Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's Not Work If You Love What You Do!

 Recently, I found myself pondering over all the odd jobs I had been lucky enough to have in my lifetime. I remembered one of my first attempts at employment was working in a small inconspicuous fast food place. The kind of place where grease is so prevalent that it should be listed as an entree on the menu! I was young, green and found myself having to quickly learn how to count change back the customer.

Over the years my employment history varied from car wash attendant to store manager to payroll clerk to framer to painter to Avon Lady and on and on until I finally retired as a cryptologic technician in the U.S. Navy. My jobs were each as different as night and day.

While day dreaming about all my various escapades I realized that the ones I excelled at the most were the ones that I truly loved to do. It's a simple concept, but one that we often forget to practice. How can you do something to the best of your ability if you really don't love doing it?

Today, my primary goal in everything I do is to have fun with it, and to find that part of it that I love doing, and do it! I found my love of stained glass and jewelry making years ago, and have since enjoyed many years of creating and sharing my passion for both of these arts with my family, friends and customers. I've created many friendships with a vast array of artisans because of my love for these two art forms. I can honestly say that my life has been greatly enriched by having pursued my passion in these two fields.

My hope is that each of you will find a job that you love doing. One that you go to bed dreaming about, and then awake in the morning eager to do it. If you're an artisan, then you already know what I mean, but if you're not, maybe you ought to let your creativity take a walk on the wild side.

To get your imagination going I suggest you check out Issue 4 of the Copper Wire Jewelers Magazine. It's a highly informative online magazine filled with a multitude of designs and well written articles to help get even the slowest of creative juices flowing. I've posted the magazine toward the bottom of this page, so you've no excuse not to thumb threw it. Oh, and yes, we are again happy to announce that we have made it into the 16, thanks to Lois and her publishing companions Meredith and Dani at Hot Glue Media.

Enjoy the read!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Top 5 Art & Craft Show Display Mistakes

Booth Design
For those of us who depend on art and craft fairs as our primary marketing venue, we know too well that our booth is our storefront. When I have completed the setup of my booth, I always step back and view it as if I were a potential customer.
The prominence of my jewelry displays is key to whether the next customer walking by might venture into my booth or not.
A good booth design shows the artists attention to detail. The customer always responds to an artist with a sense of style and flair. A well thought out design will reward you time and again with more sales.

Too Much Merchandise
So you’ve made a lot of things and you want to try to sell them all. Remember, although variety is the spice of life, there’s nothing wrong with displaying some of your best pieces and holding the rest back to fill the gaps as they are sold.
If a customer does request a specific item, you can always bring out the “ones you didn’t have room for”. This is very intriguing to a lot of customers who will either ask to see your extra stock (and usually buy something from it), or will return to your booth several times to see what else you have put out.

Too Little Merchandise
There’s nothing worse than walking into a booth expecting to find all kinds of unique and beautiful things to look at, only to find the booth is half-empty. You feel as if you’ve just wasted your time.
There’s a negative vibe that is felt within the entire space. This unprofessional appearance leads people to think you may be going out of business and could make them leery of buying anything from you.
Always plan ahead and make more than you think you will need. The smaller items are quicker to produce, so make more of them. The larger items take more time, so have fewer, but more elaborate ones. If all else fails, take orders!

Booth lighting really depends on the show you are doing. If you’re doing an inside show your lighting requirements may not be the same as an outside show. A general rule of thumb is if you want to showcase a display, then light it up. This can be accomplished in many ways.
Flood lights from the top middle of your tent are always effective. If you have a lamp or light source close by you can always incorporate it into your display. String icicle lights around the top of the inside of your tent, or work them throughout your display for a festive look. Be creative in your lighting design and your merchandise will roll of the shelf and out the door!

Be Accessible
Be the owner. Show people that you care about your work and are eager to share it and answer questions about it. You are the most important part of your booth. Be friendly, but don’t hang over them. Smile and encourage them to browse. You have a lot invested and this is your time to show your professional expertise and knowledge. Relax and have fun!