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Change of Direction

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  • Change of Direction

    This year has had it's up's and downs and I know is not over yet. I have felt that I have lost direction from the core of the business that I originally set up, swayed by people advising me in the direction my product should go, saying do this or that item and it will sell.

    The funny thing is I did better when I was doing what I loved best and designing on my own and not making what people wanted to see but in the end did not buy.

    So I have made a decision I am going to have a sale of my product line before Christmas along with raw materials, beads etc. Then have a break and in the New Year start again but at a reduced quantity level and back to what I know worked and I loved doing. Designing and making things that could not be bought in the shops.

    Has any one else taken this route as I would be interested in hearing how you got on.

    Why did I end up going down the wrong route in the first place. My website currently holds a few of the things I love to make, maybe because I have not been happy with the newer stuff this is why I have not bothered to photograph, narrative etc. It seems looking back that I am what is called a people pleaser, in other words a doormat. Ironically what sold at my open evening were the tried and tested products that customers recognise me for, that was my light bulb moment, realising that I have got to be true to myself and my abilities.

    Sorry for the rant as to all intent and purposes Tuesday was successful and I now know I am getting back on track.

    Decisions now do I put the raw materials on ebay/Dawanda or my website any suggestions would be gratefully received.

  • #2
    Well done, you! That's what I do too - make stuff you simply can't buy anywhere else...

    I'd hang on to them, and see if you can re-use them in other ways...
    Last edited by Scorch; 20-11-2008, 06:16 PM.

    Scorch's Pyrography :
    Crafts on Flickr :


    • #3
      Although I have only been making jewellery for a relatively short time, I can only ever bring myself to make items that I would wear myself and that I feel are "me". It wouldn't interest me to make pieces just because they were commercial or following a trend, after all you can get that kind of stuff from mass-market outlets. You have made the right decision in my humble opinion, be true to yourself and you will be a lot happier.


      • #4
        Oh, that said, I do take commissions that aren't to my personal taste, I hasten to add. In that case, they customer gets what THEY want!

        Scorch's Pyrography :
        Crafts on Flickr :


        • #5
          Thank you Janet and Scorch for your support.

          As you said Scorch I do not mind doing commissions, their choice they can pay for it but in general I want to do what I like and enjoy making, not what can be seen in any high street retailer.


          • #6
            Mmm, I think you've done the right thing! I reckon it's a waste of time making the same stuff as everybody else, as well as being no fun at all...

            Scorch's Pyrography :
            Crafts on Flickr :


            • #7
              I think you've come to the right decision too - I always find that if someone enjoys what they are making then it shows in the finished product and also in your enthusiasm when it comes to selling said items. The other good thing about your decision is that if its something that no-one else sells then people have to buy it from you.

              If I'm honest, we have diversified a bit over the last few years - but in a way that works for us. We originally got into the markets selling bought in costume jewellery and hair accessories. I slowly introduced some of my own jewellery and it people seemed to like it. We took a good look at our accounts and realised that we weren't making much out of the hair accessories and we also thought that there were too many people selling bought in stuff so we took the plunge and just went for it with our own designs. From that decision, Urbtaf started to take an interest in semi-precious stones and his love of them grew to the point where we now sell those as well. It works for us cos we love what we do and the bonus is that we are the only people selling what we sell on our market. Our business is growing steadily and we're doing what we love. What more could we ask for!

              And it never fails to amuse me when I see the faces of the sales reps that come round offering to supply us with all our jewellery - they soon shut up and leave when I tell them "no thank you - I make it all myself!"

              If we can do it then so can you. I say go for it and start to enjoy your work again.

              Step-daughter's website selling hand dyed sock yarns

              ~ * ~ * ~ Of all the things I've ever lost, I miss my mind the most! ~ * ~ * ~


              • #8
                I think you have made the right decision.
                About 18months ago I was selling at a monthly market, It wasn't really the right venue for my jewellery, and I wasn't selling much but I had paid for the whole year so I stayed there. My mum encouraged me to add more and more things to my stall, some of which she made for me. Things like wheat bags, lavender bags, pillows, scarves, and then xmas stockings etc.
                I still didn't sell much and the market gradually descended into a glorified car boot sale and my stall was looking decidedly scruffy with a mish-mash of stuff.
                After xmas I decided to change venues and just concentrate on my jewellery. I have had good sales and bad, like all of us this year, but I am now getting known for my jewellery and have a few regular customer who will often order stuff for the next sale. I have added shopping bags and handbags made by me, but my stall looks much better and a bit more upmarket. I am also enjoying making and selling more now because it's the stuff I like making.



                • #9
                  I keep saying it, We only come this way once (I think) so it might as well be as happy a journey as possible. Go for it.
                  God helps them that help themselves.


                  • #10
                    I so agree with you, you are defiantly doing the right thing.

                    If we stick to what we love it shows through in the products we make and the passion to sell them.

                    When I started I always wanted to keep it a small business but because I was funded by the Prince's trust and another charity it was all about trying to get bigger and push the wholesale. This came to a head at the beginning of the year when I went and exhibited at the Spring Fair. This decision nearly cost me my whole business and about £2000.

                    So keep it simple and do what you love as it will make you smile and course alot less stress.


                    • #11
                      Jack (or Jill in this case) of all trades, master of none! Not exactly the case here but you have been trying to please everyone and in the process lost 'you' which is why people came to you originally.

                      I have gone with 'helpful' suggestions and it is easy to lose focus and inspiration.

                      I think your light bulb moment says it all.
                      Terry xxx
                      You can't have everything. Where would you put it all?" - Steven Wright
                      Website Twitter Facebook Blog Folksy


                      • #12
                        Absolutely right well done go ahead on your right direction.
                        my best wishes for you.


                        • #13
                          You are all so right, I diversified to meet the location I was selling in eg, Monthly Markets etc plus others suggestions.

                          I will continue to bead but I prefer seed beads, stitching intricate designs with swarovski crsytals, machine embroidery including personalisation, card making but taking the card that one step further and personalising again as long as it is different from the shops.

                          Thnak you for all your continued support, this forum proves that it works as this is what we all want to do for other crafters. Help and support.


                          • #14
                            Good for you, hope it works out for you but if it feels right it must be right.

                            I am at a crossroads myself....

                            For me when my hobby, jewellery making, became a business I lost my hobby - maybe some of you have found this? But when you have to make something when you would rather be doing something else and have a day job to boot it can all get pretty stressful. i have recently refound knitting and dressmaking after a few years break and am really getting a lot of pleasure in knitting hats and making skirts for my little girl x


                            • #15
                              I'd say definitely stick to your guns and focus on what you love rather than what other people think you should be doing. I frequently get people going on at me to focus on wedding jewellery because "that's where the money is", but although I do make some wedding jewellery (which I will finally get round to putting on my website in the New Year!) it isn't where my real interest lies. Plus my one attempt to make a tiara was a disaster and I hated doing it .

                              Best of luck with your future choices!
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