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Considering the Future

Handmade objects match our recalibrated values

Today I’m taking a break from wrapping presents to sit down and consider my business goals for the new year. I sincerely welcome this moment. Twenty twenty-one has been wild and unpredictable, but surprisingly rewarding.

In response to the global pandemic, we have altered our ways of being in the world. Many of us have gone in and out of lockdown, away from family and friends for months at a time. Just when we thought we were out of the woods, we got walloped again by a mutating virus and another unknown timeline.

Oddly enough, one consequence of all this uncertainty has been a big embrace of my handmade jewelry. I can’t express how grateful I am for all the new business, all the new and repeat customers. Nothing could satisfy my soul so well.

In looking ahead to the new year, it behooves me to ask myself how I can continue to serve my customers even better in 2022. What is it you really want from me, and how can I deliver it best?

That is always my underlying question, the one that drives me every day in the studio. Here are a few ideas of what I’d like to offer:

  • New Designs- This is a no-brainer, an implicit commitment between artist and audience. Fortunately, you have given me clear direction in terms of what you’d like to see more of from me in 2022. Certain processes and combinations of materials have been on consistent request this year. I’ve always believed in listening to my customers! I’ve got lots of new things in the works already. Stay tuned! You, valued customer, will be the first to know what I’m making next.

  • Thoughtful Ideas- I love to write and offer my thoughts to you. Some days are harder than others to find the time to sit down and compose something meaningful, but your kind feedback tells me you like my writing style. It appears you enjoy knowing what goes into running an independent jewelry studio, teaching college students, and living creatively. I am honored to give you more.

  • Learning Opportunities- I’d love to continue building community with you through offering classes in some of the areas I regularly teach. These may include metal crochet or design techniques, how to purchase ethical gemstones, sustainability in the global fashion industry, or an introduction to fashion business and entrepreneurship. Let me know what you want!

  • Sharing the Love- I'll share more ways to embrace the Handmade, through small batch and limited production studios and makers.

This year we have been asked to recalculate what is important to us. We operate in much-smaller circles than in pre-pandemic times (like the one around the dining room table you’ve been walking for the past two years). We interact with our homes, objects, and families in ways new and unforeseen. This recalibration dovetails perfectly with the values of handmade art objects. Lines, shapes, stitches, and marks in our work arise from thoughtful interaction with our materials and processes.

Handmade products require an audience to fulfill their purpose. Interacting with you is the greatest joy of my artistic life. I will mark down 2021 as “The Year Uncommon Threads Hit the Mark!” I am grateful for every customer, every sale, and appreciative of the generous attention my work received this year. Wishing the joys of the season and continued embrace of the Handmade!

-xo, Randi

Photo credits: Mona Lisa with Mask, sumanley | Pixabay; "Social Distance" and red virus image, geralt | Pixabay

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