When to make the leap...???

Have any of you given up your regular jobs (like mine is sitting in an
office all day) to focus on your jewelry-related business whether it be
beads, glass, or whatever? I'm giving it serious consideration and
trying to get a feel for what other people have done or when they
decided to make a change.
Any input is greatly appreciated!
Laura :-)
Reply to
GlassArtist
Hi Laura,
I've already made the leap, though I work in polymer clay rather than lampwork. It's a struggle to keep up with my monthly expenses but I am soooo much happier. If I were punching a timeclock I'd probably spend my income out of depression and creative frustration, so I'd be no better off financially than I am now. Right now there are alot of things I can't afford to buy/do, etc, but since I enjoy nothing more than being creative the time gets spent doing that. I say go for it but be ready to spend some time as a "starving artist"!
Cheryl
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Reply to
chelyha55
I think it's different for everyone. I know if I would have tried it 8 years ago I would have fallen on my face because I just didn't have the focus or drive.
When you're self-employed I think it becomes your main focus and that brings up a whole other host of challenges. But I also believe that when you're self-employed, if you're doing what you love then it just seems natural.
I wrote elsewhere that being an artist, especially in the internet age, is just as much art as it is marketing and it takes up more time than you can imagine...at least in my case it does. It doesn't just happen on it's own...there is a lot going on behind the scenes that no one sees. I always marvel when someone asks, "how can so and so's beads get so much money, they're not that great." Not to bring up that topic but the fact is, you don't know what people do to get where they are. Sometimes it's not about the product but more about how it's presented, how well you keep yourself out there and how you interact in those regards.
Just know that it's not all beadmaking, it's a lot of behind the scenes work and creativity too. I love that aspect so it works for me.
Reply to
Lori Greenberg
I made that leap 25 years ago, and though the cash flow is uneven at times, the creative flow is great.
I write a column in Belle Armoire magazine about being a professional artist, see if you can find some of the back issues---every month is a different topic of interest to wearable arts professionals like beaders.
Reply to
Sarajane Helm
I'm not sure if I took the leap or if I got nudged (probably a bit of both). In 1998 I was in a job I disliked more and more, I'd been making beads for a year and getting restless, and had wanted to go off on my own into making jewelry for about a year prior to discovering glass. Unfortunately my ex (who wasn't ex yet) was a deadbeat so I HAD to work to support our kids. I made up my mind to quit my job in January and find something else part-time so I could make more beads.
Then, right before Thanksgiving, my boss told me I was being laid off, not to come back after Thanksgiving. I was bummed because I was looking forward to the Christmas party (always fun) and my bonus. Then I realized that in exchanged I would be getting unemployment. I'd worked for them for 2-1/2 years so I more than qualified. Believe me, I milked it down to the last week! I got calls from my former boss (well, his wife, who handled payroll, etc) asking why I hadn't found work yet, etc. I couldn't quite bring myself to apologize, explain, or feel bad about them paying the max on me. It was somewhat vengeful, but it was ALSO my startup capital. I had six precious months to work up to full swing with my beadmaking and managing auction scheduling and all that fun stuff, and it made my learning curve much kinder than it could've been.
During lulls (like in the summer when it's too hot to work) I've done some pickup work, mostly medical transcription done through an online service, but I haven't set foot in an office or done the 9-5 thing again since 1998. It's been wonderful!
KarenS
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New Beads!!!!
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Reply to
Karen Sherwood
I think in Karen's situation I'd consider that too, especially when/if the next step was getting laid off. I'm in a different situation, I love my job (most of the time), and I consider myself pretty well paid. I'm considering cutting my hours (yeah right, there are times when I could do with a clone to get my work done as things are, but honestly, I do consider it) after we know what the kid is doing for college and how much it is going to cost us, as, like everybody else, I would like to have more time for jewelry (as well as for my plants/agriculture in my case), but right now I can't make a permanent decision like that, so I just leave it as is. Sometimes I get positively frantic, sometimes my sleeping hours still have one digit when you add 2 nights together, sometimes I run on adrenaline (like now, trying to get ready for my first ever craft fair on the side to everything else) and wake up at 3 a.m., ready to go and get something done.
Everybody's situation is different ...
