How Do I Turn Many Interests Into One Business?

by Olivia Murphy.

jmj-question-mark-teal-on-parchment-500x500-jI’ve been dealing with so much gifted Talents it got me spinning around in circles.

I can draw portraits. I like scrapbooking, Mosaic Art, Watercolor, Pastel, Spray Paint Art, making different things and now Iā€™m stuck on making jewelry.

How do I get it all out there to sale. Can you please give me some words on how to start and the best way?

Olivia Murphy

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  • Margaret says:

    I’m in the same boat with you, Olivia. Forever pulled in many directions. I often hear the echo of the old saying: jack of all trades, master of none, and wonder if all that creativity is actually hurting my chances of success. I would like to make a living from my talents one day soon, but is it even possible?

  • Kasia says:

    And I’m right there with you! You could open two separate shops: one for jewellery, and one for art. But I don’t know how feasible is that: managing one shop takes a lot of time, not to mention making all those things. But some people on etsy do this, so it has to be possible. Right now, I’m trying to combine several interests, and incorporate them in my jewellery designs, so I don’t feel I’m wasting time on drawing, when I could be designing and making jewellery pieces – could something like that be possible for you?

  • Olivia, have you considered mixed media jewelry? With your multi-faceted art and craft skills (and you probably have a cool variety of art / craft supplies too) you have everything you need to make some incredible art jewelry.

    If you’re not familiar with mixed media jewelry, you can see some great examples of it here in our JMJ Gallery:
    Mixed Media Jewelry.
    You may also want to do some online image searches for “mixed media jewelry” for inspiration on combining your various forms of art into jewelry.

    Creating an over-arching theme or focus like that for your jewelry art would also make it easier for you to focus your business – by narrowing down your customers, where and how you would sell to them, etc.

    One thing to consider about your business is how to give it a name / identity that encompasses all the creative directions you want to include – now as well as future creative interests you’ll have. You can see my post about that here: Jewelry Business Names.

  • Rae says:

    When I find myself wondering why I’m learning yet another skill or studying new concepts, I remind myself of the fantastic commencement speech by Steve Jobs in which he encouraged the graduates to keep learning and not to worry about how they will utilize it all. He strongly believed that at some point in their lives it would all fit together. He told of his life and all the strange side tracks he took and how it all came together when he was creating his computer. The example that most stood out was working in printing, which was very off the path of electronics, but if he hadn’t done that work he would not have known about spacing difference between different letters.

    So, just relax and keep on having fun! You don’t have to use it all right now.

  • Chula Camp says:

    Hi Olivia,
    If you have mastered many art/crafts skills you are a modern day Renaissance Artist. Yes it is possible to succeed at handcrafting and selling multiple art mediums.

    The trick is to select a business name that is interesting yet generic enough that all of these different hand made crafts fit under. Then perhaps you can select a brand/name for each specific type of art you hand make. It will make it easier for your client base to navigate and find your products if you have a website or an online retail store.

    Best of luck to you Olivia šŸ™‚
    Chula Productions
    San Francisco CA

  • JanieBlue says:

    Hi Olivia
    I think most of us are in the same boat, I’ve thought about this too, now that it is possible to have a website with separate section, now when you go to the website you have a choice of different sections to choose from, that way nothing is mixed up.

    When I find someone to finish setting up my website! I will have 3 sections to start with, Fabric Jewellery, The history of the bead, as I am writing books about how long the bead has been with us, and the last one chronic pain.

    Branding yourself is most important, I think, so that everything is under one brand, so that what ever you are selling everyone will know it.

    Once I saw one of the blogs I follow do this, I knew it would all work for me too.
    Hope that helps

  • MikkiMikki says:

    I also have multiple artistic interests. I have experimented with painting on unfinished wood pendants, which I first sand and cover with white gesso. I use acrylic paints or inks with random patterns, then seal them with polyurethane. Rubber stamping is another option. I purchase the unfinished shapes (drilled) from a vendor I met at bead shows here in the Northeast. It is very time-consuming, but I get a one-of-a-kind design. I have sold a few. Also have made earrings – blanks were from Michael’s Arts & Crafts but they discontinued the line.

  • I would suggest starting with a business name that can act as an umbrella for all your products. Then, break it out into divisions: Olivia’s Business: Jewellery; Olivia’s Business: Scrapbooks, and so on.

    If you choose to sell on your own website, you can have “departments” for each type of craft. If you go with something like Etsy, though, I would seriously consider having separate shops for each type of craft, as Etsy stores tend to look better if they have one cohesive theme.

    Also, though, how much time do you have? Supporting a business with a single craft includes crafting, photography, social media and advertising, copy writing, and more. Supporting a business with multiple crafts could get overwhelming if you’re not amazingly organized. You may want to consider selling one of your crafts at first, keeping the others just for fun, until you’ve mastered being a business owner. From there, branch out into one more craft, and wait until you’ve got that under control before monetizing the next. Trying to do too much all at once could be a very big challenge, and the last thing you want is to be frustrated at the very activities that bring you so much pleasure.

    Just my $0.02 worth. šŸ™‚


  • Elizabeth Trail says:

    I think you could do well at higher-end local craft fairs, tourist events, and so on, where crowds are walking through looking at whatever catches their eyes. Branding and keywords are really important on the web so you have a tougher road there unless your body of work has a unifying theme beyond the media (cats, trees, sense of place, whatevs fascinates you.) Branding and getting repeat customers is a long road even within a common style or theme or medium. Developing a mixed media style is a fabulous idea. Juried shows are generally going to restrict you to the genres you submitted for jurying but you can find a sweet spot.

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