Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm going to the Emmys...

Well, my jewelry is anyway!

The other day an awesome artisan and new friend, Tina of Tina Dean Designs, sent me an email suggesting that I might be interested in joining a group called The Artisan Group.

Well, Yay Tina... this group turned out to be a professional art promotions group that represents talented artisans by giving them the opportunity to have their products exposed to celebrities and the press at major award show gift lounges. The group is run by two talented ladies, Valerie and Nikki, who combined have tons of experience in this kind of thing and provide loads of advice and inspiration.

Before actually joining, I have to admit, I was skeptical. I mean it's just not everyday that you run into an opportunity this cool. So, as I usually do with such things, I googled the heck out of everyone involved. :) Everything checked out and was 100% legit so I joined the group.

Now, being a member of the group, although it is juried and you must be approved for inclusion, was fairly easy. Once signed up I joined in on the conversations on FB with some very talented artisans and I was happy to be a part of the group's friendly and supportive atmosphere.

But actually having your items be included in the celebrity gift bags is a whole different story and not all group members decide to take the plunge. It involves committing to producing 100 items and packaging them well, coming up with a cool display piece for the group's exhibit table, and paying a fee to cover the costs of participating in the event. I couldn't decide. It was a LOT of work and expense. On one hand, I thought, it was an amazing opportunity that I shouldn't pass up because of a bit of extra work... on the other hand, I was swamped with summer shows and such. I was also very worried that little old me would be lost in all the iPads, cruises, Rolexes and such that are given to the celebs by big name labels.

hmmm... what to do!

Two things helped me make my decision:

--the first came when The Artisan Group was invited to participate in GBK's Primetime Emmy Awards Gift Lounge -- GBK is *the* celebrity gifting organization; they sponsor nearly all of Hollywood's hottest gift lounges which means much BIGGER exposure by celebs and press. HUGE advantage.

--the second was a matter of taking risk. I've been struggling with direction lately, not know which direction to take my business. I don't want to be doing art and craft shows in 5 or 10 years. There are very happy jewelry artists who do this, but it's not where I want to be. So I started thinking, what's the difference? How do you make a change? How do you get to be where you really want to be? I decided it's by taking a risk, putting yourself out there for possible failure, but also for extreme opportunity and success. By deciding to put aside the fears, the cost issues, the thoughts of sleepless nights, and just jump in head first. Seeing it from that perspective I felt better instantly; I like the thought of being a risk taker. I read something recently about making a personal statement that said think about what you'd like people to be able to say about you at your funeral and strive to be that person. Besides being a great Mom and wife, I want to be known as a great artist, a world traveler, and a risk taker, it has a good ring to it!

Anyway, I did it! I committed to a journey that I'm hoping will lead to huge success ...or at least one great photo of a celeb wearing my earrings!

:D

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring: The Beginning of Show Season

Show season is starting, and unfortunately, so is the rainy and windy season! Spring is exciting because everyone is going outside, ready to cruise handmade shows and markets and bask in the sun... when the sun is out that is! Lol.

Shows are a challenge in the rain (obviously) but even more so in the wind. It requires some creative thinking to ensure that all displays, and more importantly, items for sale stay put when it's windy. I use a lot of river rocks to weigh things down, tape to secure displays and signs, and my display tends to stay closer to the table surface rather than up high on shelves. Securing the display is definitely tricky but securing the tent is detremental, no one wants their tent flying off into the horizon (or into someone else's display)! Really heavy tent leg weights are the key, enough to hold the tent down in mega wind is important. I've seen people literally hanging from the roof beams of their tent to keep it in place! Not good... it's kinda hard to chat with customers, answer questions, and sell your goods while hanging from your tent!

The worst thing about rain and wind at a show, though, is that fewer people come out to shop. So, please, remember us die-hard vendors out there, hanging onto our tents in the rain and wind, and come out and say hi and maybe pick up a handmade item for yourself of a friend.

I have a couple of shows lined up already and am waiting to hear back from a couple more. I hope to see you at one this summer.

Check my website for current show info: AWEjewelry
and LIKE me on Facebook: AWEjewelry