Thursday, 12 February 2015

Ignoring business advice ...

There are many - many! - of us small (micro) businesses, trying to sell our work, both online and face to face.  We are competing in a huge marketplace, and often it's the little tips that help.  That said, I've seen it stated many times that we should find the one thing we're good at and stick to it.  Well, I'm going to fly in the face of that little piece of advice and state that, while this may work for some people, it's not set in stone.

Those of you who follow my work will know that I create both traditional jewellery (mainly earrings) and more unique wirework.  I started with the jewellery (as many do) and progressed to working with wire, which includes making my own findings, as well as the little wearable wire pictures.  I would say that if I'm known at all, it's the wirework that I'm known for, as I have developed my own style over the years, which is often (I hope!) instantly recognisable.

But last year when I was considering which direction I needed my business to go in, I considered that little piece of advice and ultimately ignored it.  Instead of shelving the regular jewellery work and focusing purely on the wirework pieces, I continued to create earrings.  It was not a failure.  People didn't sneer at the fact that I was trying to do two quite different things, and I sold almost as many pairs of earrings as I did wire pendants.  My earrings may not have a recognisable 'style' like my wirework, but does that mean I have to stop making them, just because they don't fit with my brand?  (Whatever that is - I have to confess that to me it's one of those techy marketing terms that eludes my limited comprehension ... )

I'm not suggesting it would be sound business sense to blithely continuing making a diverse range of items that just don't sell - it's important to keep track of what's actually successful for you - but neither is it particularly sound business sense to stick to just one thing when two (or maybe more) work.  It is of course impossible to be all things to all people, but as they say, variety is the spice of life.

Do you sell your work?  Have you found that it suits you to concentrate on one thing, or do you have more diverse success?

Monday, 12 January 2015

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all!  I don't know about you, but I always feel the post-Christmas lack of sparkle quite keenly - I'm a huge fan of Christmas, and all its attendant twinkly lights, delicious scents and good company, and New Year, followed by cold, bleak January always feels like a real anti-climax.

But this year, I have special memories of a lovely New Year to cheer me up.  For the first time ever, Mr G and I went away and stayed by the sea.

You all know by now that I have an abiding love for our coastline, and to spend a few days there, in winter, was a new and fulfilling experience.  Not hindered by the fact that (for once!) we were exceedingly lucky with the weather.  We had beautiful sunshine for all but one day (New Year's Day), and we didn't get rained on once!  Well, until we were packing the car to come home, but that's quite normal ...

That's not to say it wasn't cold - it was!  But we bundled ourselves up in many layers (and daft hats, in my case, much to the delight (!) of my long-suffering hubby) and did lots of beach-walking.

We made a trip to Cromer - where it really was flippin' cold! - and enjoyed hot chips on the seafront, watching an intrepid surfer with amazement.

And, because we were there at the right time of year for the first time ever, we had to go to Horsey to see the seal pups.  The seals arrive there every year to have their babies - and the humans also arrive there in droves to see them.  It was very busy (we had to queue for ages just to park), but worth it, to see the cute blobs of blubber rolling around on the beach and up in the dunes.  I'm a HUGE seal fan, and I like to think that I might have paddled with the parents of one or two of those babies, on that very same beach.

New Year's Eve was spent barbecuing (yes, really) and drinking champagne, and you won't hear me complaining about that!  So I started 2015 in the most awesome way, and am hopeful the rest of the year will follow suit. ;)  Yes, the house looked rather sad, once it had been denuded of most of its sparkle - but I used some of my Christmas money to buy myself a ridiculously bright rose light tree for my work room, so that will suffice. :)