Holiday Shopping Tips

Now that I finished recording 3 conference presentations and 4 lectures, and completed 2 grant applications, I can put a little more time and effort into my business. Yes, this is a business, an artistic business that takes time to maintain on line and on social media, as well as time and money to create what I have to offer.

During this time of the holiday season, it's common for many people to look at an artist's hard work and think to themselves "I can do that for much cheaper...". Have you thought this to yourself while perusing a farmer's market during this summer, or are you planning to go to a winter holiday craft show to get some gift ideas? Below, I've listed some good practices and information about what it 'costs' to create all of our one-of-a-kind and custom pieces. So let's start!

Each bead was hand rolled and varnished separately before the earring creations. Careful consideration is taken with matching the beads with findings and accent colors.
Making Earrings - by Brenna Lynn Studio
1) Don't take photos of people's hard work

You may want to remember how a final product looked or the variety of ways to customize an item. Don't just take a photo of the item and walk away! The artist spent much more than money to create their works, and knowing the background of what was put into the final products may give you perspective. Which leads me to the next point...

2) Have a conversation with the artists

We are not scary. Mostly we will be extremely excited to share with you our process and inspiration for different pieces. You will get so much more out of the encounter that, if you purchase something from them, you not only have a product but a story.

3) Purchase at least ONE of the artist's creations

If you really think you'd be able to create something like you saw at an art show, buy one of the artist's works! You will a) have a final product to examine at home, b) be supporting an artist and allowing them to continue working, and c) still have a beautiful piece that you will remember even if you end up not making one yourself.

4) The price is not just for the materials

There is so much more that is put into making artwork. First, there's the inspiration and the time designing, experimenting, scrapping, and starting over - see the video of the very first step in making the charms available for customization in my shop. Second, by the time artist's have honed their craft, a lot of money could have already been spent on materials. Third, this money debt for the sake of the artwork can easily grow. And fourth, the time it takes to produce a final product can take multiple days, especially if the art is a second or third job for the artist.

5) Supporting an artist means you're supporting an individual, not an over-seas corporation

When you shop local and from local artists, you are not sending your money out of the county, you're not sending it out of state, and you're not sending it out of the country. The money you spend on local artists' work goes back into your own community. The works of art, whether they are for you or will be a gift, will have more meaning


Think about these points as you are looking through Etsy, walking around at a holiday art fair, or on line shopping during Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday this year. My challenge to you is to talk with every artist who has created a masterpiece that peaked your interest!

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