Monday, March 23, 2009

The nature of success...

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.


  1. loud and clear.

    my husband tells me; if you want to make money, you're going to have to make stuff with show dogs and fluffy cats. he tells me i'm too weird (smiling, of course).

    i just can't! i did prostitute myself once with a custom order for women of "the red hat society", and that was pretty tough to stomach.

    are there not enough weird people in the world? or is it just they're all cash-poor?

  2. Arcadian, your work screams talent. Lots of people can make jewellery, lots can design things. Someone who is as good at both as you clearly are is going to make shitloads of dosh. Good heavens woman, you're making stuff that gets snapped up before it hits your shop! Give it time.

  3. mermaiden, please don't make stuff with show animals. I mean, they'd be beautiful, but... that would be like me making Hannah Montana pendants. Please, no :D :D

    I think fringe people tend to be on the extremes of the bell curve... they either are cash-poor or they build a theme park after themselves. ;)

    tyza, thanks so much for commenting (and I adore the new things you've listed in your shop). I'm not really disheartened yet -- I'm so new! -- but I do want to set realistic goals. It does mean a lot coming from you that you see promise in me, though!

    I am fortunate that I don't need to live off my profits yet, but I will eventually... so I am trying to get a handle on it now!

    OH! Btw, Tyza, I passed on your awesome dryer tumbler idea to a friend who's just starting out and she loves it! So thanks from her too!