I create. That is what I do. That’s what I have always done. Me on my jack jones making something, that will make me smile when it is finished.
At some point in my life, I decided to create and allowed myself to get paid for it.
I had enough of spending money, on supplies that weren’t gonna get re-imbursed to me and time, that I could have been using differently. So I started to put a price on it.
After about a year I decided to go self employed.
I am not some rich and famous well known artist / bead artisan.
But I have every intention to be.
I have skills, class and standards that I keep (not to toot my own flute or anything).
But seriously. I do what I do, sell at stalls, markets and online.
Then I am encouraged to join forces with others.
Creatives that do similar to me, or members of my community that I could share a stall with.
At first I was reluctant. Then I accepted.
I am told “one hand can’t clap”
and that “people who are in business alone do not become as successful as partnerships and teams”
To a certain extent this may be right, but come on people. If you wanna work with me, Step up to the plate!
I have a way of working. If we share a stall, don’t fall asleep at the table! (Yes it has happened to me!).
- Don’t be scared of speaking to customers. relax, tell them what we are doing, SMILE!
- Present you work with dignity and class! If you come with clothing or items that thave threads still hanging off them, or clothing that smells of smoke or food, no matter how well stitched or made they are, your value will hugely drop and it will affect the entire stalls image.
- Be organised. Be on time. Have petty cash change, and carrier bags or packaging if necessary. Have business cards.
This is my little rant over. I was asked recently by someone if I could sell items on their behalf. This individual, I have bad experience working with in person, and also they don’t take enough pride in their work. As they believe “if it will sell, it will sell”.
So to summerise, I am happy to share a stall with likeminded individuals. Not those looking for a quick buck selling whatever they got left but those who genuinely see an opportunity to get where they want to get in life.
This isn’t a joke to me. It is fun, enjoyable but serious business.
I was just browsing the net and I stumbled on a jeweller who had her work in the British Museum shop and it totally sold out in 3 months. ?????
My heart skipped a beat!
How on earth do you get to have your work in a museum?
I went onto daydream about it. And even just working for a museum. If I had to work for anyone again, I would happily work in repairs or reconstructing of beaded artifacts in a museum.
After all it was a trip to the museum that got me started in beading after all.
I had gone to the museum as a teen, and fell in love with this huge beaded, detailed tapestry wall hanging that was in the African art section.
I loved art. Especially art with fine detail, such as giant oil paintings that are painted with the tiniest of brushes, where every blade of grass can be seen.
That day in the museum shop, I found a book that came with beads entitled “Fun With African Beads”.
I had to have it.
I copied every project in the book, then went on to working out how to design my own.
And almost 2 decades later, I am still at it!
Who would have known that I would go on to start my own business years later creating beaded jewellery?
My son randomly asked me today if I could sew. Well, It is a perfectly logical question that I almost answered “No” to.
Then I thought about it.
At the time, I was at my work desk and busy threading a needle.
In all the years of his current incarnation existence, he would have never seen me so-much-as sew a button on a shirt.
If you ask if I could sew, I say No.
But thinking of it today, I realised that it must be some kind of a mental blockage.
I mean, I like fixing things. But when it comes on clothes I avoid it like the plague. I would rather pay someone to do it for me, or add it to a ‘to do later’ pile where ‘later’ is actually in a couple of years.
When I was a teen, I ran from any vaccinations and when asked why, I just kept using the excuse that I was ‘afraid’ of needles. Until one day my friends told me that I could no longer use that excuse since I seemed to love needles when it came to body piercings. :) hmm… I have to analyse myself in more depth.
Give me a needle and thread to mend anything and I will run a mile.
Give me a needle and thread, then throw me in some beads… and I will make magic happen!
What is this about?
Why is it that sourcing craft items are so expensive or scarce in the U.K?
Is it that people over here do not do as much crafts?
Or maybe the ones that can source things are all given secret locations after studying it it universities.
Well for self taught artists such as myself I find it extremely annoying.
In my current rant I am referring to cuff blanks.
I really don’t mind if it is made of aluminium, copper or brass. I just want it to do the job.
My current passion in my jewellery is bead embroidery.
Firstly I needed some decent beads. I.e. Mikuki Delica’s. Oh so expensive over here but nevertheless my colour collection is gradually building.
Secondly I needed some ultra suede for the backing. Well the average is £5 for an A4 sheet size.
I purchase some that is not of the same quality of the thick ones on the craft sites, I haven’t tried them yet although the supplier said that they are non fraying. I am a little sceptical.
Thirdly I needed some beading foundation. If I was gonna be doing this on a regular I want it in bulk (typical me)
However Lacy’s stiff stuff beading foundation is also at £5 a pop for just an A4 sheet size and if I am going to be doing the large neck collars that I have in mind I am gonna be needing more than just a couple.
