So you want to be an artist? Have your own business, set your own hours, be your own boss? make a living doing what you love? Well what is stopping you, keeping you where you are? Should you take the leap? Ask yourself what is holding you back and face the fear, ask what is the worse that could happen if you made the choice to pursue your dream? Could it be that, hey you might fail and have to find another job or perhaps move to another location? Whatever it is, once you have the answer to those questions, ask yourself another- could you live with that? If you can, then go for it. Sometimes just by asking yourself those simple questions can free you of the fear of trying.
I went for my dream in stages. First I WORKED toward it living by the principle of five. Every day I would do five things to bring me closer to my goal. It might have been research, reading and learning, writing an email, perfecting a design, taking a class, making a phone call,anything could count as long as it moved me forward even an inch! I did this for several years as I worked the 40 hour a week plus full time high stress job. When it got to the point that I needed more time to grow my business, that I had taken it as far as I could on the time that I had,I walked away from the corporate job to go after my own. I fully understand what a big step that can be, walking away from the security and benefits. It can be downright scary. I also believe that because of that you work even harder to succeed knowing you have to. The great part about that is, is that now all that hard work and long hours you were putting in for someone else you are now doing for yourself. It's a bit like having the rug pulled out from under you to find that you are standing on a magic carpet and--OH, what a ride! Exciting, fun, scary, and worth it.
All it takes is determination and WORK, did I mention WORK. Long hours, lots of research, phone calls, and WORK, did I mention WORK. There is no wasted days or hours allowed, everything must be balanced to the last degree. It is not all sitting in a studio and creating, though I wish it was. Some weeks I feel like I spend more time doing follow ups and paperwork, chasing down leads, writing emails and rewriting emails, and yet again rewriting emails- mainly because so many people do not answer emails promptly or only read part of them and do not answer all questions the first time, yet follow up is important. Sometimes it is necessary to be tenacious in order to get someone's attention. I have had more people thank me for reminding them, or calling to check to see how the product is moving than I have those who have been annoyed. Those who have been annoyed, I simply note their account as to their preference's- though I have found that these people are generally not my accounts that are that profitable to me anyhow. The profitable ones seem to be the ones who are thankful and happy to be called and asked so they don't have to pick up the phone or send me an email to order, they just order with me then and there. I can't begin to tell you of the artist that have said to me of their accounts, well they never reordered. When I asked them if they have called their accounts to ask how the product is moving, most have said no. In fact let me tell you of one artist I met at a wholesale show a while ago..... As I was talking to this girl I asked her how many accounts she had. She told me well over two hundred. As I knew it was just her and one other person making the product I asked her what in the world she was doing at this wholesale show if she had that many accounts? I knew that if they were all active she would have been hard press to service them all. She looked at me, shocked that I would ask such a question, then said "I'm lousy at follow up." Me, I am thinking, ok follow up with accounts that have already bought your product who you could resell right from home OR spending 5,000 dollars to do this show to try to get more shops you aren't going to service? It did not make sense to me. Listen up people---- in today's world, as busy as it is and as competitive as it is, there is always someone willing to take your market share. If you don't seem interested to a buyer to stay in touch and service the account them someone else will do it. The days of unquestioned loyalty to a company is long past no matter how well your product sold, there will always be someone new with something different to offer, so stay in touch! Did I mention it takes WORK? The WORK can be fun though and exciting when it is what you want to do so do not be afraid of it but embrace it, and give yourself a chance......
Until next time... when more rambling thoughts will emerge from this jammed packed brain of mine.
So I've always like to write and decided I needed to start blogging .... Hummmm , my life is paved with good intentions but I sometimes run out of the time to make everything happen that I want to happen! I am sure in this crazy world you can relate to that! So I am going to try to become more disciplined at it. When someone figures out how to add more hours in a day, please let me know.
On a typical day I start my morning with a "cuppa" tea. I am not a coffee drinker. I love the smell of it but do not like the taste, so my caffeine of choice is tea. Sometimes it is herbal, sometimes Chai, sometimes regular etc.... My cupboard if full of different flavors and each morning I pick the tea that matches my mood for the day. My hubby thinks I have a tea fetish as the cupboards are overflowing with all the choices. It is a lovely relaxing away to start the morning, that doesn't last long enough. Often during this time , I decide what I will make for dinner that night, remove it from the freezer, and then start in on the plan of what I want to accomplish for the day. Often this was decided the night before but I am usually flexible. I try to stay as organized as I can to be as productive as possible, however I often fail in this area and wish I was better organized though I am getting better with age. I think I need a house keeper and a secretary, and a gardener, maybe a chef and the list goes on.....
Going to my studio, I turn on the music. What I listen to changes day by day and often depends on what I am working on whether it will be soothing or up tempo but music will be on. I think better, can concentrate better and am more creative with it on in the background. Other times the hubby is practicing his sax so I just get lost in that as I am working.
Below is a picture of where I work my magic, my studio. It is my second home--and located within my home:) I enjoy being in here surrounded by my tools and stones. Tools and I have a special bond. I love shopping for, buying new and using them. Creating new pieces, trying different techniques, stepping outside of the lines makes jewelry design so much fun and never makes me feel like I am working. I wish all aspects of having your own business was this much fun! Paperwork is my personal downside to running the business. I really do not mind dealing with it, what I do mind is how much time it takes away from the creating! It is hard to follow through and do everything that needs to be done and still have time to actually make product, and on top of that to create new product and not just produce the same old, same old to fill orders. I am not complaining...I love to fill orders, I just need more time to make all the idea I keep coming up with, that my friend is the real struggle.
So what I am going to use this blog for is just to toss thoughts and ideas out there, to talk about what is going on, what it is like to be an artist, the challenges I face, how I grow the business, the amazing things that happen, the people I meet, the trouble I get into ( Haha I'd be spending all my time writing about that one!) and so much more. Some days I might be contemplative and this will reflect that, some days just silly and goofy, and some days I might be asking, HEY does anyone else have these issues? or feel a certain way etc. It will really be about being a jewelry designer, working from home, documenting my life, building the business, balancing family life, creating new pieces, failures in all the previous areas and the successes! It will be interesting- at least to me- so stay tuned and please leave me suggestions, comments and be interactive with me-- who knows, maybe we will be the next reality show:) Haha. Lord, I hope not....