Hidden bonus

I may have mentioned that I'm going back to school for a bit to sharpen up my skills so I can move in a new direction career-wise. My first class was this past Thursday and Friday. Oddly enough, my instructor Steve noticed the necklace I was wearing upon meeting me and of course I said that I'd made it. He got very excited and said he loved to buy jewelry for his wife (oh bless you dear man, teach others of your methods!) and wouldn't I bring some in tomorrow for him to look at. A couple of the women in class were also excited about it and almost all the participants ended up buying something.

The necklace from my elegant pearl set the other day went with the teacher and I'm making earrings to match in a different style from the ones I originally made. Gary bought earrings for his wife. Elizabeth bought a bracelet for mom and earrings for herself, plus she says she'll hook me up with a friend who does a jewelry expo in Boston 4 times a year. Linda bought a bracelet and earrings set for herself and another pair of earrings for her daughter. Chris wants me to see if I can make a necklace to match the mother of pearl set and since we'll be in the next class together, I'll see him then.

Wow. I was so overwhelmed with their positive reactions. It was so gratifying and gave me some insight into what sells as far as design and price points. It has depleted my consignment stash, but I can quickly make more of what sold. Price wise bracelets at $20 are not an issue, but the larger, more involved and thus more expensive earrings did not sell. Moderately priced, simpler earrings went faster - especially ones with unusual design and construction - not just your typical danglers. It was very enlightening.

I had everything on the Wire Smith tags with my Etsy address as well as a stack of business cards and post cards. I think it went a long way to establish me as more than a hobbiest. It legitimized me as a business. It also bore out something I've long suspected - you have to see my work to appreciate it. I think a lot of wire jewelry is this way. The detail and the craftsmanship just don't translate well in photographs on a computer. This little trial run put me in a more optimistic frame of mind about how my work might sell in my friend's spa. I'm even more positive now that it will. Yay for going back to school!