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Featured works by Rick Wolfenden: (from left to right) Rustic sterling silver pendant with greenstone, paua, keshi pearls, tourmaline, and gold; sterling silver 'broom cast' pendant with a natural Cook Island pipi pearl. sapphire, ruby and emerald; tourmaline bangle; sterling silver leaf earrings with green sapphires.


NEWSLETTER September 2012 To market, to market...

Inside* To market, to market... * Survey feedback * On the forum * Blog challenge * Logo design

Living in Auckland this year has been an interesting experience. I've always thought Auckland is a beautiful city, with gorgeous beaches, blue water, sunny days, pohutakawa adorning the beachside suburbs and magnolia trees bigger than any I've ever seen before; it didn't take much convincing for me to move here for the year. And with this being the biggest city in NZ it is not surprising that there is a lot more wealth on display than anywhere else I've been in NZ.

Welcome to our latest members: * Julia Banks * Chris Smythe * Ash Hilton * Jack Revalde * Alison Blain * Jeremy Leeming * Lisa West * Neke Moa * Jenna Philpott * Workshop6 * Benjamin Flynn * Anna Nalder * Laurent N. * Debra Fellowfield Please make them feel welcome!

Your 'Forum' Challenge: Introduce yourself... Here's what Rick wrote:

The several 20-something year old females I work with are always glamed-up with perfect hair and plenty of jewellery. Recession? Tough times? People not spending? Not these girls. Single. Permanent jobs. No kids. No mortgages. Plenty of disposable income, They remind me of myself ten years ago... I once read an article about knowing your target market. Make up an example of someone you plan to buy your product, even give them a name. Then, everything you do, marketing and design-wise is targeted towards this niche buyer. Whatever you do don't try and sell to everyone. A few questions then: do you have a niche market? When tough economic times hit are you able to adapt? How do you sell? From your studio? In galleries? Online? It was mentioned in the member survey the age-old habit of being secretive about 'tricks of the trade'. Perhaps instead of being isolated in our practice the new 'trick' is to collaborate with others, share the load, promote each other and support each other in doing so, while not stepping on each others' niche market toes! Happy silversmithing!


Now that we are on Facebook and have posters going up about the place we need a logo! I started this process back in 2009, but now is the time to finish it! If you would like to have a go at a logo design please do, then upload it to the forum discussion and we'll see what happens!

Summary of member survey feedback Why did you join, and what do you hope to get out of NZSIlversmiths? To meet like-minded people, share techniques, support others and feel supported, to be inspired, to feel less isolated, to help others who are starting out, to learn and trade ideas, network with other jewellers and learn other ways of doing things. What do you like best about the site? In order of preference: photo gallery discusion forum, and sense of community leaving/reading comments reading/writing blogs other aspects liked were: the site design and facebook page, and the opportunity to share Funniily 83% of members enjoy reading blog articles written by others, but 83% of people didn't take part in the last blog challenge! Reasons were generally lack of time, which is qute indicative of society today, wouldn't you agree? It's not too late to have your say:

Hi I'm Rick Wolfenden from Whangamata but originally from Cornwall. I have had no formal training in jewellery making but have been surrounded by gemstones and jewellery for most of my life. I started work in my parents business Kernowcraft 40 years ago and ended up running this with my sister (see now run by my niece Hannah). Working too long in the same place gave me itchy feet so my wife Jo and I and our four children decided to sail to New Zealand. Four years later we arrived in beautiful Whangamata and we are still here 18 years later. Sailing through the Tuamotus introduced us to Black Pearls which was the basis of my business for many years. I have just recently finished building my little workshop in our garden. It is a beautiful place to work and a great inspiration. Being self taught I have made many mistakes over the years and I am still learning but it is great fun learning and great fun being paid to indulge myself in my hobby. New to the forum: * Introduce yourself, welcome new members * Tools and items for sale/wanted * Etching sterling silver with Ferric Nitrate * How to upload/embed videos

September Blog Challenge: What have been some of your biggest mistakes over the years? What did you learn from them, and what advice can you offer as a result? September 2012

NZSilversmiths newsletter Sept