Monday, August 16, 2010

Where did the summer go?

new work!

I've come to realize that I've been a very neglectful blogger this summer. I think the heat and all the summer shows just got to me and I never even got a chance to share all of the fun I was having with you. And, did I tell you? I'm expecting a baby in about 3 weeks. Yes, 3 weeks! So, there really has been a lot of excitement around here.

Some highlights this summer here at Elisa Shere Jewelry:

-FREE SHIPPING and 10% for blog readers! Since my shop will be closed for part of September and October, I thought I'd give you a great opportunity to stock up on your favorites by offering you free shipping. And for my blog readers? How about an extra 10% off. Just use code: 'blog" at checkout and I'll send a revised invoice to you with the discount. This offer is good until I close shop for baby (could be any time!)

-Favorite shows: My favorite shows this summer were Pile of Craft and the Pennsylvania Guild summer show. These shows are quite different from each other - Pile of Craft is put on by the Charm City Craft Mafia and is considered an indie craft show. The shoppers are superb and so are the Craft Mafia folks. I really enjoyed myself and sold lots!

The Pennsylvania Guild show is a more traditional craft show. These shoppers were serious art buyers and knew what they were looking at. I just LOVE shoppers that know how things are made and ask pointed and interesting questions about technique. Plus, the folks that put on this show were as sweet as can be.

-New Shops: I just sent off some work to Tilde in Portland, Oregon! It's a sweet little boutique in the the Sellwood area of Portland. I'm so excited to have some work in the Pacific Northwest - as some of you may know, I lived in Seattle for 11 years and hope to move back someday. I have some friends that live near Tilde and they said my stuff looks great and the folks running the shop are very enthusiastic about my work. Yay!

-New Work: I've been making lots of ceramic charms and working on my mixed metal series. Folks have been responding well to these pieces, so I must be doing something right!

I hope to write a couple more blog entries before our little bundle arrives!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Springtime in the Garden

It's been soo long since I've done a blog post, I have missed you! Some of the things I've been up to: developing a new ceramic line of jewelry, selling at my first few spring craft shows, growing my business, walking my dogs, sniffing flowers and sometimes helping my sweetie in the garden. Pretty much in that order, too. I wanted to share this first crop of lettuce with you, can you believe we grew this? I can't. It's so pretty and it made a delicious, fresh salad. We owe the cool, wet spring for our bounty.

I plan to share more of these moments with you and some photos of the amazing rural property where we live. It really inspires me. Hopefully, it will inspire you too!



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fresh New Work

At the ACC show I introduced many new styles. Some were one of a kind and some have found a permanent home in my collection. I uploaded the following styles to my Etsy shop yesterday. These pieces are still very texture oriented. I've been experimenting with a scratchy, almost cross-hatched finish to my oxidized pieces. These are inspired by my former life as a drawing and printmaking student. I'm also continuing to work on adding some color into my work. It is almost spring, after all!

Please let me know what you think of this new style of photograph, with a simple white or cream background. It's a departure from my usual earthy style.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I survived ACC!

Elisa Shere, originally uploaded by tigerlillyshop.

After spending the first two months of this year preparing for ACC, I'm happy to say the event came and went with great success. If you are not familiar with the show, it is the largest fine crafts show in the country. I was very honored to be included in the AltCraft section, which is for emerging artists that work in alternative materials/subject matters.

The things I loved best about this show:

-Although some shoppers were confused about what the AltCraft section is, they were all very positive about what they were seeing. I received many compliments from shoppers regarding our section, they were impressed with the level of talent. Many said that my work was equal to what they were seeing on the main floor, which is an enormous compliment. A great deal of the vendors on the mainfloor are master craftmen who have been exhibiting at this show for years. The quality of metalsmiths is particularly high.

-Many shoppers had made things at some point in their lives and were interested in my process. Of course, I could talk about making stuff all day, so I loved answering questions.

-There was a lot of interest in my new line of bezel set ceramic pendants (there's a little peek at them in the photo above, on the right). That made me very happy, as this project has been swirling around in my head for some time and I was excited and nervous about debuting this combining of my two passions - pottery and metals

-I was very pleased with the lighting, chains and table provided (although, it was a bit wobbly). The chair was nice and high, so I could sit and talk with shoppers at the same time

-I did well with my higher priced items, which is always desirable.

