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Unwillingness to help

Hi! This is not what you think it might be–I’m sure all of you are
thoughtful artisans and mindful of those looking for advice. My
concern is with those who have grabbed onto the brass ring of good
fortune (namely national/international success) who are unwilling to
help those seeking their advice to become one of them. Over the
years, I have written jewelers of huge following with the thought
they began just like me. SO…I have sent congenial emails to those
"within reach" asking for kind words of inspiration, and namely, how
I may get my foot in that door, just as they have done. Given the
fact that it takes perhaps more good fortune than actual talent,
these artisan should be sensitive to the plight of others. BUT
NOooooooo. They do not even respond, much less look at my creations
to see if they can even remotely be of assistance. I am getting
nowhere…Hope someone out there is listening!!!

Amy L. Ataei

Thanks for the invitation to suggest inspiration.My first instinct
is to see a Bridal display for your work. Bridesmaids match their
jewelry to the dress, of course… Brides do too. But the designs
say “evening dress” as well. Labor intensive, good materials, clean
lines! Marketing your high quality images will make you fly when
combined with good timing and placement. I know these 'no-brainer’
suggestions but I sure hope you’ll consider of my points Last but not
least, find a good SEO person as soon as possible.

All The Best, Margie

Hello Amy,

It ain’t that simple. Nice words nor a beautiful face will help you
to the top. If you get in, someone else will own less then normal
because you are another competitor in this (their) world. I believe
that their is just on way to get in. Work hard and then add more work
to it! It’s a very hard way to get in and then it will be harder to
stay there at this level. Other then that you need to have a lot of
cash in order to make very exclusive jewelry and they need to like
your work AND you as a person.

I don’t reach to this goal but one has to do what one has to do.

Wishing you the best and all the luck you need.

Have fun and enjoy

Hi Amy,

I don’t know what to tell you. Sometimes people feel threatened by
competition or are afraid that they will lose sales to someone else
if they give away their secrets.

I am not one of those nationally or internationally known artists. I
would recommend going to art festivals and trade shows with business
cards, a portfolio and samples of your work. When they are not busy
with interested customers see if you can get them interested looking
at and in purchasing your items for resale. The biggest problem here
is being able to sell your items to them at a price that is good for
both them and you.

I am sure there are other venues to get the word out about your art
pieces, but you have to get started somewhere.

Just make quality items and stand behind them with 100% customer
satisfaction, whatever it takes and the word will get out. Word of
mouth is by far the best advertising.

I wish you success,

Ken Moore

Over the years, I have written jewelers of huge following with the
thought they began just like me. SO...I have sent congenial emails
to those "within reach" asking for kind words of inspiration, and
namely, how I may get my foot in that door, just as they have done. 

I can give you an advice. I have looked at your work, and without
commenting on either design or execution, your problem is that you
do not charge enough. If you do not value your own time, why should
anybody else? If you want to join “the club”, make minimum charge
$10,000 and make sure that your work can support it. Very soon, not
only you will be member of the club, you will own it.

Leonid Surpin

Amy- A more personal touch than emails may have gotten you further
along. The jewelers that you have tried to contact, those with a
"huge following", often don’t answer their own emails. They have
staff for that. If you wish to break into the trade you really need
to get up close and personal. You’ll need to hit the streets and
actually visit these folks in person with your finished pieces,
followed by a hand written thank you note.

The beauty of the jewelry world is that the proof is in the pudding.
If you can do the work it shows. If you can’t make a well finished
and interesting piece no amount of promotion will get you ahead for
any length of time.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

Hope someone out there is listening!!!!!!!!!!! 

Orchid is great.

If you ask a rational question which I can answer then I will
respond. Only exceptions are very technical stuff or ones which have
a good chance of killing you. (I do some very bad things:-)

Other wise nail your ass into a bench chair for a few/many years. No
brass rings.

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing

Amy I just looked at your web site, and you make beautiful work. What
I would suggest is look for artists who make work that would
compliment yours, look at their web sites, and take note of the
galleries they show at, then look at the gallery web sites. If the
gallery seems above you, search for a gallery that carries work your
customers would like to go to. Also, there are magazines that are
sent to galleries, and you can advertize in them, and the galleries
will send you a card if they want you to contact them. Sorry in a
hurry, family is going out for icecream!


Amy, This has happened to me, and I have given up on that. I live in
an area that has only one metalsmith teacher, and while she makes
beautiful work, she only works with silver, so my problems with
copper and found material, she can’t help too much. I have tried to
scrape up the time and money to take a class when I could, and it
helped immensely. I love the look of jewelry that looks as if it
were dug up, or beat up. but learning how to do it “right” is very
difficult, and hard to tell how someone else did, just from an
image. I think part of it is they may think they earned being a snob,
and partly or more so, lack of time. Roxy

Dear Amy,

I don’t know whether or not you have ever written to me, but I do
know that I get a LOT of junk mail, which I try to go through, and
find the one or two pieces per day that are not junk—emails from
people who are not in my address book, but are not spam. I know that
unless the subject line grabs my attention, I do not open emails from
people I don’t know—I do not have time. Many of my friends NEVER
look through their junk mail----so it does not always “mean” anything
if you do not get a response—unfortunately, there is so much spam
email that it is difficult to find the important ones. I wonder what
subject line you use when you write to people. Perhaps different
words or wording would help strangers realize that yours is an email
that needs to be opened?

How about sending an open letter to Orchid, asking for the advice
you seek?

