May 6, 2011

Opening Weekend of Rustbelt Market

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.


  1. Oh man, it looks AWESOME!! This is right up my alley, so I love it! That is the most awesome market setup I have ever seen. It's like a movie set! (I'm half expecting Johnny Depp to stroll in there in a pencil mustache and bowler hat.) You inspired me to try Instant Rust--it worked ! I love it! Your necklace stands look gorgeous with that rust finish on there. Your vintage looking tins and brown velvet are the perfect touch! Those antique looking tags are wonderful too. Everything looks just perfect! Looks like you haven't missed a detail. What a great way to have a "store" without the commitment.

  2. Wow!! I love you're bead "store" !! It's beautifully set up and i really like your wooden displays and everything !!!! I really like steampunk atmosphere !!
    I wish you the best in your new venture !!

  3. Everything looks GREAT! It fits the style of your jewelry so well, and looks really inviting. Hope everything goes really well for you!

  4. Good luck and lots of sales! It all looks wonderful and I think you will be delightfully surprised how well you do! Connie :)

  5. Wow, it looks fabulous!!! All your hard work and attention to detail came together - only wish I could be there to see it in person. Good luck!

  6. Your display looks great and should be successful in attracting buyers.

  7. Melanie,

    You are definitely on trend. There are pop-up restaurants and fashion shows, so why not a pop-up bead store. I love your display and think it looks awesome.

  8. Your booth is so awesome! I would be pawing thoruhg all that stuff forever. I would love to have a bead store that would look like yours someplace close by...heck, I would open one like that if money were no object. I would have classes, and invite instructors in for weekend workshops and we would have fun playing and make new things. I would love that. I hope this went well!
    Enjoy the day!

  9. I love the look of your booth and your display is very eye-catching.