MIMI-TORIA"S DESIGNS ONLINE Square Market Online Store

Sunday, October 16, 2011

ETSY and Thoughts about Customs

Every heart has its passion,
Doing what you love gives your spirit wings.”

author unknown

Did you know that I have an ETSY store?  Trying to get it started, but I am still working on orders from the last two events in September, as well as custom orders I've had backed up for a while, so it's been very hard to get enough items extra to list in my Etsy store too.  

I also have 2 Trunk Shows that are coming up in November that I am designing jewelry for too, as I need to have a good variety of product for each of these show dates.   Mark your calendar...

The first one is:
 November 11 & 12th
Antiques Downtown
Elk River, MN
(held in conjunction with their anniversary sale at their shop too)

'A wise person once said, “Find something you love to do, and you’ll never have to work another day of your life”.

Obviously, this is a generalized statement, but truly if you love what you are doing, it really doesn’t seem like work.  For me personally, when I am designing jewelry on my own, and not a custom commissioned piece, it does not feel like work, as it’s something I love to do and feel so blessed to be able to freely create. 

However, sometimes when I’m doing a custom design as per a customers specifics that it can become work, if I’m not inspired by what I am to create.  I find balance is the key in my design business.  I have chosen to say “yes” to some of these custom designs as a service to my clients, but it isn’t something that I would choose to do over the freedom of creativity that I usually have when I just let my found elements/beads and baubles inspire me to design with them.  I often find it a struggle to get myself creating these custom orders.  Do you find this the same for you and your business?  If so, what have you found to be effective to get yourself motivated to create someone else’s vision?

Truly, it isn’t that my vision is better than someone else, or better the wants specified from a customer, or anything like that.  It just is that then my creativity feels like it's put into a box.  Yes, the box may be large, or it may be very specific and concise.  Nonetheless, this box so to speak, is a specific set of parameters, and as an Artist I find it sometimes squelches my creativity.  It’s not that eventually, maybe a really great piece is created for a said customer, but it takes me longer, and I find I need to have the elements I’m creating with in my possession for a longer amount of time.  Than suddenly one day, a design inspiration may strike me, and I can start on the project commissioned.   Or, maybe I’ve run out of time allotted and I just have to bite the bullet and design, inspired or not.  I find this to be the worse case scenario.  How about you?  Do you have any creative exercises to deal with this portion of your business?  Or do you never choose to do custom orders?

As a customer, how does this affect you?  Do you get impatient with the wait, when dealing with people such as myself that struggle to create under a set of parameters?   Or does the end result outweigh the frustration of the wait?  I’d love to hear the feedback from you all. 

Please, don’t anyone think this is intended for you….
It is not!

I am at my cabin for a 24 hour period and have been working on jewelry orders, as well as just some free design work (my own creativity at work), and was editing some photographs of photos I’ve not ever gotten around to editing, when this blog post jumped in my head.  It is NOT intended to apply to anyone in the past that I’ve designed custom pieces for, nor is it for any I’m working on now, or in the future.  Just some thoughts I wanted to explain and also wanted to get feedback from other Artisan followers as to how they handle custom orders and their creativity.  Also, would love to hear from past, present and future customers as to how you feel and/or handle it when you are on the waiting side of this.

On a side note...  I cannot take any custom requests through the end of 2011.  Time to get caught up on back logs of customs.  Sorry...

Stay tuned for future post on the upcoming Trunk Shows.  The second date is: November 17 & 18th in St. Cloud, MN at Marishka's on St. Germain.  A lovely boutique style shop located downtown St. Cloud.  I will be the featured Artisan on November 17th as part of their annual "Art Crawl".  Mark your calendar...

Have a great day!
And be blessed ~

Gretchen :)


  1. I recently read where some others stopped custom orders. I don't sell, but always said if I did it would be "One of a Kind" - would not want the pressure/stress of custom orders.
    Do what you are comfortable with - that is important.
    Have a great week.

  2. Thanks Glenda for your feedback. Sometimes it's a lot of fun, but often the stress of trying to interpret what the customer really wants and what you create is tough. Makes it interesting too, since I have never charged more for customs, even though they end up taking a lot more time.

  3. Gretchen, you and I have pondered this subject before. It's a vexing one. I am often asked to do custom but I have not been very happy or sucessful doing it. I create, seeking inspiration and input, but I no longer to do custom orders. I prefer to do what some might call couture. My LaDeeDa Design pieces are one of a kind or "couture" but not custom. I find I am much more sucessful this way.

  4. I could have written this same post. I struggle with custom orders also. For me, it's because I'm striving to create the customer's vision and always second guess myself. Is this what they really had in mind? It's so much easier to create with your own vision and let your imagination guide you. I stopped doing custom stencil work and faux painting many years ago for this same reason. Thanks so much for sharing this:-)

  5. Thank you ladies for your feedback, on this very perplexing process I am trying to figure out. Need to complete the promised customs and hold up my end of the bargain for those I've already committed to, but definitely am in need of learning to say "no" those two words that I so need to get in my vocabulary in order to have a happy and productive life going forward.


I am so thankful you took the time to let me know what you think about what I write and for taking the time to share your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and visiting my blog. :)

Mimi-Toria's Design Jewelry Style