Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dilemma Update and Give Away

Be patient with me, I think this is going to be a long post. But it's really worth reading to the end.

After much cajoling by friends, family and blog followers I got off my butt and put together a nice list of things that I could sell wholesale and still make a profit on. (More on that in a minute.) I called the woman on Monday and she didn't call back until Thursday, when she told me that she thought they might have enough jewelry right now. WHAT??? They're working towards a Grand Opening in a couple of weeks and she said that once they get the store set up if they had extra space she would get back with me. And, that they might place an order in September for October Leaf-Peeper customers and for the holidays. My behavior was much nicer than my true feelings were, and I told her I'd send her some print information - contact sheets with photos and order forms. So, now I'm back to wishing and hoping that they'll buy something, and wishing and hoping doesn't pay the bills.

Even though the logical thing to do was to come up with a line of jewelry just for them, (so I don't compete with the work I have in other galleries) there just wasn't time for that. What I decided was that there was one earring style that could go for almost half price and that my knotted necklaces on silk thread would work, too. Like this one:


Many of you are familiar with these. They were very popular when I first started making them about 8 or 9 years ago and I got carried away coming up with new colors and sizes. Now I make them in 8 colors, (purple, red, lime green, steel, amber, light blue, black and aqua) three sizes (16, 18, and 20 inches), on either black or white thread. That's 48 different possibilities. I bet I've made thousands of these things and I can almost make them with my eyes closed. Earlier this year I had thought about not making them any more because they didn't seem to be moving as well as they used to. I thought I'd sell out what I had in inventory and that would be it. I even took them off my Etsy Shop. Can you imagine making the exact same thing over and over for years on end? I'm reeeeally tired of them. Well, as the Universe would have it, they've been moving quite well this season so now I'm back at it. They're my little cash cow. The good thing is that they're portable and I can take the materials with me to work on when I'm at the co-op galleries and I can make them in the evenings while watching TV. My brainstorm (could you hear the thunder?) was that I could sell these to the gallery in question and maybe, just maybe, I could eventually phase them out of other shops.

So, here's the give away part: In order to jump start the cosmos into sending me some money, I'm going to give away one of these knotted necklaces to one of you lovely readers for putting up with my moaning and whining. The winner gets to choose the bead color, thread color and size. All you have to do is leave a comment to this blog post. If your comments are usually anonymous, please be sure I have your name somewhere. I'll pick a random winner next Tuesday, August 10th. Leave a comment now!

9 comments:

Blue Mountain Studio 2 said...

Looks really good Zoe! Carol

Nanabells said...

I think you should print and sell some of the butterfly prints! Put them on blank note cards (Michaels, AC Moore whichever you have there), or enlarge them and sell them to be framed. Something different to jump start your creativity. And those little necklaces are great! I feel the same about my job having done the same thing for about 30 years and am just hanging on till I retire. The diff is you are doing something you enjoy and I'm doing something I hate!! hang in there!!

Lyn said...

Dang, Zoe, I would do almost anything for one of your necklaces, so a comment is easy! Your work has always impressed me, and those knotted necklaces are amazing...how you do it, I can't imagine. It IS hard to know how to handle retailers and also how to get through the slow humps, and especially how to stay true to your creativity in light of trying to make a living. It sure is a big ole juggling act, but you seem to do it well. Hang in there; "it will all become clear soon." (my new mantra)
Lyn

chrissie said...

i want a 16" black on black....I have tried one on at th4e gallery, and the simple design is very flattering to someone my size. I hope I win!

chris stanley said...

I often tell people when I design something that they love, that it's hard to follow it with another design that's bigger and better. It's just like being a rock and roll star... you come up with an award winning hit song. How can you follow it with something bigger and better? Somehow you have to. We get comfortable with what we have and what we're doing and then all of a sudden you have a new potential client that wants you to do something that you think....hmmm do I really want to do that? OR can I really do that? I'm sorry the retail thing didn't work out today BUT it has made you think a little differently about your business and that's a good thing!!! It is true what they say that one door closes and another one opens. In today's world we ALL have to think differently and only the best will survive and I know you're a survivor!!!! I'm looking forward to seeing what's next in Zoe Nelson's world!!! chris

Kim Miles ~ said...

I feel your pain... One of these days, you, me, Mitzi, and anyone else interested should get together and create a really big brain storm. Things are changing. We have to change with 'em! xoxo

Janet Bocciardi said...

Hearing your experience and remembering mine from earlier this summer - I think the lesson is jump while the iron is hot! I had a gallery say they were interested, but then when I got back to them a week later they said they were full up. I decided to just keep plugging along.

I'm all in for the brainstorm when it comes!

Alice Walkowski said...

Keep on pushing Zoe. It is tough making a go of it. We've got to do what ever we can to move our pieces. Good luck with it. Hang in there. (Oh, and I'll take black too.) Alice

anne beach said...

Am I too late!? They are great necklaces I can see why they have been popular for you : )