Thursday, December 2, 2010

And Two Years Later...

My newest design and new series of holiday necklaces,
called the "Knotted Glass" series, at WillOaks Studio for 2010

And what a two years it has been since I began trying to sell my work online. I set up my little "studio" on Etsy just over two years ago and then just about this time, in late November, made my first sale. I was pretty rattled because it had been so challenging just to assemble my work for a website and to create and post all the photos and information...I had no idea what to do when I actually sold something. You would have laughed to watch me scrambling around, trying to find some kind of envelope and all.

The ever changing, ever popular "Made With Silk" series, begun
in early February, 2010, and still evolving
Long, fine chains of crocheted silk capture all manner of other materials,
especially pearls.

And in the beginning, not only were my photos pretty marginal, but I didn't understand how to obtain postage online, so when things really began to sell (only because I had the dumb luck to open just weeks before Christmas!) I had to keep running down to the post office to buy postage for each order. I got to know the new automatic postage machine there very well and believed I could win a contest for the fastest info input.

Original necklaces that incorporate leather, linen and silk have been gaining
in exposure and popularity.
Experimenting with different structures and unexpected materials
is my favorite part of studio work.

And then, the holidays were finished and I had no idea how to keep folks coming to visit my shop! Very challenging first year, for sure, because, who could forget, we were also into our first year of "The Great Recession." Who wanted to spend any money, much less on art jewelry...or any art for that matter?
It was a crazy time to try to launch a little business, that's for sure! But I began to experiment with this blog and to investigate a number of different social networks for artists. There really was a lot to learn besides the studio work evolution. Simply put, putting up a web site is barely the beginning because getting folks to visit....well, that's where the work begins!

Bracelets and cuffs are another structure for experimentation in my studio.
But be it a necklace or a bracelet, comfort is a top priority in all of these creations.
Yes, I believe they are art, but they are also meant to be worn.

Which was probably just as well for me because I see now I really had a lot to learn--not necessarily about how to make things--I've done that all my life-and inventing new forms is my favorite activity. But how to work within the "virtual world" and especially, within a "virtual art gallery." To this day, managing a shop online is definitely a "continuing education!"

My "Special Chain" series began in January, 2010 and new pieces continue to be added to this series on a regular basis. In fact, two new pieces for the holidays will be added shortly: one with faceted turquoise and another with faceted hematite.

So I'm taking a bit of time out here to look back for a moment and to put this blog post together. I'm amazingly swamped with holiday orders in my little studio, and it's just exhilarating! Can't help but have a Sally Fields' moment, when I step back and look at my situation at WillOaks Studio on Etsy, and think "They like me, they really like me" (well, my work anyway!) Of course, it sure helps that the overall economy is marginally better, when compared with the past two Holiday seasons.

Earrings were the bread and butter of my little studio early on,
and I continue to explore new stones and materials.

So I've got 2 full weeks plus one last weekend ahead here to do all I can to fill lots of orders and do my part to make my customers happy for the holidays. That's the beauty of my studio, as it has evolved on Etsy. Pieces are made to order. Customers return for new pieces and many have learned that it's often possible to have their orders customized, just by dropping me a note!

So thank you for dropping by to check out what's up "behind the gallery view" today, and you're surely invited to drop by my Etsy shop, maybe do a little shopping for the special women on your list. I'll do my best to come up for air & drop in here during this final stretch. Believe it or not, I've edited my photos from my recent artist residency, but I won't have time to really focus on that project until the holiday season winds down. Which is just fine. Knowing what my next project will be is like the gasoline in my engine!

Have a lovely weekend!


Anonymous said...

Great chronology of your handmade journey! I started about the same time as you, and have had many of the same experiences (minus the being overwhelmed with sales part-ugh- ha). It's pretty amazing to step back and consider all of the work you've done and the evolution of your art! Good luck for the future years to come!

Anonymous said...

Happy Anniversary. The new necklaces should be very popular...

Ann said...

Just two short years and look what you've done with it. Congrats on your success and best wishes for many more years to come

Ron Cooper said...

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nina said...

Great designs very refreshing in beads.I love the colors used and the knotted designs.There are so many option in jewelry these days. Chan Luu jewelry


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