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8 Days on How to Get Started: Why Do You Want to Sell Your Work?

For some reason, I do better when I tell myself that I'm going to do something for 'X' amount of days. 100 days of running, A Year of Earrings, an entire alphabet series of Illuminated Letters. It's been a few weeks since I last blogged and it's been good for me because I've been having conversations with some of my friends and followers and it's given me ideas of what to write about.


I've been getting a lot of questions about how I got started, or even how I start everyday. What's my routine, what's my secret to being 'productive,' how do I use so many techniques and feel confident about the result?


I figured I'd talk about it for the next 30 days. Thirty Days of How to Get Started.


Here's the thing, I don't talk about my challenges, my failures, my mistakes, or issues because I don't like for my work to be associated with anything negative. I want my work to bring positivity and joy and excitement, but I'm realizing that people need to see the progress which also includes some of those days of hardship.


If there's one thing that I've had to do over and over is motivate myself. I have had plenty of situations that could have completely deterred me from making jewelry, countless rejections of all variety, made huge investments with both time and money that have gotten me nowhere, and honestly this is still a big gamble. Especially someone like me and how I run this business, the way I design is not feasible for many artists. But because no one else is really doing this type of jewelry work where every single design is super unique and using a huge variety of techniques and tools and materials, I just became really intrigued.


So let's get into it, my first little nugget of truth here.


I think the most important place to start is why do you want to sell your work in the first place?


I've always wanted to sell my jewelry. I honestly have no idea why I've carried this thought with me for so long, but I think it has to do with the fact that I just wanted to make jewelry every day. It feels like such a simple answer and maybe that's all that's needed for this question. I simply wanted to make this a career. I am not to the point where this is helping to pay bills, I have support from my husband and family. But I am finally starting to see that more people are attracted to my work and I'm starting to gain a routine for myself and sales are becoming more consistent.


But it has taken me years to get here.


I have tried literally everything from selling my work out of the trunk of my car, to walking into galleries with my most outrageous pieces asking if they'd be interested, to high-end markets. I had beginner's luck where I met women who saw my collections and bought the entire body of work in one evening.


I also went to markets where I didn't sell a single thing. I had my work in galleries where I invested probably over $10,000 worth of materials to make a gorgeous collection, and I only ended up selling $200 worth of jewelry there. I had a juror come up and tell me that I was for sure going to get into a market, and then I got a rejection letter a few weeks later. It's a part of the process that has shaped how I run this business and why I design how I design now.


Here's a hard truth: Nothing Even Matters. Haha! You're going to be embraced constantly and you're going to be rejected constantly. That's just how it goes. It finally hit me a few months ago that I had to make my own rules, run my own show, and do whatever design comes into my head. This decision might not be sustainable for you if you're trying to make a living out of it, but it might be sustainable for you if you're trying to bring more joy into your creative process.


Which is why I'm asking: why do you want to sell your work in the first place? Don't sell your work because others are selling their work. Sell your work because YOU WANT to sell your work.


That's all for today, thanks for reading.

Take care,

Caitlin