Saturday, July 11, 2009
Ups and Downs of Jewelry Design
Ever feel like you were on a permanent roller coaster? I've been feeling a bit like that with regard to my jewelry lately. I've been selling my jewelry on Etsy (www.karlakraft.etsy.com) for about two months now. At first, I intended it as a bit of a lark; I just wanted to see if I could do it. But the more I've gotten into it, the more I've gotten hooked. I've "met" some great people hanging around on the Etsy forums, I joined the MixxMade community (check it out if you haven't yet -- great site -- http://www.mixxmade.com), I've joined Twitter, and yes, I started this blog. In short, I've done all the things you're "supposed to do" to do the whole Indie-Artist-Selling-My-Stuff thing.
So why do I get depressed about it sometimes? I've only had four sales -- and two of them were to friends and/or family. Yes, it's only been a couple of months, but still, it gets discouraging. It does make you question yourself sometimes. Am I deluding myself? Is my stuff any good? Should I completely rethink my designs? What am I doing wrong? See what I mean -- depressing.
But fortunately, I'm a naturally happy and optimistic person. When I start feeling down, I begin counting my blessings. I have a wonderful job that I love (the managing editor of a gem/jewelry trade magazine), and I earn enough that, even though I'll never be rich, I'm no longer poor. (I was for a while; it sucks.) The handmade-personally-designed-jewelry world is not my main source of income. I see many people on Etsy that are making that their sole business/job -- some very successfully, but many less so. Plus, I think of my family in Michigan. One brother works for Chrysler, another brother for a company intimately tied to the auto industry, and a sister for GM. It all makes my life look much sunnier and reminds me that, even if I never sell another piece of jewelry, I'll be fine.
So I won't change my designs to make things that might appeal to more people; I'll continue to create things that I like and hope someone else might, too. I'll continue to blog and tweet, to stop by MixxMade, and to post on the Etsy forums. Even if I don't get any sales from those places, the connections I've made (and will continue to make) are great -- and I've made some wonderful online friends. And if people do happen to buy my jewelry, I'll happily celebrate -- probably by buying more beads and findings to make more! Hey, what can I say? Told you I'm an optimist.