I’ve come to a conlusion

So in all the educational tools I have either paid for or learned for free, they talk about collections. “You need to come out with new collections every season” “You need to have a cohesive collection” etc… And it just didn’t feel authentic to me.

“I am an item designer” there I said it. I actually don’t know why I was really fighting it. There are successful item designers out there like Chan Luu and Shy Siren. So I am not sure why I felt like less of a jewelry designer because all of my pieces didn’t fit together the way a collection should. Well that’s because I make items and not collections. I am finally ok with that. It is what it is, and I am who I am.

I am part of Flourish and Thrive‘s Laying the Foundation course. It’s super educational and it has helped me a lot. I took it last year and didn’t know what I was doing.  I am pretty sure I deleted all the pictures of the collection I tried to create last year to submit for review. So you won’t be seeing that “collection” anytime soon. When you sign up and pay for a class through them, you get lifetime access to it, so I am going through it again now. And it’s even more eye awaking than last year.

While I have a signature style as you can see by some of the pictures below, what I don’t have is a collection by industry standards.

 

Yes, I know I need to work on my pictures, it’s the bane of my existence…

They all have the same stones, Amazonite, but I just think it’s missing something as far as a collection goes. And again, I am ok with that. When you go to my website True Happiness Designs because you like what you see, my pieces can all be mixed and matched. And that just feels more true to who I am and what I want my brand to be. And that is to love yourself and be yourself always. Be comfortable in your own skin, because not being that doesn’t make anyone happy. And true happiness is what life is all about.

Goals, not resolutions

I never really liked the idea of resolutions. I used to make them all the time and never follow through. I like goals better, I know they are the same thing. But I think the connotation of a resolution just sets you up to fail. Because I think life itself is 100% mental and I mean that in the way of “running is 75% mental and 25% physical” “lifestyle changes are 90% mental and 10% action” etc, etc…

I fully believe that it’s 100% mental in every aspect of it. I have been a runner since I played field hockey in high school, many many years ago. But in 2013 after the Boston Marathon bombings I decided I wanted to run a 1/2 marathon (which was the longest I have ever run and thought it was a better goal then straight to a marathon!) I’m from a town about 25 miles west of Boston, born and raised…

I had been running around 3-4 miles, give or take, when I decided I was going to do this. I found a run in October in the next town over. A few years before I had started increasing my time every run ( usually 3 a week, sometimes 4) and had been doing around 9 miles when I realized I had gained about 20lbs. It was just too much too fast, I was exhausted after every run and I think my metabolism took over my mental ability and I ate everything in site. So I knew I had to do this the right way, I wasn’t sure I wanted to join a run club or anything. But I decided on one regular run, one long run (which I would increase by 10ish% every week and then my 3rd run would be between my normal 3 miles and whatever I felt like. I knew I had plenty of time (6ish months) in case I had setbacks or whatnot. I loved it! I felt great, it was going fantastic, pretty much had no issues in any given week doing the long run. Race time came, it was a gorgeous day!! I was a bit nervous but I think it was because I was by myself and didn’t have anything to keep my mind off of the actual race. I ran it in 2 hours and 12 minutes. My goal was not longer than 2 1/2 hours and try not to walk any of it, so I was super happy! My family was waiting for me when I was done, we had lunch and it was a fun day. Later I met my girlfriends for some drinks, all was well with the world! I took Mon and Tues off, went for  walk on Wed and then a run on Thursday. I think it was raining and I was just going to run as long as I felt like it, expecting maybe 6-9 miles somewhere in there. Yeah, not so much. I got shooting pains in my foot and not sure I even ran 3 miles. I pushed on for about 3-4 months, I think I ran one 7 mile run and the rest were all between 1 1/2 and maybe 4 miles. Usually none of them were all at the same time, mostly walk/runs. I tried to run, and it just wasn’t working. I was mentally spent from running, I guess. I am not sure what else it could be.

Personal Style

I’m trying to grow my business, it’s really really hard. On top of marketing myself the right way, which I don’t have a clue what the right way is, I am trying to really narrow down who my dream client is (in the hopes that finding her will make marketing a bit easier…) And I feel like I am trying to running into a brick wall so thick I’m never getting past it. I don’t even know why I can’t narrow her down. I feel like I am in China and don’t speak Chinese!

I know my jewelry is easy going, casual, classic, minimal, simple, all american, sort of boho and stylish. But finding the right woman who wears that kind of jewelry feels impossible. I don’t even know where to begin.

Here is a few pictures of my jewelry.

