Learn. Make. Sell. All about clutches.

4 things that can help your clutch handbag business …


Ever noticed how car dealerships are always placed next door to each other?  In each of your towns, car dealerships can often be found on a strip right next to one another. What about clothing stores like The Limited, The Gap, Ann Taylor, and all others all in the same shopping mall or shopping center?

Doesn’t this hurt their business … to be next to their competitor?  Isn’t it counter-intuitive?

Do they know something that you don’t?

There’s actual research that explains the reasons why car dealerships and retail stores have benefited from having their businesses right next door to their direct competitors.  You can read the research in its entirety by clicking wp447, or I can sum up a great advantage that you and all handbag makers can take advantage of.

The gist of it is “taste uncertainty” by the consumer, where the buyer is not really sure of her tastes.  So when a few businesses selling similar items are concentrated in a geographical area, the buyer has a higher probability of finding what she likes.  That also increases the sellers chance of selling something.  With this concentration of stores, the buyers also perceives that there is “price cutting” due to competition so they are more likely to shop there.

Now this is true of brick-and-mortar stores, but what about online shops?

This is the same reason why aggregators like and and have continued to experience major growth on the net:  they provide that concentration — a one-stop shop — for buyers.

How does this apply to you?

So to those of you selling your clutches on venues such as arts and crafts shows, Saturday markets, and Etsy, take note:  your fellow handbag makers are not necessarily your competitors.  In fact, they may even help you and your business grow.

You are really competing for the eyes of the ones who go on Etsy (as I do) not knowing what they’re looking for but stumbling upon something that catches their eye through a recent listing, a treasury find, or through the time machine.  You are really competing against other sellers selling products to your potential customer such as jewelry, home goods, and other accessories.  I have gone on Etsy looking for a pillow or some other household good and ended up with a bird ring — something that didn’t even enter my mind.  I have been on Amazon looking for a book and ended up with a Backyardigans DVD.  How does that happen?  Taste uncertainty wins out again!  I will always spend my money at an Etsy store or with an Amazon seller.  So those sellers have increased their probability of getting a sale by being with other sellers rather than going it alone.

BUT your products are hand-made goods, and buyers have come to expect high quality, uniqueness, and personal customer service.  You don’t have to compete on price, because what you’re selling are not commodities.  They are one-of-a-kind creations and Etsy buyers are looking for that.  What you do is entirely unique and cannot be found anywhere else.  And there is a certain cache to that.

So some tips for those who sell at venues with other handmade artisans whether at a craft show or Etsy:

*Don’t compete on price. Offer a fair price for your work and sell, sell, sell on the craftsmanship and creativity that your two hands created!

*Offer something unique that stands out from others. Conversely, please honor and respect copyrights, designs, and trademarks by not making the same things that other sellers have.  No, the market is not flooded with clutches though you may think it is.  It’s still in its infancy.  But DON’T worry:  how many pairs of black shoes, jeans, or handbags do you have in your closet?  There are still untold creative ways to design your clutch to fulfill someone’s wish.  I’ve yet to find a black dress to suit me but I know it’s out there!

*Have your table next to, or near, other handbag sellers. At a crafts show where there are rows upon rows of tables and booths of goods, take advantage of this consumer phenomena and be near others in your category.  I often know right where the concentration of jewelers are and head right to them.  The one outlier that’s in the opposite side lost down a row will not be visited again.


And to tie this altogether, one of the frequent questions I am asked is “Where can I buy your clutches?” “Who sells clutches made from your frames?”  or “Where can I buy clutches made from your frames?”

My seemingly esoteric blog about clutch-making has had over 8200 hits and continues to increase daily as my search engine ranking has gone up.  I would like to start offering a page that has links to websites and Etsy shops whose sellers make their clutches from my metal purse frames.  (As you all know, I have an Etsy shop for finished clutches that has been mainly for show since I sell mainly off of Etsy, though my sister has recently listed her clutches in my shop as well.)  I simply do not have the time to make enough clutches to sell on Etsy since what I do make, I sell locally and regionally.  I only have enough time for private orders.  Brag time, I just made clutches for a bridal party of 6.  Check them out!

Bridesmaid clutches using my antique brass with loops and matching purse chains!