Just MHO,
Maren Tropical seeds - Job's Tears Jewelry - Plants & Lilikoi
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Reply to
m.purves
Wow! So much positive feedback. Thank you everyone. I'm feeling very positive and encouraged. I recently had a very very bad experience where my boss (vice-president) wrote a horrible email about me to the president. In it he discussed possibly firing me because of something that had happened and made comments like "getting some eye candy" at my desk at least then if the person were a bitch she'd be easier to take and how my husband probably pistol whips me. He accidentally sent it to me. This was after we had had a very nice discussion about some things so I was totally shocked, horrified and wanted to just die on the spot. I called him on it and told him I was keeping the email for future reference (i.e. potential lawsuit if they fired me) and of course he backpeddled and apologized all over the place, how he didn't mean it, had a bad day, yada yada. He even had his wife call me to tell me how sorry he was and hoped I wouldn't hold it against him. Up until now I've liked the company and the issue had been over my girlfriend and I writing some emails back and forth about some people in the office...not even him... just BS, nothing serious and the office manager was busy reading all these emails so the two of us got in trouble. That's how it all started. Anyway, and sorry to babble on and on here... I just don't feel the same about the place and I don't know that I ever will. I would like to get my ducks in a row with my glass and jewelry and then tell him to bite me! Leave a note on his desk that I won't be back on Monday and then not come back.
Well thanks again for the input... I'm getting closer to really doing something about it. I don't need the health insurance and if I can get some bills paid off... I think I might have a chance.
Laura :-)
Reply to
Laura
Wow. That must be a hard situation to be in. I think they should cut you some severance because you are now not able to work that type of situation. It amazes me what people will put in writing.
Reply to
Lori Greenberg
agree. I'm not sure I could stay in a place like that.
I'm not sure, but in Laura's situation I might consider even a lawsuit.
yup . Some things you only think, some you may say to people, but some things I wouldn't write down, no matter where. This one strikes me as one of those you'd blurt out at somebody - but never write.
To Laura: get the bills with the highest interest rates first ... (but you probably know that). And, I don't know how much notice you have to give in that job, but make sure you stay within the contract (but you probably know that too).
Aloha,
Maren Tropical seeds - Job's Tears Jewelry - Plants & Lilikoi
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Reply to
m.purves
I did it! I've never looked back, although I am a tough boss and I work myself too hard. ;)
I made the leap when my youngest baby was four or five months old. I'd been working my way up to it during the latter portion of my pregnancy, and with a lot of support from people in this group I started selling on eBay. During my maternity leave I was able to build my bead sales considerably, and they continued to grow after I went back to work. I stayed on for about a month after returning from leave (mostly so we could qualify for a home loan, LOL!) and then quit and went to beadmaking full-time.
It was a lot of work, and still is, but I love what I do.
Reply to
Kalera
Laura, you have written proof of a hostile work environment. You have excellent grounds for a lawsuit and IMO you should consider one.
Now you know why office gossip should never be done over office email! Your VP handled it extremely unprofessionally; if it had been me I would have either written you up or simply let you go, without the totally inappropriate email to the president (for which he also should have been penalized).
Consider something though; do you have the discipline to be self-employed? I've known many people who thought they did, but when it came down to brass tacks, without a manager breathing down their necks they spent more time on AIM and forums and email than they did making their business work.
Being your own boss is HARD. You have to have the discipline to do what you should be doing and not what you feel like doing.
Reply to
Kalera
Not to get off the subject and I'm not saying what I did wasn't wrong... but oh my gosh if you could hear the office gossip that goes unpunished and ignored because it's spoken and not written. We honestly thought just sharing it between the two of us and not verbally spreading it was a better thing to do. But I guess badmouthing someone all over the office is acceptable as long as you don't send it to one person in an email. Your comments regarding being disciplined enough to be my own boss and do this full time I understand. I think I could. I know how much money I make now putting in a fraction of the effort I would if it was my full time job. Also I had an unemployment stint 10+ years ago. At that time I was making stained glass panels and suncatchers, selling them at the local craft mall and I was quite dedicated to the task. I just don't feel like I want to take on the challenge unless I'm forced into it or get rid of some bills first. Thanks for your comments, I appreciate everything people have had to say. :-)
Laura
Laura
Reply to
Laura Dawson
I am glad you took my comments with such good nature, I was concerned that you would be offended and I was not intending offense. The reason verbal office gossip is not usually punished is because it's not very documentable. Can you imagine having an employee take you to court over a he-said-she-said situation? It's not likely that any company wants to tackle that sort of scenario, but if you put it in writing they have proof that will back them up if they end up letting you go.
I say, if you have confidence in your ability to be self-employed, go for it, and good luck!
Reply to
Kalera

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