The next few months I devoured any type of information I could find on how to grow my Etsy business. I was learning so many new things and developing a cohesive style along the way. Honing skills in photography, SEO, writing, marketing and so much more than just making jewelry! The next step I took was applying to The Artisan Group. The mission of this exclusive group of artists is to collectively "introduce Hollywood to the best of the handcrafted movement" by participating in major award show gift lounges such as The Primetime Emmys, The Golden Globes and the Academy Awards (Oscars) as well as other gifting opportunities. I applied to the group after only being in business for six months. It was a long shot as they are very selective about the type of artists they accept, but I wanted to jump into this with both feet. Go big or go home! Shortly after applying, I received an email from Valerie Guerrero, the group’s founder, that Rock & Hardware Jewelry had been accepted! What a huge honor and validation for the work I was doing. I knew I would learn a lot just from my association with the group, but I’ve learned more than I could ever have imagined from such talented and seasoned artists. Encouragement from other members helped me to move out of my comfort zone and do things to help increase exposure for my business. I designed a website; I began blogging; I became active on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. At times it was a little overwhelming, but mostly it was fun and helped to get Rock & Hardware’s name out there.
My membership in The Artisan Group has been such a wonderful asset to the growth of Rock & Hardware. Over the next month or two, I was involved in giftings to wardrobe stylists of two popular television shows. It was a great experience to research the characters and determine a style of bracelet that might work best for the show. And though neither bracelet stack was selected for either show, the process was a rewarding one and prepared me for my next gifting … the Oscars! (Remember the “go big, or go home” comment earlier?!?!) Rock & Hardware bracelets were gifted to attending celebrities at the 2013 GBK Oscars Gift Lounge and this was definitely one of the highlights and most exciting moments of the past year. Preparing 100 items for the event gave me valuable experience that will only help to further advance Rock & Hardware as a business. I look forward to many more exciting opportunities in the future, thanks to The Artisan Group.
But I think my overall, number one highlight of the past year has been the customers I’ve connected with. Each customer is very special to me and I’ve had many repeat customers who’ve I’ve come to know better through special requests, messages and posts on Facebook and Twitter. I love to see those items customers pin on Pinterest, the ones they like on Facebook and of course, the ones they buy for themselves or as gifts. It thrills me to know I’ve created something that makes someone else happy. Here’s to another fabulous year, and thank you to each and every one of you that had a part in Rock & Hardware Jewelry’s successful first year!