Friday, January 6, 2012

Jack Of All Trades…Master of None

You’ve heard the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none”.  In the last six weeks, boy have I learned that to be true.  I recently started to focus on my small jewelry business 100%.  I also learned very quickly, when it’s just you, you get to do a lot on your own and you get to wear a lot of hats (and not terribly stylish ones at that).

I’ve worked in a business environment for over 12 years now.  Some were smaller businesses, some were large businesses.  But I only had to worry about doing “my job” most of time.  There were other people to handle all the facets of the daily operations.

So I present to you, for your amusement and for my own personal gain of getting it down in writing to be transferred to my resume later…my various hats.

Jewelry Designer Hat – Since Chrysalis Jewelry (small plug here is an artisan jewelry business, I get to design the jewelry.  This hat is fun and I wish I had more time to do it.

Jewelry Fabricator Hat – Since it’s just me, I get to put into reality what that crazy designer comes up with.  Some days that designer can be really nasty (or just plain crazy, haven’t figured that out yet).  This usually ends in me cursing (aka jeweler’s Tourette’s) and sometimes me leaving the studio in a quite a snit. 

Procurement Hat – You know that fabricator and designer?  Yeah, they like to have tools and supplies on hand.  Which means not only do I have to find suppliers, but I have to keep inventory on hand.  Which can be challenging when the fabricator storms off in jeweler’s rage and forgets to tell me she used the last widget.

Accountant Hat – I get to pay the bills and do the taxes.  Glamorous, huh?

Human Resources Hat – Since it’s just me, I’m not too hard to manage. This might be more accurately described as canine and feline resources.  The dogs are easy to please.  I’m currently in negotiations with the United Feline Union for more kitty treats.  They drive a hard bargain.

Shipping and Receiving Hat – I get to run orders to the PO (not that I’m complaining, feel free to order more jewelry from me.  I have an Etsy page at .  I’ll wait – you go shop) and I need to make sure I’m home when the USPS and UPS deliver packages that need signatures.  When dealing with “raw” materials, “signature required” happens often.

Marketing/Social Media Hat – How do people find out about your wonderful jewelry?  You have to find ways to market it.  In this day and age, this can be done on Facebook ( ) or Twitter (@melissacreamer ).  I know there is this Google+ thing and I’ve heard something about Klout.  I thought klout was what you put on your Wienerschnitzel?  Wait, no, that’s krout.  No worries, I’ll get it figured out so I can continue to shamelessly plug…

Web Designer Hat – I truly suck at this one and I am currently begging a friend who actually knows what she is doing for help.  I may actually hear back from her when the Skyrim server crashes.

Professional Photographer Hat – In order to sell and market my wares, I have to be able to take pictures of my jewelry that look somewhat decent.  With my limited knowledge and budget, it can be a challenge to make my jewelry not look like dog doo-doo (Although…I might be able to get the canines to come up with something for me to sell to a high-falutin’ art gallery in New York City for big bucks…might have to think about this).

Anyway, I could go on, but you get my point.  It feels like I have a lot of plates spinning all at once trying to give this small business thing a go.  I know Rome was not built in a day, so I must give it time.  I also must keep in mind the old adage – “If you’re going to drop a ball, make sure it’s a rubber one.”

But if you would be so kind, could you help spread the word?  Word of mouth can be the best advertising and it fits my budget (free!).

Until tomorrow - Melissa
 This beautiful necklace can be found on my Etsy site ( ).  Sorry, had to toss in one more shameless plug...



  2. HAHAHAHA! Aaron told me that too...but I left it in for funnies. Yes. Joke is on me. :(

  3. There sure are a lot of things to do for a business. I think one of the best things we can do is learn to delegate work to willing friends and family -- Mr. Sequin is my photographer and resident shipping expert. :)

    Speaking of photography, it can be very challenging! Especially on a budget. I hoard tutorials, and here are two I love: