So with no cold sales under my belt yet -- that being people who do not know me but are buying the piece cold -- I have gotten to thinking about sales and success in the jewellery field.
Apprenticeship #1: Fairly mainstream mall jeweller. Didn't take a lot of creative risks, mostly did repairs, watch battery changes and bridal set sizing. Can live off her profits well. Creativity 4/10, financial success 8/10.
Apprenticeship #2: Haute-couture art jeweller, very creative but mostly stuck to what was trendy/popular (a very idiosyncratic ring texture with a bezel-set stone in contrasting metals). Could live off her profits alone but ended up expanding her gallery to include other artists to fatten margins. Creativity 6/10, financial success 6/10.
Apprenticeship #3: Eccentric, award-winning art jeweller, extremely creative, took risks. I'm the most like him :) Did the occasional repair, etc., but mostly was called upon for "weird" custom work. Probably could not live off his work alone, unfortunately. Creativity 8/10, financial success 4/10.
There is a pattern here. Food for thought... perhaps I need to revamp the criteria for when I will feel successful as a metalsmith.