Saturday, December 20, 2008

We've received a foot of snow in the past 24 hours. I've used my time fairly well, having posted 20 pieces of new jewelry to the website. As the year winds down I can feel my anxiety rise as the start of a new year is never a good time for my business. November and December were very good (especially given the economic state of this country) and now I need to focus on other avenues to bring in business if I want to be able to survive as a small business owner. I am doing as much networking as I can muster, given that it is not natural for me to try and "sell" myself or my jewelry. If I could I would likely have a PR person doing that for me so that I could stay in my studio and create. But alas, that's not my situation. I'm usually signed up for a number of craft fairs by this time of the year, but I haven't committed to anything for next year. My fear and hesitation is that it may not be a good year for shows and I don't want to commit the money until I have a better sense of what things will be like. I will likely apply for some, but not as many as in the past. I believe I did 20 or more shows this year. It was exhausting, and only half of them were successful financially. I would love to hear from others who are struggling with similar thoughts.


  1. Congrats on the new blog, Terry! I love your jewelry so much, and as a small business owner myself, I understand how hard it is for you to promote yourself. But that's why you have us - those of us who are such big fans of your work! All of us who wear your jewelry are walking ads for you - when people compliment me on one of your pieces, I give them a whole spiel about you and suggest that they check out your website and/or contact you when they're looking for gifts for friends and family. I always stress that you're a local artisan, because I know lots of folks around here are into buying local. Good luck - I look forward to future posts!

  2. I have the same fears when it comes to those craft shows. As a result we only did one this holiday season. I can only get myself to the less expensive ones so that at least we won't be in the hole if it is not successful. I know I know, it takes money to make money, but ....

  3. I so agree. I did a couple of shows that cost me close to $500 a piece and I just made back my fees - they each took three days of my time for so little. I think I will also stick to shows close to home that are not so expensive. Of course if I would stop buying beads and sterling I would have more money. I am really trying to spend less, only replacing what I really need, and using up some of what I have collected. I have enough to open a bead store, which has crossed my mind. But the bead stores in this area haven't been doing very well either.

  4. The blog is a terrfic idea. Your honesty has always made you my hero. The new jewelry pieces you are doing are great. Your technique and style keeps changing and growing. luv it.

  5. Hi Terry. Best wishes with your new blog. Thank you for the invitation to join in the conversation. I was struck by your comment about the seasonal changes in your business. As a business and executive coach, I notice a real decline in coaching sessions in Nov. and Dec. I get referrals but it is a difficult time for people to commit to 'just one more thing'. Summers are typically less busy as well...all that vacationing. Knowing this about my business, I try to use that time to get organized, plot new ideas, write articles, stuff that I can't seem to do when the client schedule is full. I look forward to it now and just pace my finances accordingly. Mind you, it took about 4 years for me to figure this all out. How do you take advantage of your cycles?

    As to networking and 'selling' myself...I hear you on that one. I was actually resentful of the need to do that initially. So much of my success with networking has come from both practice/exposure and a shift in attitude. I now refer to it as finding and building relationships. I put the 'selling' part in the background and it helps me to sail through events.

    I don't know what lies ahead this year. I just keep my creative juices flowing and do my best to surround myself with positive energy. Thinking smart helps too. I chose two conference to focus all my energy on this year rather than try to have a presence at too many. This way, I can get excited about making my first 'touch' with as many women as possible at these events. Then, I move forward to build a relationship with them over the months following the event.

    Great talking with you. Missed you at BNI the past two weeks. Happy Holidays all.

  6. Hi Terry, If you decide to buck the snow and come to Florida - you might consider looking in to the A & C shows in the various areas within the Tri-County. We just had one on Los Olas Blvd.
    Congrat's on becoming a grand parent. I was not aware that Windy was pregnant. How exciting for you and Elaine.
    Keep up your good work. Maybe a fairy God -mother will pass by and take over your operation for a hefty fee... NO I am not drinking!!!
    Take care ,