The internet is a wonderful place for those that embrace change.  I embrace change so well I’m afraid I squeeze it a bit too tight.  I’m  never happy to sit still with one sales venue.  I explore and keep looking for the next great thing.   I have stumbled on a new one that just might be it. 

Artfire is a site similar to Etsy.  They have a front page showcase of products that is constantly updated as new items are listed.  Sellers have studios where all their products are listed in categories.   Listing is a one page deal and much easier to use than many sites I have encountered.  Probably the single most important item for me is the seller statistics.  I love being able to track views and where they came from. 

Being brand new, Artfire still has plenty of bugs to work out.  The search continues to improve daily and you can express your ideas and concerns on their forum.  Part of me is rather excited to be watching the site develop and grow.  The neat thing is you can sign up now wrenches and all, for a flat rate of $7 a month for the life of the site.  I spend that just listing on Etsy in a week.  I’m willing to take a chance signing up early will pay off.  After the first 5,000 sellers sign up the deal goes away.

Now Etsy has been very good to me and I won’t be leaving anytime soon.  But I’m a firm believer in keeping all my options open and exploring new things.  Interested?  You can sign up here.

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Wouldn’t it be great if you could just stand in the tube of light and have your name transported all over the internet?  Unfortunately promotion still falls in the hard work category.  In my ongoing search for ways to get my name out there I have never actually compiled a list of where I am.  As you look at my list perhaps an idea or two will help get you more widely know.  And hey, I’ll welcome any links you think I could use.  Here we go:

My Site

Justbeads

Etsy

Etsy Glass Artists

Collective Creatives

Flaming Hot

Bonded By Fire

Modern Savages

The internet has really helped many of us sell our hand crafted work.  No matter where you live, chances are you can sell in a global marketplace.  Pretty neat when you think about it.  Because for years the saying “Location, location, location” was everything when it came to a successful storefront business. 

Now that the ability to access prime location is not a huge hurdle, other things become issues.  How do I get people to see my auctions and my site?  I can’t see those buyers walking down the street, but I know they are out there wandering the internet. 

But when should one list? I think each seller has a theory and it is the topic for Flaming Hot’s blog it this week.  When is the best time to list auctions in order to maximize views? 

When I first started selling I was convinced I needed to be as regular as clockwork.  I created a must follow schedule of listing Tuesdays and Thursdays; day slots for justbeads and night slots for ebay.  If I had extra sets I would add another weekday or weeknight auction. 

A year or so later I added a newsletter to my marketing efforts.  I began to sell from my site and announce new strands.  I was again convinced I needed a strict schedule of every week.  I think you are beginning to see where this is going, right? 

Even more recently I added Etsy to my auction sales sites.  Over there the suggestion is to list as often as possible one auction at a time.  What?!  any old time?  Oh my, but what about a schedule?  Within days I was enjoying just listing willy nilly.  How completely free-spirited and wild I felt.  I was so liberated I sent my newsletter out on a completely random day.  Crazy, I know.  I put up a couple Saturday auctions on one of the sites.  What was I thinking? 

Now before you get too worried, I still have to fill my Tuesday and Thursday slots to maintain a tiny slice of order.  But don’t be surprised to see other auctions listed on any old day of the week.  And my newsletter?  I just might surprise you with a 2am version.    My new motto is location, location, and list any darn time you want.  

When it comes to idolizing people I’m not sure I do.  When it comes to idolizing people’s work, I certainly do.  Numerous glass artists inspire me, intrigue me and astound me.

At the beginning of my glass journey I was mesmerized by Jill Symons.  I see her beads as being beauty in simplicity.  She allows one to look into the glass, watch it shine, shimmer and reflect light without many distractions.  The sheer joy of a single color is allowed to stand proud in Jill’s beads.

As I improved and discovered how glass works, I became enamored with technical genius.  Japanese bead artist Emiko Sawamoto has such precision in her work.  Complex cane, murrini and an eye for detail are all things I have grown to appreciate. If I ever feel I have arrived and have little to learn, I’m sure one day attempting these techniques would bring me to a my knees.

Currently I admire and am inspired by the work of Leah Fairbanks.  It is no surprise I love her florals.  Her beads include fine metals, gemstones and colors that keep me wanting more.  One day I do wish to make beads as beautiful as hers.

I marvel at the bead maker who can grab a technique and have it in one class.  I can’t.  I can take a piece of the technique and the concept of the idea but, it takes me weeks to process and perfect it.  I will never be a class junkie.  I need too much time after the class to figure out what I learned.

   

I love good old fashioned practice.  Of course, I am a bit obsessive.  I can take a task and repeat it over and over to the point of near perfection. Some may call it perfection, but anyone who can obsess a detail, knows I don’t.  I embrace this personality trait and use it to my advantage.

   

I suppose this is why I am primarily a set maker.  I want to make 8 or so of the same bead, each one matching the other and fine tuning a skill.  For the first few years of bead making I built on basic skills and added new ones as I could.  My first florals were nothing more than petals.  They have progressed to a more complex version as I master the pieces along the way.

  

I have reached a point where my new bead designs may incorporate one new skill with a collection of ones I own.  I see my learning style as building blocks.  I add to my base of skills and keep climbing higher.

   

I realize my approach is not for everyone.  I’m sure there are bead makers who cannot fathom the number of florals I have made.  Yet, I sit at the torch and more often than not I feel it is going to be a floral day.  I love to make floral beads.   Fortunately, my customers love them too.