Sunday, 3 May 2015

Quality, Quantity and my 'worrying strategy'. . .

A recent necklace idea, completely irrelevant to this post. I'm just trying to work more finished pieces and see where that takes me.

I keep intending to post more often, but life gets in the way and I realise it's been ten days since I engaged your attention with my somewhat less than fascinating current activity ;-)

Alongside keeping the house in its hard won state of minimal clutter and unreal cleanliness, for the benefit of house viewers, of which there have been three or four so far, I have been over analysing my creative and commercial goings on, like I do. .
( For instance, I worry about whether I should or shouldn't be worrying, and whether there are more important things to worry about. You have to prioritise your worrying after all. Imagine how you would feel if you found out you had spend all that precious worrying time worrying about the wrong thing ;-) a worrying thought. . .)

You see, there is the question of quantity. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? People say 'Quality not quantity' as if they were mutually exclusive, implying that you should limit your output, as being prolific is somehow cheapening your brand.
Then other people put forward the idea that giving potential customers a lot of choices is a good thing, 'If you don't put it up for sale, nobody can buy it' is their angle.

So, the two extremes are - 'Only hit them with your absolute very best stuff', versus - 'Get the stuff out there and let the market decide.' Both are perfectly logical, you just have to decide which applies to what you are doing, or making. So really, it comes down to you. Nobody can decide for you and even the most sage advice can only be a generalisation which might not apply to you at all. All of which is really annoying if, like me, you want some easy rules to follow. . . Bah!

My angle (at the moment anyway) is that you can be prolific and make good quality things, it just depends what kind of things we are talking about - rustic, hand made beads, yes, fabergé eggs, no.

My trouble is that at the stage in my bead/jewelry making adventure, I am constantly discovering new (to me) things I can make, new options I can take, and new uses for techniques and for stuff I have made. I make something I think is cool, and want to make a load more of them, so I do. I get all enthusiastic and inspired, after all, 'following the fascination' is what I am all about.
So, does the fact that I have ten different sets of textured disk beads mean I shouldn't put them all up for sale?
Does the fact that I have twenty great designs that could look equally good on tie tacks, rings and stud earrings mean that I shouldn't go right ahead and make twenty of each of those and put them in my shop? My instinct is that this would be a bad idea, but there isn't a strong argument either way. As it only costs 20 cents to list something on Etsy the 'Throw it all at the wall and see what sticks' approach is very tempting.

Being fairly cautious, (something else I could have good worry about. . .) I will keep to the middle ground and list a few new things to test the water, but that denies me what could be useful feedback about customer preferences, so might be a less than useful compromise. . .
etc etc etc etc etc

Oh well, I guess it's called 'learning'.

Jon x

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