He suggested I go there and speak about my work. I just could not,
as my "don't be proud" message from my parents rang loud and clear
in my ears.
Teresa, you worked hard to create that jewelry. You deserve to be
proud of what you have made.
It is hard to unlearn things that were drilled into you when you
were younger, but it can be done. It's not wrong to be proud of
yourself for successfully learning a skill and producing something
that's beautiful. Not everybody can do what you do. There's no shame
in being proud of your accomplishments.
I'd like to suggest that you read some of what "FlyLady" has to say
at www.flylady.net. On the surface, this site aims to help
disorganized people clear the clutter from their homes. But the woman
who is behind the FlyLady name really aims to help people overcome
pre-programmed 'stinking thinking'-- such as "don't be proud", or
"I'm no good because I'm fat", or "I can't keep a clean house because
I'm lazy". She's not a professional psychologist, but she's really
very good at what she does!
As for "selling". I'm not a good sales closer either, but I'm
learning. I only sell at shows catering to pet owners, so my normal
venue is similar to an art fair..
My father, who made jewelry as a hobby for 30+ years, would pick up
things off his craft show tables and hand them to total strangers,
asking what they thought of the item. If they didn't like it, he'd
find something different and hand that to them instead. Oddly enough,
it worked pretty well for him. But I can't be so pushy.
I got the Bruce Baker CDs and listened to them, and adopted a few
things that felt 'safe' as a starting point.
I've found that a simple smile and a hello, followed by something
like "If there's anything on a display that you'd like to see, feel
free to pick it up.
Jewelry is meant to be touched.", or "If there's something in a case
that you'd like to see, just ask and I'll get it out for you." puts
people more at ease.
Then I do something non-threatening but easily interrupted, like
polish a piece of jewelry, clean a case front or put a jump ring on a
charm. I'm there, I'm available, but I'm not hovering over them.
I've also found that if I can make people laugh a little, they relax,
and then I relax more. If someone says something vague like "you
have nice things here", I smile and thank them, and tell them that
this is what I do to keep from having to get a real job. (It's true!)
They laugh, and the ice is broken. If they're still looking at the
jewelry at that point, then I'll ask if they're looking for something
in particular. That's one of Mr. Baker's biggest "no-nos" --never ask
a 'yes or no' question, because it allows the conversation to come to
an abrupt end if they say 'no'. If they say no, then I give them a
business card and ask them to remember me if they think of something
they need later. If they say yes, then it's just a matter of finding
out what they want, and providing it.
Feathered Gems Pet Jewelry