Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Finding Your Niche WHILE Expressing Your Creativity

I'm a firm believer than when you find your niche (no matter what type of product or widget you create) you will still have abundant creativity and great ideas.

I also believe that while we can enjoy lots of things, if you really, really want to succeed as a true business (not a hobby) you need to find your niche and become really, really good at what you create.  It's not to say you can't enjoy doing multiple things, because as creative artisans, we all have several joys.  But the true love of what we create... the piece that comes from our heart... the pieces that reveal our soul are where we are meant to be.

I bring this up after creating custom made jewelry with several styles over the years.  I've strung, wire wrapped, crocheted, embroidered and woven.  Now that's one heck of a varied list when you're talking about handmade jewelry.  But, I really, really LIKE each style for different reasons.  It wasn't until I made the Dancing in the Tide Necklace that I had considered which direction was calling me. 

Seed beads have become like crack for me... seriously, I think they talk (outloud) to me.  They tell me where they want to live and who they want as neighbors and I just take their orders and try to make everybody happy.  After all, I'm a Libra... and I like balance.  In working with seed beads for a while, I finally got enough GUTS to try bead embroidery.  What was I afraid of?  Who knows, but I'm so glad I did.  Each piece is different, all are special and when I finish a piece, even I'm surprised at the messages they reveal.

Well last week (or maybe the week before) when I created the Dancing in the Tide necklace, it was like a Nirvana for me.  Each piece starts with a OOAK focal bead.  I happen to LOVE the artist Juli Cannon so her lampwork focals are most often the WOW factor in my pieces.  Why?  Because I know she pours an infinite amount of love into each-and-every-single-bead she makes.  Yes, they are all born of her very talented hands and knowing I'm helping out a fellow artisan is really important to me.

So I start with an already special piece and I added more pizazz and "Dawn-a-size" it, creating an even more OOAK piece.  I pride myself in being able to bring personality to a piece.  If I'm designing a custom order for someone, I like to bring their personality into a piece.  But if it's not a custom order, I let the focal do the talking.

I think I'm closer to finding my niche with this design.  Similar, but completely unique, I've created another seed bead necklace - again, similar but OOAK.  My goal is to be able to create a style that when somebody sees the photo or the jewelry on someone, they KNOW it's a Designs By Dawn Marie original! 

This very well could be one of those designs.  Each one I've made, it's like I can't get enough.  It feeds my creativity.  It's a mix of funk and a whole lotta soul!  The design is the type of project that makes me giddy to get in the studio in the morning and makes me forget that I didn't eat lunch. Say what?  I know... me forgetting to eat is like snow in Mexico... or is it? 

Where does your creativity buffet come from?  What's THE thing that makes you giddy to create what you create?  Hope your day is terrific! 



coolmoon said...

Jeez, Dawn! Are you channeling ME, or what? It's almost like you were inside my head when you wrote that blog. I feel exactly the same way about my work, and think that bead embroidery is now going to become my new COOL design go to, too.
LOVE the post, love your work, and as a fellow Libra beader that also loves purple (and dogs) - LOVE YOU!
Sheryl Stephens
Cool Moon

Kristen said...

Oh yes yes yes this does scream out loud "Designs by Dawn Marie" and it doesn't even hurt my head it just makes me want to lick the screen and roll around on the floor like Bella waiting to get her tummy petted!

I Want That!!!!!!

TesoriTrovati said...

So awesome to find your niche! I am still searching for mine. Truth is that i get bored with creating the same thing or the same style. I guess my niche is finding out what the perfect style is for my clients and then making it happen. I want someone to be looking at something or wearing that thing and have it be the perfect thing for them, rather than referencing that it was from me. That is what the little key tag on each piece is for ;-)
Really lovely pieces Dawn! I am excited to watch your evolution to being the best at what you do!
Enjoy the day!

Softflexgirl said...

You certainly do bring a tone of personality to your work. That is what makes it so special. Keep up the good work! :)

Designs by Dawn Marie said...

Thanks so much ladies! Isn't it fun to share ideas and opinions with other artisans! That's what keeps our creative juices flowing! Have a fabulous afternoon!


NEDbeads said...

HI Dawn, we're mutual friends of Juls (beautiful lady of Julsbeads), and I love your work. I've liked your FB page, and thought I would see if you'd like to connect on FB personally. If you feel like it, you can find me under Nancy Dale. :) Nice to meet you!

Azure Islands Designs said...

Beautiful Dawn...I've been doing some serious thinking/soul searching for awhile now...this post came at the right time for me!

I've always said "when it isn't fun/enjoyable anymore it is time to do something else"...



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