Wishing you well,
Cynthia Eid

Dear Amy, I also write to people I admire, and many times I get
responses, but much of the time I do not. I help others, but not
because I am successful, but because I love to teach. What is the
saying feed a fish, or teach to fish. Well I love to teach people how
to fish, no matter what the subject is. And if a person does not have
that trait, they can not be a mentor. Blessings, pat ps, moral of the
story is when you are successful, the people that write you will get
a beautiful response, and you will make friends, blessings pat

Could you share with us one of the email you have sent out that went
unanswered, it would be interesting to read what you were seeking
and the tone of the request.

only if you will…

I am not sure how to respond to this… I guess my first response is
to point out that you’re not writing someone to compliment their
work… You are only writing them to get something out of it for
yourself… You’re surprised at the fact they aren’t writing you
back? This really surprises you? Why? Do you write to other people in
other industries and get them to stop their work to help you?

Do what they did… Work yourself silly; get your line in front of as
many potential buyers as possible and hope you’re as good/unique as
you think you are: spend 8/36 building your business.

I don’t know anyone who has a successful business who doesn’t work
constantly… And if you can’t see the inappropriateness of your
strategy/complaint to us, keep this in mind: Maybe they are just too
busy running their business to focus on building yours.

Seriously, your email is almost mind numbing in it’s selfishness and
then as if that isn’t bad enough… you slightly insult those who
have succeeded as you justify the whole thing by implying it isn’t
just incredible hard work, talent and perseverance that got them


Try getting some name recognition by entering competitions. :slight_smile:

Life is good!

Given the fact that it takes perhaps more good fortune than actual
talent, these artisan should be sensitive to the plight of others 

This thread will most likely become a touchy subject based on the
above comment. I’m certain that it was not intended to categorize the
successful as possessing good fortune more than talent, but in each
instance where I’ve made contact with established names there has
been a strong willingness to share and engage in
uplifting conversation. This has been especially true on Orchid.
However, it is important to be respectful and recognize that the
problem may not lie with the violin.

J Collier Metalsmith

I think the problem with successful people who aren’t technically
brilliantis that they will be very scared by helping someone else -
if they managedit by good contacts and PR skills alone, they know
how easy it is for someone else to do the same!

Jamie Hall

Amy This Helping thing is a problem ! I myself have approached those
I admired and I got as far as the current assistant/secretary.

All I can say is you have to keep trying, on the flip side I could
use some help if you could reply on or off list I would like to know
how you attach the ends of those beautiful round strands of beads -

Margie thought Amy’s jewelry fit the bridal market, and I do too.
Scour the internet for shops that sell to the bride who wants her own
stamp on her wedding.


Hi Amy,

Ive looked at your website, read your post, and other jewellers who
have replied on this forum.

So, 1st of all, id like to correct the following statement of yours.
More good fortune ? than talent? NO. It has to be talent or how ever
you like to describe creativity . Some have it, some develop it,
others never do.

2ndly you have a masters in fine art, with a primary interest in
ceramics. Where can we see some of this work? because this might give
us all an idea of what you can do.

Now about your bead work, I know how much patience is needed to make
the things you show. I know and have watched a beader working.
Technically like yourself a proper execution of the technique, BUT,
Your just one in thousands doing this. The competition is fierce,
more so than in metalworking.

So your concern why there’s a lack of helpfullness toward you?, its
an unrealistic expectation.

If you want to go down the jewellery road, you need to write a list
of questions. Then answer them.

for example

What practical skills do I need to master? To use the tools and
equipment I need to make the designs I think up?

What sales experience do I have to market my work profitably?

Where shall I start to sell my work?

where will I make it all?

How much time do I have to get it all up and running?

What sector of the buyers market am I aiming at?

Who and where is the competition im up against?

Wats it all going to cost? and do I have a business plan?

That is why the traditional route into this world is via a 7 yr
apprentisceship scheme, where you will learn the answers to the above
questions in an actual jewellers environment. Thats not to say an
academic background is useless, but the approach to this work via
hands on does work the best. I suspect time has run out for you to
take this road. but maybe not. I started my career at 34 and was up
and paying my way in 18 months.

The final question you need to answer honestly is, are you up to it?
given the problems you need to solve?

I Wish you well

My concern is with those who have grabbed onto the brass ring of
good fortune (namely national/international success) who are
unwilling to help those seeking their advice to become one of them.

Amy, that’s funny, I have had absolutely the opposite experience -
experienced, well-known artists who are only too happy to offer
advice, encouragement, time and energy. Your difficulty may be in
your attitude, from the tone of the message above. You seem to feel
that you are owed advice by the simple fact that others have what
you want - inter/national success. If artist “A” has only so much
time and energy to devote to a career, whose career should benefit -
"A"s or yours?

Why should anyone who has fought long and hard, worked fingers to
bone, exercised their creativity to meltdown point, why would that
hardworking innovator volunteer their valuable time and energy to
everyone who asks? Pay it forward is a great concept, but you’ll
notice it’s phrased “Pay It Forward”, not “You Owe Me”. The first is
a gift, the second a duty.

Now, if you have a specific question, there are places like Orchid,
where folks who are interested in passing down knowledge come at
their convenience to do so. Key words - interested, convenience.
Also, Orchid is more of an energy exchange, with the possibility of
many folks weighing in, and everyone involved learning something or
being exposed to a new technique/idea/concept.

Also, do you offer your targeted successful artist anything in
return for his/her wisdom and hard-won lessons? Purchase a token,
take their class, buy their book, follow their career, establish a
connection - THEN ask for advice regarding your career. Even if you
don’t get any, you can benefit by observing what has worked for them
and what doesn’t. What can you observe in the practices of your
fellow artists - inter/national successes-to-be?

Last, there is a class of talented artists devoted to passing on
knowledge, but their “brass ring” is a grateful following, not
international success - they are called “teachers”.


Sam Kaffine