Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 A Year in Review for Sj Designs

I never would have guessed when I started this year and laid out some goals for myself and my business that I would be standing where I am standing now.  So much can change so very quickly... it's enough to make your head spin if you think about it!

Before we go speeding off into another exciting year, I want to take a few moments to reflect back on the year that was 2014.  I think it's always a good idea to remember where we've been even as we are going someplace else.  I guess it gives me a little perspective on things.

Remember those goals I mentioned?  I thought I'd start by seeing how I did on those... 
  • Market my Etsy shop and business Facebook page in a more focused way.
    • Pretty much a fail on this one.  I did run an earring give-away associated with signing up for my email newsletter (and gave extra chances for folks who liked my Facebook page).  Right now I've got a sad three little items in my Etsy shop... so clearly I need to invest a little more time and energy in that direction in 2015.
  • Get my bead stash at least somewhat more organized.
    •  This one is plus minus... leaning towards minus at the moment.  I had moments of getting all my beady beauties wrangled, but then I did some shopping.  Lots and lots of shopping.  And then I got many lovely beads for Christmas.  And now my basement truly looks like a bead store exploded.  I'm trying to get things organized again so I can actually know what I have and where it is, but I suspect it's still going to be a long process ahead.

At least my art beads got a snazzy new home!

  • Learn (and regularly use) at least two new techniques...some more advanced wire work is at the top of my list. 
    • So this one is more 50/50.  I learned lots of fun things, mostly on the Bead Cruise, but can't say that I've regularly put those new skills to use as much as I'd like.  I have bought some of the items I need to pursue some of the techniques I learned, but still need to purchase some additional items before I can get started.  I can say that I've made pretty good use of the knotting skills I learned in Erin Siegel's class and have done a lot more with waxed Irish linen.  I still want to revisit the macrame bracelet project she taught though. 

Kashmira, Kathleen, and I hard at work on the Bead Cruise!

  • Pursue getting some of my designs published.
    • I did actually manage to get a couple of designs published this year!  A pair of earrings and a bracelet were featured in the Summer issue of Stringing Magazine.  I submitted photos for review for some other issues (and even had them ask me to send in a few things) but no luck getting anything else published yet.  I'm going to make a more concerted effort to submit more designs in 2015.  (I've actually been hard at work this week on some items for possible submission...fingers crossed!)  

  • Use more art beads in my designs.  i.e. stop hoarding!
    • I feel like I've done pretty well with using a variety of art beads both old and new.  The problem is I buy them faster than I use them!  I still fall prey to the idea that I'm saving things for something special... but that's part of why I do so many design challenges.  See the next item on my list...
  • Continue to participate in a variety of design know I'm an addict!
    • Success here!  I managed to participate in over 50 design challenges including those for Art Bead Scene, Earrings Everyday, the Inspired by Reading Book Club, Heather Powers' 12 week Mojo Challenge, and my own New Earring Monday challenge.
  • Have some of my jewelry for sale locally in a store or gallery.
    •  Here's my biggest success... one that really went beyond my wildest dreams or expectations.  Since Unearthed Arts opened in May, I have been a resident artist there... that means that I have my jewelry for sale in the gallery and work there a few days a month.  I am so grateful, honored, and humbled to be a part of the great group of artists at Unearthed Arts.  It's been wonderful to have a support network of other artisans and a platform for getting my creations out there.  My success at the gallery allowed me to step away from day job at the library and focus on my jewelry business full time...  Mind boggling!

The Unearthed Arts gang and Chamber folks for ribbon cutting ceremony.

The year wasn't all jewelry making... Eric and I took some amazing trips together highlights including Amsterdam and Belgium, Grand Rapids for the National Homebrewer's Convention, Disneyland, and Pennsylvania to meet up with the Inspired by Reading Book Club.  My friend Kathleen and I went on the Bead Cruise (can't wait for the 2015 cruise coming up soon!) and I also took a week long trip "home" to Alabama.  What a whirlwind it's been!

My nephew Daniel, me, my mom, and my niece Anna in Birmingham.

Eric and I at Gooseberry Falls this summer.

2014 has been such an amazing year and I'm so very thankful to everyone who was a part of it.  Here's to the end of a great year and the start of another!  Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve and I'll see you next year!


  1. Even though there are things you want to work on more, seeing it all laid out here, I think you had a very impressive year! Wishing you much success and fun in the new year!