Sunday, February 8, 2009

Where Are All the Black Jewelry Designers?

Seek and you shall as a general rule I don't discuss this subject with *ahem* non minority folks because it's just an accepted fact that designers within the jewelry industry are mainly non minority not just non-black. *shrug* For the most part most minority jewelry designers find success within their community. While other people are just famous people who make jewelry and happen to be black/minority. That's sorta different but that's an issue for another blog post.

Anyway, while reading my morning emails I saw a post from Angel, a black women also making jewelry. *waving at Angel* I was looking thru her links...cause I find black jewelry folks like to link to each other...when I saw a link for Etsy Artists of Color. Whaaaa? Where have I been to not know about this site!!! Right away I clicked, read, and of course signed up. =)

Then I started thinking...when was the last time I googled for black jewelry designers. A few seconds later my google search lead me to this link on the JCK blog titled Where Are All the Black Jewelry Designers? Well waddayaknow. The article as a whole was an interesting read but one of the points that stood out for me is
Jewelry assumes different qualities against varying skin tones, and looks lucious on all. Yet we only see jewels on white skin in ads. Why?

Need convincing? You have only to look at Meisel's VI images to see the intrinsic beauty of black women, and the (selling!) power of their skin.."

Selling power of our skin?! LOL, I don't know what to say about that sentence. Ah heck I'm just glad to see someone blog about this

Finding Jewelry Maturity Online

Sometimes being online promoting your business takes all darn day. You would think I would know this already from promoting my personal site but I've found this is a horse of a total different color. I find the jewelry business is just such a broad industry. There's all different types of jewelry, ways of making jewelry and ways of promoting. Again, something I should remember from countless workshops on advertising and promotion. *sigh*

Anyway, after spending way to much time making a Beaded Zen Facebook profile I discovered it's not the right type...I made a personal one when it should have been a business one. Not my fault, not my fault. There was no option during signup *scowl*. So, I had to go back and then make a "Beaded Zen page" where I can claim being a business more professionally. Ok, then!

After making my presence know on facebook it was time to add my friends which is always the fun part =). A couple of interesting things about finding and adding friends in a social network. First, some people you'll run into repeatedly *waving to Jamee of Jonara Blu Maui* because everyone loves them. Second, your going to see tons of people you want to add for tons of different reasons. I saw bunches of people but since my aim to network and promote my jewelry I had to be selective about choosing friends. Hmm. This sounds bad but here my reasoning

It's not that I don't want to make a ton of crafty friends. It's more about finding people on my same level of jewelry maturity. I'm trying to take this business to a profitable level. I want to make jewelry that shows this. I want to find people who inspire me and share the same goals. We don't have to make the same kind of jewelry or even be in the same industry. I just want to find others who are also progressing creatively. I find many people are at different levels...this is natural...we all started somewhere right? The key is not to be stuck on a certain level creatively.

Matter of fact as I sort thru my boxes of jewelry I find many pieces I made years ago I wouldn't make now. I plan on using most of that stock of jewelry in my "free jewelry" promotions or just selling in a super sale just to move that stock out. I'm not in the same place creatively. I have different jewelry ideas and inspirations now. Some of my jewelry just isn't "me" anymore. I've matured jewelry wise *grin* I hope this post makes sense...If it doesn't forgive's 3am. LOL

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Creating Jewelry Space

For the past few days I've been going thru and cleaning out my boxes. I'm ashamed to say I've forgotten I had alot of things. LOL. Well, I pulled up my breeches, rolled up my sleeves and jumped in. I surface every now and again in amazement at things I've found.


Take for example my bead loom. Gosh, I bough this loom years ago when I was talking a class at the Bead Society of Greater New York. I loved this loom but never loomed anything. Go figure. Then I found stacks of jewelry magazine from BeadnButton, BeadStyle, Jewelry Crafts, etc. Again loved reading the magazines but never made any of the projects. Go figure a second time. Then I found a great little beading book. Nope never made anything shown. Third time charm of go figures.

Adding to the list are tools, beads and different assortments of jewelry finding. How is it possible to have all this stuff and not be famous already? LOL. No seriously, I should have done something with all this stuff. I can't blame it on anything or anyone...I was just running around enjoying life while making jewelry here and there. Ah, the joys of my pre-mommie days. But now I have to get organized so alot of these things have to go.

Best way to get rid of these things? By passing them along of course...I'm going to upload stuff to my online store and then notify my jewelry and crafter friends who I'm sure will have room. LOL

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Spiritual Beading : A Community Project

I find in life creative energy flows in a certain ironic way.  Take for example, this week I started organizing all my craft and jewelry magazines right? I also started cleaning out my craft and jewelry inbox (long overdue).  Recently, I read one particular email requesting info from a past FMG catalog.  I'm sorta ashamed to say I still have FMG catalogs from 2002. 

Anyway, I wanted to find the info for this fellow jewelry person so I started to look thru my now nicely organized catalogs. :) I didn't find the info so I decided to look thru the FMG website...I was surfing around... trying to avoid lusting after more jewelry beads... when I came to their community page.  Ah, I figure bios or featured stories might be there.  I was sorta right.  While the story I was looking for wasn't there I saw a story on the Beaded Prayers Project.

What is the Beaded Prayers Project?
The project engages people of all ages and backgrounds to create beaded packets that contain their prayers, wishes, hopes or dreams. Each participant creates two sealed beaded packets: one to keep in celebration of individuality and the other for the travelling exhibit, Beaded Blessings, which is displayed in sites throughout the world in celebration of unity and diversity.

Now this project is long over...I didn't even know about it...but the idea is amazing.  I always love to see how people use their creativity and bead love in a way that helps the community. Yes it's nice to make money and become famous for something we've made. That's one of the driving purpose for all creative folks including  myself. But I've always felt being a creative person is also spiritual thing and we can use our talents in alot of selfless ways also.  

Ok, enough of the zen stuff.  LOL, I'm off to print out the instructions on how to make my own prayer packet for me and baby. 

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The beginning struggle

Today I wanted to really work on putting together all the techie stuff for the Beaded Zen blog and website.  Sadly I kinda got off to a rocky start and it set the tone for the rest of the day...sorta. First I woke up late...around 5am which is 2 hours past my 3am daily wakeup.  That meant I only had 2 hours to get some techie stuff done before my son woke up and the day started.  Of course you know those two hours went by very quickly, but I was able to signup with Technorati, BlogCatalog and Twitter.

By then my son was wake and I had to juggle eating, changing, and cuddling him with visiting other mommy blogs, adding different blog buttons, and setting up my profiles on different sites. That was just the jewelry related stuff.  There was still my regular life stuff to juggle in there also. I didn't even try to add making some type of was hectic enough.

By the afternoon my son started throwing tantrums because he couldn't understand why mommy wasn't playing with him like I did before. From then till now...around 6pm he cried and cried and cried. *sigh* Nothing beyond stopping and giving him full attention would calmed him.  But I didn't want to lose my momentum with setting things up.  At one point I held him while trying to type comments and emails.  Whatever it took to keep going. Eventually his bed time came and I was able to put him down and write this blog.  It was a struggle but at least I started. Now if I can only make some jewelry...