Monday, November 8, 2010

EtsyMetal Blog Carnival 11.8.10: Business Success Secrets

It's time for the EtsyMetal Blog Carnival!

Business Success Secrets: What does it mean to you to be "successful" in business as an artist? How do you walk the line between creativity and profitability? What is the best thing you've done for your business?

What a fantastic topic!

When I was just starting out, I felt successful when I started earning enough to completely cover all my bills and quit putting myself further in to debt. Of course, the more successful I have become, the more that definition changes. I felt even more successful when I started earning enough that all of my bills were paid and all of my debt was gone. Being able to have extra money beyond covering the bills was/is huge. Being able to buy something fun with money I have, and being able to save! (oh my goodness, is this what it is to be an adult??)

As far as walking the line between creativity and profitability - I think I am the wrong person to ask at this point. Most of what I sell now are custom wedding rings. Most are designs that I have been making over and over. It feels more fun and creative to actually being making them individually. It keeps me from feeling like a total factory. I do get to be creative with truly custom designs - but for the most part, I think I have been focusing on 'becoming successful'. As my business has grown - the demand from the customers has been wonderful, but it has also, for the most part, kept me in the land of production. At some points, I've felt my artistic creativity has dried up a bit. I am creative in ways of becoming more efficient, trying new tools and new ways of doing things. But new "creative" work has taken a bit of a back seat. I think I am fairly business oriented and enjoy 'running a business' (most days!), but finding that balance can be difficult. There is constant readjustment. But I guess that is true with just about everything.

I do think one of the best, most recent things I've done for my business is to become more focused. Opening up a wedding ring only shop has helped that part of my business grow and helps to keep me a bit more focused. I have let the 'regular jewelry' side of my business rest for awhile, mostly because of time and energy constraints! Though the list of customers can sometimes be overwhelming, it is easier for me to work that way than to have many wholesale and/or consignment accounts, making lost of 'random' jewelry that I hope will sell and creating lots of stock that I have to store. For me, that is less enjoyable than working directly with a customer to create something meaningful.

Though I haven't quite made it there yet - I'm hoping that by focusing my business in that one direction, I can start to let me artistic creativity come out in fun ways on random jewelry projects. We'll see! :)

Make sure to check out all the other participating bloggers this month!


victoria takahashi / experimetal
Nina Gibson


Unknown said...

Balance is hard... in everything!

Victoria Takahashi said...

beth congratulations on your success and that you are in a good place with your art and business!
Your post has a air of light that feels very refreshing and bright.
You go girl!!!!! Thanks for sharing!