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
Richey Jewelry Gallery
15 Wharf . Portland . ME . 04101