Branding: Ignorance is not an excuse

Many years ago when I learned the art of jewelry making, little did I know there was more to being a jewelry entrepreneur than designing and creating jewelry. I was not taught a lot of things. I didn’t know I had to make arrangements for packaging, self presentation, customer service, art of negotiations, book keeping, business etiquette etc

In this part of the world – Nigeria, emphasis is placed more on the product itself than other tools that will push the product or brand.     It pained me I had to learn in the hard way on the job. I learnt a particular design which took me about six days to conclude – it was made with seed beads of size two if you know what I mean. They come very tiny, at a time there wasn’t Beading needles nor did I know about needles to enhance my work for efficiency. My family was deprived because I wanted to get it done.

There’s something about jewelry artists. The completion of  jewelry is very fulfilling. It comes with so much joy than getting a buyer . I finally finished up. I told someone I would sell this for N7,000 which I felt the jewelry was worth. My people perish for ignorance, little did I know I didn’t make a single profit.

I am going to write my journey on jewelry pricing later. That same day, thankfully, I got a buyer who was a jewelry freak. I was excited, she negotiated and we came up to  N4, 000 which I was still excited about – BAD BUSINESS. I was intimidated by the woman’s outlook, she was in total control. The focus of this article is this, PLEASE DON’T YAB ME.

She gave me the money and I in turn gave her the jewelry in a black nylon (plastic) bag. Then she paused and said if you had brought the jewelry in a box. I would have bought it for N20, 000. This was twelve years ago. N20, 000 was a salary of an average graduate then. She brought out an empty jewelry box and placed my jewelry in it and Vuala! It was looking stunning. I was ignorant. Ignorance is not an excuse.

I’m thankful I had my first mistake with someone who believed in me. I started investing in boxes and pouches until I was able to customize my packages: Boxes, Pouches, Carrier bags and Tags. All these makes a whole lot of difference in my brand. We can’t over emphasize it. If you specialize in tangible goods, do your brand a favor by customizing your packages.

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