Monday, May 17, 2010

It's not often that a person finds their passion in life at an early enough stage to enjoy it. And to be lucky enough to make money while pursuing that passion is even more rare. Me, I have both.

First, I love to write, and for several years I was paid to write articles for a crafts business magazine. And it paid well. I love writing, and I learned from the articles I wrote.

At the time I was writing, I was making glass beads and selling them at bead shows and on my web site. I used what I learned to move of from just making beads to making jewelry and selling at art shows. I had quite a following after a few years. Each December I'd get to spend a week in Chicago (one of my favorite cities), and go to the theatre at night and see my loyal customers in the day time. Yes, the show days were long, but I loved working directly with my customers.

Then I once again used the research I'd done for my articles to move my jewelry business in another direction. I now sell wholesale. But in selling wholesale I had to learn a whole new lifestyle. I'd never done production work, and I had to come up with my own market niche to stand out from all the other jewelry. And I did.

I used sales reps to show my line and pretty much just worked in my studio.

But in all things, we move on. And I missed the personal relationship with my customers. So I'm selling retail and wholesale, and I'm selling my line myself. I mean who else is going to know my line as well as I do? And who would have more passion? Not that sales reps don't try, but with 20-50+ lines to rep, how passionate can you be about one line?

I just have my line to be passionate about, and I am. I love what I do, and I hope to never lose that enthusiasm. I thought it was lost, as I was burning out. But I realize I wasn't burned out, I was left out. I wanted to be a part of everything, and I missed the interaction with customers.

This year we have 4-6 trade shows planned, and I'm really looking forward to meeting current and future customers. And I hope I can give something back, by helping my customers better sell my line and therefore better their bottom line.

It is with utter passion that I built and designed this current line of jewelry. And as an artist that loves to draw and paint, I'm hoping to find a way to add that passion in a new line someday. For now, I'm happy. I've never been happier. I'm so very lucky.

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