How are you? I thought today might be a good day to tell you a bit more about how I started making jewelry.
Hi, My Name is Alicia Hall, and this is my blog )
Like many others, I used to make jewelry when I was smaller, and as a teenager, I liked creating my own necklaces and earrings using colorful beads, feathers, and wires. Mostly cheap or upcycled materials. I would layer the necklaces and bracelets and add matching earrings just for fun. Well, who am I kidding? It was my religion during high school.
Five times did I leave for school without earrings on? Yeah. I counted )
While I was studying the history of art, I was mostly interested in classes about arts and crafts and anything that would be even remotely connected with accessories and jewelry. But no hints were taken at that time. Nope. It was only after I graduated that I realized I don’t want to pursue the history of art anymore, but I wasn’t entirely sure what I want to do. It wasn’t clear to me yet. Nick and I moved to Scotland and that’s when I learned more about Etsy.
I instantly decided to start making beaded jewelry and open a shop. I ordered a bunch of gemstone beads, started learning about business and everything related, and finally jumped in. Oh, and I think the decisive moment was when I discovered the world of makers on Instagram.
I also joined the free business classes in NY called Women Into Business and Business Gateway, both great and very helpful at that initial stage, and not long after I opened my first Etsy shop.
I was learning how to take product photos, do the marketing, and run my small business. I remember my very first sale. It was a pair of teapot rose quartz earrings. The sale came in at 2 a.m. in the morning and I was so overwhelmed, I got out of bed to fulfill this order immediately so I could ship it in the morning. I was just so happy.
And although making beaded jewelry was fun, this still wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I wanted to melt metal, cut, and solder. But I have this belief in me that I couldn’t, that it was too late. And only people who came from families of jewelers or started this could do it. So, it was until I found other Smiths on Instagram and discovered that beautiful word in their bio: Self-taught.
Do you know that feeling? When everything drops within you, your heart stops. It beats so fast you clench your jaw, even though it has dropped to the floor moments earlier and your thoughts are completely shaken, but also very clear. Yeah, me neither. Never felt that way )
I had to wait with any purchases until we moved to Florida. That’s when I ordered my very first set of tools and supplies and some books. I started watching YouTube videos and analyzing photos of workshops on Instagram. I was making lists of tools I needed. I was saving videos, blog posts and photos while taking notes. I was aching to start making, but at the time we were renting a room for a short period and I couldn’t do any sniffing in the flat. So I found local classes that would teach me to use the torch and make simple jewelry. I tried sewing, shaping, soldiering and polishing in the safe workshop environment, and I really recommend that option.
After that, we moved to our own flat and I was able to jump in both feet. I was constantly learning, writing ideas, watching tons of videos and of course practicing. I slowly started connecting with other makers on Instagram, too, and I’ve learned a lot through trial and error.
The generous advice I got from others, whether about techniques, creative process or pricing, was extremely helpful. There was. And still is a lot of trial and error. Some things will work. Some won’t. Most important thing is to allow time. There is no overnight success. Behind every sudden, success is a person that was practicing and mastering their craft for years. I mean, there are cases where people grow super fast and good for them, but it’s just not reality for everyone. It takes time to blossom and you don’t want your business and art to be wonky and short left. You want it to have a strong base, to be honest and lasting.
We all start somewhere and everyone’s journey is different. Make the most out of your circumstances and abilities. And I’m sure you will do great. Enjoy making art and be proud of yourself!