After much soul searching, teeth grinding and sleepless nights, I’ve
finally made the decision to make my “hobby” into a business.
Fortunately, I have a very supportive husband who has, so far, funded
my addiction to metal, and has provided me with a fully equipped
shop, so at this point my largest expenditures are?purchasing raw
materials. I was a CFO of a specialty manufacturing firm until a
couple of years ago when I just walked in one day and quit. I’ll be
65 this year, so I probably should know better, but I figure that
after giving up a significant salary on a whim, opening a jewelry
business in a down economy? should be a snap, right? I have a BS in
accounting (I’ve always thought BS was appropriate for accounting
:>)), and an MBA, so hopefully those will help me with the business
side. I’ve been to the SBA, waste of time, BTW, and have had a number
of people offer advice on what to do next. I’ve ignored all those
suggestions until I could get the real scoop from the experts - the
collective knowledge of the Orchid Forum.
I am basically a self-taught “silversmith” even though I have taken
a number of classes at both JC Campell Folk School and Arrowmont, as
well as private classes. I’ve been making sterling silver jewelry
for about 3 years and have been selling it, mostly wholesale, for
about 1 year. I also like to combine silver with gemstones and have
sold some of that jewelry?also. Now I’d like to start doing a few
small shows and try to get my work into a?some small galleries.
I want to thank all of you for the wealth of knowledge I’ve gained
from reading the forum every day. I’ve been to many of your websites
and drooled over the beautiful things you create. I want to learn to
work in gold, but that is for later. Now, I need your advice on some
things, if you would be so kind.
A search of the archives turned up a lot of info Re: booths; but
I couldn’t find anything on signage, i. e., what size should my
"banner" be for an 8x10 booth? Also, should there be anything on it
other than my name and logo? I’ve already been accepted to two small
local shows, one Sep 13-14, the other Nov 13-15, so I need to have
some kind of sign made. Both shows provide pipe and drape, and one
table, so I don’t have to worry about that immediately. I already
have some cases and lights, but could use advice on low cost display
I’ve already received a lot of good advice from the forum about
setting up a website so I won’t ask anything about that at this time.
The domain name I would like to have “Frog Pond Studio” is already
in use by an artist, so I’ll have to come up with a different name
for my website, or else use. org or. biz. A problem for later.
After massive research I’ve selected a credit card processor and
after reading all the latest posts Re: Amex, I’ve decided to not make
a decision on that issue at this time. I’m set up to accept it so
I’ll just see what happens.
One of the shows I’m doing is a bridal expo, and bridal jewelry
is really not my thing, but it will get my name out there. I’ve made
a lot of beaded jewelry in the past, so right now I’m spending my
time equally between stringing pearls and crystals and making silver
jewelry. I have no idea how to price the bridal jewelry. I’ve been
told that anything to do with a wedding should be priced much higher
than any other jewelry, but that just seems wrong to me. My plan is
to do a little comparison shopping and go to bridal shops, jewelry
shops, etc. that sell bridal jewelry to get a feel for what their
prices are. Do you think this would be okay?
Any other advice or words of encouragement you can give me would
be greatly appreciated.
I’m excited about this new adventure and I’m determined to make it
work. I have some pictures of my some of my work that I’d be happy to
have some of you critique if you’d do so. Let me know off line and
I’ll send them.
Thank you for taking the time to read this very long message.
Frog Pond Studio