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Know Yourself to Know Your Customer

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An artist once said to me, “I will stick with painting until I’m done painting, then I’ll move onto another medium.” I remember cringing when she revealed her commitment because I’m not that type of artist/person. I am a dabbler, explorer. I enjoy painting, woodworking, metalworking, weaving, sculpting, and want to blow glass, try blacksmithing and enameling, plus more as they are revealed to me. Sometimes, when I see other artists who have studied one craft for ten-plus years and are leaders in their field with awards, I wonder if I should have taken that path. But I am grateful to have been given this gift and that I have the ability to create at all (so many people can’t), and I continue to grow as a jeweler, taking more classes and exploring new ways to manipulate metal.


Who are you? Are you a beader, working with Beadalon and crimps? Are you crochet artist, using needles, beads, and yarn/metal, a PMC artist, slipping and scoring, a wire wrapper, or are you a jeweler, using a torch and flex shaft? And what is your style of jewelry? Traditional: diamonds set in platinum, contemporary: raw stones in dappled silver? Or avant-garde: plastic shapes formed into a spleen necklace? Where is your comfort zone at this moment? I say “at this moment” because art is a path you travel along.


If you are still struggling with sales or you’re selling but are not satisfied with your designs, wholesale price point, or clients, step back and ask yourself what type of beader/artist/jeweler you want to be. Until you know yourself, you can’t know your client.

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