For nearly the past three years, I’ve been actively involved in selling the polymer clay jewelry that I design. I’ve set up at multiple local craft shows and fairs.
For a time, I even operated my own jewelry store, in a local small business co-op. More recently, I’ve been renting a booth, on weekends, at a local flea market. I’ve placed some of my items on consignment in local stores.
I’ve posted multiple advertisements for my designs online, too. Within the past year, I’ve expanded my range of designs, to also include polymer clay accessories. Financially-speaking, all of my efforts have yielded very minimal results to date.
So, I have to ask myself, is it really worth it? I sincerely believe that it has been, for multiple reasons. Actively trying to sell the designs that I’ve made has yielded several benefits, even if they’re not necessarily financial in nature.
The single most important benefit has been a much-needed diversion from thinking about my chronic health challenges. Packing up my jewelry designs for a show, and setting up my display, have taken my mind off of being preoccupied with not feeling well on any given day.
In addition, I’ve literally met dozens of new, fascinating people as a result of my efforts. I’ve honestly developed a true appreciation for the difficulties involved with attempting to start a small business.
I’ve learned a lot about myself, as well as others, by trying to market my jewelry and accessories. I’ve come across people from all walks of life, and I have had a wide range of conversations.
Somehow, even without my specific disclosure of being a clinical psychologist, it must still show! I’ve had clients freely open up to me about their intensely personal struggles and trials. I’ve consistently received very positive feedback about my artistic abilities.
Sometimes, we need to shift our definition of how we define success. So, it has been worth it, after all.