I have several friends who rescue, foster or adopt cats and dogs. We have not done so ourselves (allergies), but my level of respect for those who give so fully of their hearts, homes, and time continues to grow.
My good friend Barb back in Maryland is one of those amazing souls who continues to fiercely stick up for those who cannot speak for themselves. As of now she has four little dogs at home. If her husband let her, I think she would have ten.
Barb has always been a supporter of mine. When I told her I was dropping everything I knew and moving away to start a new life, she said “Go for it!”
When my jewelry was still in the creative baby stage she sat with me and gave me feedback on piece after piece. Even in the creative baby stage she bought a few pieces. That is a true friend. I am lucky to have quite a few of those.
So a month ago when Barb called and told me her ideas on what to add to my jewelry repertoire, I pulled out pen and paper and took notes. I will not tell you everything she told me as I have not gotten around to it all yet and I do not want to ruin the surprises.
But she did say two words loud and clear.
Cats and Dogs!
“Make Jewelry that has cats and dogs. People love their pets.”
I put it off for exactly three weeks. I had already spent my budget for inventory for that month (and likely the next).
When I ran out of a certain beading wire though, I used that excuse to click on the sales email for my favorite supplier. On a whim I did a search for “dog”. 204 items came up. Hmm. I did a search for cat. 979 items came up. Oh my.
Since my friend Barb has dogs, I figured I would start with a few dog theme charms. Right before I hit the checkout though, I threw a few cat charms in the online cart.
When the charms arrived I had my doubts. When working with new items, I always second guess myself. I will lay the pieces out and look at them for a few days in between other projects.
Focusing on the dog charms, I laid out a necklace. I hated it. So I shortened the length and added a few more layers. There was potential. Remembering the adorable dog collar toggle I had purchased on a whim, I laid it next to the bracelet in waiting.
Bingo. Pun intended.
I went back to my notes from the conversation with Barb. Black and silver stood out and were indeed underlined. So I made a black, silver, and dog theme bracelet.
As with any new piece, I was nervous so I posted it on my Facebook page for feedback. Five people liked the picture, a few people shared it (thank you Bren), and people started writing comments. And the comments were so personal and positive. Everyone has or has had a pet they love and want to talk about.
So I pulled out the cat theme charms.
And I made a cat theme bracelet. That bracelet was shared within seconds on Facebook.
Then something funny happened. People started to ask if I could make the cat bracelet in red, the dog bracelet in pink and in teal. I was getting orders off of Facebook. This had never happened before.
I said “Yes” to every serious buyer. I spent the next two days working until my shoulders ached, but it was that good satisfying work where you are so thrilled with the results.
I had enough orders I had to order more charms.
The black and silver dog bracelet sold the same night I posted the picture to Facebook.
I made the Cat bracelet in red.
I made the Dog bracelets in pink and teal.
I made another Dog teal bracelet.
I made a Fish bracelet in a mix of ocean blues with silver.
And then I got brave and made a horse bracelet.
It has been a while since I had such a large amount of feedback on new pieces and I am so thankful Barb called me when she did.