Monday, April 18, 2011

Creating "Soul" Series - Part 1

I've been thinking a lot about jewelry design and what sets one designers jewelry apart from another?  I'm thinking that there is more to it than what many people may think.  Or shall I be so bold as to say I think I finally figured out that there is a difference amongst the jewelry and the designers of "Made in China" jewelry, a non designer deciding to quickly make something out of things they find in a junk drawer, or antique shop, even yet others that make jewelry for a living financially, and than lastly someone like myself.

Not be mistaken here as self righteous in any way.  Just feeling this... that "I'm truly blessed right now, loving the privilege I have of creating jewelry at this juncture in my life and truly feel that this is what my
"life's purpose is".  For me to be able to minister to others through my jewelry business, is a gift!  Whether it be those customers that God brings into my everyday life through selling off of my blog,  customers I create custom pieces for, customers I interface with while selling at awesome shows, or those vendors/pickers I meet while buying for my business.    I am blessed...

I think I've figured out something that my customers have been telling me for years, but I hadn't yet found a word for it.  My jewelry has "soul".

What does this mean you may be thinking?  Having soul means first of all...

1)  Connecting ~  with customers.  I love getting to know the heart and souls of my customers, and many of my closest and dearest friends I've met through my jewelry design business and they were once upon a time a new customer.  I love this unexpected gift!
(This photo taken at Junk Bonanza shows me connecting with a repeat customer)

Q:  How can you do this in your own business?  

A:  By creating relationships with your customers.  Really caring about who they are, what they're doing, what it is they are seeking your jewelry for?   Is it for an event?  Is it nourishing their soul at a difficult time in their lives and giving them some joy?   Or maybe it's a memory piece that brings them joy and closeness to the person their remembering through the custom piece I create for them and helps ease the loss of a loved one in their lives.

Also, by using social media opportunities.  Including and not limited to a personal facebook, a business blog, a business facebook, twitter, linkedin, a personal web page, etsy and whatever else form you so choose to be involved in.
(All of these ladies started out first as customers, 
and now I'm happy to call each one of them "Friend".)

And, last but more importantly, being friendly to your customers and truly making them feel and know that you care about each one of them.  Providing time permits when you are interacting with them.  At some of my large shows that is a frustration for me, as sometimes it is so busy that I'm barely able to write up a sale, much less truly interact like I would like to with each of my customers.

Do you try to connect with your customers?
If so, how do you connect with your customers?
If not, give it a try?  I think you'll be blown away how cool it is...

I'd love you to leave a comment and share your thoughts on this topic.

(Stay tuned to a future segment of this series)


  1. Hi Gretchen!

    You are on a roll. Do you remember how you felt after 9/11? Aside from the incredible hurt and disbelief that filled your heart, remember the closeness you felt for your fellow human being? I felt like it was a need to show a kindness to another person. Everyone was spreading sweet and love on each other. Today that seems to have run out, feeling a little empty. Today we crave that closeness to others, and we know it is possible because we saw it on 9/12.

    You are 9/12. That is what draws people to you. It isn't necessarily that you are creating something for them as much it is about finding YOU in your creations. It is your "soul" that we are looking for. We know how you treat us with kindness, because that is simply who you are. That is what we all crave.

    Suggestion: While at a show - bring in your posse. Add another person to write up sales tickets. You - you don't touch a sales ticket. You socialize. No, put that ticket down. Chit and Chat. Pour the love onto your customers. The same love that you pour into your work.

    Keep going, Gretchen!
    You are the greatest - remember is all about you!


  2. Oh Tami. You are so sweet. The 9/11 aftermath and the 9/12 closeness is such a great example of the "soulness" we all so need to remember and have in our daily walks. Not enough of it for sure.
    I'm thankful to be a friendly and chatty person at times, as it comes more easily for me than for many people to reach out and attempt to make someone else's gloomy day turn into sunshine. We have such power in our words, touch and how we treat others. Amazing!
    As for the ticket sales and write ups, I had 3 of us in my booth space at JB 2010 and it really wasn't enough. Not sure what to do about it, as I also recently lost one of these greatest advocates of mine to some sensitivities that are oh, so prevalent around junking extravaganzas that I partake in. Good advice though, just not sure how doable it will be. I'll continue to strive for that though.
    Thanks Tami for your encouragement and support and for being such a faithful follower of my blog. :)

  3. Awwww Gretchen! You are SO sweet. I love you AND your talent. I love vegging out on your blog. It makes me feel great to see your creations when I need a little down time. God bless you my friend!


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