Well, I am as ready as I can be for the Rustbelt Market opening this weekend. The market is open tomorrow from 11am to 7pm. I have all my pendants, links, spools of chain, packages of findings, old keys, and tins of beads all set up in my new "rustbelt" display made of rusted metal and old wood boxes. My concept is to have an "artisan beadworks" set-up for this market, featuring not only my own handmade items, but also supplies from other artists, vintage items, US made findings, and a full line of cord and chain for stringing. Not only do I have a completely new display, but I also have filled it with completely new products. All of the pendants I will be selling were made specifically for this concept. Plus I have metal supplies and findings and kits to help people make their own jewelry. I will be providing casual instruction in the form of quick demonstrations, perhaps having more involved and scheduled classes and demos later on this summer when I return to the Market.
While I have done many bead shows, this is idea is more like a bead *store*. I didn't realize how much of a dream having a store is to me until this opportunity arose. While I don't have the time, funds, or interest in setting up a full brick and mortar store at this time in my life, a mini store at a weekend artist market sounds perfect! I really hope that I can make it work and that this can become a semi-permanent home for me. The Market itself is looking great. The aesthetic of the place is exactly what I have been working towards in recent years, evolving from my interest in steampunk and moving towards industrial mixed with vintage, salvaged materials. This look is not for everyone, I realize, so it is good to be in a place where this is the norm, and it is understood and done well.
I think it will be successful. I hope so. Any time I try something new, especially something where I am re-inventing myself and my work, I tend to go for it fully, battling through the insecurities and questions... what if people don't get it? What if they don't like what I have to offer? What if I don't have enough product, or not the right kind of product? I am not going to know until I try it, and I need to be open minded and willing and able to adjust if needed. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Still, it is a big risk. I am all set up and ready to go, but these few hours of waiting before the big opening is when the questions set in. And there is even more I want to do... package a few more beads, a few more kits... but I am exhausted. This is a work in progress, and I have planned the best I can. I can improve as I see what I need, but for now, I am ready.
Melanie is an artist, blogger, writer, and ceramic beadmaker at Earthenwood Studio. Her beads and components can be found at her Etsy shop and her jewelry can be found in her Etsy Galleria. To comment on this post, visit the original post at the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Blog.