As of February, I've hired two people, my son Brandon and Aaron from the local school's work program. Here's the plan: increase online presence, build stock for shows, revamp website, and refocus. My "mainstream" stuff (wire wrapping and simple chainmaille) is selling really well at Fragrant Mushroom Gallery and I'm thrilled - and it's also kept me busy enough that I've neglected my Etsy shop somewhat, and even sold a bunch of stuff I never got the chance to photograph (not a bad problem to have!).
But what I'd like to do this year is create more "geek chic" - Renaissance Faire items like the circlet above, hackey sacks, dice bags, keychains made from gaming dice, ear cuffs, etc. And I'd like to try to reach more niche markets like gaming cons, faerie cons, comic cons, anime cons, Renaissance faires, and the like. My stuff doesn't sell all that great at local craft fairs, partly because they're positively saturated with jewelry, but I want to try some new things this year, new designs. A new feel. And three heads are better than one. Second Renaissance will be more mainstream (and stuff will be listed, I've seriously neglected it because all the stock in it sold at the gallery!) but You've Got Maille is going hip. Oh and there should be a ton of new stuff in the Artfire shop very soon.
And, as always, I can't help myself experimenting with new media. I'm going to try some henna art/mehndi, some macrame, some wire sculpture, and when I can afford to, precious metal clay. Aaron does some leatherworking so there may be some maille/leather collaborations in my shop in the near future. So the short of it is, stay tuned to this spot for updates and news!
Here's a formal request for six more hours in a day, please, or at least a way to eliminate the need for sleep!