business of being slightly artistic

So…. I want to go ahead and get into jewelry making. I know there are a lot of things that go along with charging for something I enjoy doing and right now I’m at that threshold where I have to sit down and figure out what I should charge and not feel bad about charging it. To date, two people have bought things from me and a lot of others say that what I make is unique and beautiful.

I have a lot of directions I want to start walking with this, which is of course my nature. Here are all the steps I feel like I need to take right now:

  1. I feel like I should take another jewelry class so I can perfect my skills and get better at what I do. I keep telling myself I’m going to sign up for a polymer or metal class at the Art Center, but I never get around to doing that. It would also get me out the house and meeting new people with similar interests and opportunities to learn more.
  2. I need to sit down and figure out how much it costs to make my creations. The hardest part of that is figuring out what I would pay myself per hour. I know right now charging what I make at work is a little unrealistic for my expertise level. I do think that half of my hourly wage is doable though and until I learn more things to do in jewelry-making, I could grow a pretty good support base.
  3. I also feel like I should check out how other people price their merchandise. I don’t mean to copy what these artists charge, but simply to not over or under price what I make. There have been times I’ve been to festivals and shows and see things and think “my designs are nicer than that!” and see people buying merchandise like hotcakes. I’m always surprised that there are people out there doing it and I’m still hemming and hawing on the edge, afraid that I’ll fail or no one will buy what I make.
  4. I have to create with the intention that someone may want to purchase it and not to wear it to work tomorrow or when I go out. I have at least 20 necklaces hanging in my bedroom that I know other people would like, but I can’t seem to part with because I made them specifically for me.
  5. I should probably think of a name and make some business cards so that people can contact me if they do want something. I know there’s nothing more frustrating than when I want to get in contact with someone to purchase something and have no idea how to do it.
  6. I have decided to keep a database of people’s measurements and preferences. I can say that I have one recurring client and it’s much easier to keep that information in a place I can access it when she places an order for something new. And it would definitely help me with my creative process because I know my memory just isn’t what it used to be.

I’m sure I can do all of these things easily and it wouldn’t be that much of a struggle. I can register for classes at the Arts Center soon, so I’ll get on that. And the next installment of bead classes will be taught by an author of one of my favorite polymer books. Since I don’t see having any work to do all week, I can create a database in Access to keep client records and information. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of time to become a pro at Access. Festivals… I’m sure the Other Paper has something I can check for those and go check out what’s going on. Maybe even take my sketch book in case I’m inspired by something I see. I can also go trolling the Short North looking at designs and art to get ideas and make my creations. As for a name, I’ll let that sit on me until something appropriate comes to mind. I know I don’t want anything that’s a deviation of my name or includes it in any kind of way. The best names come when I’m not thinking about them.

I need to set a deadline to complete these things and keep my momentum going. That’s the hardest part because I have a tendency to have these great epiphanies and next thing I know I’ve made no progress at all. So off I go to put things on my calendar and get busy getting through my list of things to do.

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