Feb 24, 2009

It doesn't hurt to ask

I've had a few things go right for me lately and friends keep asking me what my secret is for being so lucky. Well, the answer is easy, I asked. I've never been afraid of the word 'no', in fact I often see 'no' as a challenge. So, asking tricky questions isn't that hard and asking easy questions is nothing more than making time to do so.

I wanted a store in Toronto to carry my work, so in late January I started looking around for a few stores that fit with my eco-conscious beach glass jewellery and I emailed them asking if they were interested. A few got back to me and yesterday I delivered some of my jewellery to Green is Black in Toronto. All it took was an email asking the question 'would you be interested in seeing my work?' (see my latest work shown here at Green is Black)

I wanted a celebrity or journalist to wear my work, and more importantly, write about my work, so I looked around and found a perfect fit - Gill Deacon (as you heard about in an earlier post). I sent her email asking if she would be interested, and she sent an email back saying yes. 2 weeks later she blogged about it!

Sure, I may have heard a 'no' or two, but I didn't stop asking questions, I saw it as a challenge. So, start asking questions, you may be surprised with the answers!

Feb 20, 2009

Why wait 'til you're dead

My husband I were talking about why many famous artists, weren't famous really until they died. Why is that? I'm sure I can spend hours researching this, but I'm going to tell you my theories instead. I have two. They're both connected and it comes down to marketing and sales.

As an artist, when I'm marketing or selling, I'm not creating. When I'm creating, I'm not selling or marketing. And the scale never seems to balance right on this one. However, if someone else is selling for me, then I can spend my life creating. So think back to those famous dead artists.... they got (just go with me for arguments sake) their lives to focus on their art and didn't deal with the selling side. So, no wonder they were good, they got to practice and create often. And if I've taken anything from Outliers (the book I'm reading by Malcolm Gladwell), is that people succeed because of doing, and doing again and doing again.

The second theory is that it's easier to sell someone else's work than it is your own. So, dead people can't sell their work anymore, so others do. They can focus solely on selling and not on creating. They see it from a buyers perspective not an artists. If you don't believe me here, just go out with a friend and try this theory out.

But, I don't think I want to wait until I'm dead. In fact, I know my family doesn't. So, my goal for this year is to change this theory or at least impact it differently. I'm going to work on selling my work actively, but also trying to balance those scales.

Feb 17, 2009

When things go bad, they usually come around

This past weekend I was finishing (and I mean finishing, the final 2 minutes of sanding / polishing) a newly designed flower pendant with white beach glass for petals and rare cobalt blue glass for the centre when I broke off one of the pieces. I tried to re-soldering, knowing that it wouldn't work because the precious glass wouldn't take the heat - here's proof of how it turned out... Over twenty-five hours done the drain, not to mention the glass :-(

So, after whining a little to my hubby, we headed down to the yacht club for some fresh air and to share a pint. Well, I was surprised to see the beach was snow free. Which is my world, means beach glass hunting season just opened! So, although my day started out bad, it sured ended on a high. Here is my find from the first day on the beach.

Feb 6, 2009

Tooting my own horn - well actually someone else is...

Sorry for the second post in the same day, but this just came in and I had to share it! Gill Deacon (Canada's combination of Oprah and Martha Stewart, mixed with David Suzuki) wrote an entire blog about my beach glass jewellery! Have a look >>

Here's a picture of her wearing one of my necklaces!

When the Cash Flow is More like a Frozen Pond

Well, I'm not sure if your business is like mine or not, but this time of year not only is the ground frozen up, but my cash isn't flowing much either. I know retailers are feeling my pain right now too. So what are we to do about it? Here's some tips that may help:
  1. ask for longer payment terms on supplies from your regular suppliers
  2. ask for larger down payments on custom orders
  3. host a seconds sale (I'm hosting a Leftovers Potluck on February 15 as a twist on a studio open house - drop by if you can and bring some friends)
  4. check in on those consignment accounts and see if they can pay you
  5. eat leftovers (see #3 for a fun twist on this :-)
Oh yeah, and next year heed my advice (from experience) pre-plan for your slow times.