Hey Eric, I’ll pass on the advice I recieved on how to make a slow
transition into jewelry making professionally, as opposed to a
head-first full time leap.
Galleries are a good way to do this - the kind that sells local (or
national) artists work and takes a percentage of the sales (usually
40-50%). It would probably be difficult for you to build up enough
inventory to do retail or wholesale shows, and selling in a gallery
will help you build confidence and know what will sell (though this
will depend much on the galleries clientelle, location, etc.) The
galleries are usually located in the turisty parts of town, where
passerbys are likely to stop in for a look. Prices are often quite
high as well, and customers expect that since the jewelry is often
hand made - not the run of the mill stuff you see in most “fine
Depending on what types of jewelry you make, a good way to get into
a gallery is to build up a collection of 5-15 pieces of jewelry to
present to gallery owners. If it works out well for you then you
can get into more galleries and start making a living from it…
then switch over to doing shows, or wherever you want to go.
Another way to go is using a jewelry rep, but I don’t know much
about how this works. There have been a couple threads about this
in the recent past so you can check the Orchid archives on it.