This is the first piece I created and posted in January 2013
It began with me living in a small mountain town in West Virginia. Last winter was partially cold, dreary and snowy. It made for a very, very impatient winter. In the summer of 2012 I had decided that it would be in my best interest to move away from West Virginia and return to Virginia. West Virginia is beautiful and I had built a successful jewelry business selling to the tourist. The tourist love to come to Elkins, WV to ride the scenic trains. They would visit my tent at the farmers market that occupied the plaza at the train depot. Other tourist love to visit the small mountain towns on top of Tucker County. They would visit and buy from the WV Highlands Co-op Gallery in Davis, WV where I was a member, as well as the Mountain Made Gallery in Thomas, WV. I was saddened to give up my business there, but I was even more sad with the notion of staying in such an isolated and rustic area. And so, I made the decision to move.
This is the last piece I posted in 2013
My home went on the market in the summer of 2012, but it didn't sell until May of 2013. I will spare you the details, but let me just say that it's not easy selling a home in an isolated area. But I was fortunate. After the contract with the local realtor had ended, with less than positive results, I continued to blast the internet with my home for sale. I put up posters on any piece of cork board I could find. Then God said 'It's time!'. A local couple saw my poster and fell madly in love with the house. It's now their home. I am happy for all of us.
These are my favorite earrings from 2013
During the spring of 2013 I came to visit my friends here in Virginia. They offered to rent me space in their large home. I made the move in late May of 2013 and now live in what they call the condo. There is a private staircase that leads to the large and spacious 3rd level of their home. I have a large walk in closet, a private bathroom, tons of storage space and a large open floor plan. The space is large enough for a studio, large bedroom and office. Their are large windows that give me so much natural light and two (2) skylights. One of the windows is flanked with built in bookcases and a window seat. I must say that it is perfect.
The truck being loaded to move me from WV to VA
Once I was settled in I thought that I would return to teaching jewelry classes. I applied on line for Michael's Arts and Crafts Store. Boy! What a huge mistake! My experience was negative. At first I blamed it on the initial store I was hired to teach in Manassas. They didn't seem helpful and obstacles to teaching were everywhere. I decided to transfer to the Reston store where the management was more pleasant and helpful. But, failure was written everywhere. I was frustrated and sad by the lack of success. I finally resigned after several months and not one class.
During the later part of 2013 I mailed in my jury applications to two (2) co-op galleries and wasn't accepted into either. The first gallery was hmmm, let's see, how to explain...well, it seemed to be a matriarchal organization and the bottom line is she didn't like me. I was upset and angry, but now I giggle at the situation and I'm mighty glad I didn't get into a commitment with this gallery. The second gallery was much more professional and sent me a letter explaining that they already had a similar type of wire jewelry artisan and for me to continue to apply for a future vacancy. I had already checked them out and knew that there was no room for a duplicate artisan, but I also know that change happens. Yes, I will reapply in 2014. I will be blogging my goals and business plan in the near future.
My new studio space has lots of light and no, my work table is hardly every this tidy.
In November of 2013 I did as small craft show. It was sorta' successful. I believe I was the 2nd highest seller. It was in a small 'Moose' venue and had a lot of buy resellers. I was pleasantly surprised that the shoppers walked immediately past a table of buy resell jewelry and purchased from me. I am must higher in price, but it did prove that people are looking for original and unique jewelry and that they are willing to pay a good price for it.
During 2013 I was accepted as a wire jewelry teacher at the Reston Community Center and the Warrenton Community Center. Both of these venues have me scheduled for teaching in 2014. I also was accepted into The Fire House Gallery and into the Buxton and Landstreet Gallery.
The Fire House Gallery
So, all in all 2013 was good, bad and ugly. But I see all of the experiences as necessary for the next steps in my journey.
I hope that I haven't discouraged anyone from their vision of making and selling their art. There are ups and there are downs in all aspects of life. I am not giving up. I am simply taking a different path. I have a plan and will be blogging about my new approach in the very near future.
The Buxton and Landstreet Gallery
Keep you head up, you vision in sight and most importantly your faith in yourself and your Creator. Because, 'Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life...' Psalm 23:6
Now, let's turn the page of 2013 and begin 2014 with a smile and a heart filled with joy. I wish you all a loving, prosperous, joy filled and creative 2014. ~ Linda