So I would like to offer any of you the opportunity, to be linked to my blog and vice versa.  People can go directly from my blog to your store to find clutches that are for sale made using my metal purse frames.  This will take some time as I will need to set up a new page but this will be a “Sellers” page.   This will be another place of concentration of sellers where you can increase your probability of getting a clutch sold by being with others who sell similar things.  And it’s free for you to be listed and linked on my blog.  My blog gets hits and I spend about 3 hours daily answering inquiries.  I need to direct them to where they can buy them, so why not list your shop?

And I know several of you who keep it on the “down low” between your buying and selling accounts, but I want to dispel that myththat your buyers are better off not knowing where you buy your supplies from and how much the materials cost.  Any quick look on Etsy, Amazon, or Google will reveal how much metal purse frames cost, especially those imported from China.  In fact, I’ve gone on Etsy Forums to defend the pricing of clutches charged by handbag makers because the argument was essentially “who in their right mind can charge $100 for a clutch when we know full well a frame doesn’t cost that much”!  My counter-argument is that buyers are not paying for the frame, the glue, and the fabric:  they are paying for the value of handbag maker’s creativity, artwork, and labor.

On top of that, as loyal buyers, I know you are paying more for my metal purse frames.  I know you see the value in buying the highest quality purse frames that you know are tested for lead, that passes the US Environmental Protection Guidelines, that is backed by a 30-day full refund guarantee, and that are trademarked with a special coating that render them beautiful, bright and shiny.  These are NOT the cheap metal purse frames sold elsewhere by others.  So why not emphasize that?  Your clutches are not made using cheap, knock-off, generic “silver” purse frames!  Point that out to your buyers and inform them of the quality that you spend on your fabrics, frames, packaging, and craftsmanship.


To that end, I have been asked by several handbag makers about what they can say about the frames that they have bought that would not violate my trademarks and copyrights.  Here’s what you all can say but you may only state the following for clutches made with my purse frames.  I do NOT want to see this with a clutch made with a certain “tear-drop” shaped closure.  Honors system please or legal action will indeed commence!  🙂  *muah*

You can use any of the following for nickel-free purse frames (TM) but you must include the last *** item:

*The metal purse frame is made of iron with a nickel-free finish.
*It is good for people with nickel sensitivity:  it’s hypoallergenic, itch and rash resistant.
*It has a 2-coat protective coating that allows fingerprints to wipe off with ease unlike those with a 1-coat finish.
*It is tested for lead and meets the US’s Environmental Protection guidelines.
*The nickel-free finish is white-silver in appearance and is best described as looking like sterling silver.
***It is trademarked to and Khuong LLC.

For antique brass:

*It has a 2-coat protective coating that allows fingerprints to wipe off with ease unlike those with a 1-coat finish.
*It is tested for lead and meets the US’s Environmental Protection guidelines.
***It is trademarked to and Khuong LLC.

For Duskcoat Gunmetal:

*The finish is made with 2 coats that are layered to give a richer texture in color.
*You will see iridescent colors of green, purple and pink under different bulbs/lights (natural, florescent, full-spectrum, etc…) but an eye-level view will reveal a deep gray tone.
*It is tested for lead and meets the US’s Environmental Protection guidelines.
***It is trademarked to and Khuong LLC.

And for GoldenLock:

*GoldenLock was designed to be warmer than 10K and not as warm as 18K and closely resembles the gold-tone of 14K jewelry.
*It is tested for lead and meets the US’s Environmental Protection guidelines.
***It is trademarked to and Khuong LLC.

You can also add flourishes to it such as “I use only the best metal purse frames on the market” or “I do not use cheap imitation frames”.


So … big breath … email me directly at if you would like a link exchange to my blog to be listed as a seller who makes clutches using my metal purse frames.
What I need:

1. A link to the product listing of your clutch or shop announcement stating any of the above purse frame descriptors above.

2. URL of the shop or blog that you want linked to.

3. Name and short description of your store or goods or target market.

4. A jpg of one of your clutches or a shop banner or logo.  Please keep it under 1 MB.

Any comments and questions??  Please feel free to post them here or email me directly at  Thanks and Happy Halloween!  BOO!


October 31, 2010 - Posted by | Helpful Tips


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  12. […] the word and share the Facebook album, Pinterest board, or retweet my Twitter tweets.  Remember taste uncertainty and how research has shown that it helps you, the seller, to get more buyers when you are listed […]

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