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What have we learnt this year?

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  • What have we learnt this year?

    Well, I know it's not quite the end of the year,but as I've been officially in business for just over a year now I thought I would have a bit of a ramble on here and share with you all 10 things that I have learnt in my first year in business.

    1. You will almost never make as much money as you think. At best, I now expect my jewellery business to become a self funding hobby, but that is still a little way off.

    2. People actually like my designs 'YAY' - when you put so much of yourself into a piece, it is a great boost when someone likes it enough to part with their money.

    3. Not everyone who organises craft fairs should do - some have been well organised, brilliant in fact, others have been a shambles. Those who have no organisational skills should stick to doing something that doesn't require them!!

    4. Following on from 3, ask loads of questions of the organiser, I have been guilty of not doing that for some of the local xmas fairs as I've just wanted to get my diary booked up and get out there, some of them weren't worth doing in all honesty. Good fairs get booked up quickly.

    5. Be brave and approach shops about your work - I have been met with some refusals, but never rudeness and everyone has been nice about my jewellery.

    6. A bit of bluster and can go a long way, provided you are nice about it. I managed to get a free table at a 'designer' shopping event by putting on my 'best phone voice' and telling the organiser I was a an independent artisan jewellery designer spe******ing in one-off pieces and a member of an internationally recognised organisation (SRAJD) and blah di blah etc. None of it a lie, but I certainly found that 'bigging myself up' a bit worked wonders!!

    7. The public still think that crafts = knitted doilies & jam! THEY WILL NEVER LEARN!

    8. Keep records and update them regularly - this isn't just from this year of experience, I've been doing accounts for my OH for 5 years now, and things are a lot easier if you organise as you go.

    9. There are loads of wnderful and supportive people out there who will freely offer help if you ask. Just look at this place if you want an example

    10. Have fun with what you do - I've ventured into jewellery styles I didn't think I would ever do (overly grand ideas at the beginning you see) but I still enjoy sitting down for a few hours and tinkering with my beads. The moment it stops being a hobby and becomes a chore is the day you need to stop and think about what YOU want out of it.

    Anyways, that's quite enough from me - if anyone wants to comment or share their thoughts I'll welcome them, otherwise you can just sit there and chuckle at the ramblings of a slightly bored person

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  • #2
    Hi Claire. I think that there is a lot of truth in what you say and I agree with just about all of it. I'm glad that you have got through your first year, learnt some lessons and have produced some lovely jewellery (I can say that 'cos I've seen it!) I hope next year is even better for you.


    • #3
      All good points Claire! I would add to them with:

      11) Never go anywhere without some business cards. There are so many opportunities to give them to people.

      12) If you have planned to spend the morning updating your website, that is the day that it will crash. Handcrafted Sterling Silver Jewellery Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads
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      • #4
        Great advice lady. I will take on board all of them


        • #5
          13) Never go anywhere without wearing a piece of your jewellery.

          I try and mention that I make jewellery to people and give them a bus. card but if you're not wearing any then you miss out on showing them an example.