Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ear Wires, I own them

Ball tipped, hammered, extra long, petite, leaf shaped, hooped, bright, antiqued, sealed and unsealed.
I make them myself mainly because when I actually get to the point where I need a whole lot of them, I do not have money to pay someone else to make them for me. So I stay up late, melting and hammering out as many as I can before my brain and hands quit from such a menial task.

Once on twitter, a male follower stated he couldn't buy things unless he saw it on a model. I put aside what I really wanted to say to him and made a mental note that this is how most men are; they need fleshly visuals in order to penetrate their thick skulls of little or no imagination in order to purchase something.
Hence the excessive use of the female form in today's advertising.

But as a small business (miniscule, started in my kitchen with a $2 block of plastic clay) I do not have a budget for "models".
Oh, but I have a camera and a steady arm.
So I model my own earrings now.

This brings me to the reason for the blog post;
I switch the ear wires assembled to the earrings photographed with my own or clean the specialized shapes and hoops with an alcohol wipe before shipping.  I do this so my customers can rest assured that none of my cooties will be shipped along with their gorgeous, unique jewelry that I really believe was created for a specific gorgeous, unique woman who needs that particular accessory at that particular time in her life.  

I sit in my garage where the soft, hazy, mid morning, north light comes in, the light that is kind to a woman my age.

I make sure I change out of my graphic T into a slightly more feminine style of shirt and I load up a tray of bagged earrings, hair bands, bobby pins, a bowl of my personal ear wires, a mirror and the alcohol wipes. I sit on the concrete step to the house and make sure the door behind me is relatively clean of kid smears. I hold the camera out at arms length, take a photo and then look at it in the viewer to see where I need to adjust my body position and my chin (sagging skin, wrinkles, moles, bra straps, etc.) so the potential buyer sees exactly how the earring looks hanging on a real woman, albeit a short necked, ghostly pale, freckled one. The second and third photos are taken at close up, to distance myself from the hundreds of people who are going to eventually view this listing and I am afraid they will see straight into my soul if I show my eyes.

Just kidding.
 (Sort of.)
I do think that cropping out a lot of the "empty" space around the earring helps the buyer focus more on the actual jewelry, instead of me.

Lemon Quartz with Russet Copper Teardrops

(I subject my facebook friends to those full on shots cause they make me feel pretty.)

So far so good, I think it has helped sell the jewelry a little more and I have noticed a slight increase in shipments to male names on the packages of jewelry. I will have more concrete numbers once this holiday season is over.

I hope this assists those who are in need of more photos that showcase their jewelry and can't afford models.
Of course having a good friend near by and willing would be helpful also.
Green tea and almonds, anyone? You can go through my beads, if you want.
Peace and Prosperity,


Friday, November 23, 2012

Starting over or just continuing on?

(Check out my forging gun in the window behind me, its huge, like, at least twice the size of my other arm)

 A new blog.
 Forced into existence because my old blog had a weird email address that I can't access now that my computer, that which has sustained me through the years, had a melt down and then was stolen out of my van.

I DID have everything backed up once upon a time, but the external hard drive malfunctioned and I put everything onto my then new computer with the understanding that when I had the money I would replace the means of back up.
I never had the money.
I kick myself in the head hourly for this level of stupidity. Not fully realizing everything I would lose should such a circumstance come upon me.

This is just the latest difficult circumstance in a line of life happenings;

I lost most of my possessions in the move from Florida. 
(my bed, my dresser, my office, my living room, my comfy chair and ottoman, my dining set, my microwave, my kitchen utensils, have you tried to make pancakes without a mixing bowl?) 
My mom tried to tell me;
"Shan, you are not going to be able to replace all these things at one time."
(I can see her in my mind, standing there in my giant house, her face showing heartbreak as she tried to pack up most of the kids toys.)
 But I wasn't thinking. 
To say that I hoped he would just come to his senses and he would put all of our things in storage, acquire another house for me and the kids, move us back to beautiful beach side Florida and we would be one happy family once more sounds incredibly naive and ignorant.
 The reality is that I didn't know how to separate from my husband. I stood in the kitchen holding a frying pan thinking, not 
but rather;
"What if dear hubby needs to make eggs for his breakfast?"  

Me, my pops and my superhuman mama shoved what we could into a rental truck and I cried my way back to the good ol midwest, to hide in their basement and use their own home and their own possessions that they work their butts off to pay for and maintain as committed partners.

I lived in a fog for months with only 1 singular thought echoing around my head,
"How could he not love me anymore?"

Until someone I thought was a friend said quite bluntly;
"He left you for another woman."
No one had said that to me, they said a lot of other things about him but those words arranged that way in that sentence by someone who could care less about my feelings opened up my grieving, weeping eyes.
Yep. that was my new reality.
 I was one of those wives; shelved after years of indentured servitude for a his new life. A new woman. A new beach side bachelor pad.
Fat, frumpy, neglected business woman who let herself go because let's face it, who wants to spend money and time taking care of yourself when nobody shows any interest (and I'd much rather spend money on tools anyway)?

The fog lifted and I rolled up my sleeves, put my head down and got back to work.
"I totally know what I'm doing."
But I don't.
 I make so many mistakes and get so overwhelmed by my multiple streamed business that I can't cope any more. 
And what "can't cope any more" means is that I act weird and say inappropriate things, make more mistakes, I suffer more consequences and I learn things the hard way. Like,
Even if you are really upset and having a panic attack that consists of alternating between sobbing, raging, chest pains and boxing, because suddenly your source of income has shut down and you do not know how you are going to feed your kids this week...........

 you should still lock your van at night.

It's gonna be okay though.
You know why?
Cause I have family and friends. 
And please listen when I tell you from deeply personal experience, there really isn't anything else in life that matters when it all comes down to it.

Bitter and Jaded but still Hopeful,