Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Horizontal Growth- a Business Strategy

A number of months back, I purchased the Swanstrom disc cutter.  I had made the decision to start making more jewelry and one of the things I wanted to create more of, using the disc cutter, were earrings with circular components made from metal.  I've shown a couple photos of these in the past.  But the business side of me thought maybe I should do something with this tool to help cover the cost of this investment.  Innocent enough, right? I already had my Etsy supply shop set up previously that was used to de-stash some supplies, so I thought I would put a few disc shapes in there for sale. I already had some sterling, copper and brass sheet in different gauges so I began making a few different sizes.  The sales started trickling in soon after. And once the shop was set up, having a product line that I could just re-list rather than individually creating a listing for each sure made my life simpler.  What I didn't plan on was how busy I would be during the months of October through December.   My intention was to create a little side business that would allow me to make my art jewelry at a leisurely pace - and not have to create one or two listings per day as they suggest in the Etsy world.  But what happened was I became immersed in this side business.

So where am I headed?  Having done this over the past 10 years or so, I have much stronger sense of what my strengths and weakness are as well as what I'm willing to do and what I'm not.  If you've been following my blog, through this transition of work activity, what's remained for the most part has been my Monday posts.  That's my passion. I love being inspired by and sharing the art jewelry that I come across during the week.  But I also want to be able to step back and create more of that.  I'd joined the Boston Metal Clay Guild in the fall of 2010 and I intend on using base metal clay in some of that (like the earrings below).

But I know that there is also a need for components in jewelry, especially something a little more artful.  So I purchased my dream machine - the Durston rolling mill.  I've been experimenting with textures and hope to soon add these not only to my jewelry, but also my supply shop.  (

Here's a little sample of some of the textures I've done with the mill.  I haven't nearly had enough time to spend creating textures with it but I've always got an eye out for that special item from the hardware, fabric or craft store!

Through this busy transition, I plan on continuing with my Monday posts and my Out of the Studio posts because they seem to be what most of you want to see and hear.  So stay tuned for what's in the works for Naftali.


Triz Designs said...

ohhhh i'm os jealous I really want a rolling mill!!! :-)
I'm also moving towards metal jewelry at the moment, it's good to diversify!
gorgeous earrings and so jealous of your textured circles! :-)

Janice said...

Thanks Triz - I look forward to seeing more of your new work!