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The Suburbanite
  • Jewelry designer embraces social media

  • Allie Jackson of Allie M Designs has embraced social media as means of selling her handcrafted jewelry.

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  • Allie Jackson is a local jewelry designer who has been selling her jewelry lines across the U.S. through the use of social media.
    Jackson, originally from Hartville, now lives in Fairlawn, has been designing her own jewelry lines since 2008.
    She got her start in design work when she went to college in California and was designing pet accessories such as leashes and collars. After moving back to Ohio to get her master's degree in education in consumer science, she began designing jewelry. Jackson has been marketing and selling her product lines using various social media tools.
    “I design using mixed metals with a focus on a couple of lines including state map pendants, and a unique symbolic herb line,” Jackson said.
    Jackson is also planning to sell at various jewelry shows including Las Vegas and Chicago and will be opening a retail store in downtown Akron in a few weeks. To date, her main source of marketing has been social media sites such as etsy.com and Facebook.
    SOCIAL MEDIA REACH
    One of Jackson’s popular lines is the state map pendants that go on necklaces and bracelets. Three of the most popular states she sells include Texas, Ohio and Minnesota.
    “I'm working on a state map of Massachusetts,” Jackson said. “I had someone email me right after the bombings in Boston to ask me if I could do a piece for the state.”
    The person that contacted her had seen her other jewelry online. Jackson said there is a lot of competition online for jewelry sales. As such, she said it's been important for her to mix online with traditional marketing tools.
    “I use branding techniques, giveaways and offer newsletters in addition to the social media and I offer that through the social media,” Jackson said.
    Jackson has tried all of the most well-known social sites including Facebook, Twitter, blogging sites, Constant Contact, Etsy.com and  Pinterest.
    “The most effective for me has been Etsy, blogging and a promotional site called Wildfireapp,” Jackson said. “I use Twitter to send tweets to my followers about a new piece that I've just posted a photo of on Etsy or my web site. I use wildfireapp for giveaway specials. And, I've used Constant Contact for email services and newsletters.”
    Jackson offers a few tips for anyone thinking of using Etsy or other social media outlet.
    “Do market research before going online,” she said. “Price to what the market will bear, and get professional photos taken of the product line.”
    Jackson has paid two professional writers to do her blog posts. Plus, she has worked with a SEO (search engine optimization) consultant to help her get her online efforts search engine friendly.
    Page 2 of 2 - LIFE CHANGES
    Designing and managing her jewelry business became a fulltime job last summer. Jackson works 15 hours a day without realizing how much time she puts in.
    Support from family is also important.
    “My husband and my mother have been a great help and support,” Jackson said. “I would recommend for anyone starting out to try everything they can but to put their money where they think it will work best which requires research.”
    Patrice Theken, Allie's mother has watched Allie’s ups and downs. It is important, she said, for small business owners to network with other small business owners.
    “Allie has learned some things about using online resources the hard way, which are usually the best lessons to learn,” Theken said. “Anyone that is serious about growing a business online has to keep trying and not give up after a few failures.”