Friday, October 16, 2015

Inside the Studio with Michelle McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive, we offer a prize each week to encourage you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries. And here are the results from last week!

Congratulations to ASTRA...she was lucky number 7 as chosen by random. org.... she is the
winner of a special "Earth Angel" mini pendant made by Julie of Uglibeads.  ASTRA, please contact Julie to claim your prize!

This past week has been all about creating jewelry for a new gift gallery that I will be selling my ceramic bead jewelry in.  I am not new to selling in galleries, but this one is a bit different.  It is a coffee house that also is an art gallery! is on the beach and I love to design sea life inspired jewelry.  How cool is that?  The biggest bonus of all?  I am the only jewelry designer in the gallery...WooHoo!  You may be wondering how all this stuff just happened for me....and it is just a case of being in the right place at the right time.

One of the galleries I sell my jewelry and pottery at requires the artists to volunteer 8 hours a month as sales staff.  I just happened to be working when Ms Coffee House walked in off the street to view the artists work.  Of course I didn't know who she was, but we are friendly all the time to everyone, right?  Lol  But seriously, most artists aren't shy and we love to talk about our art, and she loved what I had in the gallery!  So she invited me to display my art with her.

Fast forward to this week and I designed some fun starfish beads for bracelets, turtle pendants for necklaces and earring pairs.  I already had some knotted gemstone necklaces made with wax linen and ceramic pendants ready and just needed a few more things.

And those are a few dishes I made as well.  Today was moving in day.  I spent the entire morning pricing my work and filling out an inventory sheet.  I had to supply the wood display stands and I decided on linen necklace, bracelet and T bar displays.  I think it adds to the beachy vibe.  This particular gallery charges a 25% commission, which is pretty nice.  I usually pay 40 or 50% commission or a monthly fee with a smaller 10% commission.  Fees are all over the place with each gallery.  

Here is my display...
I still need to make the earrings and bring them in.  I have 2 spinner racks that will be added next week.  Never enough time in my day it seems. 

 So it's time for a giveaway from me!  The question I have for you is, tell me about a time you were in the right place at the right time, not necessarily about jewelry or art, but just about your life.  Please leave a comment below and next week someone will win one of the fun turtles crawling towards the water ceramic pendants from the first picture.  Good luck!


Alice said...

I love your sea inspired components.
one day I decided to check out a new shop in our small town where everyone knows everyone. The owner ask if I wanted to sell my jewelry in the shop.
I get 66%. for a small town this partnership is still going strong.

Kathy Lindemer said...

A while back when I first started making jewelry, I was invited to show my work to a store that was starting up and wanted to feature jewelry by local artisans. I was picked and it was a good gig!

Marie said...

I was in a yarn shop and while the owner was winding the yarn she admired a bracelet I made. She said she was in need of shawl pins and if I made some and brought them in she would sell them. Your comments about display and commission were very helpful. Thank you. I love this blog!

Sarajo Wentling said...

I have to go with a personal life moment on this one. When I was just starting library school back in the fall of 1997, I was in line for lunch with my mentor in my program at the University of Illinois and I just happened to bump into a guy that I had met in undergrad in Atlanta. That guy would eventually become my husband, but for the moment we were about to have our first date. The last time I had seen that guy had been a year and half before, halfway across the country at Emory University and I was showing him my engagement ring (that engagement didn't work out, thank goodness!).

It's a super small world sometimes and you just never know what, or who, might be just around the corner. I feel so lucky that both of us just happened to be having lunch at that St. Louis Bread Company on that September day. I can't imagine what my life would be like if he hadn't spoken up and said something to me... or if his little sister (then 10 years old) hadn't told him that our first date was indeed a first date!

Theresa Bush said...

Several months ago I was asked by a friend's daughter, who was opening a small boutique, if she could either purchase or commission some of my jewelry. Since I make jewelry as a hobby and don't really sell much, I had accumulated quite a bit that needed to move (so I could make more). I took most all that I had ready for her to look through, not knowing exactly what she might want in her shop. She ended up purchasing outright everything I took to show to her, which was very unexpected since I had almost 100 pieces! We worked out a wholesale agreement and I was extremely happy to clear out some of my older work.

Terri said...

Right place at the right time...experience...I had a $50.00 coupon for a jewelry store... One of the nicer ones you find in shopping malls. It was closing for was the time to use it or lose the coupon..I scoured the store to see if the was any thing I could afford..when I happen to see a gold heart pendant. I loved it and after the drastically reduced price and my coupon..I ended up paying $2.00 for it. I still have it to this day. One of my favorite being at the right place at the right time kind for experiences.

Carolyn said...

Love what you make Michelle.

I don't have a jewelry moment but I was one of the few that was interested in the administrative assistant position for our new director. I was chosen and I had the job for about a year.