I know I am a bit behind the curve on new years reflections, but I am finally having a moment to sit and think about what life changing events have filled this year. On a personal level there are too many milestones to mention, so for today I will just focus on the work milestones knowing they would never have been possible without the personal growth that came before.
It is hard to believe that less than 6 months has passed since I made the decision to dive in full steam ahead and make this my full time endeavor. People still ask me if I have enough to do to fill my days since I no longer work 40 hours. Sometimes it seems I could fill two days for every one I have, and still be running behind. One of the things I did not fully realize until got into the swing of things is how time consuming marketing and promoting your own work can be. The actual time I spend making jewelry is less than 40% of my day. The rest of the time is spent on design, photography, social media, website maintenance and maintaining wholesale line sheets for my boutiques. Whew, its exhausting, but worth every minute of it.
Social media is such a wonderful tool to getting my designs out there, and I have been working all year on building my network. It can be a lot to think about followers, likes, interactions etc... and to be honest there are times when I get down on myself for my gallery not getting as much notice as I would like, losing followers, or even not gaining new followers quickly enough. But, when I step back and look at it objectively, I've had a pretty good year on Instagram. Sometimes its easy to measure yourself against other accounts and other jewelers, a trap I'm trying not to fall into. Realistically, I have shown a 637% increase in followers this year. Who can be upset with that? And the more I can show off my designs, the better that will get. Slow and steady wins the race, and that will continue to be my plan.
The other new venture for me this year has been designing collections and arranging photoshoots. The work and coordination that goes into these was a huge challenge for me, I never realized how much detail is decided on to create exactly the image in my head. Luckily for me, I have some amazingly talented friends who have been so supportive and helpful on getting just the right looks. The 4 images above are just a sampling of the work that has come from these collaborations, and I invite you to look through the Lookbooks tab to get a full idea of how talented my friends are.
2015 also marked the first men's collection I put together for The Label Nashville. I love seeing how they style my pieces (as in the above mannequin shot), and also the exposure I get to a new market. One of my highlights this year has been seeing my necklaces used in videos (screen shot above from a promotional video for Joe Nichols "Freaks Like Me" video.
Overall, my designs are carried in 8 boutiques around the country, something I would never have thought possible in such a short time. I am designing lines specifically for Gypsy05, and learning the ins and outs of wholesale orders, pricing and distribution. I'm excited to be expanding my boutique presence this coming year (crossing fingers, I will have another one or two to add this month).
The other wonderful side effect of this crazy, exciting, roller coaster of an adventure that I have embarked on: The friends and collaborators I have met along the way. The above pic shows off just a few of my favorite local artists (Check out the lovely work of Rachel (In Her Drawer), Jehnna (Rabbits Foot Creations) and Nicole (Nikdreamer). I also had the pleasure of meeting many, many more talented people. My world is richer for knowing these makers, movers and shakers, and they inspire me in so many different ways.
So, for all of you who have been with me on this adventure, I thank you and invite you to continue with me... 2016 is going to be ridiculously amazing!
Owner/Designer for Desert Daisy Jewelry. Crystal Enthusiast, Wanderer, Gypsy Soul.