I can’t say that my shop on Etsy has been lucrative, but with the demands of my “grown up” job, it’s been the best option for selling my jewelry at this point. After 2 1/2 years I’ve decided to start fresh and revamp my Stranded In The City shop. This is going to include higher quality materials and craftmanship, better quality photographs, more descriptive product details, and best of all, new and improved jewelry.
I’ll still focus on upcycled vintage assemblage style jewelry, but I really want to get back to only making things that speak to me. Meaning, not just making something because I think it might sell. I want my shop to reflect my own personal style.
Have any of you ever set out on such an endeavor? What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them? I’m looking for advice from anyone who’s been down this road before, so feel free to comment!
I say “finally”, but it was only 8 months ago that I set the goal to become a published artist before the end of 2012. I emailed Beth Livesay, then Managing Editor of Jewelry Affaire (my favorite jewelry magazine of all time) and included a few photos of pieces I thought might be worthy of publishing.
To my surprise, Beth replied quickly and asked me to send in the pieces. One day after the deadline I’d set for myself, my unique jewelry creations were included in the Winter 2013 issue of Jewelry Affaire (it hit newsstands on January 1st). I’ve since sent in several other pieces to the new Managing Editor, Christine Stephens, many of which have been selected to appear in future issues of Jewelry Affaire.
So if you’ve ever dreamed of being published, go for it! And be sure to check out my shop on Etsy StrandedInTheCity because I’ll most likely sell a few of the published pieces soon.
Have you ever experienced a moment that changed the way you design? I had a moment like that in the Spring of 2011 when I discovered Jewelry Affaire magazine. I hate to really even call it a magazine since it’s much more like a quarterly book. The photographs overwhelmed me. The techniques I saw were different from anything I’d ever imagined. Because of the talented artists featured as well as the efforts of the magazine staff, my mind was opened to a whole new world of jewelry design.
Before picking up this issue (which I’ve probably read dozens of times since) I didn’t realize I was limiting myself by only using new jewelry components. Once I realized that almost anything could be considered jewelry making media, the possibilities seemed endless. A large portion of my designs now incorporate vintage jewelry or findings or found objects. After discovering Jewelry Affaire, I bought both previous back issues (the magazine was new and only published twice a year at that point, but now it’s quarterly) and also bought up the past few years of its sister publication Belle Armoire Jewelry and I’ve bought every issue of both magazine since.
I’m very proud to announce that I will get to join the artists I admire when some of my designs are featured in the next few issues of Jewelry Affaire. Even if you’ve never made jewelry before, I encourage you to check out the Winter issue on sale January 1st. Not only will you get to see some of my work, you’re sure to be inspired in your own creative journey. To see more of my work in the meantime, visit my etsy shop StrandedInTheCity.
I signed up for Erin Prais-Hintz’s Challenge of Color and while I can’t reveal my results yet, I wanted to share this photo of my cat, Sprinkles, contemplating which beads should be used. Since she has gotten brave enough to run past the CatScram upstairs in order to access my jewelry studio, Sprinkles has become quite the little helper. She loves to trot upstairs to partake in some of her favorite activities:
Stare and meow at me for no apparent reason
Roll around like a wiggle worm
Bat at any loose beads laying around
Lay directly on jewelry projects in progress
Take a bath
Settle in for a nap
Look up at the tiny dormer windows anytime a dog or other animal outside makes a noise
Dart out of the room suddenly (again no apparent reason)
Rub her scent on any and everything to ensure the studio is marked as her territory