Thursday, July 28, 2011

a look at how I got where I am today

Earlier this month, Patrice at The Soap Seduction wrote a post about how far she's come with her products and her business in general including her shop name, labeling, and photography.  I decided that it was such a good idea that I would write a similar post about my own progress.

I'll start with some of my earliest photos.  I'm pretty proud of a lot of my earliest pieces, but my photos don't do them justice.  My earliest listings left a lot to be desired, too.

I went through a period with my old digital camera where I shot in the direct sunlight.  At least these pictures have better clarity that my earliest ones, and I was cropping and editing by then.

Fast forward to fall 2009 when I got my current digital camera.  I had no idea how to use it when I got it.

Through the spring of 2010 the best of my photos looked like this.  I did learn how to use filtered natural light at least.

After the Iowa Arts Festival, I got serious about overhauling my entire Etsy shop, including rephotographing the vast majority of my inventory and updating all of my listings so that they were pretty close to their present form.  I shot most of it outside with a homemade natural light filter.

I still have a number of the better pictures from that set in my shop.  Eventually I'd like to have more listings with gray backgrounds, but most of these pictures are good.

I made my light box in July 2010, which was another learning curve.

I really haven't looked back since I made my light box.  I would still like to experiment with using it in natural light more, but otherwise I've been really happy with it and how I've continued to improve with my photography.

I'm honestly more impressed with how much I've learned about photography and the process of running an online business than I am with my jewelry skills.  I've always been pretty fearless when it comes to attempting new crafty endeavors.  In general, if I want to learn something, I do everything that I can to get there.  I don't wait around for someone else to help me or sit around thinking, "What if?" I've applied that philosophy to everything involved in the process of running an Etsy shop.

With that being said, I'm still very proud that, among other things, I've 1) developed several of my own jewelry designs like my button embellished right angle weave bracelets, 2) written patterns for these designs, and 3) made a number of entries that I felt were worthy of the EBW Challenges.

Where am I going from here? I'm still tweaking my photos and my listings, which I'm sure will always be true.  I don't have any specific plans for new patterns right now, but I hope to continue to develop new designs and write patterns for them.  Patterns have sold steadily in my shop so I'd like to release new ones as I can.  I'm also planning to further develop my own style so that what's in my shop more truly reflects who I am and what my jewelry is about.  I've enjoyed learning a lot of different techniques over the last few years.  It's been a good learning process, but not all of these endeavors are reflective of my shop.  I've discontinued a couple lines this year and may discontinue additional lines as already marked down items sell out so I can narrow my shop's focus.

I really appreciate all of you who have been with me from the start or at least through the last year or two and have provided so much feedback for me.  I would not still be with Etsy if it did not have a lot of great members who have made it a good community.


  1. Hi Rose,

    I loved reading about how you started out - and WOW, look where you are now! All your hard work and diligence paid off! Your photos - especially the ones in the light box - are amazing! Keep up the great work!
    I'm loving the new header :)

  2. really can see an evolution there with your photography! It's interesting how we've had to learn so much about things that we know nothing about to make it in this business. Love where your new designs have been going though!

  3. It was lovely seeing how you have evolved, and all of it beautiful! That brown bracelet is gorgeous! And I love your header -- the darker red beads look like little apples!

  4. Wow, what a difference in your photography. Using my light box for the first time this week, and remembered the lights should be outside of the box... LOL Made all of the difference in the world. I prefer taking my pix outside in the natural light, but things are not moving so I'm looking at all aspects, including nothing in the background.

    Now I need to learn to write more about my pieces, what I will be working on when I list the new pieces.

  5. Such a difference! I still have yet figured out how to make a light box so I'm working with natural light. Someday though...

  6. Oh wow I love that yellow bracelet...

  7. Your newer photos look amazing! You've really done a lot of work and it shows in your shop :)

    PS...Love your new blog header!

  8. I'm glad that everyone enjoyed this! Thanks for the positive feedback about where my shop is now!

    Haha, Re, good luck with your light box. :)


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