Making and Selling Jewelry – Psych Yourself
by Jean Forman.
Having been a certified school psychologist for almost thirty years and a jewelry designer for three, I can’t help but use my unique perspective in crafting and marketing my jewelry. I hope that some of these ideas might help others, too.
1. Be Flexible.
I have found in designing my sea glass jewelry that often the wire wrapping doesn’t work or the gemstones don’t look right or whatever seems to go wrong.
Rather than working forever on a frustrating piece, I will leave it and come back to it later. And, usually, I find that it is best to be flexible and start all over from the beginning with a new idea.
2. Be Persistent.
This goes with the above. You can’t give up every time you hit a road block or someone criticizes your work or you lose a sale.
Keep in mind the positives – that others have bought and/or admired your work, that you have had sales, that you enjoy what you have made!
3. Be Confident.
Having a positive attitude is always attractive and often leads to success. If people see you enjoy what you are doing, they will enjoy it, too.
Granted, artists are usually pretty insecure about their work and wonder if others enjoy it, but we must overcome our insecurities if we are to continue to create.
It takes a lot of courage, I know, to approach a shopowner or apply for a juried show, but you will gain more confidence as you learn to market. Remember your successes when you get that turn down!
4. Improve Your Skills.
If you keep on doing the same thing over and over, it gets to be routine. With the internet, books, classes, and your own creativity, you can develop new skills and ideas.
According to Freudians, there is no growth without anxiety, so it is important to take some risks in order to learn those new skills.
5. Enjoy Your Passion.
If you are not enjoying the creative process, then find out why. Perhaps you have made it into a job or habit rather than a love.
It should be fun to decide what materials to use, to find them, to design a piece, and, yes, even to market it.
Good luck to you!
Jean H. Forman
Lucky Sea GlassTM
Psyching yourself about making and selling jewelry
Jean, thank you so much for each of these valuable insights. A great summary – I definitely need to be more mindful of these things. The ones that especially hit home for me:
Your advice to set aside a piece of jewelry when the design just isn’t working – so true! A break and fresh perspective make all the difference. And I think it’s true of other aspects of making and selling jewelry too – whenever something becomes a struggle and no progress is being made, pause and come back to it later.
Also, “there is no growth without anxiety, so it is important to take some risks in order to learn those new skills” – excellent point about the value of stepping out of our comfort zone, even when it’s scary or uncomfortable. It’s hard to do sometimes, but it’s where the growth and rewards are.
Thanks again for sharing these great insights, Jean!
Forgot to mention . . .
Your jewelry is such a wonderful mix of found objects and wirework! The pink beach tile is a really interesting find to put into a bracelet. And on your website I was fascinated to see that you even have sea glass from Antarctica – how incredibly cool!
Antarctica sea glass
I found a very few pieces of sea glass near the abandoned whaling station (19th century) at Grivetkin last February, while on a fabulous trip to Antarctica and Argentina. I probably have the only collection of Antarctic sea glass in the world!
Beautiful jewelry, great tips
I think your seaglass pieces have a beautiful organic look, very nice. Thank you for these tips, they are a good guide for the new jewelry year, while I get my business ramped up!
Thank you for the wonderful advice! Your work is so beautiful!
Thanks For the Tips
Thanks for the great tips. I will use them. Especially the one on enjoying the process and the end result. I tend to not do that for some reason.
I AM RELATIVELY NEW TO JEWELLERY MAKING, LESS THAN A YEAR,AND ITS SO TRUE WHEN YOU SAY YOU HAVE TO ENJOY IT, I TOOK A DAYS HOLIDAY LAST WEEK. I SAT DOWN IN THE MORNING AT 9.30 AND BEFORE I KNEW IT , IT WAS 3 30 PM.
I DO REALLY ENJOY IT AND WILL NOT TAKE ORDERS, I THINK IT BECOMES A JOB THEN, AND I ALREADY HAVE ONE OF THOSE. SO I MAKE THINGS I CHOOSE TO DO, AND IF ANYONE WANTS TO BUY , THEN THATS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME, I KNOW QUITE A FEW GIRLS AT WORK WANT TO BUY, AND RELATIVES, AND I AM PRETTY PLEASED WITH THAT.I CHOOSE TO MAKE JEWELLERY BECAUSE I LOVE TO.I WOULD RECCOMEND ANYONE TO TRY.