So since I had to go down to part time at work (oh the joys of working in academia), I've been doing a lot of thinking about my art work. I would like it to become more of a job and less of a hobby. I would like it to be a little more important in my everyday life. Not that it's not already important, but when you are working 45-50 hrs a week and then have a household to run, art doesn't really get a lot of attention. I just didn't have the time to promote, write blogs, take pictures, edit pictures, list items, network, okay you get the idea. But now with more free time I'm hoping to change that.
I've also decided to go in a little bit of a new direction. I still am doing beadwork, that will never change, but I've decided to get out of jewelry for a while. Well at least get out of basic jewelry. It's not that I don't like making it, it's just that I feel like I've found my artistic voice with the large bead embroidered pieces. So I would like to focus more on that.
I would like to make more things like this.
I want to make large bead embroidered pieces. Ones that give me the freedom to create really detailed large pieces. And in order to do this I've decided to stop focusing on jewelry.
Why? Well the jewelry market is very over saturated. Just type in jewelry on etsy and see how many items come up. I also see people willing to pay higher prices for metal jewelry, but question why they should pay the same price for beaded jewelry. It's hard to explain to them that the beaded cuff they got at Target for $12 is not the same as the one I have sitting in my booth for $50. Some people just don't see the difference no matter how much I explain the difference. And I've also become a little bored with the jewelry, I want to work outside of the box and make larger pieces.
I've also decided to stop doing the smaller shows and only focus on a few larger shows. If I want to sell higher end items, I'm going to have to sell at high end shows. Shows where people have no problem whipping out a few hundred dollars to buy something they like. So next year I will only be applying to 4-5 shows and that is all. Most of them have pretty long waiting lists, so if I don't make it, I will just try again next year. I have heard many times from friends, family, and even strangers, that my work should be at fancy shows, so why not listen to them and go for it.
I will still have my jewelry on etsy until it is sold out. And from time to time, I might just list some new jewelry pieces as well. I will still do custom orders for people, but I just won't be bringing the jewelry along with me to shows. It will only be the embroidered pieces.
And if the higher end shows start working for me, then my plan is to buy a professional canopy so that I can participate in even higher end shows. A canopy like this one.
Okay, my ultimate goal is actually one like this.
If you can't tell the difference, the bottom one has mesh walls. My plan is to see if higher end shows are worth it. If they are, then I will buy the professional canopy, then in a year or two buy the mesh walls. I can't buy them together because the mesh walls are almost as much as the canopy. But that's only if I can make the higher end shows work. I can't be dropping $1500+ on a set up unless I know it's worth it. Because I can't complain, my pop up canopy has worked out very well for me for the last six years.
So that's the new plan. To stop making jewelry and move on to larger bead embroidered pieces. I want to focus on only the larger more upscale shows and stop doing the small little shows. I want to make sure I put a lot more effort into my business and get it to grow from a hobby to a full time job (because I'm going to need that help paying the bills now that I only have half the paycheck coming in). I think this is a good plan. Now let's just see how it goes.
And if you want to help me unload some of that jewelry, you can check out my clearance section on etsy for some great prices on some beautiful beaded jewelry. And don't forget to use coupon code FREESHIP13 this week to get free domestic shipping on your order. And check back soon because I'm going to have a great giveaway in August.