This month I am in the process of setting up an online shop. It’s my first time doing something like this online so it’s been a steep learning curve!
As you might have guessed I’ll be stocking my shop with jewellery but I had to make a decision about what style of jewellery I wanted to make and sell online. I had a look at what was out there and saw a gap in the market for good quality Irish silver jewellery. Many of the websites I found were selling poor quality mass produced celtic jewellery that probably never set foot in Ireland! What I wanted to offer was a good quality alternative that would be designed, made and hallmarked in Ireland. I wanted to be able to provide a service whereby someone could order a piece of Irish silver jewellery and know the piece was specifically made for them in Ireland by an Irish silversmith (me!).
Rather than concentrate on the mass produced ‘Irish’ designs I began looking at our rich Irish heritage of art and design and where better to go than the National Museum on Kildare Street, Dublin. I came away with lots of ideas but I just had to figure out on how to capture the beauty of the pieces I had seen.
Once I had chosen some of my favourite artifacts from the National Museum I also researched Irish celtic knot work. With all this material I began designing the range of silver jewellery. I am going to concentrate on mens jewellery for the moment. This is mainly because I love making cufflinks but also because it’s so difficult to find anything really nice for men in the line of jewellery.
I plan on launching the website with a small core range, many of which can be altered to suit the buyer. I designed an ogham collection which has Irish words such as grá (love) engraved in ogham but this ogham could just as easily read any word that the buyer choses. I also have a range of family crest and coat of arms jewellery but done in a contemporary acid etched style.
For me the easy part was designing and making the work the stress started when I had to go about setting up the shop. I had no idea where to start. It’s amazing how much you take for granted when you look at a website and complete a transaction online. Thankfully I found shopify. This is a great website that hosts your online shop for a monthly fee so you don’t have to worry about getting someone to build the website for you. As the operator of the shop I am able to upload photos, add prices and descriptions as well as write a blog. It’s also very easy to manage and edit your products. While there are certain things I would like to do differently shopify is a great start to take the stress out of setting up an online shop.
It’s still a work in progress I have lots of tidying up to do like change the look and colours of the website and add some artwork. I also have lots more products to finish and photograph. As soon as its ready I’ll post a link here.