I was just starting out in the jewelry making business. I had taken a 3 month course on the basics of fabrication and stone setting from Alan Revere in San Francisco. It was a great class and it taught me enough to get started with. But there is so much to learn that, really, I actually knew almost nothing. Looking back on it now I don’t know how I had the courage to set up a shop and ask strangers to buy my jewelry. It really helped that Etsy was so different in the beginning. It really was a little place that felt like a community. And it seemed like everyone was onboard with the idea of supporting businesses that were just starting out. Now it feels so much more cut throat, and there is so much competition from all over the world. But back then, it was US only and big retail shops hadn’t discovered it yet. It was awesome.
And I had some awesome customers right at the start (and I still do! That much hasn’t changed.) I remember one in particular, she was helping her future sister in law shop for an engagement ring. At this point I had only been open a few months and I had never even made an engagement ring. But she encouraged me, and basically convinced me that I could do it. It was amazing. I needed that push to feel like I had the “right” to make fancy things. I’m so grateful that she came along at just the right time and gave me the confidence that I needed to make the leap.
I had been so nervous about everything! I had never sold things to people before, so I agonized over every word in my emails, every description and photo. For a while, every time I made something was the first time I had made it. “Is this right? Does this look right? Omg! How can I be doing this!?!?”
Not that I still don’t obsess about things, especially if they’re new to me. But now that I’m older I can head off the panic and have a little more perspective. It’s (usually) never the end of the world, and things generally turn out. A key life lesson. :-) And, also related, a lot of the time I’ve discovered that the things I thought I couldn’t do weren’t actually beyond me or my skills, it was just because I thought I couldn’t that I hadn’t tried. Nowadays I realize that just about anything can be done/learned if you just give it a go. Nothing is ever as hard as you think it will be. (Except theoretical physics, maybe?) Wish I had know that in my teens, but better late than never, right?
Also, related to last weeks post, my latest cake creation! Turns out that making fondant and putting it over a cake wasn’t as hard as I had imagined! Haha.