To Teach or Not to Teach…

by Tasha.
(Georgia USA)

Earjeans by Tasha LaRae

Earjeans by Tasha LaRae

So for the past 3 years I have been working very hard to create my line of jewelry, Earjeans, and I am both very proud and very protective of it.

I’ve been asked by several different people to teach them how to make Earjeans.

I would love to teach others how to make it as I know I can’t make them all, but how do I get over the feeling that someone will take off with my business, ideas, and designs?

Tasha LaRae
Tasha LaRae’s Music, Fashion and Fun! blog


Teach or not teach?
by: Bev Carlson

Tasha, Your earrings are very unique and artistic. Would you teach a technique such that your students could make something very different than your pieces rather than show how you made a specific piece? That way they would not be copying your designs but still learning a new technique.

For example, I my specialty is chain maille. The technique is very old and many people do it. The difference is in the designs you make.

I teach the basics at a local bead store and find that my students rarely make what I do after the first learning piece, even though I show them most all my pieces. They either don’t want to or it really doesn’t matter since the designs are fairly common. Sometimes they inspire me.

All that said, I understand your dilemma. good luck on your decision.


Thanks Bev!
by: Tasha

Your answer really helped me! I can definitely teach them a different design or even have them create their own design and I just help them make it. I’m still working out the details but I just taught my first jewelry class yesterday and it went really well. It was really good practice and I’m already seeing how I can do things better for next time.

I visited your website. Your pieces are amazing! I love your leather bracelets with the semi precious beads. Absolutely beautiful!

Thanks again for your help 🙂


by: Anonymous

Give joy to others! I love it! Everyone runs with an idea and does something unique to them!

Teach, Teach Teach
by: Dianne Culbertson

Art is a gift meant to be shared. The fact is that someone, somewhere is going to do what you do at some point in time. Share your gift and you will get more back than you can imagine!

take your chances
by: Anonymous

I think you got some great advice. I teach and make more money doing that than selling jewelry. Most people won’t go to the lengths of selling jewelry and all the work that goes with it. But you never know.

by: Vittoria Banks

I agree with Diane. If you are to share your talent with others you have to just let it go. I have taught for years and the only design of mine that has been directly copied & sold was not a design I used in any of my classes. It was someone who came into my store & just looked at a pair of earrings then went home to make them. If you believe in abundance, there is always enough business & room for everyone to do their thing. Just focus on what you love & do it to the best of your ability and you will be rewarded! Beautiful earrings by the way!

Let it go, move on
by: Lisa W.

I think you need to consider whether or not the type of work you are doing now is the only type you plan to do. If you have truly come up with something unique (and you photo looks great, by the way!), you may decide not to teach it because once you do, you really can’t control what students do with the info you give them. If it’s really going to bring in money for you, I would consider keeping your technique to yourself.

Like others here, I really like to teach and share. Most of the jewelers I know realize that there is really no way to control what someone else does with their designs. Instead they focus on becoming so good enough at some aspect of what they make that others would have to work very hard to reach their level. They continually evolve, and move on to newer more interesting creations to keep their work fresh. So a great technique is to tech a simple version of what you do, and you work on more complex versions yourself to keep your art unique.

Thank you
by: Tasha

Thank you all for such great advice! I really appreciate it. 🙂

by: PackratPattyart

I love your earrings. You can copyright your design not the technique. When you said jeans I knew what material you used. Teach,only your mind is a safe place to hide your art and you know you can’t keep it in there for long. Share your art with the world. Anyone who makes your earrings the same as you right down to the design and color is a cheat and bad things will to there work,like the cat will walk on them before the dry lol ;0]

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