Saturday, July 06, 2013

The Business Chat - From here to now.

Once upon a time there was a girl who loved colour and glass and sunshine and sailboats and jewelry. The girl, let’s call her Catherine, was learning how to make jewelry. She was also trying to figure out how not to have a “regular cubicle” job.

At that point Catherine was buying glass beads and assembling jewelry. She had seen some lampwork beads and thought “oh, that looks like fun”. 

One day she went to a local craft show to ooh and aah at all the pretty work. She looked at some of the tables and thought, “hm I wonder if I could sell what I make?”

She recognized one of the vendors from previous shows and stopped to chat. She asked “how do you get a table at an event like this?”

The friendly vendor told her about an upcoming show at a brand new venue that was looking for crafters. She gave Catherine the contact information.

Catherine called up and left a message. The next day the phone rang. “I’ve reserved a table for you for next Saturday. Be there at 7 a.m., it’s $45”. 

And that was how I got into my first “show”. 5 days notice, no clue what I was doing, and very little jewelry. I spent 5 days making work and figuring out display. I dragged my laundry table out of the basement, grabbed my hall mirror and a lawn chair. 

The day was sunny and warm. I made friends with all sorts of great creative people who talked about art and craft and not about memos! It was FUN! I was hooked. 

I left that first day with money in my pocket and a determination to try and make a living making jewelry. Sometimes the secret to success is to get started. For all of you who have thought about taking the next step in your crafty business, just do it. Maybe it won’t work, but you can bet that doing nothing definitely won’t work. 

11 years later, my booth today

This post is for all of you who have stopped by my booth, or looked at my website and asked, “but how do I do that?” 

You begin at the beginning - where you are right now. 
You have a vision of where you want to be. 
You keep that vision in your mind and just do whatever it takes to get there. 

I stood at my laundry table with a handful of jewelry. I decided that I wanted to make a living on my own terms - 3 months off in the winter and days filled with colour. I researched the different ways of selling and decided what would work for me. And then I did it. 

You can too. 

Take classes to improve your skills. Not just the skills to make your work, how about a photography class for better product shots?

Read EVERYTHING you can. 

Make friends in your community, people who understand your new world and can share your journey. 

Learn the skills you don’t like. Hate book keeping? It’s necessary and it’s just another skill to learn. You can do anything you decide to do. 

Be consistent. Random effort = random results. 

Never let the crap get you down. You will make mistakes, don’t let them stop you. People will be rude, sales will have slow times. Somethings you work long and hard on won’t work. They’re just speed bumps on your road to success. 

The most important thing in your road to success is to know where you want to go and to believe that you’ll get there. Because you will. One day at a time. 

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