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Monday, June 1, 2009

Finding Your Voice and Niche In Your Art


It seems like when we are first learning to make beads, we are told to "find our voice" and pick an area in which to specialize. And I know I'm always telling beadmakers, that for selling online, you will be more successful if you specialize in one area, so that buyers know that if they need something specific, you are that "go to" person.

I've found someone who has done both, and I think you should notice what she's doing. Meet Jenny of EmbellishYourself on Etsy.

Jenny's niche is lampwork glass jewelry for Blythe or similar sized dolls (Barbie, Pullip, etc). If you aren't familiar with them, my definition is slightly edgy dolls for modern women. I love them. Their eyes change colors and you can even buy crazy wigs in all colors and styles and Converse high top shoes for them.

Jenny makes fun stuff for these dolls. I can't help but smile, when I see her little skullies, cupcakes and she even has a cute little frog necklace too.

Jenny told me that for years she had wanted to sell what she makes, but at the time she said she wasn't making something that really stood out from what others were doing. She didn't want to be a copy cat. It was important to make something unique.

When Jenny found Etsy, she noticed Blythe and found all kinds of neat fashions for her. She said she couldn't resist a doll who wears Doc Martens. She came across the book, This Is Blythe by Gina Garan where Blythe is shown doing lots of things in great clothes.

Because there were all kinds of accessories, but not jewelry, Jenny found her niche. Blythe is her muse and was her inspiration to get involved in the Blythe community. Since she is a jewelry and a beadmaker, this was the perfect match.

I'm particularly impressed that Jenny says what a joy it is to take photos of her product. She dresses up her doll and has fun with it. I think there are a lot of us who would like to enjoy that part of our business more.

Currently, Jenny is working on some coordinating owner and doll necklaces. They'll be added soon.

If you want to learn and see more about Blythe and her jewelry collection, visit Jenny's blog and Flickr page. Her shop has great product photos where you can see Blythe with her different wigs, jewelry and wardrobe.

So now I'm asking you, what is your specialized area? If you're still looking, can you tie in one passion with another? I love how Jenny has combined both to carve out her very own specialized niche and think there is a unique one out there for most of us.