I Find It Hard To Sell My Own Work

by Shelley.
(Calgary Canada)

Hi there,

I’ve been designing jewelry for about 10 years now.

I find it hard to sell something I made. I think I’m afraid of criticism.

I can sell other things. For example, I work in a clothing store and have no problem selling there.

I’m just not sure where to start. Who should I sell my jewelry to? Where do I find these people?

I really don’t want to push my jewelry on my friends.

My friend offered to have a party for me but I’m nervous. What if no one comes? Or worse yet what if they come but don’t buy?

I realize I’m second guessing myself but for some reason I can’t seem to stop!



by: Anna

I have those same feelings. I think it is because we are so invested in the product.
I have some pieces I am not really that proud of, yet they seem to be the ones many customers relate to. (And I was about to tear that one down and redesign!) That is what I want; jewelry that sells itself. I want them to appreciate the artistry and creativity I translated into design. It’s almost like if they don’t ‘get’ the jewelry, they can’t ‘get’ me and I might begin to doubt myself. Do I concentrate on my visions, or make something mainstream? If I follow my instincts, I will need to find upscale venues with women & men who are used to paying for real stones and artistry. But I hate going out to sell myself; I get all self-conscious and scared. I am considering having a friend take over marketing; my jewelry deserves to be seen and fawned over. I am in a selling rut right now.

totally agree
by: Beth, Wilton Artisans

My absolute fear is being at a craft show and no one buying anything….waiting until that first sale comes it is so painful. It’s even worse when vendors around me are selling and I’m not!!! Once that first sale comes in I can take a breather….

I too am very hesitant to do home shows or sell to friends – i guess I think it’s easier to take rejection from strangers than from friends/family. I prefer craft shows…..

I would suggest doing a craft show that you think will be a good fit for your style of work. Almost all of my sales come from craft shows. I set up an etsy site (in addition to my own site) but I haven’t focused too much time on it…I’ve sold a few things on etsy but that’s it. I did take the risk and did a local show at my son’s preschool this December and friends were shocked to know I designed jewelry – it ended up being my best show of the year. A total confident booster and a good way to end the year.

My goal this year is to hand out cards to everyone and anyone and to choose craft shows carefully. I kept an excel spreadsheet this year with notes from each show I attended so I can weed out the ones that weren’t a “good fit” for me.

I think it’s always a risk to put ourselves and our work out there but we need to if we’re going to take our business to the next level!

You have to just get over it
by: Laurel Nash

I used to be that way, and still am to some degree. I found that my inner artist always comes up with an excuse to keep me from my bench, thus sabotaging the dream to succeed financially with my gift and doing what I love. When I don’t make jewelry, I don’t make money. We all carry around our own special baggage, but when the desire to succeed with your art and doing what you love starts to burn you up with longing on the inside, you’ll have to make a conscious effort to put your bags away, and move on out of your victim critic role. KEEPING YOUR MISTAKES IS A GREAT WAY TO MOVE YOURSELF FORWARD!! They are often the first pieces to sell at a show. When I saw this, it was the start of liberating myself from the perfectionist demon, which can paralize us by wasting time in fear of not being good enough to compete, which keeps us from reaching our goals. I had to realize there will be better jewelers than me, just as there are women who are taller, prettier & have perkier boobs than me, there is only one me, and that is what my maker gave me. But God gave the real gift to my hands which are able to translate the pretty pictures in my head through jewelry. If I don’t use that gift, I am not giving back, and thus leave little room for greater opportunities and blessings. Don’t worry about the competition. There will always be someone who will love your own unique style. ALWAYS. You just have to get your ego out of your way. Keep your day job if it pays your bills, its the smart thing to do, but keep making jewelry on the side, just keep it front and center where you can see the dream manifesting. Building your inventory is the beginning. Its easy to get caught in the mucky muck of planning, it can rob us of productive time, and I can guess you’ve already done a ton of it.Cross the other bridges as they come, but get your collection built and ready to go. Your inventory is the hard money. It does take a bit of thick skin, and that can come by just getting over it. Every day is a new day to begin again, so try not to get caught in the shame game of what you have not yet accomplished. A large part of succes is humility, acceptance, and NOT GIVING UP! PEOPLE WANT TO SEE YOU SUCCEED! YOU CAN DO IT, YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, AND MOST IMPORTANTLY-STICK WITH OTHERS WHO BELIEVE IN YOU TOO!!!

Blessings to all in the New Year!!

PS :Julia Camerons book THE ARTIST’S WAY is a great book for blocked artists. Success for those who struggle with self doubt starts with cutting the limiting old tapes and psychic debris. The book is a great guide in helping to clear the way.

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