When I started making jewelry 9 years ago I was hungry! Ready to meet clients, pump out designs, blog, work double shifts, sacrifice time with family and friends and so on. It didn't matter as long as I was working towards my goal of successfully owning an online shop one day. Fast forward 5 years, a full time job and many late hours at the bench, I did just that. After quitting my full time job and pursuing art as a full time career I fell into a habit that some may find quite relatable in an online business. You slowly start to seclude yourself from the outside world and use the excuse that your doing so well online why take the energy to meet, greet, and sell off-line. After all we are living in an interweb world and I am just an internet girl ;)
I was on a high, year after year I had increased my revenue, personal interest in my art, and inspiration. Plugging away at reaching the next customer, sale, and improving my business all around. Slowly that started to change, I have addressed this many times with my periscope and instagram followers. But to lightly touch on the subject. I somewhere stopped pursuing larger goals, settings goals in general, and achieving them. Not because I didn't love what I do, but because I stopped putting my business ventures first. While many positive things happened and some life altering negative things happened. I lost my way a bit, creatively, business, and overall the focus and determination that once drove me. This was the best and worst thing that has ever happened to me.
When you rely on a creative outlet as your income it can be a pressure like any other job. It was the first time it felt like a job and I couldn't muster up the energy or motivation to go out and make it happen. Enough excuses, that is what this blog post will mostly be about today. We can talk all day about why I didn't do this or why I lost motivation for that. But hey they say writers block happens! So what can we do to push through the finish line when there is no gas left in the tank. Yes time helps, but most times financially our obligations can not wait for you to take your time. The time is now and the keyword is action.
After quite a hiatus, I rounded up 2017 feeling ready to push myself to the limits. If anyone in this world can do anything they want. Why can't I. I signed up for my first show in over 3 years to get myself out there again. If your not meeting people and putting yourself out there, even in the age of technology you can count yourself as just another account, like or comment. And for some businesses that is enough, but I had to come to the realization that for me its not. For me to live comfortable, be happy, expand, and grow as a business and artist I have to push beyond comfort. Slowly but surely it's a must. Again this won't ring true for everyone but I want something more. What exactly is that? Right this moment I don't know. But the thirst is the same as when I started. I want it and I am willing to push to see this beautiful creation of MeShe Designs flourish beyond my expectations.
No one will make your dreams come true except for you, this goes for school, careers, or fitness. Sure we all have obstacles but how can we keep going! I have to thank my boyfriend Joe for all the business and personal motivation, he is a no excuse make it happen kind of person. He has blossomed qualities in myself that I never knew I had, simply from the love and belief In myself and my capabilities. A gem of a human.
I signed up for Hops and Props craft beer festival in Westbury, NY on February 10th. I signed up for this show back in early December way before I was any where close to ready. I figured there is no time like the present and WHY NOT NOW!! I prepared a few weeks before making extra inventory of stacking rings, earrings, and small necklaces for quick sales $15-$40 dollars. I had plenty of one of a kind rings and pendants to show case so I didn't focus too much on those items for preparation. I did a variety of everything. This was the most metal I have ever displayed in person at a show. Joe handcrafted all my displays just a day before since we really were so busy in our personal and professional lives we waited a bit last minute. I had communicated my visions for the last few weeks leading up to it and it came out just as I imagined if not better. Sure we have awhile to go until I am one hundred percent satisfied with my overall display but this was a great start.
(These were the best photos I had, my phone is shot. How cools is this aviation museum it was held at!!)
We arrived and set up within an hour. Leaving some time for relaxation before the crowd. The show was in my opinion a great success, it was only a 4 hour event in the evening 6-10p.m. In the first hour which was the the V.I.P. hour I made my booth fee back which was promising and exciting going into the evening. I brought four friends to help and make this a fun experience and have some support. We sampled great craft beers, sold jewelry, chatted with the crowds and had fun. I wanted my first show to be exciting for environmental purposes in case the sales were disappointing. Throughout the evening people showed interest and purchased mainly my one of a kind rings. They were so drawn to all the different stones and designs, I had some unlikely sales and it felt refreshing as most of these designs seem to not generate a lot of hype online. When people can visually understand, touch and see the quality of craftsmanship it truly is refreshing.
I also brought a table of vintage designs at a blowout price, they just sit in my studio with no love and I figured wasted inventory is wasted money. A lot of men really enjoyed digging through my display of quirky items for gifts. I'm sure each show I do from here on out will be different clientele with different price points and interests. But it will be fun to see where this journey takes me. This isn't a blog post for the push of art shows but for a push of the unknown. I am going to start implementing schedules, plans, and following through. Trunk shows, wholesale consignement, private shows, lessons, whatever avenue that leads to me continue doing the art I love, metalsmithing. So until next time, keep going, don't look back and god damn only you can make it happen. So just do it!
(I didn't have enough earrings to fill the board so next show there will be a full display!)