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Artist Spotlight: Sylvi Harwin

Artist Spotlight: Sylvi Harwin

Sylvi Harwin, Vista, CA

Sylvi has been designing & making jewelry in diverse media since 1965. She has always had a market for her unique & playful work. She began to market her work in earnest in 1980 & has sold to over 200 galleries, to several catalogs & has had her work exported to several other countries. In addition to gallery shows, she sells her work at many wholesale & retail shows nation wide. Her work & technique was first published in Artists Anodizing Aluminum by David La Plantz.

Describe Your Work:
I design, hand craft, anodize, dye & seal all of my pieces, creating unique colors , color combinations & effects & keep my prices reasonable since I do all the work myself.

How did you get started in the crafts business?:

I started making jewelry at a very young age & my work was first carried when I was still in high school by Sylvia Ullman's American Craft Gallery. I studied jewelry making at the Cleveland Institute of Art, in Mexico, France & finally at UC San Diego where I learned to anodize aluminum with Arlene Fisch.

How long have you been wholesaling?:

I have been wholesaling since 1980.

What are your top 3 marketing methods for reaching new buyers?:

Advertising in the Buyers Guide & other publications, sending out my full color catalog to interested buyers, & exhibiting in major wholesale craft shows across the country including using reps to do so.

What percentage of your business is Wholesale? Retail? Commission, etc.?:

Over 90 % of my business is wholesale, the rest is retail.

How has IndieMe helped your business?:

I have been with IndieMe since they first came into being as Wholesalecrafts.com. I was a founding artist & have never looked back. IndieMe & before it Wholesalecrafts.com has been a very effective tool for me to introduce new work, show my full line priced wholesale, advertise & take orders as well as build my clientele.

What advice do you have for new craft artists?:

Make sure you have quality photography to best show your work, price your work on your retail website at least 2 1/2 times mark up from your wholesale prices, & list your retail outlets on your website. Offer your buyers color catalogs of your work if they request it.

What advice do you have for new craft galleries?:
IndieMe is a great way to shop for quality artisans without the cost & time needed to travel to wholesale shows.

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