Here is a random list of things that I am thankful for today. (in no particular order)
1. This beautiful sunshiney day 2. My handsome boyfriend Eric and his wonderful parents. 3. My comfy worn- in Emu boots 4. That I have so much love in my life 5. The great shipment of tiny, antique skeleton keys that rock my world 6. That I have laughed a lot already today 7. The ability to do what I love for a living 8. Campbell's vegetable soup on a cold day with lots of croutons 9. My baby niece Juliette, mom, dad, step-mom, brother, his fab wife etc... 10. My health
I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving in whatever form it takes!
I did my first phone interview today for Richmond Magazine which was very exciting all by itself, but in talking to my interviewer Super Intern Erica Wells I was inspired to return to my poor little neglected blog and write a little something for whomever might be reading.
As this is my first year really going at the jewelry design business full time, I am finally able to concentrate on promoting the business. This means shows. Lots and lots of shows. After all the applications are in and you have been green lighted to be a apart of the show you have to get ready. This means making tons of jewelry in lots of different price points for everybody to enjoy(the best part), hand decorating tons of bags and boxes to pack purchases in ( a little control-freaky I know!) ordering business cards and packing up my boyfriend's Expedition (thanks Eric) to go the show. Then there is the schleping of boxes, displays, jewelry, materials to work on...etc. all over God's green earth and hoping to meet people who not only "get" the jewelry but also become customers.
I have to tell you, I love it. I have met such interesting and and inspiring people in the other vendors as well as new and old customers. I have been impressed with how generous everyone is in giving advice and tips. There are long days and scary slow periods when you wonder if you are even going to make back your booth fee, but in the end every show I have done I have walked away with new thoughts, places to go and friends. I have had a long show day today so I am now going to bed...inspired and tired!
Trying to sell my designs makes me feel like the rose selling vendor in Oliver Twist wondering who will buy my wonderful roses. When I call a new store for the first time I feel like I am back in high school calling a boy I had a crush on. (My mom tried to tell me that girls shouldn't call boys, but I always did go after what I wanted!)The butterflies in my stomach, sweaty palms, the inability to string intelligent thoughts together. When I finally get the buyer on the phone my end of the conversation is studded with ums and half sentences tripping and awkward like a toddler getting her footing. If I am lucky enough to get a meeting it starts all over again. I am in my little studio pieces of wire flying, pearls getting swept off the table and rolling to all corners, it's like the little bluebirds in Cinderella twittering about to finish the dress in time for the ball. I am just hoping the buyer sees a beautiful silk gown instead of a burlap sack. Applying for a show is a little less exposing, but I still try to make myself sound interesting as well as pick what I hope are the photos that represent the best of my designs. With all the talented jewelry designers out there, someone is going to be left without a chair when the music stops. How you choose to view that rejection is up to you. Not all stores are going to like what you make. People have different tastes. Maybe by not getting into a certain store, you will have an opportunity to get into a different store that will be a better fit for your jewelry. Not getting accepted into a show is not the end of the world, that polite rejection letter may be freeing up the time you will need to fill that huge order from Neiman Marcus:)
I set out to be a jewelry designer because it's the only thing I love doing for hours at a time that overcomes my ADD tendencies to do laundry, randomly eat, check emails, update facebook and/or see what everyone else is up to etc. I am happy in my little studio that I have carved out of an unused attic space, perfectly content to do nothing but make new jewelry and listen to audio books or movies. It turns out, if you want to make a living at it there are a bunch of other things that go along with it. Marketing, selling, finding places to carry your stuff, applying to shows and trying to get publicity. You can be a modern day Faberge' but if it's all sitting in your studio gathering dust, you're not going to sell it. So today I decided to take care of a few of the non-making jewelry related things like taking photos for publicity things. My boyfriend, Eric gamely dragged me out into our beautiful backyard to take the pictures. For the next half hour we had what can only be described as the most unprofessional photo shoot ever with me threatening at one point to "kick him where the sun don't shine" if he touched my hair again. Avedon and Cindy Crawford it wasn't but ya gotta do what ya gotta do! We got a good laugh out of it!