About Me

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JLynn has been in the Art, Craft & Jewelry industry for over 30 years ~ promoting creativity through Education and Media. As a published designer, JLynn is known for her detailed, colorful Jewelry, unique Altered ART Wood Tiles, and Artwork. Online since 2004, a former eBay Power Seller, and currently on Artfire and Etsy. Family, Art, Nature and Kaleidoscopes are her biggest inspirations

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A confession from my Studio...and TIPS!

Confession #1...
I was in a self-imposed prison of doing "time"
6-8 months of NO design time that is!
Daily Disorganization!
Lots of "To-Do's" on the List but nothing getting done!

Sound familiar?
Seriously...I could give a thousand excuses, explanations, reasons...and I'm sure you could relate, understand, and sympathize - because you are probably in a similar boat if you are a work-at-home Entrepreneur.  It's a wonderful job...but can very often be a challenging, chaotic, creative mess.
Sometimes your Guardian Angel rescues you...
Sometimes a Woodland Fairy sprinkles the fairy dust...
For me...this time around it was a creative friend - one who over time, had taken an interest in my jewelry, my Tiles, my business, my family, my fur babies (and ironically in doing so, pushed past my Introvert safety-lines lol).  You know it's refreshing to find a fellow Artisan that cares, is honest and genuine, asks questions, networks, and offers opinions in this creative world we work in.  True blessings :)

But then one day...
Out of the blue...
This Friend of mine, asked ONE, very astute question...
One that had to do with why I didn't have
 more listed in my Etsy Store...

My first response back was a funny one - "Because, I don't want to" lol.
  My second response was a logical business one from the analytical side of profit margins, time, and finding this elusive "balance". 

But then the more I thought about the question - the more I began thinking...and that can be dangerous.  Then I started thinking about the question again...and then I just started LAUGHING...again.
I mean a really honest to goodness HARD LAUGH!
This question caught me completely off-guard...but oh my goodness, was it ever the breath of fresh air that I needed, at just the right time!

So I thought more...
Like...is it true?  Have I been LOLLYGAGGING???
 Could I be getting more done?
And as that thought sunk in, I started rethinking my entire business...my plans...then I started laughing again about the entire question thing - 
and I said...wait a minute...

 "My buttons were just pushed and my business choices were questioned"
and I'm like "Wait...what...!? - like did that just REALLY happen???"
(Insert a snort and more laughter)...
At that point - I simply sat back in contentment,
(as if I just ate a BIG Chocolate bar), and thought...

and this question... just freaking BRILLIANT!  
So began my ONE day re-exploration and re-evaluation of my 2016 business plan.  You see, I spent 2015 preparing for a better "BALANCE" and a return to my "Roots" in Jewelry Designing and Artwork...with a slight decrease in creating ART Tiles.  But what I didn't realize is that there was a key piece to my puzzle missing about the Tiles.  Which led me to a bit of soul searching with more questions of (If, How, What, Why, When), and then ultimately, the...

...WHY NOT?...
Followed by the affirmative "I CAN DO THIS"
and do it well, without sacrificing any of my original plans in the process...

Sometimes it just takes ONE person asking ONE question...to help you create
not only that "Balance" but the "Redefined Balance"

You know sometimes events in our life (personal and business) hit us hard - and we forget to stay focused, or maybe we are so emotionally depleted that we need a break - and you know what?  That's ok.  Everyone is different - but we all have a limit to our "useful Lollygagging time" - so remember to be mindful that you're not missing out on creating or doing fun things.

Confession #2...
Speaking of LOLLYGAGGING...
You know that work I had been putting off?
Well it wasn't so hard - and I got it done in record time!  Yes, it initially made me a tad grumpy...but after finishing, it was a great feeling of accomplishment!

SO here's the BUSINESS TIPS...
because if I can do this - so can you...

Schedule ONE week of "Clean-Up Therapy" and
hold yourself accountable for all the things
 you've been saying you're going to complete, but haven't...

#1 - MAKE THE LIST of these THINGS
#2 - DO THEM!
 BREAK DOWN the tasks and Schedule them on your Calendar! 

These were some of my To-do's for the Jewelry Studio...but feel free to tweak them for your own business or home life!

~ Cleaning and purging the Studio (including files...)
I won't bore you with the Cleaning and purging part, but I did have fun preparing for Design Time by pulling Artisan components & findings.  FYI...the Daylight "Swan" Lamp (Retails at $180), however, with comparison shopping, expect to spend a little over ~$100. Best investment I ever made...lamp is going on 8 years and I am just now replacing the original bulb for the 1st time!

~ Organize Metal Findings and return unused to their proper place
Shown here is the one of the skinny drawers in my 6 drawer unit from Ikea which is currently housing my Vintaj supplies. Drawers are broken down by various metals and suppliers. My Sterling Silver findings are kept in several closed special Anti-Tarnishing containers (another investment well worth the price - keeps everything looking brand new for years - which is excellent for when you are purchasing while the price of Silver is low...).

~ Grouping Design Projects, organizing your design sketches,
 and utilizing everyday containers to organize. 
Shown here are "steals" from my Kitchen Cabinets...
and the Artisan Components (mind you this is not an all inclusive view lol), are from Inviciti, BlueHareArtWear, along with some of my newest Tile Creations.

~ Scheduling Purchases for Jewelry Findings and new components 
If you're serious about your business, you need to plan & budget...
Shown here are a variety of storage trays I picked up for very reasonable price at Michael's, Home Goods and Waverly on Amazon (50-70% off SRP). You don't have to spend a lot of money to get organized.  The smaller trays at the top left store a variety of Artisan Ceramic and Polymer Clay creations.  The fabric 12x12 trays - hold MANY Artisan Lampwork beads (categorized by Artisan and broken down by colors/shapes for the larger collections.  The smaller Paisley units on the right store all my Premium Czech beads (organized by color).  There is also a variety of other open baskets with individual storage bins in them for misc. beads...like Swarovski Crystals, Pearls, Gemstones, Wood beads, Seeds beads and more.  Keep in mind I have been designing since the 80s...which means I've had a lot of years of "collecting" and "replenishing" my Beads, Findings & Artisan Components ;)

~ Administrative Work (behind the scenes & Social)
Including setting up Excel Financial & Products spreadsheets for two years out

~ Print out & Organize Jewelry Earring/Bracelet/Necklace Tags
I love taking the time to print out my own tags...each one is specific to the jewelry piece I create and the type of gemstones, beads, and metals used.  Time consuming, but my customers appreciate the detailed tags versus a generic "Sterling Silver" or "Brass" tag.  I store my embossed gift boxes in a Hall closet - but keep the packaging materials handy near my main desk.

~ Designing and ordering Business Package Inserts (biz card size)
Utilizing a variety of companies - I order business cards, inserts, postcards, etc. Although my main logo remains the same - I do switch out the layout, background colors and different "tag lines" quarterly to keep things "fresh"

~ Redesigning and rebuilding my old Website - In process...

YES, when I look at this and all that was accomplished in just ONE week,
It appears I was in fact LOLLYGAGGING...
Are You? . . . :)

Have a super week everyone!
Warmly, JLynn