Saturday, January 12, 2008

How Come Jewelry?

A woman over at The Switchboards posed a question today that made me think about expanding on the topic. She wanted other women to explain what exactly made each of them decide to settle upon what they do. She stated that she had the desire to "channel her creative energy", but I guess she is feeling unsure about what exactly that should be.

Deciding what to do with myself, in my case, was like knowing if I wanted to marry my husband. There was not a question in my mind. Every bit of me just knew that I had to use my creativity. I used to work in an office for 10 years and a piece of me died every day. I felt so out of place and all I thought about was the project that I was currently involved in. It was an obsession and I had no control over it. I did not understand this pull and I felt awfully about it. I felt like a failure, because I worked so hard to receive my BS and Master's Degree and all I could think of was knitting.

This went on for many years. I eventually stopped working to be home with my children. Those 10 years were all about soul searching for me. I had anxiety problems that had to be dealt with. They came to a head when I quit my job. Little by little, I started to realize that I had choices. I could decide to make my self worth dependent upon what I wanted to be doing, not only on what other people in my life perceived to be success. In those 10 years, I started to understand that living a happy life was essential to me. I needed to feel right in my own skin. I had never felt that way before. The quest began. I started to study what other people were willing to spend their money on. I went to trade shows and just watched. The booths that had the biggest crowds seemed to consistently be food booths and jewelry booths.

After some time, I attended a friend's jewelry party. The jewelry was beautiful, handmade jewelry and everyone was very responsive to it. I sat and watched. I took in everything. I was mesmerized by the excitement and enthusiasm that the customers showed. And then the light bulb went on!!! I can do this myself! I can learn how to make this and sell it myself!

I set out to learn a whole industry with no one to teach me anything. It was a difficult, but very challenging. Five years later, it is ALL I still think about (besides my beloved knitting of course!). I researched the fashion district and now have my favorite shops that I rely heavily upon. I have gone to many trade shows and have searched out the best resources for silver findings, wire and everything else I might need. I purchase materials directly from dealers on 47th st. It is so much fun to take a day with my mom and galavant in Manhattan! This is what makes me feel right in my own skin. I now look forward to working every minute of the day!

Don't get me wrong. There are still MANY frustrations and difficulties, but I feel challenged by them, not depressed by them. I have MANY mountains still to climb, but I still get excited by making a sale. Each time a customer wants a piece that I have created, is a reminder to me that I am right where I belong. The biggest hurdle I have, is to find a way to make people know I exist! That is huge for this quiet, fairly private person! I have yet to find my success with this. But I am not going to let this stop me. I am now working on finding my niche in the industry. I have recently begun to extended myself to brides.

I believe that I have a product that brides love. My goal is to provide brides with choices that are subtle, classic, and have quality. I want to provide jewelry at affordable prices, yet have no rhinestones! In reaching out for this market, I have found a love in sparkle and romance!



coffeechris said...

Thank you for your post today, words that really resonated with me. I am right in a transition, it is tough. I have done much soul searching and trying to let go. It really helps to hear your story. Your courage and joy is an inspiration. Good luck as you move forward in your marketing.

L. Stone Designs said...

Your words have touched me. Thank you for the feedback. It means more than words can say. Good luck with your transition and let me know how it goes!