Patty Sotillo began creating jewelry in metal clay about three years ago.  When her daughter Penny also became a metal clay artist, they formed P2Jewelry, a mother-daughter company which creates and markets metal clay jewelry. Patty and Penny began selling their work at juried Houston-area shows, where competitors were well-established and well-branded.

“From the outset, we realized that we had to be serious about creating a brand and being consistent about it,” says Patty.  “A well-branded product looks more valuable and people will pay more for it.  If you find two identical diamond solitaire rings, one in a plain white box but the other in that famous robin’s egg blue Tiffany box with their matching hand-tied silk ribbon, which ring would you expect to pay more for?”

Getting Started

“Once we decided to call our company P2Jewelry after our first names, we started creating our brand look, beginning with our logo and colors.  We used an online design site, in which artists compete to design your project based on what you need and what you’re willing to pay, to create our logo.  The artist whose design you choose is awarded the design fee, and you get vector files of your logo which you own outright.  From about ten designs submitted to us, we chose a logo featuring P’s and 2’s in a flower-like shape.

“The next step was to select our brand colors.  Since we work a lot in base metals, we wanted colors that show off copper and bronze well.  We selected a green, coral, and beige color palette, and picked specific Pantone colors for each so everything we print is consistently in the same colors.  Packaging, cards, display materials – it all matches exactly.”

Once they had created their logo and brand palette, they focused on their brand’s purchase experience. “We started with packaging, as we were doing face-to-face sales at fairs and often got emails after the shows for an additional sale.  We wanted people receiving P2Jewelry to know that they were getting something special the instant they saw the box.”

Your Packaging is Some of Your Best Branding
“First we sourced cardboard boxes, which fits with our earth-tone colors, and imprinted matching packaging tape with our logo in our primary green color.

When you open the box, you’ll see green tissue paper with a P2Jewelry logo seal on it; open that, and you’ll find a white cotton bag with the P2Jewelry logo nestled in shredded crinkle paper.  By now the suspense is building!  Open the bag and you’ll find a white cardboard box (again with a P2Jewelry logo sticker), and inside that is the long-awaited piece of jewelry.  By the time people get to the jewelry, anticipation has really built up.”

And their investment in branded packaging proved to be very successful in building their business.  “Customers consistently tell us they love our packaging.  They post pictures of themselves opening the package online, and frequently share pictures of the packaging, as well as pictures of the jewelry, on social media,” adds Penny. “They also like to order gift pieces for us to ship directly to their recipients, knowing that just opening the box will be fun for their friends and family.”

Online Branding is Equally Important
While Patty and Penny still do local art shows, they decided to focus on building an online business.  People expect serious businesses to have a website, and it’s a great way to build and communicate to a customer base.  A website, Patty points out, is also a great way to showcase your brand personality.

“When you start out, you have to market your brand,” says Patty.  “We had an Etsy store, but we just felt lost in the crowd there.  We decided to focus on building our own website and an online business, and it was a great decision.”

“We’re artists,” adds Penny.  “Every piece we create is unique.  Our buyers are women who want to be one-of-a-kind. Our site is built around owning a piece that no-one else will have, and we also want visitors to feel that they’re getting to know us.  We feature fun quotes about jewelry which underscore how jewelry can show the world how unique you are.  We hope that people feel that they get to know us as well as our work.”

What do Patty and Penny feel makes their website successful?  Good, well-lit photographs are key; people want to see what they’re getting.  Inspire the viewer to become one-of-a-kind; make buying a piece of jewelry a fun adventure.  And, of course, make sure your packaging tells your buyer that they just purchased something special!

By Patty and Penny Sotillo – GUEST BLOGGERS

About P2Jewelry:  Penny and Patty have been metal clay artists for about three years, and both are Art Clay certified instructors.  They’re studied with Anna Mazon, among other artists.  You can find Patty and Penny on the AMCAW directory, or online at www.P2Jewelry.com.

This is an op-ed article representing the opinions of the guest blogger, and is not intended to represent AMCAW. Do you have a best practice, interesting idea, tip, or story to share? You could be our next guest blogger! Email us at hello@amcaw.org with a brief description of your proposed blog topic and put “Guest Blog Idea” in your subject line.