And here are a few pictures of the style I think my dream client wears…

First off, I am not really a fan of Kim K’s style, well her style now I think, she’s way too flashy and way too tight. I don’t really know when this picture was taken, but I pinned it many years ago, so I think her style has changed a lot. One would guess this was when she was only sort of famous. I mean no offense to her, that’s just my opinion, it’s not worth much. But the outfit she is wearing about is so great. It’s so casual and flattering.

But back to my dilemma, I have been searching on Pinterest and Instagram, but I still feel like I haven’t pinpointed who will love my jewelry and want to buy it all the time. I do know that my absolute number one style icon is Jennifer Aniston. I could write a whole blog post about how much I love her and secretly wish I was her… But that’s not the Eureka moment I was hoping for. I thought when I put her name in, all these other regular everyday people would pop up and I would scream out AHA! Didn’t work. I do have a private Pinterest board called Dream Client that has probably 100 or so pins on her style, but not really giving me much more info on where she shops. I am sure I can spend hours and hours searching and I will have a better understanding, but I don’t have hours and hours. But until I do, all this marketing that I am trying to figure out is time wasted.

So I guess is back to searching and I just have to tell myself that I will figure it, because I have too or I won’t be able to grow and be successful, and that’s all I have wanted, is to feel accomplished.

 

I am in love with these beads…

So a few years back I bought these gemstones on Etsy.com The description says “tricolor jade” I don’t usually go for pinks and reds. I almost exclusively use blues, greens and browns. But these are just absolutely gorgeous! Check them out.

They are stunning. I also don’t usually go for such bright colors, but I just can’t help myself. The shape are rondelles, like flattened circles. This is called graduated rondelles because I think “multi sized” rondelles doesn’t sound half as sexy…

I have a few beads left. But for about 2 years now I have been searching for more and can’t find them. I have found strands of round beads, and they are just as gorgeous, but rondelles are just more me, I love them and use them A LOT.

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Probably my all time favorite piece, I wear it all the time. Here are a few more pictures of jewelry I have made using rondelles.

 

 

 

But I just have to keep trying, because I have looked on every bead site, contacted as many buyers as I can and still nothing.

Nothing!

 

New Year, Fresh Start

Sort of…

Quick back story, we lived in our old house for 15 years. It was the perfect size before we had kids. But after 2 kids, my husband and I shared an office and there was no playroom for all of their stuff. The house was getting smaller by the minute, plus it was on the other side of town from the kids school (our town has school choice) and there were no kids around to play with. We always wanted to move to the other side of town in a fun family neighborhood. Well we moved a year and a half ago. It’s such a great neighborhood and they are on the bus for about 20 mins each. And it’s bigger than our old house, but it’s a lot older (by almost 30 years) so it needs a lot, A LOT, of updating and the layout of the house isn’t great. But we knew what we were getting into and got it for a great price in our town.

So, fast forward. my husband and I share an office (and a long desk) but I do my jewelry stuff (definitely not worthy of calling it a studio…) in the kids playroom. Which isn’t very big, it’s the smallest bedroom in the house. So things were getting really cramped for everyone. Our living room is pretty big, but we also have a family room, so usually only the kids use the living room (even though I am typing this in the living room…) So my husband was kind enough to offer to move his desk into the living room (he is very close to securing a facility in our town to open a recycling business ) because he won’t be home as often as before. And I can move all of my jewelry stuff into the office and have a real office/studio!!! I said no at first, because I know it’s not a great scenario for him. But he kept insisting, so I kept getting excited!

First we started cleaning, cleaning out and moving things around! Our friend who works for Comcast was kind enough to come over and splice a jack in the living room so my husband can have his printer, postage meter and the office line. I washed floors and moved all the storage things I need. I am going to have two desks, one sturdy one for hammering, soldering, creating…and one for my laptop and to work out designs. I moved the sturdier desk and filled all the drawers, and I am really looking forward to having my own space. Well the crappy desk I bought forever ago because it fit the playroom, can’t leave the playroom because it’s L shaped, the hallway is too narrow and it’s crappy! So now my office/studio is still in disarray because I don’t have my second desk to put things away.

My husband’s desk area is finished and neat. And I am happy about that, because it was his idea in the first place and I know he will realize soon enough that this situation kinda sucks for him. But I am losing my New Year, Fresh Start momentum. I am determined to grow my business in 2017, but this is an annoyance. Like if you were trail running in a beautiful place and a random tree limb hits you right in the face, annoyance. But I will forge on.

