Almost everyone who makes jewelry for themselves as a hobby may hear a friend say this at some point: “Wow, that’s a great piece! I’d love to buy one from you!” That’s an exciting point in any hobbyist’s life, and if it happens to you, congratulations! After the initial excitement wears off, you may have a couple of questions:
1 – Do I want to sell my jewelry? Some people honestly prefer not to earn any money from something they do for fun. Those folks may decide to only give away certain pieces as gifts, and never sell anything. Others may decide they’d like to make just enough money to pay for their
addiction hobby, and therefore sell their pieces at nominal prices. Still others decide to take the full-fledged plunge of selling at shows and to boutiques and galleries. You’ll have to figure out what works best for you and what you really want to do.
2 – How do I price my jewelry? That’s a whole ‘nother topic, and definitely worth covering, which we have done in our FAQ post about Pricing Your Jewelry and in our Ask The Artist Series on our blog. (You can view a summary of several posts on the topic in the Learn to Price Your Crafts post.)
If you made your jewelry using instructions from a book, magazine, or anywhere on the Internet, you may have another question:
3 – Am I even allowed to sell it? That’s a great question, and you should know the answer to that question before making the piece, so that you’re prepared to let your admirer know if the piece is for sale. By knowing which pieces you can’t sell, you’ll avoid stepping on artists’ toes and could even avoid sticky legal situations.
Most instructions for jewelry projects will specify if you can or cannot use the instructions for “commercial use.” Examples of commercial use include making the project and selling it (even selling it to friends counts, because, hey, a sale is a sale!) or taking a photo of the project and using this photo in any of your marketing materials, including on your website. Be sure to read the fine print for any book, magazine, or website where you encounter instructions to make sure you know what the wishes of the artist are. If you aren’t sure, contact the artist directly.
We can’t speak for all the other instructions out there, of course. But for B3 chainmaille instructions, including CHAINED, you are allowed to sell projects you make. Here’s B3 owner Rebeca Mojica’s take on the topic:
Empowering customers and students to sell what they make from Blue Buddha patterns is so important to Rebeca that she insisted her book publisher include text on the inside cover clearly stating her position:
Not many books do this! We are proud to be an organization that fosters creating beautiful pieces of art. We believe allowing folks to sell what they make from Blue Buddha patterns, openly publishing the ring sizes used for our patterns (instead of requiring customers to purchase a pattern to find out the sizes), and sharing images of what people make on our Facebook page all allow the chainmaille community to grow. This attitude may not make us more money. But it gives us great satisfaction knowing that we’re helping people all over the world discover and embrace this art form. So feel free to look through our chainmaille projects, find something you like, make it, and—if you want—sell it! You’ve got our blessing.