Thursday, August 25, 2016

What Happens When You Buy My Work?

The first thing I do every morning is check my e-mail.  This morning, I found someone had purchased my "Butterfly Collection" necklace.  What happens next never ceases to amaze me!

I feel tremendously energized when someone decides to buy something I have made. I wonder if this is true for all makers?  Let me show you how my morning went.

First I auditioned velvets to be made into the box liner for this work.  I want the buyer to feel good when she opens her purchase.  I want my caring about the work I do, and about her purchase, to be visible in my presentation.  I decided the white allowed the work to show itself to best advantage.



Then I traced my pattern on the velvet, cut, pinned, and stitched it up, still in my nightgown, mind.



All this time, I am thinking about a new piece that has just occurred to me.

Then I created the shipping label, and discovered my print profile over charged her by $.70.  Rats!  So I processed a return for the over-charge, and stopped on my way up to the printer to pull out some materials for this new idea I have.

I hustled back to my studio and typed up a bit of info about the work, taken from my listing.  What I was thinking when I make it, why I chose the colors I did, why there is a tiny flower component, why the white pearls, why the fiery sparkle.  Because I am fully aware this buyer will have her own meanings to ascribe to this work, but I want her to know mine too.  We now share these ideas.  I have said before, and will always believe, her choice to buy and display my art on her body/gallery is for me, the final creative act in the process.  I add some care instructions for the beadwork, like, avoiding perfume, hairspray, lotions, things that can damage bead finishes, a great lesson from the Etsy Beadweavers Team.



I tied a little orange ribbon around the box, wrapped it in tissue, put it in its Priority Mail box, afixed the label, and out to the mailbox it goes.  (I did put on my robe for this part, in case you are concerned.) Then I made my breakfast, and ate it looking at the materials I had collected, and dreamed about how they will come together.

I had written in my listing (use the link and scroll down if you want to read it):
"I love this piece, and was not sure I wanted to sell it, but how many pieces of jewelry can a girl own?"  

I think there is some magic in sending work out into the world. I can draw some analogies, like sending a child off to college or to a first job.  My part is done, and now, that beloved baby has to stand on its own.  But I think there is also a new space left in my soul for further creation when my work sells.

I have spent the last year learning to write tutorials, and while I am a very long shot from perfect, that skill is functional, I think, and it's been interesting and rewarding.

But I think making is my first and best love.  And I am so glad today to celebrate the potential for more making, created by a simple sale.  How do you feel, when your work sells?

13 comments:

  1. Congrats on selling your piece. I have never sold a large piece of jewelry a few pendants and bracelets that I teach at my LBS. I have done a couple of non-beading commissions and they were cool in a different way.

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    1. Wow, how interesting. I find commissions challenging in a unique way. It is basically what I do for a living with my ballgowns, but somehow different for a jewelry client. I so admire your work, and maybe I am simply super fortunate to sell the occasional piece.

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  2. I have some similar thoughts as you mention Marsha. I am pretty chuffed that someone wants to wear my creation. I also feel a little sad that one of my personal collections is going to leave home. The sadness doesn't last too long though.
    Reading how much extra you put into your presentation has told me to lift my game a bit more. I box them nicely and keep in mind the postage charges/handling etc. but I do think the buyer would be even more happy if received as beautifully as you present them. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Aww Patrick, thanks! Bittersweet, sad and joyful, I think it's a "tears of joy" thing almost, but the energy: call it impetus, or maybe just a bit of a shove on the backside, wow, that for me is the best bit. Bezeling as I speak, lol!

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  3. Years ago I did try to sell my work and did the same as you with a bit of info on the piece and how to care for it. I still have loads of those cards around somewhere and all the beaded pieces that never sold. I did sell a bead crochet necklace once, right off my neck at a fund-raising craft show for a town library. I went home a very happy gal. Hasn't happened again, but I remain ever hopeful :) Jeanne Evans

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    1. Jeanne, it is a tricky thing, selling beadwork. It is such a time consuming art, and few people really appreciate that. We live in a Walmart world, where necklaces cost $10. What ever makes people spend their money on art? I don't know the answer, but I do know, it is generally my very best work that sells. How is it possible that quality is so easily identifiable? I think hopefulness is good, myself!

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  4. you put it in words so well - I enjoyed reading your article. I feel quite the same about my jewelry. It is hard to depart with really special pieces. I always fear that it won't arrive safely, or that it is not strong enough, that the cusomter won't like it when having it in her hands... I am a pot of doubt when it comes to selling jewelry - that is the reason why I joined the Etsy Beadweavers team - to challenge myself to overcome all these doubts, to find answers to weaknesses too. I love to wear beaded jewelry made by me or by other designers. The pieces from other designers always feel really special.
    Thank you for sharing your special moment of joy with us, and congrats on selling this beautiful piece!

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    1. You know Cath, I have been hoarding my favorite things since leaving Etsy Beadweavers, and I don't think it is healthy. I agree, I can have tremendous fear about... Will it be loved, will it be durable, (although I think I often OVER REINFORCE) will it arrive safely. Those are real, those anxieties! I think it is probably time for me to put my two diamond weave pieces up for sale. Aack! But the payoff in terms of energy and inspiration, and the damping down of doubt... For me it is worth it. A fair trade. :)

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  5. Thanks for this...it is important to think all theses things through. Hard to let something so special go. Does that inspire you to start a new project?

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    1. It does inspire me for sure. For me one of the difficulties of making things I love is my admittedly scrawny neck. Most people are larger than I am, so when I make something scaled to my size, (my tiny wrists too) then few others can wear it. So I have to think when I am finishing... "just for me, or for sale." But when someone my size asks if I will sell a piece I had not necessarily planned to sell, then I have to think again. I wonder how many others this applies to?

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  6. It never ceases to amaze me how similar we creative types are! I too feel that incredible sense of elation when I make a sale, instantly followed by a tiny sting of regret knowing I'll never see it again, replaced as soon as I've thought it by an urgent desire to go and create something new - nothing can buoy me when I'm feeling creatively lacklustre like the knowledge that someone likes my work enough to part with their hard earned dollars and I experience all the pangs of anxiety that Cath described, wondering if it will arrive unscathed, if the buyer will still like it when they see it firsthand, if it will stand the test of time...The level of care you put into packaging your work speaks volumes about the amount of care you must put into creating your art and can only enhance its beauty (not that it needs any enhancement) and the joy the recipient must feel when their package arrives. Reading your post I realised that too often I'm in such a hurry to send mine on its way that I don't take the extra time for those little extras that show the buyer how much I love and treasure my work. Thank you for setting the benchmark!

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    1. Beautifully said Regina, and so familiar! Thank you for reading and commenting. <3

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    2. I think I should add to this. As the proud, and enthusiastic owner of your amazing bracelet... I think it's name is "Shed Your Skin", I was thrilled with it before I saw it in person, but staggered when I opened the box. Some work transcends. Is simply more than the sum of its parts. And I suspect that all of the sexy packaging in the world would not compensate for disappointment.

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