Marketing is not me

When I started my business, I knew the hardest part would be marketing.  In my perfect world, I wouldn’t need to market my work or be salesy, but only make wonderful things which would gain attention through word of mouth and karmicky goodness.  Selling myself and my work makes me feel dirty, and I’m clueless about marketing;  together that just doesn’t add up to big numbers and the bills paid.  So, I listen to my sister and her husband, who are far savvier than I.  Well, sometimes I listen.  Other times I just can’t help myself.

Before Valentine’s Day, my sister checked in on my sales site, and wrote this note:

by xxxxxxx
Could you work in some valentine key words…”show yourself how much you love you with this ruby kiss” or something to bring in the v-day shoppers and lonely hearts?

And I responded with this:

by vakadesign
At vakadesign, we appreciate your suggestions. Our marketing team recently tested buyer response to such phrases, and found that the inclusion of the below key phrases did not increase sales:

“No one else loves you, so buy yourself something.”
“When you are done eating your way through your loneliness, jewelry will be the only thing that fits. Buy it!”
“A little present for yourself this Valentine’s! It’s like masturbation with a credit card.”
“Bury your pain in gold!”

Thank you for your suggestions!

Katie Stein


You see, I often feel like selling is manipulation.  Which is a problem, as I’m making and selling jewelry for a living.  I don’t want the lonely hearts to buy jewelry, I just want them to know they’re lovable even if they don’t have a partner on a Hallmark Holiday.   But I know that is naive.

Now, we’re coming up on Easter and Passover and Mother’s Day, and this question will come up again: how do I market my jewelry this holiday season?  Or, as I like to think of it: how to take advantage of religious tradition and familial devotion to sell jewelry?  And I have some ideas.

Yes, your Mom loves your brother better.  Maybe if you bought her jewelry it would help.

Jesus died for your sins.  Got bling?

As a celebration of how G*d passed over the Jewish homes, how about that nice sapphire?

Chocolate and bunnies and jewelry: What Easter is all about.  Vaka Design!

Don’t be a schmuck and “Passover” this opportunity to do something nice for your mother.

Eighteen hours in labor, that baby inherited your melon-sized head, and you’re buying her gold-plated for Mother’s Day?  What the hell’s the matter with you?

Do you SEE?  Isn’t it all just a little inappropriate?  And yet, look around at the seasonal sales, only mildly less obvious.  I struggle with this, and so I think I’ll stick to the basic picture/title advertisement, without a holiday slogan.  Unless I can’t pay the bills, and then I’ll totally sell out.

It’s a beautiful Monday!  Buy my jewelry!


One thought on “Marketing is not me

  1. Oh my goodness… I can SO relate to this! You made me laugh out loud… which is hard to do via the computer. Really. You are so funny… even when you are writing about hurting your finger (the first post I read). I too am an artist and totally know what you mean about advertising. I do custom work, and have a very hard time giving them a quote of cost. I LOVE doing the art, but HATE the buisness end of it all!
    I am now off to see if I can find some photos of what your do!
    Oh… I use my mouth to clean my small brushes and am not worried about safety either. So funny to read about you… and it’s about me too.
    Oh… and… I got here via For what it’s worth!

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