Making a change. Why does it seem so intimidating sometimes? All of those great, apropos clichés… The devil you know vs. the devil you don’t. The famed golden handcuffs. Time for a bit of wisdom from the Bhagavad-Gita: Action is superior to inaction.
I’m an actor with a day job that gives me great health insurance. It’s fairly flexible with hours. But the problem is that each day I find it harder to get excited about this job, even though it’s my paycheck. I need to feel rewarded by more than just a deposit slip, even though that’s obviously important. And I’ve always loved making jewelry.
I started years ago, doing pieces for friends as gifts. I can’t even really say what it was, but a few months ago it clicked… and alexlady designs http://www.alexladydesigns.etsy.com/ was born! Now I have a successful online store chock full of jewelry made by my own two hands, and an up-and-coming blog http://www.alexladydesigns.blogspot.com/ that features other handcrafters’ items as well as highlights of the New Jersey arts scene.
I originally chose to open up my virtual doors on http://www.etsy.com/ because I knew it was an amazing showcase for handmade items. Not only is it a much more shopper-friendly format than, say, eBay, but I have found that it’s also an inspiring artists’ community. I discover more about the community every day, whether it’s a thread full of information on doing home showcase sales, or the Street Teams… small groups of artisans that are a more personal group for support and promotion. I recently joined the EtsyNJ Team, and since then I’ve easily doubled my knowledge about starting a business, as well as met some very talented new artists.
Shopping with a Conscience
Check out a few ways that etsy is making a difference:
*On my honor* Take the Handmade Pledge at http://www.buyhandmade.org/. I’ve always preferred handcrafted gifts, but by signing up and posting this you encourage your friends to support artists as well. And I’ve developed a Favorites list that’s so extensive; no one can ever accuse me of being “hard to shop for” ever again!
*Right in My Backyard * Are you looking for an artist in Jersey City Heights ? The Shop Local link on the Buy page lets you search for etsy artisans in your very own town. What an excellent way to give back to the community! http://www.etsy.com/shop_local.php
*Boo on Carbon Footprints* If you’re Going Green, check out the “environmentally friendly” link http://www.etsy.com/gift-guides/environmentally-friendly/24 under the Gift Guides. http://www.etsy.com/gift-guides/ There you can scroll through tons of up-cycled, organic, and re-purposed offerings.
*Tis Better to Give* By entering ‘charity’ into the search bar, you can browse through items that shopkeepers are selling and donating some or all of the proceeds to a charity.
Making jewelry makes me feel like a better person. The process is exciting for me, full of problem-solving, experimenting with colors, and immersing myself in the creation of something beautiful. And joining etsy has been a wonderful way to gain exposure, as well as opening my eyes to a wealth of knowledge and local support. I haven’t quit my day job yet, but who knows where this will take me?
Come visit http://www.alexladydesigns.etsy.com/ and see what it’s all about! And join me on the blogosphere at http://www.alexladydesigns.blogspot.com/ for updates on the North Jersey Arts scene, as well as features on other local etsians, giveaways, and items that you just won’t believe. Jewelry made from octopus tentacles, anyone?