I’m never the first to try something. It’s probably been around quite awhile before I even hear about it. I love technology and am fascinated by new things, but I’m just usually the last to know.
I told you last time I was making jewelry again. It started with my rosaries which I learned to make years ago on a private retreat. I guess I am an artsy fartsy person at heart because I am usually attracted to those types of things.
So I dug out the beads again. I was instantly enamored again with my beads. I love picking through the colors and sizes and then find a way to make something new and different. I love browsing catalogues and finding new beads. I could spend a lot of money if I had it to spend, but I’m always limited by my budget.
I make something and get so excited at how it turned out. I admire it and marvel at the finished product and then immediately want to make something else. It’s an endless cycle. I’ve been on that cycle many times. It usually doesn’t turn out well for me, though.
I remember when I discovered Donna Dewberry and One stroke painting. OMG. I was smitten! I love art and love to paint. I wanted to paint as a minor in college but couldn’t afford it. Everything requires supplies and some aren’t cheap. It must be the curse of the artistic personality…to always want to be creative and find out it requires a little money to be able to pursue that. Anyway, I painted mailboxes, and glass vases my family would find at garage sales, and lamps and tables and soap until I had painted almost everything I could get my hands on. Then, to continue I tried to sell my stuff, but alas, I was behind the trend and the market was already saturated. Shabby chic was running out of steam just when I discovered it.
This time, being behind the trend paid off for me. I found YouTube. I know. I know. It’s always been there, I just never really paid attention. Well, now you can learn to do almost anything by finding and watching a video on you tube. How wonderful! So now I spend a lot of time browsing wire wrapping techniques and trying out what I learn and coming up with new jewelry pieces.
My rosaries turned into rosary bracelets, and then rosary bracelets became dangle and charm bracelets. And then I rediscovered earrings. I remember a lot of what I’m seeing from years before. Back then I spent money buying how to books to learn. Now all I have to do is watch a free video to learn a new or forgotten technique.
Of course all of that learning has a huge draw back. I had to branch out and buy 24 gauge wire to go with my 22 gauge wire, and then had to buy 20 gauge wire to make the earring wires to dangle my creations from. And then I needed more beads so I would have a variety to choose from. And then I had to get some lobster clasps so I could make the charm bracelets. And then I needed more chain and another pair of pliers. Oh my. I’m having fun now.
So I am knee-deep and mired in another hobby. I do love my beads. I love the variety. I love picking through them and putting them together and creating something fun. But I am accumulating an astonishing number of creations. I heard about Etsy and opened an Etsy store. How exciting. And then I had to buy a domain name so I could have my store be found easier. But who am I kidding? Once again, I am behind the trend. There are tons of people selling things on Etsy and who knows how many storefronts on the internet.
First I posted on Facebook and realized I don’t have that many friends who want to buy jewelry. And then I found my Etsy store. And then I found twitter. If you are not my friend on twitter, you haven’t been spammed by my pics of earrings.
That’s when I begin the process of self-doubt and start wondering. Is my stuff too expensive? Does anyone even like this type of thing anymore? Or am I just really just one of a million and not different enough to make someone want what I make? Or is it just because you can buy cheap earrings at the dollar store or Walmart? People still need rosaries. And mine are affordable and pretty. Are they not pretty enough? I see other rosaries out there for quite a bit more money but they are made from more expensive materials I can’t even look at without cringing.
My earrings are cute. I have good taste and put nice colors together. It is always aesthetically pleasing. So what gives? Why isn’t my stuff selling like hot cakes? Sigh…if I am not careful, pretty soon my interest in this will wither and wane because I can’t seem to find a home for it all.
I guess the lesson to be learned from all of my different hobbies is this. The hobby is not to find a way to get rich, or even to make a living from. It is a hobby. It is a way to pass time. It is a time of fun and learning and creativity. And when your house gets full and closets are bulging then it’s time to move on. When the supplies out run the money, it’s time to move on.
For now…I am having a lot of fun. There is that underlying need to want to share the excitement with others and to get a bit of affirmation, but that just might end up unfulfilled again. After all, it is just a hobby.
I can tell from the pictures that what you make is very nice and very well-done. It is a matter of being one of so many millions out there. I also have an Etsy shop and last year I was able to sell one or two items every month. This year–zero! Before, I at least had an equal opportunity for someone to come across my items by chance. Now, I do believe if you don’t pay them something for promotion, you are seen hardly at all. This also lines up with when Etsy went public and allowed companies and factories to have shops instead of only individual artisans. Frustrating and disappointing. Probably I will close my shop at the end of the year and give away my stuff as Christmas gifts. It was a learning experience, though, and I’m glad I tried it.
A good life lesson, do what you love because of love not money and you will be rich in all the right ways. Thanks for sharing
LikeLiked by 1 person
I’m so sorry to hear that. I’ll try to find you on etsy. I already have way too much to give away. LOL And I’m not ready to quit making yet. Just have to cross my fingers.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Maybe it’s good, then, that I am not very productive!! My shop is called GaleFridays. I make things that belly dancers might want to wear, so it is kind of a niche. That probably doesn’t help me too much either!! But I enjoy what I make and it is therapy for me. That was really my main goal in all of it.
Found you! I started looking around and you have a lot of really cool pieces. You do good work and your ideas are quite creative! Yeah…I guess there is just too many people out there. I think your prices are right on also. I started a twitter account so I wasn’t always spamming my friends on facebook, and have accumulated a couple hundred followers in just a couple of weeks. There is a #handmadehourUSA every wednesday night at 6p.m. central time where we can post pics of our stuff continuously for the hour. Can’t tell if it has helped any…I get favorites but no sales lately. But it makes me feel like I am doing something. LOL And yes…the enjoyment we get and the therapy value is what’s important. I wish we could pay for our supplies though.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you for checking out my shop! Twitter sounds like it could pay off in the end since there is really no limit to how many followers you can have. Etsy kind of built in a limit with starting to charge for promotion. I have avoided Twitter mainly because I am online so much of the day anyway, I felt like I would really be over-doing it and never go outside or do other things. Pricing can be a hard thing to determine. I looked at a lot of other shops for similar things as well as shops where it looks like they do a lot more sewing and use more expensive fabrics. Then I kind of priced my stuff as part of the continuum of possible prices. It is still hard to know if I am asking enough. But I don’t want to ask too much. My supplies are very cheap as I scavenge materials from thrift store clothes and I use small pieces of fabric that might normally go over-looked. Part of the fun of it for me. With your beads, that is not as possible. Especially if you want all the beautiful color combinations!
The bad thing is…I discovered ebay again. I am able to find a lot of beads coming from China with free shipping and I usually spend a dollar or less for each type of bead I buy. Hubby says I’m going to 50 cent him to death! LOL
LikeLiked by 1 person
I like what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever work and exposure!
Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to our blogroll.