This post is about working from home and running a business. I had a wonderful lady that is interested in making her jewelry more of a business than a hobby and has mediocre sales online, etc…. Her jewelry is beautiful so she has a very sellable product. She wants to ramp it up and maybe do a show and get more internet traffic. The book above goes over everything very well so I recommend reading it. However if I would have read this book while I was just getting started I might have been too scared to start. It all takes time to develop. You have to start somewhere. Just jump in.
Here is my response to the wonderful lady that asked me a some business questions:
About your show….. talking to me might have been a bad thing. I did not start out how I am now. It was a very slow progression of learning and building and doing and changing. It all takes time. Don’t be scared! It’s fun. Shows are really really fun and worth it. They are work but every show you learn a little more and meet new people and create lasting friendships as well as customers. Go to your first show and just have there whatever you have for inventory – don’t worry about making a zillion things. Take it all in for the experience of it.
I tell people that want to run a jewelry business that a 40 hour work week is minimum because I know most people are not self motivated enough to be their own boss. There are weeks I work 70 hours (show weeks) and there are weeks I work 10 hours. I could work 80 hours if I did not have any other responsibilities like my family. Thank God I have them or I would never leave my basement. I work steady while my children are at school. After school it’s all them….homework, sports, dinner. I get up early on the weekends to take care of orders so we can go enjoy our weekend days together. In the summer I try and work from early AM to 9/10 Am and then go do fun things with the kids and do some computer work at night. You will find a routine. I just try and emphasize that it’s a lot of time.
If you left your house and went to a full time job everyday you would probably leave at 7am and not return until 5 or 5:30 pm-48/52 weeks a year. If you did this in your jewelry business for yourself you would be successful. Most people won’t do it. They wander off in their minds and do other things. When my kids are at school: I don’t clean the house, I don’t go grocery shopping, I don’t make dinner….I work as if I am gone at a job in my studio. All the rest has to wait just like other people do that leave and go to a job in the morning. They are not telling their boss ‘I’ll be in later. I have to wash my windows and fold a load of clothes first.”
If you cannot commit to a time frame that works for you and your life that is ok but you won’t have the same out come as someone that does. It’s still fun. You still enjoy it. It’s a wonderful craft and a wonderful learning process. It’s really all up to you. Last year at the Bead and Button Show I went to get a bite to eat with another instructor. It turned out she is a Chemist. She makes jewelry just for herself for fun ( and it’s awesome stuff!) She sometimes doesn’t go into her studio for a month at a time. She is so skilled she is writing a book on several silversmithing techniques. We have completely opposite goals and we laughed at ourselves and the differences. It is what you want it to be but go for it. It’s a journey. See where it leads.
Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!!!