Saturday, March 5, 2011

How to get your items in ArtFire Collections

Written by Sheila Wissner of JewelryArte

I was trying to put a collection together when I realized there simply were not enough pieces of jewelry that fit my theme. This got me to thinking about how artisans could improve their shops to get more of their pieces into collections, thereby increasing visibility and sales.

I saw two main problems: not enough jewelry in the studios and inadequate photography.

It’s very important to add as much jewelry as possible to your studios. I wanted to do a collection featuring jewelry that had purple elements. I found some really nice pieces, but I could not find enough to fill all the slots. Even with more members joining, I was still having trouble filling the collection without adding more than one piece from a shop. The problem with adding more than one is that the collection won’t qualify for the front page (although this rule might have changed as one of our guild’s collections made the front page over the weekend even though it violated this rule). We all need to shoot for the front page with our collections. That will give us the best chance of attracting the attention of shoppers who land on ArtFire’s home page.

I’ve been putting together collections since going pro in the fall. Two of my collections have made front page. You can see all my collections in my studio.

Here are some of the attributes I look for in photographs for my collections:
  • Sharp focus. This is critical. Part of the piece can be out of focus, for instance a necklace that seems to fade into the background, but the central focal point must be in very sharp focus
  • Well lit with no distracting glare.
  • Properly exposed: not too light or too dark.
  • No distracting elements like coins. Coins are good to show the scale of your piece but do not belong in the main photo. You can put up to 10 photos of each piece, so don’t waste your main photo on a picture that won’t look good in a collection.
  • No distracting writing in the photo, such as the name of the studio. Keep your photos focused on your jewelry. Your banner is the place to advertise your shop.
Sometimes I like to pick photos containing props like glass, stones or something else that enhances the photos. Sometimes I like to see the jewelry all by itself with a plain background. If you have both kinds in your shop, that gives me more to choose from. But always make sure the jewelry is the main focus.

ArtFire has a good photography guide to help you with your photography efforts:Photography Guide for Products

You might also wants to hop on over to Etsy or other online venues to take a look at their photo guides.

ArtFire also has a guide on how to put together a collection. Here are ArtFire’s guidelines for the front page:
“The collections that appear on the front page of ArtFire are chosen by ArtFire staff members from a pool of "eligible" collections. A collection's eligibility is determined based on three factors:
1. The collection has all 12 main slots and 4 alternative slots filled.
2. The collection exclusively features PRO member items. That means 16 items from 16 different PRO sellers.
3. The third element of eligibility has to do with how recently each PRO member in the collection has been featured on the front page. The pool of eligible collections is updated immediately before a time slot is filled by a staff member.
All PRO members are eligible to be featured on the front page. As long as your collection features 16 different PRO members it will likely be eligible for selection in the near future. Remember that eligibility does NOT guarantee a collection will be selected for the front page or the Collection of the Week email.”

Some of you may be new to ArtFire. If so, you would benefit from following ArtFire’s 45 day guide. One point the guide stresses is that you need to get as much of your work in your studio as possible. If you don’t have many items listed, customers will be less likely to find your shop in searches. So get those studios filled up with jewelry, and practice your photography skills!

photos are items from JewelryArte


  1. Great post with wonderful info! Totally agree about sometimes not finding enough pieces to make a collection. Photography seems to be the key issue to me. So many pretty pieces, but if the photography is not good, I'm skipping right over them.

  2. Nice post, Sheila! I agree with you and Catherine. Sometimes it just kills me to pass over a beautiful piece from one of our members, but I know that it has something going on that won't qualify it for the front page.

    I really need to work on adding items to my studio, but I'll have a lot more time in April than March.

    Anyway, thanks for the thoughtful post to get me motivated!

    Megan @ Daly Craftworks