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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Upcoming Show this Friday!

So, I am having my first show of 2010 up here at law school. I have really gotten a great response from my classmates about my jewelry. This type of feedback is something that has been not necessarily missing but has stepped to the side for a few. A friend was admiring my work today and she was telling me how my work looked very professional - I am thankful for honesty and compliments! I have really been pleased with the response about my show, people are excited and I am even more excited to have a show again.

This show will be held at a friends house Friday afternoon and I think her location will be good because she has some couches, chairs and her place is really comfortable and inviting. Her step-mom and friend are even coming into town for it! I am thankful for her generosity in letting me have an event at her house. I must say, I have missed going to events and shows where I can expose my jewelry to the public. I am going to try to make a few more pairs of cool earrings before Friday, as I think those are an easier commitment than my necklaces mostly because they are more affordable.

I think of the steps I used to go through when I would go to a festival. Do I have my EZ-up? Do I have enough change? Did I remember my business cards? Did I bring my calculator and inventory list? Credit Card slips? Mirrors? Table cloths? It was quite a production to get things organized, priced and loaded into the back of my car. But organization really is the key to a successful show - that and CONFIDENCE. Something that I started to do at shows and festivals was talk about the pieces as if I was simply a seller, not that I made the items myself - it was a way to step outside my own fragile ego and sort of relax when talking to people. I don't talk in the third person or anything crazy like that but if I take it personally if someone says "OMG that is expensive" well that's taking down my defenses and I don't need that. Something essential to handmade businesses is to focus on the quality of material (if you use it). Now you don't have to shoot down any competitors or larger businesses that make a similar product - karma will bite you in the ass for that at some point (ha!). What I tend to do is try to make the customer feel valued and unique. I am also honest, even if it takes away the sale of something, if I don't feel like it is vibing with your skin tone or hair, I might suggest something else, even if it is less expensive. One of the worst things you can have is an unhappy customer. I wouldn't want someone to buy something and then regret it or think oh she let me get this but it really doesn't work for me. No. That is why mirrors are SO KEY to have with you. MORE THAN ONE MIRROR! The uniqueness factor is something I strive for in my business, I might make similar designs, but unless requested, I never try to make the same exact piece more than once. This makes the customer feel unique and that they have bought a one of a kind item. I find that this is important to anyone, even myself when I am a consumer, if I am going to spend my hard earned money on something I want it to mean something to me.

I know everyone has a slightly or drastically different approach to how they sell, their set up and their attitude. Confidence is key though. Without confidence in your product or art, well it just doesn't work for anyone.

Would I love to have my pieces still in a gallery or boutique - absolutely. Right now, my main focus is law school but perhaps this summer I can work on getting some of my pieces in a few boutiques. Who says you can't have two dreams at once?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Man Jewelry, Manwelry, Man Bling?

So as I am preparing for my first law school jewelry show next Friday, I have posted an invite/event listing on facebook where people can say if they want to come or not.

I have usually done only jewelry for women, because being a woman I would like to think I know what they like. But a fellow first year (1L to get into the cool law school lingo) asked me if I made some of my wood grain rings for men. I thought about it and while I have sold a lot of my pieces to MEN, I haven't made anything for them, leaving me out of a percentage of the market. I am going to make him this ring and potentially make a few other rings of varying "man finger" sizes and see what happens. Don't know unless you try right? I'd love to learn how to make cuff links.

My Recent Etsy Purchases - January 2010

I bought these owl cards, as well as some other awesome cards from etsy seller Alie Keegan I recommend that you check out her store and check out her other items. She is a prompt shipper and I LOVE the cards. As some of you might have noticed or know - I love owls and have recently been hearting all the owl items that come up on etsy that strike my fancy :)

I was lucky to receive a new iPod touch for Christmas this past year (which I am in love with), so I was on the search for a case that cushioned it as well as protected it and it would be swell if it had a pocket or two and then I found Blythe King's store on etsy. It was difficult for me to choose but I liked this item in particular because neutral and soothing and it looks secure.

I could probably write a short novel on the epic trail I have been on looking for the perfect law school bag. One that fits all my shit essentially - computer, law books, pens, highlighters, cords, phone, snack, notebooks, supplemental books. This bag is like my modern day Mary Poppins bag. In fact I showed it to my friend and she goes "I bet you could pull a lamp out of it!" hahah. But luckily I found this bag through a fellow Fashion, Design and Lifestyle team member on etsy and she too went to law school and told me that this bag worked for her - SOLD! I suggest you check out Clique Da Cour by Tiffany Gilstrap Scott. She has a TON of other awesome items and she is great at communicating with the customer, so don't hesitate to ask her any questions about her items.

I have really tried to buy more and more off etsy before I go somewhere else. I find that the items are of the highest quality and usually EXACTLY what you want and if they aren't, then you can request items and usually they can make you your custom request. Getting exactly what you want is so easy through etsy.

Amazon Night Bracelet: SOLD

Amazon Night Bracelet
Originally uploaded by karmabymorgan
My most recent sale!! Facebook has really helped my business in that it reaches everyone I know and even people I don't know through my networks. As an even bigger plus, it helps connect me with old friends, in particular my first roommate at boarding school, Hannah. She is from Germany and we reconnected on Facebook and she decided to purchase this bracelet (great taste, this is one of my most favorite bracelets!).

I am thankful for good friendships and beautiful things. I am also thankful for Hannah! :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Costa Rica circa 2007/ I want to go to there.

Originally uploaded by karmabymorgan
I loved visiting Costa Rica with my family after Thanksgiving in 2007. It was so beautiful there and we were fortunate enough to spend time in a cloud forest as well as the coast and jungle. This picture is from one of the last places we stayed and it was gorgeous, yoga classes right on the beach, incredible food, and wonderful people. I feel very fortunate that I have been able to travel and explore parts of the world. I hope that once I finish law school and work for a few years that I can take my family on an awesome vacation.

Happy Monday!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Beautiful Sunset

Beautiful Sunset
Originally uploaded by karmabymorgan
I love this photo of my NOLS Mexico Baja Sea Kayaking adventure in 2005. Taken on the Sea of Cortez near Loreto, Mexico.

The colors take me away.