Monday, October 24, 2011

Renaissance & the Tabla Rasa

Okay, well, maybe let's be a little less lofty and call it "Renewal."

My official jewelry making enterprise is now well over 5 years old,and I've faced some of the realities of the world of business vs. the fantasy of making things. And survived; my love for making things and working with the people who wear them, intact.

Here are a couple things I discovered:

1. Selling greater quantities of jewelry to a retail shop for next to no profit isn't worth it. The audience may have increased but the ability to meet your customers and please them is gone. So is the incentive.

2. When it comes to shopping, we will never be able to compete with the Cheap and the Imported (henceforth known as CH&I) - and we shouldn't try. What we make is one of a kind, made here locally by individuals that our customers can meet and talk with. There is no substitute for something personal, original and handmade. Not to mention unique.

3. The above realizations notwithstanding, that is the only bad news I have after my slightly-less-than-a-decade as a real business.

4. And the good news is partly to be found in a four-letter word: ETSY. More on that later. I'll be writing on that tabla rasa.