Okay... truth time. I was tempted late last year to provide this
to the forum but decided I didn't want to bum everyone
out. I've thrown in the proverbial towel. With the exception of one
show in Ft. Lauderdale over Labor Day weekend (early September), the
last half of 2002 was abysmal for me.
Many of you who have "known" me for a while know that I left a big
name software company a couple years ago to forge a career as an
artist-jeweler. My timing could not have been much worse. The first
year was spent getting my act together and putting all the pieces
into place. I got my show setup and started doing juried fine art
shows. Things were building slowly, but surely. At the end of the
first year I evaluated where I stood and where it looked like I was
going, and decided to continue on the path I had begun.
The second year started out pretty well, considering the economic
uncertainty facing many people. I was ranging far-and-wide on the
east coast, and only got rejected (wait listed) from one show to
which I had applied. Many shows were just about break-even, which
really means I lost money, but I was still learning and doing some of
my best work.
The last half of 2002 went bust. I did a series of shows in the
fall... many of them smaller regional shows in this area, with a
couple bigger "anchor" shows. At a few of the shows I only sold one
item, and the killing blow was the "big finish" show for the season
where I was completely shut out. Not even one sale... to an affluent
and upscale clientele.
Seeing the storm clouds (and mounting bills) gathering on the
horizon, I began shopping myself around to some of the better jewelry
establishments in town. Most of them are in much of a "wait and see"
attitude about the economy, and aren't in a position to add staff. I
did have a bench test with a "sweat shop" repair facility, and after
four hours, knew I was not cut out for that kind of work. If people
bought decent jewelry in the first place, this crap wouldn't have to
So, I've decided to rejoin the ranks of the corporate minions. Of
course, that's easier said than done with the layoffs and downsizing
being experienced across the country. I've had a couple interviews
for Webmaster type positions, and am hopeful something will
materialize in the near future. My search for a new career is taking
precedent these days.
I don't want to discourage anyone from pursuing their dreams, but
when the economy is down, its a lot harder to sell a non-necessity
item, and a salaried job looks quite a bit more attractive. I wish I
had a measly little job to hate again. I'm not a quitter by nature,
and it really disturbs me to come to the conclusion that I made a
mistake in tossing away my job to follow my passion. I'm the type of
person who believes that if you are committed and passionate, you
will be successful. Now I think I should just be committed...
Better times are sure to come.
All the best,