Thursday, January 14, 2010

Ch-ch-changes


So, I've been contemplating a few changes to the way I present my work for a while now. With the start of the new year, I thought it might be beneficial to stop following the path of least resistance, break out of my rut and at least try a few things, however minor. (This is always tough for me, as I tend to not want to move from a comfortable spot once I've found it.)

As you can see from my banner, I've been fiddling around a little with my "branding". I'm a little worried that "Artisan Fine Silver" sounds way too pretentious, but I didn't really like "Metal Clay Designs" or "Fine Silver Designs" or even "Adventures in Metal Clay". Anyway, I'm committed to rolling with this description for a bit, so we'll see how it goes.

When I started working with metal clay - and it became clear that I was going to devote some time to working with the material - I really didn't want to spend very much time or money to set up shop. Free blog? Check. Easy store set-up on Etsy? Check. Business cards? Well...

I've had two iterations of business cards. The first set I printed myself on my ink jet printer using Avery card stock. They were truly awful looking. The second set I printed using a pre-set template through one of the on-line stationery vendors. They weren't quite as awful, but they weren't great, either. I've been using those for the past two years, and I've finally come close to depleting my stock. So, I've decided it's time to bite the bullet and create new cards that I actually like and that reflect the kind of work I'm doing these days. I've decided to use the "Eye See You" pendant as the focal on my new literature. I've even invested a little in creating other minor print advertising material.

As far as the blog is concerned, I'm going to stay here for a while. It's been a good friend to me, and I still think free is good. However, I've owned melissajlee.com for a couple years without doing a darned thing with it, so I decided at least to tie the blog into the url. So, from now on, you can find me not only by typing in "www.strandsofbeads.blogspot.com" but also by simply surfing to "www.melissajlee.com." I also bit the bullet and opened an email address at melissa[at]melissajlee.com, so if you ever need to reach me, you can send me a message there from now on.

Finally, over the next few weeks I'm going to start ramping down, as it were, my Etsy presence. I'm not going to disappear from Etsy altogether, and the pendants that are currently appearing in magazines will still be stocked there. I've had this idea for a while now - I want my own little virtual shingle set up in my own virtual home. I will be opening up an on-line shopping cart linked to the blog very shortly dedicated more to the type of work I've been doing over the past year. I will be phasing out some of the designs on which I've worked in the past, in which I am no longer as interested. I feel this will make me happy, so I'm going to give it a go.

How about you? Are you contemplating or have you implemented any business changes for 2010 that you feel free to share? I'd be interested to hear about them.

14 comments:

Andrew Thornton said...

That should be the theme song of this year! I think we're traveling in the same direction... trying to tie things together and build from the foundation already laid. For me, there's a lot going on. Most of which is under wraps, but hopefully.... hopefully things will gel and will really come flourish.

Here's to both of us and our ch-ch-changes!

Michelle Mach said...

I like the new look! I'll be interested in seeing how you like your new shop--I think that might be the route I'll take for my own things, but I'm not quite there yet.

Melissa J. Lee said...

Hi Andrew, I think it should be an interesting year. Here's to us and to making changes for the better!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Thanks, Michelle - I'm just starting to "adjust" the blog, but I thought the banner would be a good place to start. I like Etsy, but I feel the real need to bring my work closer to home. I'll keep you posted!

SueBeads said...

Good for you Melissa! I love the "Eye See You" theme, it's gorgeous, and I think the shop will be a success too! I think it will be easier to find and purchase your work!

Marbella Jewelry Designs said...

Good for you for going forth. I like your new banner too!

Boot ~C said...

love the piece & really like it as a new banner~looks good.

sandi m said...

I like your new byline. It sounds like you have a p.l.a.n. It's refreshing to read others facing the same challenges when defining their creative directions. Sometimes I feel like a 'jack of all trades, master of none'. That's what too much inventory will do! Although, I must admit PMC, fine silver and cold connections are my favorites.

Thanks for sharing ~

baby cribs said...

Changes are really a must to continue with life. That is what those are for. I hope the changes are for the better.

kate mckinnon said...

Your comments about taking a hard look at your direction, and the way that you present yourself, ring true for me and almost everyone I know.

And I hear you on trying to think of the right way to present professional work in fine silver metal clay. It presents several problems.

It's an interesting moment in time, isn't it?

Melissa J. Lee said...

Hi Sandi, I like your thought on the perils of too much inventory - too true! It's good to know that I'm not alone out there mulling over these issues...

Melissa J. Lee said...

Hi Kate, Really, I suppose if all of this were easy, it wouldn't be half as interesting. Every now and then, though, I crave a little clarity!

Lisa Crone said...

Wow, good for YOU!! You set a good example and have made me feel better!! I have much change going on all around me, my book coming out and I was just reassigned in my job, ironically the book comes out the same day I move to another corner on my floor. I will now have been in 3 of the 4 corners of the 22nd floor as of Thursday of next week. Not to mention, the 11th, 12th, 10th, 29th and 27th floors, down the street and around the corner since I have been there....change is good, right?

Melissa J. Lee said...

Lisa, Oh, no! I had to change offices several times in my career (pre-SO) and it was never fun. I hope you get to stay in your new spot for a while. Eh, I'm just thinking out loud about stuff I don't mind sharing. I'm optimistic about the changes, though.