Thursday, September 12, 2013

I'm a bad blogger...

I really can't say what's up with me and blogging.  I used to love to blog and to read others blogs as well.  It used to be one of the first things I did in the morning.  Now I do check out Feedly or Bloglovin once in awhile to see if anyone has anything of interest to share.  But it's more of an afterthought.  Or when I'm waiting for the kids at school.  Kinda like, I don't have anything else to do, I may as well read some blogs.

I think it all started around the time google reader went bye bye.  I don't know, it could be a lot of different things.  Truth be told I'm not feeling really pumped up about anything just now.  I think I'm going through a little bout of depression. 

I'm trying really hard not to just dump into the world all the negativity that I'm feeling.  I think it's just me, although I think most makers can relate.  There is one issue that  keeps constantly circling around in my thoughts, and that is the perceived value of my work.

Now, I know not everyone really realizes what it is I do and the amount of work it takes to do it.  I guess I'm a little frustrated at being seen as a hobbyist rather than as a professional.  The "hobbyist" feeling I get is from my acquaintances who ask me how much something I make is.  Some people are smoother than others about telling you what you are asking is too much for them.   Sometimes they don't respond at all.  Then they go tell mutual acquaintances that what you make is nice, "but it's soooo expensive!".  The worst is when they tell you that they've decided to just go ahead and get something at charming charlie's.  I'm certain they don't realized that telling a maker such as myself something like that is like taking a knife and driving it straight into my gut. 

My work is made with quality recycled silver and gemstones.  I use natural stones cut by lapidary artists in the US.  My work is not mass produced, plated crap made by workers being paid a low wage from overseas.  But, I get it.  Not everyone wants  a piece of jewelry that will last a lifetime.  They'd rather go with trends that might be worn for a season and that's it.  That's fine.  I get it.  Just please don't compare my work to crap.

The huge conundrum, and the real slap in the face, is that I am constantly struggling with pricing my work so that it will sell.  Charging enough not to piss off the other makers who know I should be asking more for it, yet still trying to cover my costs, labor and profit that will allow me to keep creating.  It is a constant struggle and I know I'm not the only one in that boat, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating.

I had someone contact me about doing a local show.  In my early days of doing this I would have jumped at the chance.  But, I have a little experience behind me now.  I asked how many other jewelry vendors there were going to be, and if any of them were franchises like Stella & Dot or Origami Owl.  Sure enough, Stella and the owl were going to be there.  I declined by politely stating I make it a personal policy not to vend at locales that don't offer a 100% handmade show.  I just can't compete with mass produced plated jewelry that is manufactured overseas.  When people see the prices and realize they could get one small necklace from me, or three from Origami Owl what do you think they'll get?  I just wasn't willing to pay a $ 150 booth fee to see people look at my work and then go buy from the mass producers.  ugh.

So, if you love one of a kind jewelry.  Stuff that not everyone and their mother is wearing, hand crafted with loving care using quality heirloom materials, then you are in the right place.  I love my customers, they make all this frustration worth while. 


  1. I feel your pain Amy. I'm sorta feeling the same way again myself. HUGS x x

    1. it seems like I get a handle on dealing with it, only to have it come back again. Thanks Em! I think it's stuff we will always have to deal with periodically.... Thank you for always supporting me! :)

  2. Amy - You have been such an inspiration for me! I am in awe of all you are able to accomplish. You have beautiful quality pieces, and I love that you are always experimenting and trying new styles.

    I also have been so disappointed in selling this year. The venues that I did well at last year, have not done well at all this year. I stopped doing shows for the same reason you did. I am not going to lower my prices to compete. I also sell one of kind, handcrafted jewelry using fine silver and gems. I am mailing an application tomorrow for a show in town that has only handcrafted items and is a juried show. I hope I get into it because I do love finding out the stories of the people I sell to.

    I enjoy your blog and hope you will keep it up, even if you only get to it once in awhile. Thank you for being such an inspiration!

    1. Thank you so much Michele! Your words have brightened my day. Every little bit of encouragement chips away at self doubt. I hope you get into that juried show!!! That would be so great. One day I hope to have the guts to try to get into one. :) Your support means the world.. Thanks so much...