Saturday, January 29, 2011

Adapt and Believe in Yourself

Okay, I know that title is a bit "after-school special" but I really do believe it.

After I was laid off from my teaching job, I didn't know what I was going to do. I decided to start my Etsy shop to make some money while I was applying to other jobs. I worked hard on my designs and ended up getting into the first Etsy Artist Pavillion at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago only four months into my business. That was a huge boon to me and I went on to do many other shows in my first year.

That said, I didn't make quite enough money from jewelry to pay all of my bills. I also had to find supplemental jobs on the side. No place was hiring, so I decided to write a curriculum for a beginning jewelry-making class. I went to my local art museum and presented my class idea. They hired me on the spot and now I teach both beginning and advanced jewelry-making.

Even with my jewelry classes though, things are a bit tight. I also wanted to work out more, but couldn't afford to go to a gym. I noticed that a Facebook friend had posted about Zumba and it got me thinking. I had done Zumba two years ago regularly and I loved it, but I never thought I could be an instructor. For some reason though, I just decided to believe in myself and sign up for the instructor training, which is scheduled for February.

Well, today I went to a Zumba class to prepare for the instructor training and, at the break, the instructor started chatting with me. She said that she was really impressed by how quickly I picked up the steps and how well I did the routines. When I told her that I was getting certified to teach in February, she insisted that I talk to the gym owners because they needed new instructors for earlier class times. She was so sweet and she really talked me up to the owners. They said they would love to have me shadow the instructors and start subbing and teaching my own classes in March!

I just want to say that when I started all of these endeavors, I felt nervous and doubted myself beforehand. In the past, I would have allowed those doubts to stop me from putting mysefl out there. For some reason, I now just push those doubts aside and go after what I want. If I make a fool of myself, at least I tried. If I never try, my life will only stay the same. I just am so happy that I decided to go for it for a change.

If you want to jump into a new activity and are dogged with doubts or other people's negative opinions, I encourage you to believe in yourself. Sure, you have to put in the work, and you might fail at first, but persistence WILL pay off in the end. Believe in yourself, take the first steps, work hard and the rest will follow!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Rings for Ohio

I'm currently busy making rings for the Salty Not Sweet store in Cleveland, Ohio. They are moving their boutique to a new location in the city and they will feature a selection of Quite Clever Jewelry when they reopen. The new store location is in the trendy Ohio City neighborhood, filled with independent restaurants and boutiques. I'm excited to go check out the store and I'm so honored to be one of their new vendors.

Monday, January 17, 2011

My New Favorite Etsy Find

The last thing I should be doing right now is shopping, but I couldn't help ordering some adorable decorative tape. I think I am going to use this tape to decorate my new Kraft jewelry boxes. They are striking, fun and also so simple to use. Check out more awesome tapes at Little Happy Things on Etsy.

One of a Kind Chicago was Fabulous!

It's been a while since I last posted, and it has been a whirlwind of activity since then. With the One of a Kind Show in Chicago and the holiday festivities, I feel like I've been all over the place.

As for One of a Kind, it was great. I had a wonderful booth location and I met so many great people. I also saw some old friends from last year. All in all, it was a fun time and very satisfying, even though it was a little exhausting.

I made quite a few booth changes, both in surface and substance, and it made all the difference. My booth was so much more visually appealing and I felt like my displays filled up the white wall space and made my area more appealing. You can view the final result below.

I also made made some changes that helped me get through the long hours of the show. First, I focused on drinking lots of water. The air in the Merchandise Mart is so dry and it is very easy to get dehydrated and develop a sore throat. A drank hot water with lemon and honey and that really helped me get by. I also invested in some inexpensive floor pads that I layed in back of my table. Those floor pads, along with some comfortable boots with rubber soles, kept my feet from aching.

All in all, it was a great show and I am signed up to go back again next year. I think it may be my last year to participate though because of the booth fee along with hotel costs and parking. It's just a lot of expenses, even though it is such a nice event. We'll see how this year goes and maybe I'll change my mind. For the time being though, I'm planning on being at the 2011 show at booth 3069. Mark your calendars now, ha ha.