At the start of 2005, I made an important decision and nothings been the same since...
I decided to GET SERIOUS! I set goals, looked for ways to expand an spent a lot of time learning new techniques. I remember telling my very supportive husband (hi honey!!) that if I'm going to do this, I'm going to do this right! And to me that meant registering as a business (even if that meant paying sales tax); learning lots of new skills in order to create my own website, business cards, etc; promoting myself a lot (and that's still not fun!); and selling my butt off!
That year became a blur of sales. I sold at any and everywhere. Fairs, (so-called) art shows, cafes, bizarre church bazaars, offices, schools, home parties, trunk shows, boutiques... I even made several sales off of my dining room table and I think there was even one made out of the back of my Jeep! No, I did not approach strangers with jewelry hanging in the lining of my coat -- but I did think about it more than once.
At the end of that year, I found that my efforts did pay off. My first "real" year in business brought in a 5-figure revenue. Most of that I reinvested into my basement studio and several classes on jewelry making, metalsmithing and running an art business. The money came in handy, expecially since I fund all business operations from my linty back pocket. But more importantly, the best "pay off" I got from that frantic year in business was learning a little bit more of what does and doesn't work for me and my creations.
There has been a lot of refinement along the way due to my increased focus and fluctuating time constraints (don't forget that I'm a full-time mother of two young boys and a cat). I say it's all paying off and I'm having a lot of fun now. I love being creative and able to keep things flexible and being in charge of this one little aspect of my life!