I’ve kept my shop and its wares somewhat private over the past two years — usually only pulling out my pieces when someone expresses interest — but otherwise my creations remain on etsy. Its difficult to explain why I love to create pieces that only I’ll enjoy, and yet, I still do.
This past weekend, I attended the Biggest Mural in Houston as a jewelry vendor; the entirety of the event was a culmination of weeks’ prior of work put in by Sabastien Boileau into an 8000 square foot mural in Midtown. The event was held in partnership between the Texas-French Alliance for the Arts and the Midtown District, and benefit a children’s hospital mural project. In addition to my own booth, there were also other local artists and small businesses at the event, so it was a great way to see how a market like this would go about. You know, for the newbie here.
Now, my booth set-up was kinda… eccentric. Random. “Organized chaos” maybe? Ok, truth be told I tried to rein in my spending and do as much of the prep-work myself (DIY-ing of course), so I had two objectives going into the market: first, I wanted to gauge people’s reactions in terms of my work. Second, I wanted to see what type of visual arrangement(s) would be better in terms of showcasing the pieces themselves.
Since I pull inspiration from different sources, it was difficult to
For the earrings and necklaces, I used two super cheap frames, removing the glass and instead placed a thick layer of felt for the surface. T-pins were used to attach the jewelry to the felt. I think for next time, I’m going to space out the pieces better and more evenly, as well as paint the frames themselves a more metallic color to provide a more stark contrast against the fabric.
Yep, those hands in the middle with the bracelets are from a previous set of Halloween decorations — normally covered in blood and with the exposed bones being front and center — but here, for the family-friendly environment I covered them up with a plain canvas so the jewelry would stand out more.
To fill in the surface area of the table, I opened my books to a clean layout (plain text only) and laid out some of my pieces on the pages to give almost a ‘found’ quality. The pieces I create are supposed to serve a treasures, talismans, tokens of memories that can be worn today and tomorrow. Finally, I added touches of my own darker aesthetic with a few knick-knacks, i.e. my gargoyle bookends, skulls, and Clarence the Bone Man.
Oh, and this dress form was PERFECT for the body chains and longer necklaces I had made. In fact, the first sale I made (yes, there were SALES!) was the Annika body chain right off this dress form, and the customer wore it for the rest of the day. She was seriously excited about it — which made the 100 degree heat, the multiple nights of no sleep, and the impending cold (yep, sick again) totally worth it. Seeing someone become so enamored with a piece you create with your own hands is the greatest feeling.
As with any new experiences, there are definitely some lessons I learned, the most important being don’t crowd the single table you happen to have! ARGH. It also didn’t help that I had about 70% of my pieces still sitting in boxes because of the lack of space. I know, I know, that’s what happens when you procrastinate and are unprepared. I DID, however, pass out a lot of business cards, made some promising contacts with clients who wanted their own jewelry re-worked, and was able to get some emails for an E-Newsletter*. While it’ll take more than one market for me to get used to the idea of people LIKING my pieces, hopefully there’ll be more markets in the coming months.
Off to get working on those two pesky projects from The DIY Files…
*So, there are some new pieces, a brand spankin’ new COLLECTION, and quite a few other things in the works for findyouruncommon. If you want to be a part of the cool kids and see special sneak peeks, get first access to limited pieces, and get special discounts, sign up by sending me an email at fyudesigns [at] gmail.com with “e newsletter” in the subject line. No spam, no garbage, none of that, Scout’s honor!