Sunday, January 16, 2011

Another Year, Another Post

Almost a year has passed since I last posted here. Lots of new things, lots of 'sameole sameole'. The consignment I spoke about in an earlier post ain't all that. But, it doesn't suck. I've learned a few new techniques, joined a couple art organizations. Eh. I've found I'm not much for meetings.

We participated in some really good shows in 2010, and of course, a couple stinkers. By now, we've got the hang of it, mostly, so we're not fumbling around like the newbies.

2010 was a challenge as my day job was a huge drain on my creativity. There were lots of high profile, high stress, high pressure jobs the company was involved with, which resulted in lots of tension and a lot of pressure to 'perform' from the Higher Powers. I was getting barraged with so much negativity daily, that it was hard NOT to let it affect me. Finally, in September, they decided that they would remove me from the managerial crosshairs (read managerial stress, not managerial pay) and I'd resume being someone who 'gets trucks' and moves the equipment, thus freeing me from the weekly meetings. Now, instead of reporting to The Bigs, I report to my supervisor, and she reports to them. She doesn't take anything personally, so their rants and raves roll right off her. For this I'm grateful. I'm getting my mojo back, slowly but surely. I'm hoping this year my supply of 'cool stuff' will be expansive and accessible, with all kinds of beautiful and unusual things in the booth.

I taught my first class in 2010 also. That was interesting, and I hope to do that again. Just on a smaller scale. Nearly 30 people in a chain maille class is absurd, as everyone deserves one on one time with the teacher. Another thing that irked me was that the woman who put the class together singled out one buddy student, and they spent the class talking to each other about unrelated jewelry making. I felt this was very disrespectful of BOTH parties involved, more so since the 'buddy student' is a teacher herself. She'd have a purple cow if someone did this in HER classes. But I wasn't teaching manners.

In 2010, I also took some classes. Two with the fantastic Sherry Serafini, and one with Diane Fitzgerald. I learned a lot, and had some fun, and in 2011, I'd like to take a couple more with other teachers. Praise the LBS who cares about her customers, and brings in the nationally known teachers.

Coming up in 2011, we have some of the usual shows, and in February, a gallery show, with members of the jewelry/bead club. Most people I've spoken with did not sell loads of their jewelry last year at this gallery show, but I'm always happy to 'get it out there', so if nothing sells, that's okay, as long as my business cards get out there.

The big shows are always in the Fall, so I've got a long way to go before I get all kooked out about those. In the meantime, we've got a couple good ones in the Spring and Summer, mostly for fun. We had a big one in June last year that TANKED, mostly because not all wine festivals are created the same. It's off the list. I'm not driving 200 miles and stayed for two nights in a hotel to try and sell one of a kind pieces to a bunch of slurring drunk college girls. No thanks.

A revelation I had in 2010 was that I am not going to participate in every high school-church-town festival craft show that comes down the pike. I don't want to be snobby, but I don't have to. There's plenty of bead-spacer-bead (But they're SWAROVSKI!!) jewelry makers out there that can have my $20 spot in the church basement. My time is valuable to me. I'd rather be doing something else....ANYTHING ELSE...than sitting in a church basement/high school gym having some 'beader' giving me the stink eye across her table of 'handcrafted murano glass pendants' (Buy Two get a matching neck ribbon!!) or listening to the soccer moms handle and admire a chain maille-glass bracelet exclaiming, "$50?!! I could get the beads at Michaels and make this myself!!" Yeah, no thanks.

Another revelation was NEVER EVER lower my prices. EVER. Some lady haggled me down $10 for a tiny byzantine maille piece. I wanted it sold, but after she got it for $10 less. I got pissed off. PISSED OFF. Pissed at myself for thinking this woman wouldn't have bought it unless I lowered the price, pissed at the lady who had actually come back three times to look at the piece, who really did want it, and would have paid full price for it. And pissed that I was so desperate to sell this time that I'd take less money for it. Screw all that. You don't like the price, don't buy it. I appreciate your business, but I'd like you to appreciate my time and effort in crafting this piece.

And that's the recap and look ahead. Maybe I'll come back with more posts in 2011 or maybe I won't. We'll see.

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