The worst salesperson…

Wearing my fringed seed bead earrings I made myself for Mother's Day

Wearing my fringed seed bead earrings I made myself for Mother’s Day

I’m not a good salesperson/marketer/ware hawker or whatever you want to call it. I was in the Girl Scouts when I was a little girl and I only tried once to sell cookies door to door. I quickly learned that all my other Girl Scout friends had beat me to the punch and so I stuck to selling to family and family friends. When I was a teenager I worked at Waldenbooks and employees were required to sell a certain number of discount cards every month. I never made my quota because I didn’t like being pushy in that manner. Thankfully I never had to try selling insurance at my last job because that never would have happened!

I wrote an e-book about my first trip to Boston and it’s for sale on Amazon. I promoted it vigorously for about a week before giving up on that leading anywhere beneficial. I tried selling my freelance writing services to businesses so I wouldn’t have to go through a content mill middle man but without the ability to take credit for any of my ghost writing, I have no proof of my skills. So I continue as a ghost writer and know how fortunate I am that I get paid to write, whether I can take credit or not.

I hate being a pest, plain and simple. Marketing to me feels like being a pest and after a while of posting Facebook status updates, tweeting on Twitter, linking on LinkedIn and posting to Google+, people seem to get tired of reading what I’m putting up. I know that personally I stop following people on Twitter when they post the same exact tweet about their product every 15 minutes. It’s annoying to be constantly bombarded by sales pitches.

I started selling earrings in my CorbinGirl store on Etsy a couple of weeks ago and had some great initial success…that has now died off. I’m probably not supposed to admit that, it’s probably breaking a cardinal rule of marketing but meh. I am extremely grateful to everyone who bought my creations and I received lovely positive reviews from customers who like their earrings! I’m certainly not going to stop making earrings, but I’m the worst salesperson for my own stuff. I make earrings because it makes me happy and because the ideas won’t stop. I give earrings away as gifts to whomever wants them and list on Etsy so the rest of the world can find my creations.

Close up of my earrings

Close up of my earrings

Smaller fringe earrings I made for my mom

Smaller fringe earrings I made for my mom

My main income is as a ghost writer so the jewelry is just a hobby at this point. Trying to sell jewelry in such a saturated market is no easy task and with everything else I have going on in my life, it takes a back burner sometimes. I’ll still tweet, honk, hawk, poke, etc all over social media when I make something new and I’ll continue to explore various ways of marketing my creations, but I do know that there are people out there who will get tired of hearing it and just ignore me.

Creating jewelry is meditative therapy for me, it’s an escape from the real world just like fantasy writing used to be for me before my muse took an extended sabbatical. I have faith that eventually I’ll hit things right and everything will coalesce as it should, but for now I’ll continue trying new techniques and building my jewelry inventory. No one else makes what I make because there’s only one me…heaven knows, that’s all the world can handle!

Advertisements

Queen of Artwork

Surrounded by some of my many paintings, 2011

Surrounded by some of my many paintings, 2011

My first set of real acrylic paints came from a fellow coworker at the mall pretzel place I worked at in high school. He was an older gentlemen who used to paint but didn’t have the time anymore. He gave me his hinged wooden case complete with a palette and various colors of acrylic paint. I discovered that most of the paint tubes were too dried out to use so my mother took me to an art supply store.  I spent most of my paycheck on tubes of colors with cool names like phthalocyanine blue and cadmium yellow and on long handled brushes of all shapes and bristle length. Most importantly I purchased some canvas boards so I had something to paint on. I was now armed with all sorts of artist supplies but I had no idea what exactly I was capable of creating.

I still use that wooden case and palette to this day, in fact that palette had almost 20 years of old paint on it until last night when I decided to clean it off. Sometimes completing a painting takes longer than I expect so by the time I’m done some of the paint has dried pretty happily onto the palette. If it’s a color I didn’t use much of, the glob can be kind of big and lumpy and impossible to wipe off with just warm water. I had grown accustomed to my “messy” palette and even fond of the various colors but it had become just too hard to see what colors I was using anymore. I decided to scrape the old paint off with a razor blade and was rather surprised that it all just started peeling up off the wood once I got under a thick area of it. My oldest daughter enjoyed helping me peel a majority of the rubbery dried acrylic paint off and I thought what was removed almost resembled art. I say almost because it really wasn’t and it went into the trash, but not before I took a commemorative photo…

The old paint scraped off my palette

The old paint scraped off my palette

I never know where the inspiration for my paintings is going to come from. Most of the time it just sort of comes out of me as I paint but sometimes it comes from unexpected places. It could be from a dream I had or a story I read or something I saw outside or a picture a friend took on their phone and sent me. I’ve been taking pictures of beautiful skies for as long as I’ve been able to figure out how to work a camera. I’ve used entire rolls of film taking photos of sunsets and sunrises and only ever painted a few pictures based on them. Lately I’ve been looking at photos of even mundane things differently and it’s not because of the subject matter but because of where the photos came from. I will be visually explaining in new paintings in the very near future.

All of what you just read was originally posted on my Corbin Creations Writer & Artist page back in January 0f 2012. I did visually explain those mundane-inspired paintings and they will be listed for sale in my CorbinGirl Etsy Shop very soon!