Here are some pictures of my husband’s neat organized desk and my office mess for you to enjoy.  (don’t look at the walls in the office there’s enough wood in there to build another house. But he’s done enough, I can’t ask him to paint too.)living-room

His just looks so productive! Now here’s mine.

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Have a nice day, anyone who is reading this.

Shout outs

Happy December 28th everyone! 2016 was a good year, it wasn’t great, it wasn’t horrible. But really looking forward to 2017. My husband and I are both working on growing our businesses and that is an exciting thing!

I am not sure if this post is a shout out to Facebook or old friends. I just had two old friends from high school purchase some jewelry from me.

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And that’s super exciting, so I want to give them a shout out and say thanks!

But they would never even know about http://www.truehappinessdesigns.com if it wasn’t for Facebook in the first place. So I just want to give a shout out to Facebook for bringing old friends and family together. That’s what I love about Facebook. I’m not the best conversationalist…just ask anyone in my close circle. But I love that I can know what’s going on in old friends and family lives and we can catch up quickly. Life in general is busy, but with 2 kids 9 and 11 years old, plus 3 businesses between my husband and I, life is crazy around here. I always want to get together with people and spend time together, but it just doesn’t happen to much anymore. When I actually have free time, I’m usually to tired to go anywhere! It’s always the way, isn’t it??

But so that’s what so great (but I guess you could also write a whole nother post about people not having face to face time anymore with social media…) about Facebook, more so than other sites I think, that it lets me keep up with my friends lives.

And it lets old friends and family far away see my jewelry and reaches out to the masses to help my business along. And any help I can get is greatly appreciated!

Happy New Year!

Be True to Yourself, Always

I know it’s been a while since I have posted anything. Don’t really have an excuse, just life in general. The kids are out of school and my husband has been working from home a lot. It kills my motivation and my productivity, I need to get over it if I am going to move my business forward, but so far it hasn’t worked.

Anyway, I did a Farmer’s Market this past Sat that was very successful, I am looking forward to doing it again in Sept. (hoping to give everyone that bought something from me, time to anticipate seeing me again…) But I was pretty busy the 2 weeks leading up to the market making some new things. I started out in my jewelry business basically making one of a kind things and not really keeping track of anything. Not the best business model, explains why I have been doing this for at least five years and have only grown a tiny bit. I revamped my website with pieces that I can produce many of, if and when people buy them. But I made some new necklaces and a few bracelets to show at the market. These are the first two I made

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I made this one first. It’s Amazonite and Moonstone. I have had the Moonstone beads forever and was never quite sure what to do w/ them. I love this necklace, except it’s just a bit too short for me. It hit at a spot on me that is usually where I wear my necklines (especially in the summer time with t-shirts) It looked awkward on my neck. So I thought I would make another one.

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I made it a bit longer and changed up the stones a little. Well I love this one even more than the other one. But I wasn’t sure if they would sell. I’ve got people who like my work and follow me, but I tend to create things that I love and would wear. Which is a double-edged sword…I either struggle with wanting to keep everything I make ( not making any money that way!) or I tend to question my taste, fashion sense and overall brand if a piece doesn’t sell. And then I try to make things that I think are trendy or other color themes, or styles that other people would like. Sometimes the pieces come out ok and they do sell, but for the most part, they don’t feel sincere to who I am or what my brand is about and I always come back to making things that I would wear everyday.

But these two necklaces I was okay with if they didn’t sell. I thought I would keep them both for myself and swap them around depending on what I was wearing that day. I have to admit, secretly I was almost hoping at least one of them didn’t sell. I like them that much! I do plan on making another one for myself now that they did sell, and wearing them all the time. But I still struggle with my self-worth when it comes to my work, I  have lots of conversations with myself about my brand and my products every time I make something new or have an event coming up. I believe in what I do wholeheartedly. And I am someone who also believes that I am worth it, I have never struggled with self-esteem. My parents always made sure I knew I was important to them. But I am also not the one in the crowd with enough confidence to sell myself to anyone. I was and am that person who does not like to draw attention to herself, I liked to fly under the radar, so to speak.

Well these two necklaces were the first two pieces I sold on Sat! Which makes me happy that 1) people are getting me and my brand and 2) my fashion sense is somewhat restored til the next new piece. I am doing something right, and hopefully soon many more people will get to see that. Always stay true to yourself!

So I think at least one of them will go on the website this week. I am now on the hunt for more Amazonite and Moonstone.

Thanks for listening. Hope you enjoyed this post? If I am lucky, you won’t have to wait another month or so for the next one. 😉