Reaching Success In Jewelry Making

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One day, you buy your first plier and some rolls of wire and make your first loop. Disastrous, of course. You add one bead and painstakingly get to add the hook and you feel like the Queen of Jewelry Land. You actually get it to make a pair. Double feeling of being the queen.

Years go by and you keep working. Adding the hooks does not take hours anymore, so you start adding little embellishments, maybe a spiral loop. During these years, you learn the hard way all the ways you can make mistakes in this business. A few times along the way you decide you won't make it anymore and maybe ramble with other arts, but pliers and wire always call you back and you find yourself awake at 5 AM because you suddenly woke up with that necklace design in your head. But it's not easy. It makes you mad to think "why others can?" while you can't seem to make it. Your artist ego is frustrated. You are tired of going nowhere. Things like marketing, advertising and promoting sound like from another world. A scary world. You're an artist, you're not a salesperson. But maybe you can't quit your day job because you wouldn't bay your bills selling jewelry.

But then, one day, you start working patiently and silently. Do not argue anymore about your doomed fate and overcome yourself by working seriously, making a business plan that works and give good results soon. You find ways to promote yourself that are easy and enjoyable and learn the right way to work a business. A real one that grows and grows in many directions.

What happened to you?

Well, you just lost your ego. Your amazing power to make each of your dreams come true can now arise and materialize. Obviously you don't need this article at all but if you feel still included in the second paragraph, maybe you should keep on reading this

7 Tips to Be a Better Jeweler: The Ego Issue
According to both Buddhism and Psychology, your ego is a small angry child that never grew up. Instead of thinking rationally, we humans tend to act forced by that little child that, of course, cannot manage with an adult's issues and just cries and moans and get completely paralyzed in fear of the unknown. Surprising, ah? If you ask yourself too much things like "Why do I never have luck?" or "Why does this always happen to me?", maybe you're letting that little child control your life.

The key to personal (and world) happiness is putting that child to rest letting it flow through creative activities, love and self - acceptation, but making choices with a higher conscience. Good choices bring happiness to us and good energy to the Universe, that will flow back to us through opportunities helping us achieve our full potential. As artists, we are even more inclined than many other people to reach a higher state of consciousness, so it should be easier for us to understand this facts.

1: You can always make it better.
Ego says: "I'm very very good" but really, how good you are? This is a very competitive world and you must be objective about the quality of your work. How can your jewels be improved? Can they be safer? Have you double-checked everything before you package it? Are you selling something that may eventually break or fall off?
Remember that the kind of customer that you will die for is one that looks for quality and durability. A very good question to ask yourself is "Would I pay that money for this jewel?"

2: You can always treat your customers better.
Ego says "Making that custom gift box is really hard work, and for free!" Please, be more respectful with your customers! Some of the money they pay for a (never forget that) completely unnnecessary item you sell is very hard-earned! From all the jewelers around they've chosen YOU! There is always time to add and extra gift for a good customer. As artisans we need customers that come back again and again, and that always think of you first when they need a special jewel for their social events or gifts. We need a customer that speaks wonderfully of our work and bring new customers with them so, what do people find when they meet you, whether if the meeting is at your studio or at your booth? Treat them all the same, whether if they make big of small buyings. Know them as much as you can and try to put all your best efforts to make them feel at home with you.

3. Work hard to find your own style.
Ego says "Oh, my style is truly unique!" but the truth is that there is almost no such thing in jewelry business, or in any art business. Finding your own way includes a LOT of constant learning and humility. Strive to make the jewel you really dream of and do not feel pressured by what you can sell or whom you can sell to. If your pieces breath uniqueness they will sell out.

4. Give and Teach as much as you take and learn from others.
Ego says "oh, if I share my techniques everyone will make copys of my work and sell more than me for sure" Really, have you heard how childish that sounds? Change your view about yourself and ask yourself if someone could envision you as a master in your particular style.

Sharing your techniques, whether as downloadable files for small prices (tutorials are usually very cheap) or simply for free like I'm doing now, will not only improve your business karma wonderfully, but also will make you get a lot of respect from learners and professionals alike. Building a good reputation will mean a good percentage of your sales one day, but you have to start now.

5: Forget about inspiration
Ego says: "I'm an artist, I can't work if I'm uninspired"-well, and Pablo Picasso said inspiration exists, but it has to find you working. Who do you believe? I chose to believe Master Pablo, of course. Inspired or not, work everyday. I'm sure there are a lot of "office issues" like web updating, taking better pictures of your items, making tags or whatever that you have pending, as we all have, that you can make it on your uninspired time. My husband is an electrician company director and he goes to work everyday, whether if he's inspired or not! Why should I have that privilege?

6. You can make your own ways to sell and promote your work
Ego says "I'm an artist, I can't deal with sales and publicity. That's not what an artist is supposed to be." Something I really hear a lot. I truly believe that, as artists, we are even more able to sell ourselves than other professionals because creativity is the real key to publicity success. The true instinct to find beauty is inside every true artist. Though I think is essential to read a good quantity of marketing articles, we have an ability to create that is a natural advantage. Again, change your point of view about yourself and create new ways to promote your work.


7. Don't take critiques personally
Ego says "Oh, that person I don't know at all thinks my jewelry is awful-I am a complete failure!" Well, you don't like everything, so don't expect your jewelry to be loved by everyone. What a person says about your work may be influenced by many things that do not have to do with your work at all. Be always ready to follow positive advice inmediatly, but don't let other people's feelings reflect on you self image. Remember, maybe that person is also talking through her/his little angry child!



Epilogue
Learning the business takes time and effort. There is no instant success and if there is, it will pass soon leaving you wondering what you did wrong- and making you learn another good lesson - which should always be seen as a valuable thing. I am personally guilty and all crimes said above and in many, many more that have turned into a deeper knowledge of myself, my work as an artist and the world around me. I am very proud of all my mistakes, in fact!

We all are on an endless road of personal growing, with no finish line. There is always someone wiser than us and someone that may need our advice as well. I really hope this article helps you in your way to reach complete success; knowing that you've found your way is one of the highest feelings a person can have- and you deserve to have it too.
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