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Home: Business Issues and Advice: Reflections after a year in retail:
First Reflections



May 19, 2003, 11:26 AM

Post #1 of 3 (12722 views)
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First Reflections Can't Post

I was making my first post here, and my software timed out on me. I've fixed the "bug" so now the forum will keep you logged in long enough to finish a long post, or be distracted.

It was a long article, about the number of "takers" rather than "sharers" I've encountered this past first year. It was sparked by something I had been writing, and by another post I was making.

Mostly the negative vibes come from the "jewelry making" crowd. Something seems to happen when you start to call yourself a "jewelry maker." On one forum, people get so nasty, they complain when people admire their work too much, even threaten bodily harm against people who look at their stuff too intently!!

I'm not politically correct, and I tried to argue with some of these people, and eventually gave up. They are too set in their ways, believing that what they do is so unique, it is only theirs.

Well.... from what I've seen most things have been done before, and "rediscovery" is a continual process. New beaders, wire workers, or artists continually re-discover things that have been done before. Even the person "originally" given credit for it, may not have been the "originator." They got their idea from trial and error, or perhaps from inspiration from another work.

Many of my "errors" that have been tossed into my bags, are shown in the press as "new techniques" <G>

Anyway, to make this long tirade short, I am both pleased with the "beaders" I've met who have shared their work, and who continually work to help others learn and love the craft of beading, wire working, or jewelry artistry (not "making" <G>), and disappointed with *most* of the on-line forums about "jewelry making" and to a large extent, beading.

I'm writing an article, "Jewelry Making: The Big Secret! (There are no secrets!)", it'snot ready for prime time, yet, but it will be soon.

What I loved about crafts fairs (in the "old days") was all the craftsmen/people showing off not only their finished works, but how they did them! Creating new items during the run of the show. Today, that has become much more rare. People hide, protect, shield, and try to prevent others from "copying" their work. Copying is true flattery, but the bottom line is -- if they could really copy it, they would be good enough to do their own, and would.

If you have to try to protect something that hard, to the point of threatening "lookers" with bodily harm, then what you are protecting is not worth protecting!

After all, if you sell the piece, loads of people -- mostly admirers of that sort of work -- will be handling it, putting it up to close scrutiny, and --- yes --- copying it if they want to! Why be so mean about it???

In "my day" (lol), people were so excited to show off, and share their skills, you often had to hit them over the head to get away from them!

Anyway.... My first reflection of the past year is obviously mixed. I also find it odd, that this is the first reflection I have, but it's so "in your (my) face" that I felt it was worth commenting on.

Most of the things we do will revolve around this -- sharing, teaching, exploring, working WITH our customers, students and visitors to create new things, pass on the skills, the techniques, and love of making "things" (jewelry, baubles, whatnots).

Don't be afraid to ask! If we can show you we will. If we can't, we'll schedule a time, or create a class, or go searching for the information.

Until next time....
PUGDOG's Rock & Bead Shop
Pittsburgh, PA 15217


Nov 16, 2003, 9:08 AM

Post #2 of 3 (12590 views)
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Re: First Reflections [In reply to] Can't Post

Well I'm glad I'm not the only one with these kind of views.

I have been thinking of starting a bead/craft store near where I live, and since the population isn't big, I've been asking people what they like to do or what they would like to do. My prime objective is to introduce people who want to learn something new at NO class cost.

I wanted to learn how to do tatting at the end of my high school years, and my mum was all for it since she could then ask me to make her something, so she went out and got me a shuttle to use so I could try. Using some book instructions, I TRIED to learn, but I was missing something important, so I gave up since I didn't know where to go to learn how to do it properly. Since then, I had moved here to the US (I was born in New Zealand and I lived in Australia since I was 10, moving here about 3 years ago and I'm 27 now).

A local quilting shop offered classes (of which some were good teachers and some teachers just wanted the money) and for a change, there was a class for tatting. I signed up and went, and within the first class, I found the bit of information I was missing. I could now tat!!! There were about 10 of us in the class, and one lady could needle tat. After the 4 classes, I don't think anyone but me could tat, which left some of the others disapointed. This class was taucht by a former Home Ec. Teacher.

One other lady that was in the class asked me to do some tatting for her, and she told me someone in her family knew how to tat, I told her my mum said that her dad know how to tat. That made me realize that a lot of us may never learn what we wish we did learn off our family. I guess these days our lives have come too busy to do much hand crafting, and a lot of people still want something hand made instead of something "Made in China".

So if I get my store, and you drop on by, don't be afraid to ask me how to do something. I'll share what I know. Just remember though, someone in your family might know what you want to learn, so ask, it will likely to be just as rewarding to both of you, and even more special that you shared something with them!



Nov 20, 2003, 4:55 PM

Post #3 of 3 (12589 views)
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Re: [Celticlady] First Reflections [In reply to] Can't Post

Hi, Where is your location? Or, as my kids say, "Where are you at?"

In our shop, Marie will site and show anyone how to do anything -- or help them figure it out. Not that she's an expert on everything, but she sits and works on all sorts of stuff, just to try it out. Weaving, looming, netting, brick, peyote, bead crochet, etc.

Most of the fun of this is to pass on the knowledge. I miss the old hobby shops. I miss the sharing, and the comeraderie that was fostered between the older folks and the younger ones. We have kids stopping by now just to chat. Some leave with odds and ends (free or paid). Others just come by to look, to talk, and to see/chat with adults who have a love of the things they do. (They think it's pretty cool we can macrame, or have craft projects in our draws we did when we were their age (many moons ago).

Crafting is like time. The more you try to hold on to it, the more that slips through your fingers. The more you use it, and share it, and enjoy it, the more there seems to be to go around.

Anyway, I'm glad there are others who look at setting up a business or going to crafting to pass on knowledge not just make a buck. We pay our teachers, but our best teachers our not our "richest" in terms of money. But, they are often the ones with the richest lives and the most memories.

Anyway, I'm getting sappy <G> But for the first time in many many years, and many different "jobs" or trades, I like what I do, I enjoy getting up, and while there is a lot of drudgery and bookkeeping type stuff, I still get to make things, and if I can't find the time to do it myself, I get to pass on the knowledge I've accumulated and enrich someone elses life. I can't lose :) It's wonderful no matter how you cut it.
PUGDOG's Rock & Bead Shop
Pittsburgh, PA 15217


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