Monday, September 17, 2012

Jewelry Making: Just a Hobby or a Form of Income?

I spent time this past weekend reading, enjoying a hike in the cool air that comes with fall, and making a lot of jewelry. I have been making earrings, necklaces, rings, and bracelets since I was a young girl. It started off with the big beads you get to play with at summer camps, then making leather bracelets at 4-H, earrings for my friends at Christmas, and now and entire shelf in my in shelf craft armoire is dedicated to this hobby.

A few weeks before our trip out to Jackson Hole, WY to Climb the Grand Teton, I made myself a simple little necklace. I can't remember where the idea came from to bead a variety of turquoise, onyx, and pearls and then attach the leather strand, but it just seemed right as I started to create. I wore this necklace on our flight and was complimented multiple times. Complete strangers asking me where I bought my necklace meant that I had done something right.

My friend had a birthday coming up and I wanted to make her something. I decided I would go off the same style of necklace I made myself, but in different color combinations. Again I used onyx & pearls, but added metallic tones with seed beads and gold plated beads. I talk to her weekly, and each time I do, she says I wore my necklace to _______ (insert place: school, the doctor, dinner...) and was asked where I got my jewelry. It's such a compliment! When I made her necklace my husband and I both agreed it was prettier than my turquoise one, so I knew I wanted to make one for myself as well. This past weekend, I finally did just that, and I even made matching earrings!

My final jewelry project this weekend wasn't fully my own design. I had bought a $60 necklace from boutique in Murfreesboro to benefit a friend who was going through a lot of struggles. She had a very bad car accident that left her in a back brace for months and shortly thereafter, her house burned down. It was tragic, but she kept it together so well! I wouldn't normally spend that kind of money on something for myself, but decided it was beneficial for not just me, but the money would go straight to my friend and her family. I went out with friends one night and wore my necklace. When I came home our dog, Walden, jumped on me and the necklace was snagged in his paw. It burst into about 15 different pieces. I was devastated as I looked at my new favorite necklace that was now demolished.

This weekend, I decided to reclaim that piece. I made a few changes to it so that I could not only make the necklace again, but could also make earrings. I think I actually like my end result better than what I had before.

I am sure you have a pastime that could fill your entire day or weekend. Jewelry making is just one of mine. What if you could make this more than a pastime? I have considered opening an etsy shop to sell some of my designs, but have never been ballsy enough to try.

At the end of this week, I am going to a onference by Jon Acuff.  It's called the Quitter Conference.  It's not about being a quitter and dropping everything to go after your 'passions', rather it's about making your passions work with the life you have now.  How can I fit my passion of jewelry making into my 40 hour work week and maybe even make profit from said passion?  That's something I am hoping to gain this coming Friday & Saturday at the Quitter Conference.

Have you found profit from a pastime or hobby?

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