I remember my first attempt at selling at an artisan market.
I had spent weeks developing a small line with very little money, and was only able to come up with a small table for my display.
It was actually a folding tv table draped with a bit of fabric, and my display idea consisted of a potted Manzanita branch on which I hung maybe 2 dozen necklaces on it.
I was fairly confident about my design abilities, and this was, after all, bead stringing and not gene mapping.
How hard could this possibly be?
My First Day....
I got all dressed up, went out to the artisan market and waited for my first sale.
Nothing seemed to happen.
People would occasionally walk by, look, and walk away. And so I sat.
And then I sat some more.
By the end of the day, I had made a whopping $40, half of which had to go to parking. I actually thought I would sell out in a matter of minutes and couldn’t wait to take that money and buy more supplies!
So much for my jewelry making business!
I had such BIG DREAMS and HIGH HOPES that day, but in the rush to get things made and out to market, I (in hindsight) glossed over a bunch of details. ~Oran
So what went wrong that day?
A lot! Looking back, the first error was trying to sell on a tv table. I mean talk about bad impressions! And in retrospect, the 2 dozen necklaces I had made consisted of only one style, in different color combinations. Lastly, I hadn’t done my homework and picked one of the worst spots in the venue, and good traffic usually means good sales. I had made many mistakes, and it was only my first day!
But the biggest lesson I learned was this: the next day, I got up and tried it again.
And after that, each day I got up, I tried to apply what I had learned from the day before to the tasks at hand. Over the years, what started out as a pathetic getup on the sidewalk turned into a profitable jewelry making business. Eventually I would be selling at craft fairs, at artisan markets, and my collection would be sold in galleries and boutiques across the country.
And from there I was able to finally take the next step in my life and go to graduate school, where I refined my artistic skills to pursue my life goal of designing for the opera and theater. Not bad at all, if I do say so myself, for the little beader that could....
Try to enjoy and learn from every moment of running your jewelry making business: the ups and downs and in betweens. It’s a huge learning experience, and you will gain so many life skills that you can apply to future careers and endeavours. There are many different roads that lead to success, so be a little adventurous and try a few while finding your way to business success!
Patience, young Grasshopper, patience….
Carl Honore is author of the book, "In Praise of Slowness"
The point is not to slow things down to a snail's pace, but rather to work at a natural speed, for quality results.
"The central tenet of the Slow Philosophy is taking the time to do things properly, and thereby enjoy them more."