Well, as usual things always seem cheaper from the states and after hours and hours of research I found a supplier who offered cheap postage. Believe me, I ordered 10 yards of the stuff! I am set for life. Lol.
That leads me to my fourth and final challenge, metal blanks.
Now I don’t want them for stamping or anything like that. Just purely to shape my cuffs and allow them to be adjustable on customers wrists.
Now in the UK the sources are pretty scarce.
They have the all but have you seen the prices? Neck cuffs, 11.90 each, bangle cuffs between £4.60 and £8.45 EACH.
Even on eBay, they cost around 3.50 each plus £4 Postage!
I found http://www.rosebudlia.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=88&products_id=2678
And the owner, Rose is so helpful. She doesn’t sell any other type other than this thin one with the diamond shape but I thought I would rather have those than nothing at all so I purchased some and had a good moan to her about sourcing them.
She was ever so kind and allowed me to swap some my new purchased ones from herself for one of her own stash of 2 inch blank cuffs.
I told her that if she can purchase more, she should consider selling them as there is an open market for it. She agreed but it has been a month now and there has been none listed on either her website or Etsy shop.
In the States. The amount of sites is innumerable. So. What’s the problem?
Have you seen how much postage has gone up to buy from there during the last year???
I mean if you want to order some simple blanks that cost $7 for 12, you have to try and fork out £15 on postage! Seriously?????
Now I want to be able to keep the costs down for my customers as much as possible and get things down to the bare minimum of my time and supplies costs. So in order to do that I have to be able to purchase my materials and findings at the lowest possible prices.
Well, it takes many hours to complete beaded works. You can spend a whole week on one item so in order for my customers not to incur costs of the blanks I cannot be paying £5 to £20 extra for each
So as you know, I ain’t the giving up type. And I am definitely the Do-it-yourself type. So….
Drastic times call for drastic measures!
I went on to a metal supply website. Ordered a half meter length of 1mm thick aluminium for only £6 including post.
Brought a wax pen to draw out my shapes
And brought these seriously heavy duty 10 inch Marksman metal shears.
Let me tell you. I thought it was gonna be a hard task but to my surprise, they cut through the metal like fabric scissors cut through paper!
I am so pleased.
So the moral to this story, is. If you don’t succeed right away, Find another way!
I was so excited that I felt like doing cartwheels.
I’ve got a stall at the Day of the Goddess. A women’s only event to raise awareness for the people in Congo. http://www.dayofthegoddess.co.uk/congo.html
Oh and did I mention that ticket prices include vegan food (or what ever type tickles your fancy).
You see, last year I wanted to attend the event and I didn’t get the opportunity to and this time at the end of December I received an email that there was stalls on sale and the date was to be 25th March 2012.
I thought to myself I am not waiting until march I am gonna book right my stall right away. But unfortunately I didn’t have the money in my account at the time. Oh well, not to worry, I will pay when the banks open back up.
Tuesday 3rd of January I took my son Heru to school for the first day back after the holidays then went straight to the bank. I checked my account and thought “yes” I am gonna book right now.
I got home, put on my PC, went to the website and before I could go any further my friend phoned saying that she had just tried to book for herself and the stalls are all gone!
Are you kidding me? But the event is in March??? What is wrong with these people? I was planning this for ages. I even knew what designs I was planning on creating to bring. I even thought of ordering a banner. (So much to think of when you create a new business).
Well I wasn’t having any of it.
In disbelief I checked the website for a contact number and gave it a call right away. On the other end on the line was a very friendly lady by the name of Sheryl who confirmed they were all sold out of stall space.
I asked her to put me on a reserve list in case anyone cancelled.
Well, she told me that no one ever cancelled. But I insisted that it is just in case. She then said that there may be a stall left but she was planning on using it herself, and she will let me know if I left my details.
So I sent a text as well as an email with my info and my website.
To my surprise, 8 days later I received an email from her saying that she has just opened up another stall space on the website and if I’m still interested I should follow the link right away.
Of course I am interested. And of course I followed the link.
Within 3 minutes of receiving the email, I had booked a stall and paid up via Paypal.
I really wasn’t messing about. The moral of this post? See whatever you want and keep your eye on it even when things seem bleak. And when you see that small crack of opportunity… waste no time. Grab it!
Hi there and welcome to my first blog.
Here I speak about my creations and generally what I am up to.
I have a website www.hazinacreations.co.uk where I have for sale many of my jewellery creations.
I work mainly with beading, resin and wire.
I also have other crafts such as tie dye, candle making and oil painting. I love singing, acting, and music. You get the drift. I just enjoy to be creative.
I am inspired by colours, Africa, and of course by all the art and creativity around me.
So enjoy my blog. Go ahead and click the + to follow. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.