Akoya or saltwater pearls are nearly almost perfectly round which makes them perfect for matching in a strand. They have a better lustre and are more valuable..... and are also cultured and originally from Japan although now cultured in China and elsewhere
South Sea Pearls are typically much bigger and we have the best known Paspaley pearls in Australia. Have a look at a tour round their harvesting facilities and great photos of their fab pearls here.
I just love these pair - perfectly round south sea pearls with one carat diamond....one can dream!
Tahitian pearls are extremely rare and are harvested around Tahiti and the French Polynesian islands and are naturally dark in colour. For a look at how it's done stream this video here on pearl farming.
I have been hand stringing this Pebble bracelet with freshwater pearls and Toho seed beads(Japanese beads)........these pearls are from China.
I made these Pearl Drop Earrings last night..........part of a range that I am working on for my Etsy store. I am continuing to develop and play around with my range. I am also taking some of my own advice on product development and pricing for Etsy.
UNIQUE AND DIFFERENT
I have not blogged about Range Development before but its important. If you offer something that is unique and different then you can set your own price within reason. You still need to be doing your research on competitive offerings and price points. You are in the gift giving market and your consumer will have an upper limit on what they are prepared to pay. A consumer can easily swap from $15 earrings to a brooch, wallet or scarf...... so what's unique and different about your range or item?
OPENING PRICE POINT
Within your range development you need to be offering alternative price points to attract a wider market. Have you thought about your opening price point? Something to entice your consumer to try you out. Maybe you are a new Etsy/Madeit trader with no history. Offer a good opening price point to entice new consumers who don't know whether to trust you or not. Then build up from there. Keep it simple. Have a number of key price points so consumers can trade up.
Sometimes it's important to show a complete range across a number of price points to show that you are a player in a particular category. You might do most of your sales in the lower price point but when a consumer is looking for a more special gift they may come back to you for a higher price point if you offer one. Typically you may do 80% of your business turnover from only 20% of your items. So you can't afford to be out of those items. You may also find that only certain colourways within a price point or range sell. This is normal.
Remember to constantly evaluate what's working, what isn't and how I could do things better.
I am slowly finishing lots of my projects. I started this Spiral necklace in March and have been doing it in between everything else. It has taken many hours to do at a guess I would say close to 15. Over 200 Swarovski pearls and sterling silver seed beads.
Its quite a statement piece to wear for evening. It may look heavy but its not at all and I wasn't sure whether I liked it as I was making it, but now its finished I do. I used a spiral pattern and just to give you a view as to how one pattern even in beading can look totally different when using different colours, textures and beads...............no different to sewing, I am showing you 3 different designs using the same pattern
Grey Swarovski Pearl Necklace
Freshwater pearls and metallic seed beads bracelet
I love these Swarovski pearls. The first is a a gorgeous pewter colour that I can wear as a long opera length or double up into a multi-strand. I made a light grey drop earring to match ( I dont like too matchy matchy). The other strand is pale pink that is more traditional.
I have used freshwater pearls to make this spiral bracelet known as "Yoga Beach." In fact I just used leftovers from my bead stash..............yes I have a bead stash and a fabric stash