Friday, December 16, 2011

Mantras for the Semester

"Perfect is the enemy of good (enough)."

"Rome wasn't built in a day."

There's so much to consider in building a creative business. First, obviously, you must have a well-designed, beautifully made, compelling product. Creating amazing jewelry has been the focus of most of my efforts over the past two years, as without the good pieces it makes no sense to invest in growing the business. However, I'm at a point where my business side needs to make a leap forward. Not the numbers and accounting, although that could use some attention too. Rather I'm talking packaging, website content and layout, product tags, letterhead, logo, business cards, etc. Essentially the whole branding and marketing effort that will really send a professional, polished image to back up my jewelry.

It's so frustrating sometimes because there are so many details and I can't always tackle them all. Sometimes my packaging is not ideal to the shape of a piece, or a label is hand-written instead of stamped, or my website still carries my old logo and branding because I wasn't able to make the change to the new site in time for the holidays. There's just so much to think about and be on top of...

That's when I try to remind myself of the two sayings at the top of this post. Something is better than nothing, always. Baby steps to your goal. Or as they would say in Mozambique, "pouco-pouco."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

83 Down, 2 to Go

This seventeen-week semester is nearly finished. Part of me is extremely grateful for the upcoming break, which I clearly need to maintain my sanity and be ready for another stretch of craziness come January. But another part of me is sad, depressed even. I love being in school and it's so difficult to go from 1,000 miles per hour to essentially zero overnight (at least that's how it feels, even though I'm still super busy with holiday orders).

Also, my friendships have really consolidated this semester and the idea of not being around my girls leaves me feeling a bit empty (most people go back "home" for the holidays, not that many of us are locally based). I am so lucky to be in the metals program with this particular group of people. It took me nearly two years to feel like I've made friends, but now that I have, I can't imagine school without them. We support each other through crises, work out together on a regular basis, pull all-nighters together in studio, make runs for bubble tea (my new favorite studio snack). My friends are a big part of what motivates me throughout the semester, and I will seriously miss them over the next month.

I'm trying to avoid the serious blues this break, however. Strategies include throwing a "come over and do nothing" relax party on Saturday, running regularly with H., enjoying time with family, mini trips to Tahoe and Napa, and staying busy with a couple of jewelry commissions. I'm also itching to troll the local flea markets and salvage yards for storage cabinets, old tools, display cases, and whatever else catches my eye for the studio. Keeping busy is the ticket, for sure.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Light in Sight

One more jewelry project, my chromophobia final, and a paper on a Tibetan Buddhist manuscript are between me and a much-needed break. I'm really burned out (and consequently not thaaaaat stressed) and it's been hard to get motivated to turn out these last projects. I'm close, though, and knowing that gives me an extra boost.

This semester I've prioritized exercise equally with my schoolwork. I don't regret it one bit. I *do* have time to keep working out, and it's not like I have to shuffle my schedule to do it. Honestly I waste a ton of time in my day-to-day, and that hour-and-a-half it takes to start and finish a workout are imperceptibly sucked by internet, chatting, spacing out, doing non-priority chores, etc. When I do exercise, I get the feeling my time is more precious (i.e. I've spent it consciously) and therefore I'm more productive, more efficient, and better at prioritizing the things on my to-do list. Win, win really. I stay fit and manage my stress, and am also faster and more focused at my work.

So why is this so hard to remember *before* a workout, when I will make 1,001 excuses as to why I should stay in studio or simply watch some trash on tv?

Anyhow, I've been much better about the workouts this semester and I feel good. Tonight, for example, I'm going to dance at Hipline for an hour. In semesters past, I'd have cancelled this refundable class in a heartbeat. Not now, though. It will be the highlight of my day.