Last week I spent a day looking at what 2015 brought me in the way of successes and adventures, this week I'm using those reflections to set goals for the upcoming year. I don't love the idea of a resolution, but I do think setting measurable, achievable goals for a business is a smart idea. One of the things I recently realized I miss about working for a larger company is the structure of goals and feedback, it all leads to growth when done properly. This realization led me to think, why shouldn't I set goals and gather feedback for myself?
The setting goals part is easy, making them measurable and achievable is the challenge. I decided on a frame work of 3 larger scale goals, which I can then check in on and adjust as the year goes on. These goals are simply stated; Increase my presence in new markets through added vendors and new shows, create a shopping cart within my website to streamline the ordering process for my customers, and add a new skill to my toolbelt that will help innovate new designs. Ultimately, these goals are for you, my customer. When I really think about the company I want to become, you are my top priority and I feel comfortable in my goals for this year because they are all about how to make new, unique pieces make it easier to get them into your hands.
As is normal, I have had a few setbacks already. I started to create my web store design, allowed my etsy shop to dwindle down so I could transition after Christmas and thought I was saving so much extra work and effort. Well, I am still struggling with getting my shop 100% (and if you are going to do something, do it right the first time), and just this week had a crazy surge in Instagram likes on my hairstick pictures. Sounds like a good thing, right? Well, in my haste to get the shop open for all this new traffic to actually BUY the hairsticks, I opened an empty page!!! So embarassing, and also a wasted business opportunity. But, I made the best of it when I realized this and got the hairsticks into my etsy shop and back onto this website as soon as I could. For anyone who visited my empty shop, I am so sorry for any inconvenience!
While it can be frustrating to be less than two weeks into a goal and already have to take a step back and re-evaluate, this is also a good reminder to me to slow down. I don't have to become good at all this today, I have a year to achieve these objectives, and to expand on them further and continue into the next year. I have to learn not to be so impatient with myself, to understand that mistakes are part of life and we learn from them and move on. And it turns out, as an added bonus I figured out some new tools with Etsy shop updates that I hadn't known existed. In the meantime as my site gets fixed, I will be exploring these tools and see what they can bring the business.
On a happy note, I am proud to announce that I will be sending out an order to a new shop in Royal Oak, MI shortly. If you live in the area, check out Saffron, possibly one of the cutest boutiques around. Come February they will be carrying my designs.
I will also have items available for sale locally at The Jeweler's Daughter here in Las Vegas. I had the pleasure of meeting with Polly yesterday and love the vibe she has created, an artsy pop up shop style boutique with such beautiful designs. And her work is GORGEOUS! Her jewelry line has the great fusion of old school jewelry techniques with current fashion trends and a bit of Vegas flair. Very proud to be represented in her lovely shop. I will be kicking things off there this month with a trunk show on Jan 23rd from 12-4. More details to come.
PS- I know you noticed the new logo up at the top of the post. This is courtesty of the lovely and talented Jessica Weymouth, a water color artist based in Long Beach whose work I have admired for quite some time. I am excited that she agreed to do up my new business cards and look forward to getting them in next week. If you have a chance to check her work out, she can be found at www.instagram.com/jessweymouth_
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.