New Gallery! and a favor to ask?

Last month the manager of a gallery in New Mexico asked if I had about ten pieces in the $30-80 range incorporating recycled or repurposed materials, as she was going to be in the area in the beginning of September. I didn’t, but I started getting a lot of ideas. Constraints spark creativity!

I made 23 pieces! I figured she would take ten, and I would put the rest in my etsy shop.

She took all of them! Huzzah!

So you can now find my work at Weasel & Fitz in Madrid, New Mexico.

I’ve been making more pieces since then! While I’m still moving my older work over from the old shop a few items each day, soon I will be able to add some of my new work as well.

And while I was hard at work one day, it hit me: I have a show scheduled next month that I’m waitlisted for. A show that I do not have anywhere near enough inventory for. Ok, I’m working on that.

Pendants in process

And…a show that I do not have a way of getting to. When I applied, I was still with Rob, and he was going to drive me. I wouldn’t have applied otherwise.

But I did, and I’ve been juried onto the waitlist. I may or may not get called to go. It depends on whether someone else cancels who’s in the same category with the same size booth, and how many other people with the same category and booth size are ahead of me on the waitlist. I may not find out until the day before the show.

But I need to be prepared, so if I do get called, everything is lined up.

The show is only 20 miles away, but I don’t drive.

What I need is someone (or multiple someones) to drive me from Ann Arbor to Northville and back on

  • Thursday, October 11
  • Friday, October 12
  • Saturday, October 13

If you’re able and willing to do that on any or all of those days, please let me know, and then we can talk about specific times and addresses. You will have my eternal gratitude.

I needed a fresh start

After Rob left in the beginning of May, I sank into a deep depression. I was unable to create anything, or even function much at all, for months. His leaving did not cause my depression–I have been clinically depressed since childhood–but it triggered a major depressive episode.

I thought after a few months I would feel better, but when I didn’t, I saw my doctor, who gave me a psych referral. Now that I have my meds adjusted I feel like a human being again. I can function. I can create.

I can think, and that means it’s time for me to think about my future and what I want it to be like, and how I’m going to get there.

In the year since I started my jewelry business, sales have been disappointing low. Rob and I were planning on starting an Airbnb and having an income from that. Cross that off the list.

I toyed with the idea of getting a “real job,” but depression is only one of my several chronic conditions. I don’t really have the physical or emotional stamina to go work somewhere else, so working at home is really best for me. So I need to make that work.

I thought about why my jewelry sales are low.

First, I think simply not enough people are seeing my work. I’ve had my work on Squarespace, and I don’t think their SEO is very good. I’m slowly moving items into my new Etsy shop, and I’ll be putting all new items there.

Second, I think my work is too expensive for some people. I can’t lower the prices on my existing work–it has to cost that much. But I realized I can design some pieces that take less time for me to make, and those will cost less. Look for those pieces soon. For the first time since May, I’m actually making jewelry again.

I’m also selling my handspun yarn again. Why would I sell handspun yarn again after closing Happy Fuzzy Yarn because I was going deeper and deeper into debt with every passing day?

Well, when I had HFY, I sold eight different bases of combed top and seven bases of hand dyed yarn. To order any one of the bases cost hundreds of dollars, and I had to have them all in stock to dye wholesale orders. Because I was selling wholesale, my retail prices were a lot higher than a lot of my competitors’ prices, and I had to have employees to help me with the huge workload.

I had huge expenses, and there was never enough income to have a decent cash flow.

This time, I’m not doing any of that. No wholesale, no employees, no hand dyed yarn or top. Just handspun yarn. I’m keeping it simple.

I’m adding custom spinning because hey, I like spinning. If someone will pay me to spin, I’ll be really happy.

I’m going to be adding proofreading too eventually, but that will be in a different part of this site. I’ll link to it though.

So, will I make enough money to survive? That’s the great question, isn’t it? I’m very frugal. I just got approved for food assistance, and I’m already on Medicaid. Can I bring in enough money to keep afloat, or will I die penniless and alone, living under a bridge?