Thursday, August 30, 2012

Between a sale and a learning place

Do you ever feel like not selling?

No, I have not gone crazy (well, at least completely...). And please don't misunderstand me: I love my customers, I'm ecstatic that there's something I do that brings me such pleasure AND that some people appreciate and will actually pay for it! It's quite a rush to see someone wearing my necklaces and I wouldn't want it any other way.

But sometimes...

I don't like the compromise. You know, that thing that tells you while you're creating "wow, to finish this necklace I could make an elaborate awesome clasp, experiment with enameling some beads, try my hand at bezel setting this stone... but that would take 5 more hours, the final cost of the piece would be too much and it would not sell..."

Because I need to sell - no, don't be silly, not to recover the money I already spent, to buy more supplies! and tools! oh, tools....

Seriously: when you work a full time job and have little time to dedicate to making jewelry, it's hard to find a balance between making enough items using techniques you already know and feel comfortable with, sell them at a reasonable cost to the customer so you can keep on feeding the habit, and devoting time to slowing down, learning a new technique, trying something in a different way - something that might be ruined, that maybe won't work at first, something that'll take you 10 hours to do now but hopefully 1 hour only next month.

But those are the things that keep me interested. I want to push myself more, learn more. I compare what I do to what I could be doing, and just want to keep on going. But that takes time. When I look back, I see how far I've come, but when I look forward, the road seems so much longer...

So I'll just wait until that billionaire uncle with no family that I don't know of leaves me all his fortune so that I can then spend my time improving my techniques, attending classes, learning new stuff, taking one month to make each piece and then offering them as gifts to anyone who wants them. No compromise.

Until then, maybe I can come up with some workable schedule - actually setting aside some time each week to learn - making myself not care about ruining supplies, and then spend the rest of my available time focused on pieces for sale.

Is this an issue for you too? Do you struggle and do you catch yourself holding back on your pieces to make sure they're affordable? I would love to know.



  1. It's not just that I feel I have to compromise on quality. I also feel that I have to compromise on creativity. I have so many ideas of things to create, but once you start selling your work the second thought you have is always, "But would it sell?" So things that are fabulously beautiful never get made because you just can't take the time to create something that would just languish in the shop.

    On the other hand, I have no interest in creating things that I feel are ugly. I don't want to "sell out" to the dark side. The world really doesn't need any more ugly craft items, no matter how trendy they may be and may sell this week but not next.

    Great blog...I'm glad I found you. I'll be reading...

    1. Good to know I'm not alone! I try not to skimp on quality, but creativity does suffer when you have to factor in your labor and your materials...
      But like you, I couldn't make something I think is ugly. It may not be as elaborate as it could be, but I've never made something I really don't like!
      Thanks for commenting, glad you like the blog!

  2. I definitely struggle with the creative vs. commercial sides of my craft. I try to maintain a balance because if things get tilted too much toward the commercial, I lose interest. If I'm creating things I don't truly love just because I think they will be more marketable, I usually find they don't sell well. I think it shows somehow in your work.


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