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About Me

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Reisterstown, MD, United States
A practicing attorney who is trying to find the time to develop a small business designing, making and selling handmade jewelry.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My First Show

I turned in my vendor application for my first handmade show today.  I'm excited to try this but also pretty scared.  Having never done it before, I'm unsure what I need to bring and how to set up my booth to attract the most buyers.  Also, having never done anything like this, I don't have display props either.  I'm reluctant to spend a bunch of money on props when I don't even know if I'll ever be doing this again.  In fact, I don't even know if I'm going to get into this show yet.

I've been looking online at the booths of others but it is so hard to tell what really works.  I'm going to sign up for propay so that I can take credit cards at the show.  I'll have to get a table cover and some lights and a mirror, of course.  I don't think I want to buy just ready made props so if you have any ideas for clever ways to display necklaces or earrings, I'd love to hear it.

I think if I get in, I'll set up my booth first at home so that I know exactly how it will look and where everything goes.  I'm also planning to make a bunch of new stuff, particularly earrings, to debut at the show.  I have a pretty good mix on prices on my stuff so I think I'm ok there.  I suppose I should also make a few more bracelets.  Oh, I'll need a banner or sign of some kind too.  Someway to hold and display my business cards...Obviously, I need to make a list.  A very, very long list.

So many decisions and I only have about 3 weeks to make them all and gather everything together.  Above all else, I think it will be fun and I'm looking forward to it.  Maybe, if you live in or near Baltimore, I'll see you there?

Show will take place Saturday, Dec. 10th from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the Maryland
    State Boychoir Center for the Arts, 3400 Norman Ave, Baltimore, MD 21213

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Product Photographer

Everyone I speak to says that the most important thing in an online store are your product photos.  My wonderful husband does my pictures for me and I think he does a pretty good job.  However, we have an unpleasant dance we do each time I ask him to photograph my new pieces.  I tell him that I have some new items that need to be photographed.  He says "OK."  Then the next day, I tell him again that I need some photos taken.  He says "OK."  In a few days, I ask him when he is going to take my photos.  He says "I'll take them this afternoon."  Somewhere around dinner time, I'll ask if he is going to take the photos today.  He says "I can take them now or I can cook dinner, which do you prefer."  I say "we can take them after dinner."  He says "OK."  After dinner around 8:00 or so, I say "are you ready to take the photos?" He says "OK" and does take them, usually getting started around 10:30 or 11:00.  When I get up the next morning, I find my flash drive with my photos on it sitting next to my computer.

I admit that this system works but it seems a bit inefficient to me.  So, I've started thinking about hiring a professional photographer to take my product pictures.  The problem is, I don't know any professional photographers and even if I did, I doubt they would be product specialists.  There are 2 other problems as well.  First, I live in Reisterstown, MD, a lovely small town with a limited population.  It is close to Baltimore, MD but I doubt Baltimore is a hotbed of professional product photographers either.  The second problem is money.  I don't have an endless supply and my business isn't currently generating enough to cover this expense.  In reality, I don't even know how much of an expense it would be.

In order to find out and replace my guesses with actual numbers, I contacted a few product professionals by email asking them for information, including pricing.  It has been a week and a half and I haven't heard a peep out of any of them.  Maybe taking pictures of jewelry for a small producer isn't a money making deal for photographers but you'd think they could at least tell me that they don't do it or that they have some huge minimum.

The last round of photos we took (last Sunday night around midnight) need to be retaken because the colors didn't come out right.  We are in the middle of the dance.  I'll probably ask him soon, "when are you going to take the pictures" and he'll tell me that he'll take them this afternoon.  Then, tonight while you're getting ready for bed, you can think of Marty in our dining room photo studio, taking pictures of my newest jewelry pieces for me.

I am very grateful that he is willing to take these pictures for me but he'll tell you this himself...I am a terrible dancer.