Considering this a proto “Season’s Greetings”. Now that I finally have the chronological time to do things like reflect and non-strenuously produce, I cannot seem to remove my bottom half from the couch beside the Christmas tree. It’s a damn shame, too, because I like to read and write and share but it seems that it is one of those things that becomes rusty with lack of use. Besides “oh, just do it”, I’m unsure what would be the most analogous to some steel wool and a little oil.
This year has been so full! Both with bad and with good, vibrating against each other. The ups have softened the edges of the downs (or, at least worked to divert my attention/increase my resolve) while the downs have given strong, shapely shadows to all that is good. I never felt the change but I have become a more steady and confidant business person over this past year. I feel like With Care Jewelry (as my DBA reads!) has settled into a strong place and I am excited to work from where I currently am to continue growing my business, my skills, and my opportunities. I blew past my greatest expectations for this year and doubled (DOUBLED.) my gross sales from last year. I was aiming for a 33% increase but actually hit 100%. Holy hell, thank you friends, family, fans, retailers, wholesalers, Etsy staff, boyfriends, girlfriends, daughters, moms, cool advice columnists, NRA members, art moms, popular restauranteurs, cult blondes, celebrity tattoo artists, Canadians, southerners, commercial design geeks, bar tenders, bar backs, estranged high school classmates, faghags, house guests, hippie nuns, and all the other beyond-definable folks who have helped me, or who continue to help me while I work on and succeed at this truly massive project I have created for myself. I am so damn fortunate.
I was stirred by the above video of the owner of Artifact Bag Co. (one of the first Etsy stores that “favorited”) explaining his good luck of harnessing one well-placed tweet from a popular blogger that we both follow. I am not always comfortable talking about myself or what I do. While my mother proudly tells people that I am, “an artist in Providence, Rhode Island”, it has taken me a number of years to unlearn the too-long pause between, “What do you do?” and whatever the current iteration of my answer may be. While I might now quickly answer, “I’m a designer and crafts-person”, it is not without a small feeling of being smug or egotistical or like I am gloating. Similarly, marketing has always presented a problem to me because it felt like I was a shameful shill. Despite what I am doing right now, despite how brilliantly colored my hair has been, despite how I may carry myself, I’ve never felt comfortable yelling for people to look at me. I do not like to be the center of attention… even if sometimes it does sound like a fun idea.
However, this video helped to rearrange my thoughts of self promotion. If I am confident in myself and confident in my work, it is not a heartless shill to hope for or ask for the help of bloggers, taste makers, or famous friends. I’m just asking, “Hey. I have this great thing. Would you assist me in showing people how great it is?” IF you can’t quite reach something, there is no shame in asking for a boost. Get at me, popular friends, before I get at you.