Friday, November 30, 2007

Drawing A Line

I have had something on my mind for several weeks now. I have been waiting to discuss it. I wanted to talk about it on a Friday because I want you all to think about it and give me some feedback/thoughts. Today seems like as good a Friday as any so... here goes.

I am thinking about developing a "Line" of jewelry.

What is a line? Well, for me, it would mean selecting several of my more basic (easily reproduced) designs and making a given number of them for resale. Off the top of my head, I am thinking I would use "Two Fors", "Spinners", "Fangle Bangles", and "Flings" (and a few more that are in my sketchbook too). I would research and design specific seasonally appropriate color combos. So for example... I would come up with 3-4 color combos for spring/summer "Two Fors", make 10-12 of them, and those would be the only ones of those colors available for that season. In my mind, all the jewelry would work together as a group. Meaning the colors I use for "Two Fors" would work with the colors I make the "Fangle Bangles" in.

Why do I want to create a line? Hmmm... good question. It seems to make sense from a business stand point. I would be making myself much more marketable if I had a line. I would be able to more easily put together promotional packets to send to galleries and boutiques. I would then be able to more readily fill orders for them too. I think it would take a lot of the stress out of preparing for a show as well. One of the things that I find stresses me most about show prep is the need to constantly reinvent myself and my designs. I have to fill a booth with as many pieces as I can (theoretically) but often times I run out of ideas. I think replenishing the line would be easier.

How could you give up your one-of-a-kind creations? Well that is the thing... I wouldn't. It would be my plan to use the line as filler with my OOAK things. I would still do wild and over the top creations. I would still embrace my "Kabs" style. And I even think that having some of the pressure off of needing to make a dozen different things would free up my mind to design more new things.

Okay so why haven't you done it already? I don't really have a good answer for this other then that I want to get some input from you all. You readers are the ones that buy so much of my work. Do you buy my things because they are OOAK? Would you still want a design that there maybe a dozen more of out there in the world?

Other things floating randomly through my head.... I am only one person, I can't continue to grow my business if I don't come up with a way to make more things... then again, I get moody when pigeon holed, could I commit to doing a line... am I selling out if I create a line... I would still only make OOAK bead box sets... no lampwork bead lines. I am a little excited at the idea of a line because of getting to "launch" the new designs and colors of each season. It would be something to look forward to, and I would love to see what people end up going for and what everyone hates, lol.

I found several interesting articles at Lapidary Journal's website. Have a look: Balancing Art and Business, and Supporting Inspiration (I really got a lot out of this one).

Okay, so now you have an assignment. Think on this... and let me know your thoughts!!


WillowLuna said...

No need to think more, I see how you stress yourself when getting ready for shows. I think it is a great idea, especially because of your excitement about colors for seasons, etc. Your one of a kind pieces are wonderful, but some of your designs are so great they have become classics and it would nice to see more of them on a consistent basis (the "Flings" for instance...). If it doesn't work out for you, no harm done in trying it out for awhile.

Lori G. said...

Hey Kerri.

That's exactly what I do with my beads. It might not look like it online but when I do shows I have this years 'line/style', some of last years, and sometimes the year before if it's still selling. Mixed in are experiments and other things I've dabbled in.

It works well and people come to see what you have new every year. I'd like to do every season but I'm not that good at it's every 'Lori Season'...that is, when I come up with something. Sometimes it's every 6 months, sometimes it's every 3 months.

Good luck!

sandi said...

I found you via 'Watch Me Create' and features in the magazines. Your creations are so inventive. I make my own jewelry, so would just like to buy your lampwork - which I don't do. Wish you would make/offer more. Your bead designs and colors are my 'style'.

But to answer the assignment, I can see where the lampworker has to constantly reinvent her/hisself to keep customers coming back for more. Good examples of doing this are Kim Miles and Heather Trimlett. I say, go for it!

Good luck (and please make some beads; I want to buy!!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kerry----
I think you would do well with your own line---you definitely have your own style, and that's what I'm drawn to. As long as it was only limited amounts in the line and you had your showstopper pieces here and there...I think you'll do great! But I love seeing what you come up with! Colorwise and Patternwise, it seems natural with you. Your wirework is awesome and I think people will be definitely waiting for the next season from you....does that make sense?? I say go for it!! Kim

Nicky said...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing "Limited Edition" pieces rather than one of a kind !

Im sure there is always more than one person who would like to own a particular piece of jewellery and its possible that you are missing out on potential customers by not having more than one.

Leslie said...

I like Nicky's "Limited Edition" title because that's really what your pieces would be - way cool idea! And even though you'll make, say, five of one style item, they're STILL going to be OOAK because each bead is made one by one and no two are alike. That's the beauty of lampwork! Woo hoo!

I think you should go for it, Kerry! It would certainly lessen the stress of having to come up with new designs all the time. You've also proven yourself with the amazing work you do so give yourself a bit of a break and just do it!

Oh, and don't forget to have fun!