Thursday, July 19, 2012

Creating "Soul" Series - Part 2

Good morning dear friends.  Today, I am sharing with you a blog post that I started quite some time ago, and actually is Part 2 of a "Creating Soul" series that I was writing.  I found it in my draft box and felt let to share it with you since at one point it was on my heart pretty strongly, and truly is some interesting thoughts.  I'd love to hear what you think about it, good and the bad.  Have a blessed day!


2 ~ Uniqueness of Product

Is your art your creating unique?
Do people easily duplicate it?  

Or maybe you are someone that consistently uses other peoples design ideas to make your products?

(an example of a unique piece that isn't easily duplicated)

Have you ever personally noticed when something that is lovingly hand-created has soul?

What about the opposite?

Have you ever noticed items that are hastily created and lack soul?

For me personally, I struggle with this.  I tend to create some of my vintage jewelry redesigns to be quite time consuming and elaborate.  They are filled with "soul" and speak to the customers quite intensely.  I love when this happens.  My customer "feels the love", understands the work it took to create an elaborate piece, they connect with the piece and than appreciates it enough to spend their hard earned cash on my creation.  This is the utmost highest compliment a designer can experience.  :)  


Thank you to all of my loyal customers these past 16 years I've been creating jewelry!


But then sometimes, because of the lack of enough time in the day, the demand for large amounts of product, and because I cater to a broad range of customer styles, I also create items that are more simplified in their design.  I try to not lose the "soul" factor, but at times I wonder if I lose that connection I so want to convey through my designs.  That which I'm describing as the "soul" factor.


Along with simplification of designs, these unfortunately can than more easily be duplicated by others.  I've been noticing it more and more with quite a few fellow creators that do this on a regular basis.   Do you often work hard on a design and/or concept to only see others take it as their own?  Thus the issue and problem comes with "copy cat artists".  


Creativity takes courage.
~Henri Matisse



(an example of a more simplified design I created in 
early 2009 and has been duplicated by many others)

Adding "soul" value to your products...


I find that as an artisan if we try to keep our products "unique" and more complicated they are less likely to be duplicated.  Something, I love to do, but don't always have the extra time to invest 2-4 hours into every necklace I create.  This again can be a struggle at times for the above reasons, as well as sometimes a lack of vintage found elements availability and/or price fluctuation's on products used with regard to the good old economics 101 "supply and demand".  

Try to be a cutting edge designer that comes up with the creative designs vs. the copy cat artist that tends to only use others work.  I know there's a fine line here...  Some of you may say "everything is out there", it's "already been done", etc., etc.  Not really always true.  There are constantly new mediums and techniques available to us jewelry designers all the time.  I personally attempt to try to keep educating myself with new techniques and styles that I can incorporate into my designs to keep things new and exciting.  Try to keep things fresh.  I am currently attending a workshop the end of the month to learn a technique I've always wanted to learn and hope to incorporate those skills into my designs in the future.  I really work hard at coming up with my own designs.  We often doubt our abilities when in fact if we take the time to spend time in the creative process, many times the ideas flow out of us.  This is one of the things I've been trying to relay to my students out in Rogers, MN, where I teach at the new shop "The Vintage Jewelry Collection".  I am teaching Vintage Redesign 101 & 202, and thus not teaching a project, but rather an entire Style and Art including techniques, hard to find elements, what supplies I use, etc.  What I want my students to know, is that they can and should take parts of ideas, techniques taught to them, supplies they like, etc., but then give it their own twist, so that it isn't a direct copy of what someone else is doing.  Often, I have found myself not showcasing or sharing things that I'd normally love to be sharing, because I want them to remain a new design offered by me at an upcoming show, or event.  Some people in this business get most of the ideas/designs from others, and I've even had people that will than undercut my pricing and sell a few booths away at the same show.  Morally, I was raised that this is wrong. 



Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.

~Mary Lou Cook

Develop your own style...the below example is one of the design lines that I have been creating for a number of years now, and is recognized as a "Mimi-Toria's Design" by others when my customers wear these style of necklaces with the vintage pocket watch faces and the addition of the "flying sparrow", "French Eiffel tower", and or vintage rhinestones.


