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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New Beginnings - First Things First

Well, I started a blog.  Among other things. 

I plan for this blog to be a documentation of the start and growth of my jewelry business, CopperTide.  I guess it's fair to say that CopperTide actually started about 3 years ago, but it has remained very small.  And by very small, I mean that I have shown work in a few juried exhibitions recently, I sell work (usually on a consignment basis) in various local galleries, I have a website,,  that has sold a few pieces and generated a little interest, and I started an etsy page that did not sell anything.  So I took a little break from that while a few other things were going on in my life...
Here's a little background info so you know where I'm coming from:
I studied jewelry and metal design at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC.  After I graduated in 2003, I moved to Winston-Salem, and began showing some work in local galleries.  But my official employment at the time was for Jon Kuhn, a world-renowned glass artist.  I'm sure as this blog progresses, many stories from that time period will surface, but we'll just leave it at that for now... As a few years went by working for another artist, I wanted more and more to start growing my own business. 
Well, I lost my job in 2009 with the downturn of the economy.  Apparently people were not as interested in buying $10K-$100K glass sculptures.  Go figure.  So I started working for NC Black Co, a growing tool company based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC which is owned and run by some of my very good friends, also metalsmiths.  The company makes hammers and micro-forming tools, and they teach workshops in micro-forming, engraving, and, starting this year, I will be teaching micro-raising for them.  More to come on that later.  But anyway, I had the whole job transition thing going on, and was very inspired by the work with NC Black (because you know I had to try out the tools!), and I decided it was finally time to persue graduate school.  So I began working on my portfolio for grad school submissions.  Also, I was busy planning and doing all sorts of creative fun things, as well as not-so-fun business things, for my wedding.  I got married in August 2010 to my wonderful husband Mark.  He just finished up his masters in occupational therapy in December of 2010, then it was time for me to submit my portfolio for grad school admissions in January.  Still waiting to hear about that... but I hope to be starting grad school at VCU in the fall.  And as that is the plan, Mark needed a job, and we figured if we needed to be in Richmond, VA by August, he might as well look for a job there.  So we moved to Richmond by the end of January.  And as if that wasn't enough change in our lives, we adopted a stray german shepherd mix puppy about 3 weeks ago.  And by puppy, I mean 86 pounds of pure puppy energy.  His name is Buster, and trust me, he's living up to that name.  There's a lot going on.

So my number one enemy : distractions.  But now that things are settling down just a leeeeetle, I'm in Richmond and not working for anyone else right now (other than the up-coming workshops I'll be teaching), it's time to focus on my business.  I'm a huge list-maker, so I'm making a schedule of how to go about all of this - not just making the jewelry, that's just a small part of it - the promotion and marketing and all the other fun business stuff that no artist really wants to do.   My first two projects are :

1. New logo, business cards, promo material, etc

2. Revamp my etsy page.  Including new photos, better descriptions, joining forums, and promotion, promotion, promotion.

Plus make more jewelry to get out there.  So, ok.  I will post updates on how those things are all going plus tips and tricks that I learn along the way to help get this started!  It takes a lot of time and hard work, but I'm up for the challenge.  Please follow my progress, and leave me comments along the way.

So here we are... and here we go.........


  1. Hello friend, I hope you will follow my blog too. Glad you are keeping us posted with all of your artwork. Can't wait to follow your adventures.
    Loves ya!

  2. The NC Black Team was talking about you the other day, and it's unanimous - we miss you! Hope you can visit soon for more raising - and to check out our new digs.

  3. lindsey - absolutely! i love to see what you're up to in beaufort!
    chuck - i miss you guys, too! i'll come back to play asap. we need to talk workshop stuff soon! can't wait to see the new shop!