience right off the bat.

Copper is awesome. People will usually be fully aware if they have issues with copper and ignore an item because of it. On the flip side, they may just simply adore copper and it will be snapped up immediately. If you invested in some sort of business card you can inform them that the pretty weave they are staring at is available in other metals besides copper if they contact you with their preferences.

Saw cut rings - always. If one ring catches on someone's wrist when they try a bracelet on you pretty much ruin that "ooooh pretty must have" moment!

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Earrings out sell everything. period. Which is good because you can produce a fair number fairly inexpensivly. Aluminum works, but Enameled copper and Silver are pure win. Mix it up, Some small and delicate, some long and danglely. every woman I have talked to has their own preferance. I don't really use weaves for earrings, I just make things that look good. Less rings = faster to make = more profit. SImple seems to sell well.

For bracelets, Byzantine outsells everything. I make yards of the stuff, I work in 3 sizes normally. Silver is always a win. but I sell a fair ammount of aluminum as well.

I find Etsy to be a money loser and just use it for advertisment purposes. Unfortunately it's a site for amatures. People who don't understand that just getting your cost of materials plue a few points isn't making a profit. I have my own website(liked to both etsy and my facebook)

If you want to make money acutally run it like a business, Remember your time has value and charge for it. If you don't charge for your time all you do is slit your own throat and make life a LOT harder on people who do this for a living.

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Earrings out sell everything. period. Which is good because you can produce a fair number fairly inexpensivly. Aluminum works, but Enameled copper and Silver are pure win. Mix it up, Some small and delicate, some long and danglely. every woman I have talked to has their own preferance. I don't really use weaves for earrings, I just make things that look good. Less rings = faster to make = more profit. SImple seems to sell well.

For bracelets, Byzantine outsells everything. I make yards of the stuff, I work in 3 sizes normally. Silver is always a win. but I sell a fair ammount of aluminum as well.

I find Etsy to be a money loser and just use it for advertisment purposes. Unfortunately it's a site for amatures. People who don't understand that just getting your cost of materials plue a few points isn't making a profit. I have my own website(liked to both etsy and my facebook)

If you want to make money acutally run it like a business, Remember your time has value and charge for it. If you don't charge for your time all you do is slit your own throat and make life a LOT harder on people who do this for a living.

Good advice overall there, and glad to hear I shouldn't put too much time in Etsy. I was thinking of using DA as advertisement for Etsy, but it sounds like I should use them both to point people to my own site.

I'm hearing a lot of answers on what sells but it sounds reasonable.

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For me the big sellers are rubber/AA bracelets. I can put them together reasonably quickly, and people like that there is no clasp to deal with. Earrings sell decently as well.

Silver bracelets are popular too. They are not big sellers, but if you make sure you charge enough for your time they are worth having a few around. There are a lot of different silver clasps and findings out there to jazz up your maille.

My favorite material to sell is stainless steel, because I can stand behind the product 100% when made with it. It doesn't tarnish (it becomes shinier with wear, in fact), is safe for almost anyone to wear, causes no ruboff, it is strong and is reasonably affordable. Stainless clasps are a bit more difficult to find, but TRL has a good selection.

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For Stainless, if you have enough time and enough muscle, you can also make your own clasps, if you get a bit of wire. I got a bit off of one of the "clearance" sales on stainless. However, if you can't easily work in stainless, then don't try your own clasps. Please, it's a mess. Silly stabby wires... Anyways, I've made several of the hook clasps and I'm thinking about giving toggles a second chance. Another thing you can do, if you are using stainless and a second metal, there's a good chance the second metal will be softer, and of course then you can use that to make the clasp. This, of course, is all assuming that you're going to have some wire around. And for softer metals, you could also just murder a ring or two and make a hook or toggle clasp.

Clasp Tuts from MAIL

I've found that Hp4 and Byz are popular with girls, and guys tend to like thicker chains, like Fp6. For metals, children and "younger teens" tend to like bright colors, and generally like cheap, so if you intend to sell to them, AA is great. "Larger" women tend to go for chunky bright pieces. The "goth" community will lean for anything dark, while the "preppy" people would lean towards something like, pink and stainless, or something like that. If you want to sell your product to a more aristocratic community, obviously you'd want to go for more of an "expensive" look. In those cases, fine metals are generally a must. I personally use mostly stainless, AA, and rubber.

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I agree with Twilight anbout the AA/rubber bracelets, awesome sellers. Basic euro 4-1 and byzantine make excellent necklaces and braclets, and I prefer steel whenever possible. A little silver and Gold fill is ok to have on hand, but I woudln't have more than a piece or two unless someone wants to comission it (and pay up front) Steling is great for a few pieces, but steel is what I always come back to as well (must be the armorer in me). Also, follow the K.I.S.S. philosophy: (Keep is Stupid Simple) I find a single byzantine strand sells faster than an intricate one with danglies and pendants (though you usually get much more for teh intricate ones)

As was suggested earlier though, start small with a few commisions and scale up from there. Find a local craftfair event or two to start getting your name out there and things can go up from there (hopefully!)

Have fun!

Talon

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What weaves and/or metals do you guys sell the most?

A good place to sell is in the Art Show of your local science fiction con.

Usually, pieces sell at auction: the artist buys table space and puts a starting bid and a "buy now" price on each piece. Con-goers look at your work, and make bids, or just pay the buy now price.

You do run the risk of not selling anything, but you can also have a piece that goes for far more than you thought.

My daughter and I did this at a con last winter. We had a mix of pieces, mostly Anodized aluminium, but a few copper pieces as well. The multicolored Byz bracelets did very well, as did a few of my lighter weight weave experiment necklaces. What did not sell were my daughter's heavy multi-strand Byz chokers.

Daughter also sells a lot of AA Byz bracelets to her high school friends.

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You wouldn't believe where I've sold the majority of my stuff - the pub. Granted, my website is not complete and functioning, and my Etsy site has nothing on it at the moment, so any comparison wouldn't be accurate.

However, I have sold at least something every single time I've gone to the pub. I go about 2-6 times a month, and just sit there doing chainmail, talking to my friends as they stop by. They all know other people. and in a bar no one is afraid to come ask what you're doing. When I show them, they typically want to buy something, or they know someone who does. The bar owner doesn't care, because I am not actively soliciting business. All I'm doing is working my craft in a comfortable booth, drinking, and passively getting sales.

I've made a few hundred dollars in the last 3 months with that method alone. The drawback is that half of it goes to my bar tab, but I was going to spend that money whether I was making it there or not. :D

Edit: To actually answer the question: I have sold a good amount of byzantine and full persian, as well as several simple 4in2 and 6in3 chains with different colorings for wallet chains.

Edited by Revvig

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