Examples of designs recognized as "Mimi-Toria's Designs"

Convey and/or learn to be confident enough to show your customers what sets you apart from others.  Take the time to explain the details that set your creations apart from the booth next to yours, the retail shop down the street, the other etsy stores, blogs, and/or other web shops designs.  This is something I don't always do a good job at, so need to also work on this area myself.  Consistently strive to take your art form to the next level.  And most of all, I feel we each find our true success when we are original in our designs.  Then we are sharing "our soul" and not "someone else's heart and soul."  


Does this make sense to you my followers?  Only then does that satisfaction of a job well done truly reward us with the "connection" we seek with our customers.  It's such a joy when something "I created" with the Lord's direction and guidance speaks to one of my customers.  I just love that!



Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Marburger Farms - Garden Edition - JUNKMARKET Style

This video clip is fun to watch. It shows Sue, of Junk Market Style educating us about what to look for when planting garden containers, and was filmed at Marburger Show in Texas this past Spring. The Marburger Show is one of those things on my bucket list to do.

Click on the link below to see this video.


Fun fact is cute and funky little Sue is sporting a Mimi-Toria's Designs necklace during the filming of this clip too.  Although this clip may be a bit old, many of you may not have had the opportunity to see it yet, and it is filled with interesting and educational information.

I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  Sue is always a hoot and so entertaining.

Marburger Farms - Garden Edition - JUNKMARKET Style

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Gearing up for Junk Bonanza 2012

I am looking forward to September 13-15th this year and am honored again to be included in the great line up of vendors that will be showcased in Junk Bonanza out at Canterbury Park in  Shakopee, Minnesota.    This will be my fourth year returning and my third year to my exact same location, SPACE #256.  Please head on in to see me inside the main building and off to the right in the front corner of the right side.  You can look for my Mimi-Toria's trademark, "Carolina my angel winged and crowned mannequin", which I've used for three years at shows.  You can also watch for this sign that I created for  each and every show as well.  These items are part of my business branding and I plan to continue to use them to define my Mimi-Toria's brand.

Below are a few examples of what you might expect to find in a Mimi-Toria's Design booth.  I will be sharing more photos of my creations leading up to the Junk Bonanza, but these are available for sale now, and other items will be created each and every day for the show.  Contact me at gretchen.schaumann@comcast.net.
You can also check out my  business facebook  page here: https://www.facebook.com/MimiTorias for additional photos of what I've been creating.  

This necklace has the most gorgeous maroon garnets wire wrapped and linked into it, as well as some large chunks of smokey quartz nuggets.  Both of these types of beads are in the semi precious gemstone categories and are lovely to work with when designing vintage redesigned jewelry such as I create.  Again, another trademark of Mimi-Toria's Designs is the use of the pocket watch faces paired with the flying sparrow birds in the center of them.  I have created these for four years now, and most of my regular customers have purchased one of those clock face focals in their first ever necklace.  It is definitely a fun look and one that has come to be recognized as a Mimi-Toria's Design.  I own several and wear mine regularly.  This one is extra special as the brushed gold tone watch face is rare and much harder to find than the white enamel ones, or silver toned ones.  I truly adore this piece.  There is a section of vintage pocket watch chain and connector incorporated into this piece, as well as rhinestone elements that are just gorgeous.  The addition of the antiqued gold vintage religious medals and additional elements make this definitely a one-of-a-kind design.
It is offered at $129.  SOLD

An interesting piece and one that I personally love and am tempted to keep for myself.  I did try it out and it lays and hangs just as I wanted it to, so am pleased with the overall design of it.  It is always good to test your designs to see that there are no quirky behaviors while it's been worn.  No sharp pieces, no twisting or flipping, etc.  My 16 years of Vintage Jewelry Design has surely taught me a think or too in regards to learning from ones mistakes in the past.
This necklace has an "Explore" with bird flying image that has been etched into copper to create its focal.  The frame around it was created with a vintage brooch and is secured into its location via it's original metal tabs.The addition of the Black Diamond AB vintage Swarovski bi-cone crystals, the hand torn silk bits of ribbon, and the secure technique of wire-wrapped beads makes this a one-of-a-kind must have necklace.
It is offered at $89.00.  SOLD


Mimi-Toria's Design Jewelry Style