by Kelli Pope
The past few weeks have been a blur. Sleep, go to work, make jewelry. Sleep, go to work, make jewelry. Repeat. 3 shows in 4 weeks. 2 are in the books, and the last one is this weekend.
As the shows were approaching, I tried to come up with how many pieces I would need by looking at my highest show sales to date, and multiplying that by 3.... and then some. BIG, BIG number. The first show was good, but a little below average. Bad because it was out of town, farther than I'd gone before, and expenses were higher. Good because it left me with more inventory going into the next 2 shows..... or so I thought. Then came Summerfair, Cincinnati My first year there. WHAT A SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!! SO incredibly well done, hundreds of volunteers. Incredibly well organized. And even though I continued to make jewelry at the show, I thought I was going to run out. Incredible!!! It almost doubled my biggest show ever. EVER. So once again, let me say,
THANK YOU CINCINNATI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just before typing this, I read Staci's most recent post about marketing yourself. SO much rang true with me. Especially after this show. I went from disbelief, to overjoyed, to tears. Actual tears on Sunday afternoon. Tears of joy and just.......... just overwhelming emotion at how much I'd sold, the compliments and "acceptance", and the incredible blessing of it all. My jewelry is not every one's cup of tea. I get that. NO problem. But the people who liked it and bought it, and lots who didn't buy, were so very complimentary, it was just overwhelming. The very idea that we, as artists, can pour our passion, imagination and creativity into something, and it be so very well received and appreciated by others is an incredible joy.
If there is one piece of advice I would give anyone starting out, it is make what you love. If it is truly your passion, then pour your passion into it. Don't just make what you think others want. Don't copy others. Be true to yourself and to your gift, and share it with others. They will thank you for it. And you will be blessed. :o) It takes time. It takes making some mistakes, and you will definitely have some pieces for the "shelf of shame", (I think I have 2 shelves!) but you'll get better and better and better.
Since I need to get my behind upstairs and make jewelry so I have something to sell this weekend, I'll leave you with some shots from the Cincy show.
Now, Staci Lou if I can just find the time (and energy) to build up and sell from my FB page. I must have been asked 100 times if I sold online!! That's the next hurdle!