It’s a beautiful thing to work in a profession where creativity is your bread and butter. However, like most beautiful things in the world today, your work comes at a price. In fact, the materials you use for your projects (handmade unique beads, diamonds, crystals, precious stones and gems) are some of the most expensive supplies in the world today. So the question is: How do you make the most of your material? Surprisingly, by making just a few adjustments to your normal routine, you can save money in the long run. Why not take the money you save and reward yourself to keep those creative juices flowing? Here are a few ideas that we hope help you save time and money:

  1. Stay Organized. Staying organized is a great way of saving money. If you are not organized, how will you really know where you stand with your supplies? Being organized will help you avoid needlessly spending money on supplies you already have. In addition, having an organized work space will allow your mind the freedom to be more productive. Is your workspace outside the home? If it is, keeping everything organized will help you to quickly recognize when product is not in its proper place. In the unfortunate event of shoplifting at your location, you want to be able to detect and report your losses immediately. Finally, an organized person has less of a tendency to lose things. If you were working in a normal 9-5 office, losing a pen more than likely would not be the end of the world. But losing something as valuable as a ruby or diamond is definitely going pack a punch on your budget.
  2. Be Innovative. Who says you can’t use networking to get product? Join an organization such as CABO (Capital Area Beading Organization). CABO is a beading club located in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. There is also the MJSA which is a professional organization for jewelry makers. Your peers may know of some great companies which will provide members with discounts. In addition, they may have some tips on how to utilize material in a way that could save you money. In addition, you may also want to look on Craigslist or Freecycle for free product. Why pay for materials when you don’t have to? You may find a great item that will really make your piece stand out. Finally, take a stroll through your favorite supply stores and tell them about your business. Perhaps they will be willing to let you have discontinued items at a deep discount or even for free.
  3. Budget. Make a budget of how much you want to spend on each type of material for your work then plan your projects around the budget and allotted materials. This will enable you to keep your costs under control. It may be difficult to do this sometimes because there are so many beautiful beads, stones and gems that probably make your mouth water. However, if you are worried that temptation might get the best of you, write down the product number of exactly what it is you need and have someone else do the ordering for you. The principle remains the same when you attend trade shows. Bring a voice of reason along to remind you of your budget when you start inching closer to the edge of your financial cliff. In the end, you will be happy you did. Besides, trade shows are a great way to save money on your materials anyway and no one can deny the amount of selection they provide.

You love what you do and that is a wonderful thing. Get the most out of your profession and your life by saving where you can so that you can reward yourself as much as possible. You deserve it!