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Making a living off jewelry art?

There have been some fabulous answers all with good insight. I have
a couple thoughts:

  1. I always tell my classes not to quit their day jobs until they
    have a steady clientele. This could take years.

  2. Take some business classes (this is a plug for my marketing
    class at Kate Wolf’s).

  3. Websites are fine and dandy for giving but I
    wouldn’t count on having this as your main marketing tool. Watch tv
    and you will see that huge international companies spend major bucks
    to advertise their websites, i.e., travelocity, ebay. You need to
    have an old fashioned marketing way to let people know about your

  4. You should do more than “call” your local galleries. You need to
    go in and see them. Show them your work. Meet them. See what they
    carry currently and if your work will fit in with their vision. It
    is easy for a gallery owner to say “no” on the phone, not quit so
    easy in person.

  5. What can you do to supplement your income? Take in setting?
    repairs? subcontract with a local jeweler? string beads?

  6. And it isn’t easy. We have been in the business for a couple
    decades and still find ourselves questioning our decision, but we
    always, always come back to the fact that we love the freedom and
    the frustration of being our own boss and to be makers.

Good luck…Marlene Richey

Marlene Richey
Richey Jewelry Gallery
15 Wharf . Portland . ME . 04101