Wow, 2011 was quite a ride, and 2012 is going to be even better. It's so hard to believe that last year I was making knitted flower clips, which looked more like fiber-y cinnamon buns, and now I get to work with shiny metal and sparkling beads. Oh, and let's not forget STERLING!! hehe Can't wait to see what this year brings. But first, some heartfelt thanks are in order to some wonderful groups of people who have helped me so much.
1. First and foremost, my fans and clients. I love talking to you all! Each "like" on facebook, every comment and suggestion, has been taken into account when designing new pieces. Some of my best work was suggested by you, like this collection of jewel toned copper bracelets. Genius! It has been a pleasure getting to know each one of you this year. You're a sweet, funny bunch. <3
2. Color Combo Challenge (CCC) group on Facebook It was a very good day when I stumbled into this group of wonderful artists. Many of the artists who participate in the color challenges are masters of their craft with many years of experience, which they freely shared to newbies like me. Thank you, each one of you, who offered input on my ideas and projects, recommendations for higher grade materials, and encouraged me when I didn't think I was "good enough". One of your number even sent me a package of wonderful beads to jumpstart my collection!
My skills were improved as I tried new things for the challenges, and braved color combinations I wouldn't have tried otherwise. I am a much better artist than I was a year ago, and it's because of the creative pushing of this lovely group.
3. The Artifre community. Artfire.com is where my shop is hosted. Have you heard of Etsy? Artfire is an up-and-coming handmade marketplace similar to the Big E. When I started there I had No idea what I was doing, but by spending time in the forums, asking questions, and reading the helpful start guides I figured it out. I've learned about SEO, keywords, how to take better product pictures, and the art of writing great descriptions from the people and articles in the forum.
Earthegy was an artist who was especially helpful to me, and one day I hope to have her level of success. Her story is amazing!
I have a lot of plans for this year. Last year's plan was to blog, sell online, and run a Facebook page for an entire year. Mission accomplished! This year is going to be even better.
1. Fan appreciation program - I'm in the process of setting up a rewards program on my Facebook page to reward the fans who interact there with special discounts.
2. Patterns and knits of BooJay jewelry will be available sometime this spring. The patterns are in the process of being written up, and once finished can be purchased alone or with a kit of beads, wire, and clasps.
3. Increase my offerings of Sterling silver, and add a special selection of gold filled pieces. I'm also transitioning to using gems and Swarovski crystals exclusively instead of the glass beads I started with.
3. Site redesign - Give the old blog and shops (I have one on Artfire and one on Etsy) a facelift, so everything works together and has a unified, more professional, look.
4. Faster shipping. My goal is to ship within 24 hours, unless the piece is custom made. Custom pieces will be shipped within 24 hours of completion. Last year orders are shipped within 3 days of ordering.
Here's to 2012!