Things that I didn't love so much about this show:

-The roped off AltCraft area. This was very confusing to shoppers and is just weird. So many shoppers asked me why we were roped off in a pen. I just told them it baffled me too, as this section is a great asset to the show and should be better integrated. It brings in a new type of crafer and shopper that this traditional show so desperately needs.

-The name AltCraft. It could mean anything. When asked what it meant, I just said that we were emerging artists that had never exhibited at ACC before and wanted to get a taste of what it was like to be vendors at this show. It seemed to be the simplest explanation to me.

-Gross food smells. I never thought when I exhibited at the biggest and possibly best, fine crafts show in the country I would have to deal with food frying right next to my booth. At an outdoor festival, I've come to expect this. But not at ACC. I survived 4 days of strong blasts of garlic smells. Made for funny jokes/conversations with my shoppers, though.

-Extra retail day. The extra day of retail on Thursday was a bit of a flop. There were very few shoppers, although I did score a great wholesale account that day. The show should really consider going back to three days - Friday - Sunday.

So, overall a VERY positive experience. It was so nice just to be at that show for 4 days, I love it so much. Met some fantastic new people, and had great times with my BEST girls. And came home with some great trades and purchases.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Confession

I have a confession. One of my guilty pleasures is shopping online for wedding dresses. I know, this is totally ridiculous, I've been married for 3 1/2 years and already own a wedding dress. And, I'm not even that kind of girl (as a little girl I never fantasized about getting married - ever). My wedding was very simple, and small, but elegant. Lots of personal touches. But, and I'm about to be super corny here, our wedding really was one of the best days of my life. So, perhaps that's where the wedding dress nostalgia comes from. And with that, here are some of my favorites right now.

Amazing dress from The English Department, a design team out of Portland.
Appropriately named Honeychurch, one of my favorite heroines from one my favorite movies - A Room with a View.

Stunning dress from Etsy superstar, SarahSeven. Her dresses are so romanic, simple and modern. Love everything in her shop.

Monday, January 4, 2010

This New Year

Selling, originally uploaded by tigerlillyshop.

Well, it's my first official day at work this year here at Elisa Shere Jewelry. Since this is a time of reflection, I am taking some time to think about my jewelry, and my business and one thing is clear: I've always taken this jewelry business seriously, even from the beginning. Since the moment I opened my Etsy shop exactly 3 years ago, I always had a plan of making this full time, and created designs that could be reproduced and that I want and love to reproduce. Did I think I would ever have the guts to quit my day job? No. But lucky me, my day job quit me in early 2009 and here I am.

As I reflect upon 2009, here are some of the highlights of things I achieved in my first year running this buisness full-time:

- did not quit, or giveup and get a dayjob. although I was close a few times.
- turned my business into just about 100% green. not an easy or inexpensive task.
- made a profit
- made enough of a profit to cover rent for the year (my goal)
- was accepted into and kicked ass at the following craft shows, which I had dreamt of doing for quite some time: Art Star, Crafty Bastards, Renegade, Holiday Heap, Craftland and many more
- wrote my business and financial plan, though 2011
- had fun, made friends and worked my butt off

The next step is 2010. One of my goals this year is to focus my product line a bit more, I've been making an effort to focus my line in 2009, but it's still a little bit all over the place. It's hard for me to be disciplined about this, since I'm always coming up with new ideas and they don't always fit in with what I'm currently making. But, nonetheless this year I must: focus, focus, focus!! The ACC show next month will actually help with this, as I need to present a cohesive product line at this show.

My second goal is to work on generating media exposure. This is an area that you'd think I would have spent more effort on in the past, considering that my former day job was in marketing communications. But, it's somehow much harder and scarier when it's me. But, to grow my business, I need to get my name, my product and my story out there. On a national level.

So, that's 2010. Growing and focusing my business. And getting my name out there. I feel very proud and grateful that I was able to achieve so many of the goals I set out for myself in my first full time year of business. One thing I know for sure: I could not have done this without the support my my husband, family and amazing crafty friends, mainly from BEST. I really am a lucky girl.