Wow! Since my last blog post so much seems to have happened is hard to know quite where to begin.
I had an amazing response to my "yes I can" blog and as a result Arthritis Care contacted me to ask firstly if I gave them permission to share the blog post with the information team and then secondly, if I was happy for them to interview me and use me as a case study. I was stunned by this as far from seeing myself as an "inspiration" which was their wording, as far as I'm concerned I'm just the same person I've ever been, just doing the best I can to be the best "Me" I can be and as I've always done (or at least tried to do) taking advantage of new opportunities that present themselves to me.
So that was the first thing.
I next had an email from Foyles bookshop, inviting me to take part in their Christmas craft fair. I must admit that when I first read it I honestly thought it was either a joke or a piece of spam email, however I checked it out with their website and it was genuine. The person in charge had found my details another sites I'm listed on, had looked at my website here and contacted me on the basis of that. I was hugely flattered but unfortunately had to say no, not just because getting there would have posed great difficulty for me but also because I work on a Friday and on the Saturday I have already booked to take my daughter and my three young grandchildren lunch with Father Christmas and this obviously had to take precedence!
I'm still trying to get my first sale with Folksy but I think that's just a matter of time and my getting used to how to list my items to try and get maximum exposure. However I am starting to get commissions in which is very exciting. I had a great time with the E17 designers in September and again got some great feedback on my jewellery. I loved the words people used to describe it, quirky fun unique colourful intricate and of course the highest term of praise possible "awesome"!
Looking back to my first market selling my jewellery with the Leyton and Stone Designers in April this year I can see how much I have learnt in just a few months. Not just about improving the layout and display of my stall, how I package items, the importance of social media and presentation. But also that when I'm making to sell I'm not just making things for myself rather things that suit my taste, something which I was definitely doing when I first started but make a conscious effort to avoid doing now. Of course there are pieces that I do like and pieces that I wear myself but I have listened to feedback from customers and people I've met at markets and have really broadened out my range.
Most of all though, I still get a thrill from the fact that I can design and make pieces of jewellery that people appreciate and want to buy. One of the biggest compliments I have received was from what I will term "proper jeweller", one who creates individual pieces using precious metals and gemstones. Not only did he like what I was doing but he also felt it was a terrific way for people who wanted to buy a genuinely unique and handmade piece of jewellery but who could not afford to pay high-end prices to be able to do this.
Why are things coming up roses? Not only that use as my title because of the song and the meaning of the expression but because I will now be taking a short break from folding Christmas angels and stars and mistletoe earrings to fold ten roses for the chokers I've been commissioned to make.