Nov 27, 2008

Merry Christmas to me!

Merry Christmas to me! Yesterday, a much anticipated book arrived in the mail for me: Pure Sea Glass by Richard LaMotte. I have wanted this book for over 2 years. I'm already half way through it. Many people have this book as a coffee table book, but for me it's much more than that, it's a reference book. It helps me identify the dates and origins of the beach glass I have found. Some of the pieces I have in my collection that I thought were only a few years old could actually be from the early 1800's! That's so cool. The bottle topper for instance that I showed in an earlier blog (, according to the book was made between 1860 and 1920! It also said that finding an orange piece is so rare that even avid collectors will only find 1 in every 100,000 pieces of glass they find. It's rare because to make orange glass they often use real gold to achieve the right color. I was lucky enough to find one and then sold it. Congrats Erin on your lucky piece.

Nov 24, 2008

Meet the Meanie

Entrepreneurs are often afraid of their competition. They go out of their way to stay away from each other; but I go to the other extreme. I think you should get to know your competitors really well and find ways to work together. I think the synergies you get from one other, the power to grow the entire pie instead of just your slice and the camaraderie you get from it far out weigh the risks associated with it.

Artists do this better than anyone I think. This past Sunday I was part of the NGB Studio Open House (I've including some pictures if you missed it). The artists that have their studios there invited outside artists to share their space for the day and sell their products as well. In our studio (Jane Thelwell's pottery studio) had 4 great women (OK I'm a little biased as one of those four was me, but there was also Annie Clifford, Marie-Claude Delcourt and Jane Thelwell). We worked really well together. We crossed our products over into each others areas, sold for each other while we took art walks ourselves, shared food, helped set up and tear down and were each other's cheerleaders. We also found that selling it each other was easy than selling ourselves so it was a great way work together.

So next time you're wondering if you should meet your competition - go for it - meet the meanie!

Nov 18, 2008

Blogging for Blogging

I looked back and I can't believe I haven't written about this already... blogging as an artist. I was doing two presentations today at the college and the main focus of discussion was on blogging. Is it important for business? Why is it important for business? ETC.

The answer is yes it is important for any business but especially for artists. It comes down to people buy from people; especially in the art world. If customers just needed a picture for the wall they would go to a superstore, but if they're buying art, they want the story. Your blog is a perfect place to tell your story. It's a way for customers to connect with you and feel they have a personal relationship with you.

Another important purpose of blogs is authenticity. In Trendwatch's report for 2008, authenticity was rated as the number #2 influencer in buyer trends. People want to know who you are and they want it to be believable, so traditional, biased information like brochures and websites just won't cut it anymore.

So if you don't have a blog - get one! Then let me know and we can connect in the blogsphere! Happy Blogging!

Nov 10, 2008

Custom lines is that an oxymoron?

I've been thinking a lot about my jewellery and what makes my beach glass pieces stand out when compared to other beach glass work. I also have been thinking about the responses I got over the summer as I'm preparing for my two upcoming shows(NGB Studio Tour and the Gift Giving show - . So the combined question at hand? It's actually two questions: how do I stand out and be remembered (which leads to repeat customers and custom orders) and how to make it simpler to do so?

Up until now, not only have I always created one-of-kind pieces but only one-offs too. Well. The solution to my questions: lines (beachshuk, perfect pendants, whispy - I have created a few lines of work (although each piece will always be unique because each piece of glass is unique), so that people can order something and have an idea of what they are getting, they can compare items in my booth and most of all, when showcasing my work to other artists I have a line that will stand out.

I'm not sure if this is the best strategy, but here's to trying. I'll keep you posted. Let me know what you think about it.