Personally, if there is no INSPIRATION, then I’m not creating. Today I want to help you with organizing your creative schedule with my 3 C’s principle: Core, Creativity, and Cohesion.
Core – Knowing exactly what product you want to sell and sticking to it. Especially on a forum like ETSY, you are among thousands of other hungry vendors looking to pawn their wares. It’s important to really believe in your product(s) – it’s the only way you will live through the low or no sales days.
I’ve been making jewelry since I was in high school but working professionally in the jewelry world for over 15 years, and one thing I learned was this – to be fully committed to your product means to be in love with it. Think of it as a relationship because there are many times you will feel like leaving it because it’s not working but it takes time to build (customer) trust and confidence. I closed my store officially 2 years ago (Sept 2010 after 10 years of working my ass off) but it’s only now with this fresh new start on Etsy, my avid research into social media and my complete belief in the Law of Attraction; I have finally begun to understand that it all begins with YOU. You need to be 100% dedicated to your product whether it be jewelry, pottery, photography etc.. You are standing in your way of making money. Once you determine your product; sit with it for a few days, fall in love with it again and you will see there’s enough abundance in the world to go around and it will come to YOU.
Creativity – This is my favorite part of the whole process. Personally, I’m inspired by Fashion. I am part of many social media sites like Polyvore, Tumblr, Pinterest and personal blogs that focus a lot on the current trends and the world of Fashion. I subscribe to fashion blogs and receive tons of emails on a daily basis with all the latest looks hot off the runways. My goal is to one day show my jewels at one of these shows but for now I am resigned to selling within the season (not ahead of it). Thanks to Pinterest, I’m able to gather all the Spring 2013 looks that inspire me whether it be details, colors or theme. I used to create trend boards with pics that inspired me from magazines, fabric and color swatches, newspaper clippings, quotes, photos, etc.. It all depends on what inspires YOU.
Cohesion – Now that we have determined our product, been through the process of creativity; we are ready to bring it all together in a cohesive collection to sell. Taking the time to sort through the clutter and determining collections makes my creative life so easy. I first decide on the trends and then decide my color palette. You may make people in your life a little crazy. I’m always asking them, “Would you wear this blue or that blue?”, “How do you feel about this color?” or “Do you prefer long or short necklaces?” They’re the same old questions every season but it helps me to focus on the specifics. The next step is designing actual styles – this could take hours or weeks all depending again on your focus. Unfortunately, we have lots of distractions so finding the time sometimes is difficult but again it’s our livelihood and finding the time is most essential.
The next step is purchasing the raw material. The actual supplies are always the last step because it’s the most costly and you really need to know for absolute certainty that these beads are going to be used! Of course, this works for any business that you are in.
The final step, which is a preferred step for moi, is marketing the collection. Before actually sending it into the viral world, I always do a photo shoot bringing together the actual pieces and their themes (that I worked long hours developing). It doesn’t have to cost a lot. You can find a photographer right out of school (that may do it for free – for her/his portfolio), a model (that can be a very close friend of yours or someone u know – barter with your product/service) and the cost of printing. It’s worth it, in the end!!
An organized process works extremely well, no matter what media you work with, in narrowing in on your product and its eventual salability. Once again, this is how I work. Everyone works in their own manner but I do believe that following a certain format season after season will make your life a lot easier and less stressful. Of course, every season I always tweak it a little but my process has been pretty consistent throughput the years.
Remember – it could take years for your product to be recognized. Do not lose hope. Forge on. Finding different avenues to sell is easy – just find ones that make you happy! At the end of the day, if the maker is unhappy then the product won’t sell. DO what you are comfortable with and if you can’t sell then give it to someone else to do but please, please FALL IN LOVE with your product (and don’t forget to love yourself along the waytoo!!!). IF YOU BELIEVE, YOU WILL ACHIEVE!