Quitting the Day Job
I quit my day job last June. After 33 years as a public school art teacher, it was time to move on to my next adventure. Having already built and established the Silver Beehive Studio as a creative space to nurture and grow my creative ideas but with no real focus on profitability, I had to shift my thinking. How to make income from the creative things I love doing?
I have been experimenting with generating income streams from a few different avenues.
- Sell my jewelry at shows. We did 5 shows last year and learned a LOT and sold some jewelry too. We plan to do at least another 5 shows this year including the Common Ground Fair in September which we were recently accepted into. A booth re-design is planned and adding a bunch more work including a new earring line in the $40-60 range.
- Custom casting for other artists. I’m deliberately starting slowly with my casting service. I now have 3 clients I am working with to cast their designs. I am still tweaking and modifying my pricing and business policies to be profitable and also competitive with other casting houses. The technical challenges of learning how to successfully cast some very thin and large designs are proving to be a steep learning curve for me but a really good opportunity for me to ‘up’ my casting game and skills. In a year, I should have a much better handle on this aspect of my business.
- Introduction to Lost Wax Casting is a 5-week casting class I developed and have now taught twice here in the studio. It is fantastic to be teaching art again and to be working with students who are thirsty to learn and create in silver. I’m planning to teach classes primarily in October and April yearly.
- Online jewelry sales. This has so much potential but I have devoted zero time to updating and promoting my website. I’m also considering opening an Etsy store in addition to my website.
- Youtube. I am psyched about Youtube as a creative outlet for marketing, teaching and interacting with potential customers. I think there is a niche of people who love to watch the process of creating original artwork from scratch and when finished I could put it on my website for sale. I’m gathering the hardware and learning what it takes to become a successful Youtuber now; I hopefully will begin in the next few months. It will be a soft start while I learn how to develop a good workflow. Stay tuned!
- Mycelium Jewelry. I am still experimenting, failing and growing with my mycelium jewelry project. However I am making progress and people are interested in the concept. I am leading a workshop, speaking about my mycelium work at the Maine Fungi Festival in Portland, Maine this May. This is a long-term project with great potential.
I am so fortunate and thankful that my wife Christi has been so supportive of my life choices and pursuits, I could not do it without her.