Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Renewed Committment

I have decided that it is time to get serious....well, those who know me really well know that I already am serious...but now it's time for me to renew my committment to developing my passion for jewelry into a real business. I have had several false starts since starting on this journey of jewelry making back in early 2006. All I wanted to do is make jewelry for me and to develop a creative outlet because I was unable to continue my pottery hobby. As soon as I started wearing pieces I made to work the requests for items from co-workers starting the first 3 months I sold enough jewelry to purchase several hundred dollars worth of tools and supplies. That's is when I starting thinking of ways to turn this passion into a business, not full time, not yet anyway.

Well, my thoughts never got off the ground, but I continued to develop new skills and techniques that would challenge my creativity and bring my jewelry to a higher level of craftsmanship and quality. Again, this past year I attempted to resuscitate my thoughts of turning my love for jewelry making into a business and created a website, still again I dropped the ball and neglected to elevate the website to be anything more than a commerce going on there. I decided to put the online sales on the back burner and continued with the sporadic direct selling one on one, word of mouth, family, friends and co-worker approach.

If I continue to limit my exposure in this way I will never turn this into a real business.

But I am less than a year we will be "retiring" and moving to a new state. We will probably both still work in some form or another, but I would like for my work to be making jewelry and SELLING it. So now is the time for me to renew my committment to turning this passion into a FULL TIME business within the next 12 months.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I would set up an online shop at Etsy, the largest online market for all things handcrafted or vintage recycled. It is an international marketplace, but it also has thousands and thousands of people selling "jewelry". "Jewelry" at every price level imagineable. So, I threw myself into the fray...and lo & behold within 10 days I had my first online sale.

But...I would like to maintain a momentum of regular selling with very few spells of inactivity.
Develop a loyal customer base and reach the customer that appreciates quality, handcrafted, one of a kind, art jewelry. I don't know how to do that, so I have decided to take advantage of the abundance of information, resources and alliances that the Etsy community has to offer.

I submitted a request for acceptance to one of the many Etsy Street Teams, The Art Jewelry Collective, which is somewhat selective in choosing members, and I have been accepted. One of the goals I hope to achieve through this membership is to improve my sales. Membership in this team offers collaborative marketing to bring more of our target customers to Etsy, customers who have the money and are willing to spend what our work is worth. It also requires some sweat equity on the part of the members to promote the team, participate in committees that are formed to administer to the maintenance of various marketing projects and websites that are developed to promote members.

Yes, I am ready, willing and able to jumpstart my sales and work seriously at building a successful jewelry business.

The bracelet pictured "Reverie" is the item that was my first online sale.

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