by Catherine Tumason.
(Invermere, B.C. Canada)
I’ve been designing and building jewelry for about 10 years and I’ve been dreaming of making it into a business. But, just when I think I can start going 100%, something happens.
Over three years ago I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer while living in California.
At the same time, I fell in love with a Canadian. I’ve been back and forth from California to B.C. to Montana living and getting cancer treatments.
It seems as if I can’t just be in a stable environment to work in my studio.
Although I love traveling and new adventures, do I need to be living in one area to make this work??
Catherine Marie Designs
opportunity in difficulty
They say, in buddhism that we only get those inflictions in our physical bodies that present challenges of a lifetime and are in fact that also present hidden opportunities for us to turn our love around.
that being said, since you are traveling to both places, you can use your travel time to create the inventory and then probably go downtown to local museums, boutiques to see if they are willing to house your collection or a part of it. How wonderful it would be to have a check waiting for you when you arrive in BC!
Even though going through treatment can be very exhausting and draining, maybe this will be the therapy to be motivated and to give an expression to your many thoughts. How about working with certain semi precious stones that have specific healing properties. We can’t always have everything, but we can surround ourselves with the things that matter, like our creativity and love!
I wish you great health, lots of love and much success in all aspects of life.
Creating and Selling Jewelry on the Road – part 1
I visited your site and am wowed by your lovely jewels! I love your designs and your use of color.
I agree with Nupur that since right now your life is taking place “on the road”, then that’s how you need to create and sell your work.
There are all kinds of neat containers that make wonderful traveling jewelry studios.
I use two of the Sterlite-brand containers that’s a set of three clear plastic 8.5″ x 11″ drawers in a white plastic “shell” or frame (from the Rubbermaid / organizing-container section of Walmart).
In container #1:
The bottom drawer holds all of my tools; the middle drawer holds all of my wire; and the top drawer holds all of my cabochons and other wire-wrappable odds and ends.
In container #2:
The bottom 2 drawers contain mini-ziplock bags with beads of various types, colors, and sizes. The top drawer contains everything I need for beading – headpins, beading wire, leather cord, earwires, clasps, crimp beads, tape measure, new mini-ziplocks for packaging sold jewelry, etc.
These two containers are all I need to make a ton of jewelry on the road! They take up almost no space in the car and can be easily carried into any place I go.
For storing and showing my finished jewelry on the road:
Small amounts of jewelry – I use a jewelry roll, which keeps everything safe and is small enough to carry anywhere, even inside your purse.
Larger amounts of jewelry – I use stacking plastic jewelry trays stored in a wheeled aluminum case. (See the trays and case in my 30-minute jewelry display article.)
I bet you have to sit and wait for doctors sometimes – and waiting rooms can be a great place to make jewelry!
Not only does it pass the time for you, but often other folks in the waiting room will be interested in your work and buy jewelry from you right there in the waiting room.
Also, medical personnel – who tend to work long, tiresome shifts – often appreciate the opportunity to buy jewelry for themselves or as gifts without having to go shopping.
And while you’re on the road, stop into businesses like gift shops, truck stops, restaurants, etc. – bring in your jewelry roll and see if they’re interested in carrying some of your work.
If you’re traveling the same route often, it would be easy to pop in to check on them periodically, to see how things are selling, whether they have any special requests, or need to re-stock.
And remember the power of customization in selling jewelry – would someone in the medical waiting room like the earrings you’re making, only in pink?
Would the medical technician appreciate a plus-size bracelet made just to fit her?
Do the truck stop’s customers have a preference for jewelry in black and turquoise?
Maybe you can turn a jewelry-business-on-the-road into an adventure and a way of filling people’s needs along the way.
Also, please see the jewelry stories:
… to meet and read about two other jewelry artists who take their craft and business on the road!
These jewelry stories:
Disabilities & Jewelry Making
… are inspiring accounts of jewelry artists who aren’t letting illness or injury stop them.
I hope this helps you get some ideas, Catherine!
I wish you a quick recovery, the best of health, and a great journey with your jewelry.
Please keep us posted! 🙂
Hugs to you,