That’s me in the picture above (look for the arrow) taken for the promotion of the 2007 Graduate Design Show at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. You see, my life goal is to design sets and costumes for Opera and Dance. One of the steps I felt I needed to take to reach that goal was refining my design talents in graduate school.
But how did I get there?
In the course of applying for graduate schools in 1999, I quickly realized I could do with another year or two of fine arts training: painting, life drawing, and maybe sculpture. So I actually declined NYU that year, and set about to find a way to spend some time honing my basic artistic skills.
I didn’t have a steady job at the time, hopping from one temp assignment to the next while freelancing as a set and costume designer in the San Francisco Bay Area. And then one day, while walking around downtown, I came up with the most ridiculous idea ever.
I was going to sell beaded jewelry at the artisan markets around San Francisco for a living. It seemed like the perfect thing to do as it would allow me to have a flexible schedule to take classes. And how hard could bead stringing possibly be anyway?
“I think at the age of 26, naiveté, is at once your strongest and weakest trait." ~Oran
Had I known then what I know now about running a proper home jewelry business, I would never have attempted to do what I did with $1300 in my pocket and no safety nets in place such as a day job or a trust fund.
But luckily for me I didn’t know, and so I was forced to make it work!
And it sure was hard work! I pushed through anyway, learning things as they came up such as how to start a jewelry business, how to sell jewelry, and places I could go to sell jewelry such as artisan markets. Eventually store owners began coming up to me and asking me if I would wholesale handmade jewelry.
The End and The Beginning
Over the years, my business grew from a street stand to a small company that sold handmade jewelry at craft galleries and boutiques across the nation.
Then one summer day in 2004, I got a phone call from NYU. There was an open spot in the costume design class and they wanted to know if I wanted it.
I had just spent the past 5 years literally beading my way into graduate school, so this was a no brainer!
I dropped everything and moved to New York City. And although I had planned on running my home jewelry business while in graduate school, I was not prepared for the amount of work that an MFA program would require of me. (so note to those of you that want to do this in graduate school: you need a staff!)
I struggled to keep doing both, but one would take away from the other, and in the end, (as I had written in the out clause of my business plan) my ultimate life goal won and it was time to say goodbye to my home jewelry business in the fall of 2007.
Did I Miss Something?
With the closing of my business in 2007, and the start of pursuing a career in theater design, I always felt like I had missed something big. It took about a year and a half for me to realize what that was.
I was supposed to give this back to someone else somehow.
The universe had been rather kind in providing business opportunities to me and I think what I am supposed to do is take what I’ve learned and give it back to someone in the hopes that they will be able to do something similar to what I did.
But was I supposed to write a book? Publish an article? Start a forum?
When the Student is Ready, the Teacher Will Appear
Then one day while aimlessly wandering around on the internet, I came upon sitesell. Sitesell is a company that markets the website building product called Site Build It, or SBI. Through manuals, videos, an active forum, and a searchable collection of tips and online tools, they teach you how to build content focused web pages that you can then earn money from.
A Social Experiment
At first it sounded pretty counter intuitive to me. They basically suggest “giving away the farm” when it comes to writing website content, in other words, writing excellent content that visitors will love and putting it up on the web for anyone to read…for free! And then somehow, the money would come after, in the form of Google ads, affiliate marketing, or even selling your own e-books or items.
I decided to give it a try anyway. I really liked that this company thought the foundation of any great website business was having valuable, well written content that would be useful for visitors. Not very many companies have this kind of focus.
Birth of a Website
So now, many months later, I present to you this website to help you on starting your own home jewelry business adventure!
Good luck, and let me know what you think on my Jewelry Business Ideas Blog, my Home Jewelry Business Guide Facebook Page, or by contacting me through the link below.
Set Design and Costume Design
P.S. And for those of you interested in learning more about starting your own website business, follow this link to explore the possibilities with Site Build It!
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Jewelry Business Ideas
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