Thursday, May 7, 2009

Just wondering....

I've been thinking a lot about my jewelry-making ways. I just can't seem to figure out what makes my jewelry so unsellable. I like to do necklaces in different styles, use different materials, and therefore have a wide range of choices in my Etsy shop. Maybe a bad idea? I'm wondering if I should make one "kind" of necklace only, and see if having a certain "style" would help my sales. Maybe I'm confusing people. If they are looking for a certain type of necklace, probably nobody would say," Hey, MsAnomaly makes those. I'll look in her shop!" Nope, probably not. It's because I don't make only "those." I make summa them, fewa that, couple'a this, a buncha these, and of course, those, too.

My biggest problem with sticking to one style of jewelry; boredom. My boredom. When I make the same thing over and over and over, it gets tedious, I get bored (there's no challenge anymore), and then I hate doing it. It's work, not fun. It's production, not art. It's efficiency, not creativity. I was not made to be cranking out identical items like a one-woman jewelry factory.

O.K. , maybe I'm being selfish and unfair to my family. Maybe I should throw all my necklaces to the crowds at the next Mardi Gras parade, be rid of them, and get that "real" job. Maybe not.

Truth is, I have a "passion." I really, really love taking discarded old jewelry and other vintage stuff, trying to fit it all together into an interesting design, and bringing all the pieces back as something new and unique. The necklaces shown here are some of the ones I had the the most fun making. I thought, "Oh, this will sell!" I thought wrong. So, I've kept them, and I wear them, and when I do, people say, "Oh, I love your necklace!" I tell them I made it, and it is for sale. When I tell them the price, I get instant hesitation. So, I give them one of my business cards for my Etsy shop. Doesn't seem to work. Few views; few sales. Are my prices too high? From what I've read in the Etsy forums, the "holy grail" is: Don't underprice your merchandise! Gee, I don't even factor in minimum wage for myself in the cost of the necklaces! I work for nothin'! I just can't figure out where I've gone so terribly wrong.

Another thing, I am recycling. That's supposed to be a big thing right now. Nobody seems to realize that, but I am SERIOUSLY recycling. What can you do with a broken old brooch? an old toy? a lone earring? some strangely ugly yet beautifully interesting beads? a space shuttle? ;) I love that challenge. It's what drives my creativity. Plus, it's a lot more fun than buying packages of new beads and stringing them one, two; bead, spacer; blah, blah; zzzz, zzzz.

Maybe it's me. I'm just not a "dinky pendant on a plain chain," or "plain string of pearls" kinda girl. I like unique (overused word, I know, but it's the best there is for what I make). Am I putting too much of "me" into my jewelry? I don't know if I could put much of anybody else into it...after all, I am the artisan! Sigh. Sigh, sigh, sigh. Well, I guess all frustration aside, I'll just keep doing what I love to do, and know how to do. I'll hold on to the ideology/illusion that I can make interesting jewelry. Maybe when I'm dead it'll sell like hotcakes. Joy.