There’s probably a wonderful list somewhere that I have refused to follow, but I’ve got to begin to stick to my own marketing rules. Rule number one for me is to always wear jewelry I’ve made. I’ve followed this regimen for so long that I don’t feel right if I go out without both a necklace and bracelet on. Rule number two must surely be the following: have another similar piece to what you are wearing available for anyone who asks “where did you get that?”. I thought I was doing pretty well with that one, but the rest of the story will follow. Rule number three: be willing to remove the piece you are wearing and sell it. Yes, I’ve also followed that one reasonably well.
Now, I have a new rule. Last week, in a rush to call on a customer, I quickly donned a bracelet that matched my outfit. I didn’t even think about my second and third rules. Off I went; I called on my customer; I sold several pieces; then, she wanted my bracelet. “Oh sure,” I said, “I will make you one of these, the one I have on is a bit too old.” Actually, it was a good three years old and I had worn it a great deal.
When I commenced to recreate the bracelet, I realized that it’s hard to find the same beads you used three years ago; but a thorough digging to the bottom of the seed bead drawer produced the needed beads. I began the piece, only to remember why I don’t make that bracelet any more. It takes TOO long! Five hours later, scratching my head I asked myself why I quoted the customer such a low price. That’s when I instituted rule number four: Never wear a piece you don’t want to make again. Rule number five must surely be: Stop quoting prices until you see how long it takes to make the piece.
Actually, the bracelet turned out well as shown in the picture. I made and sold a number of these some time ago. Made on elastic from the fabric store, it is especially nice because it doesn’t require a clasp and easily slips on and off. It’s also very sturdy. I made a few of these on narrower elastic and my mother, who has severe arthritis, has really enjoyed hers. I used matagama seed beads for the one pictured. They are shaped like drops, but are a bit larger. The turquoise stones add a little color. The second photo shows the inside of the bracelet.
I think these are pretty good rules if I could remember to follow them. Rules, however, as we all know, are meant to be broken. I just need to be smarter about how I break my own next time.