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Every Friday, I post a small insight into running Curio City and/or Blue Hills Editorial Services. My most recent posts are directly below. You can also start with the first post, or use the subject labels to the right to home in on particular topics. Feel free to comment on anything that interests you.
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Jewelry, Recycled

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result, call me crazy: I rolled out a new jewelry line for Valentines Day. Bottled Up Designs ties in with my recycled products theme and might entice the Switchables demographic, too.

Jewelry is a low-risk proposition: I create pages, then sit back and collect money; the jeweler actually fulfills the orders. If it works out, I get a few high-end sales each month for very little labor. If it flops, all I’ve lost is my time, which is worth less than $8 an hour anyway. I spent the best part of last week creating pages for just half of the available products.

Previous jewelry lines all failed for one reason or another. Typewriter key jewelry started out well, but the supply of popular letters was limited – every typewriter keyboard has only one M key, after all; if you want a necklace that spells out “mom” you just depleted two typewriters. It died out when customers could no longer order the messages they wanted.

Then I tried a line of silver nature jewelry from Lovell Designs. Its main merit was that Anne likes it. It wasn’t particularly unusual and didn’t enhance the Curio City concept. The company was unenthusiastic about selling online, let alone dropshipping, and they didn’t communicate well. I finally pulled the plug for lack of interest. Their money clips and cuff links did alright (men’s jewelry being comparatively rare), but not well enough to keep the relationship open.

Switchables jewelry sells a piece every now and then, but not nearly enough to justify adding more styles. They don’t dropship so I’d need to tie up inventory dollars. I keep it alive for cross-marketing with their very successful night lights.

I negotiated for weeks to land a Morse code jewelry line that would have done very well, but the jeweler finally refused to customize and dropship her jewelry. Customization was the key to this concept’s online success, so that was the end of that.

This fourth attempt will be different. Oh yes, it will. It complements my other merchandise, commands a high (but not prohibitive) price, carries a good markup, and requires minimal work after the initial setup. The strange thing is I’ll probably never actually see any of this jewelry myself.


An email from “Quest”, the Department of Unemployment Assistance’s new website, said that I had a message waiting in my Correspondence section. Well, it must be important if they felt that they had to send me an email telling me that I had email. Hmmm, nope; nothing there at all. Oh well, they no doubt want their money. Holy crap, did DUA ever make it hard to pay them! Quest is a program only a bureaucrat could have approved. The Department of Revenue site that slurps up my other state tax payments is much, much easier to use. Oh well, at least the amount due came out right to the penny. I’m a little nervous that I now have to report hours worked, since I’m below minimum wage for three quarters of the year. I guess I’ll just have to divide my total pay by $8 to figure out how little I should have worked each quarter.


The blogcast thingie for Facebook looks like it’s working (props to Dave for suggesting it). I’ll try to jazz up my lead sentences now that they’re going to appear before my FB fans every Friday. In the interest of perfect entanglement here’s a link to the blogcast tab on my FB page. I can't see why anyone would want that, but I'm being thorough.

New readers: “Curious Business” is about the weekly ups and downs of running a home business. It’s not a marketing tool except inasmuch as it converts the rare new Curio City groupie. You’re reading my 183rd post since I started blogging in 2006, so you can trace the whole history of my company if you’re a masochist. My posts are sometimes tedious and narcissistic, but they’re always candid.


  1. Anonymous9:56 PM

    You actually got Quest to work? You were lucky. It's a disaster. See my blog .

  2. I sure hope it worked. They took my money, anyway. But yeah, this is a clear case of "If it ain't broke...." I've made quarterly DUA deposits through the DOR website for five years now. I don't think it ever took even five minutes. Quest took at least 20 minutes. I couldn't believe that someone rolled out a 1990s-era website in 2010.

  3. I have been using tha Albert Enstain phrashe a lot lately.


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