Thursday, August 30, 2012
Today I did something that a lot of artist/crafters would not do. I met with a customer and showed her how to make two of the pieces that I sold in my ETSY shop. I know… I can hear you saying “If you show her how to make it herself, you will not be able to sell her anymore of your items. Even worse, she can sell them herself and steal your customers. That is a good way to put yourself out of business.” As a business woman I can see your point, but as an artist and member of the artistic community I see this from a very different angle. Artists march to a different and somewhat eccentric drummer. We feel the need to create, to share our creations, and to share in the creative process. Ask a group of artists/crafters ( yes we tend to travel in packs!) and you will find that most of them are willing to share the details of their creations. They will share everything from the beginning of the creative process and where they find idea -to the details of how they achieve a certain look or where they buy a much need supply. Sharing is a large part of the creative process- as is teaching. You will find that a large number of arts and craft supply businesses also offer classes. Most classes are taught by employees that are artists themselves. So back to where I started telling you about what I did today. One of my customers wanted to know how I made the copper Viking Weave necklace and bracelet that she purchased from my AngelsGourden ETSY shop last week. We e-mailed back and forth a few times and arranged to meet this afternoon at “Wired Coffee” on Lindbergh Boulevard in Sunset Hills. We introduced ourselves, grabbed a iced coffee drink and sat down to talk copper. I got my weave supplies out of my tote bag (that goes everywhere with me) and as I started showing her the basic weave technique she started firing off questions like a four year old on a long car trip. We covered the Viking Weave, beads, clasps, where to get supplies, tools and metal smith techniques. Let me tell you it was great! The feeling I got not only from the creating process but from sharing my craft with someone who was smitten with the process and wanted to learn. We talked for an hour and a half and it seemed like five minutes. We exchanged phone numbers (in case she thought of another question) and I took her order. Yes- she wants me to make her a half dozen more items for Christmas gifts. (Not such a bad business decision after all.) I wonder if I should offer to teach a class. I know where I could book a room. The manager at Wired Coffee showed me around while I was there. They have a small meeting room (they don’t mind if you over flow into the main room), they have art exhibition space, and they have a great selection of coffees! Did you know that they also serve FOOD? They have a well rounded menu and the prices are reasonable. They have a facebook page where they list upcoming events-like speed dating in September! I left the manager with my business card so keep and eye on their facebook page - some day I may be listed as an upcoming artistic event .