Thursday, October 17, 2013

Valuing Yourself

I spent years in school to get a good education, to get a nice job and to earn a good living.  Then, I got pregnant and my thoughts changed, now I wanted to be a good mom to my kids and so I gave up my career to be their mom.  That was a wonderful choice that I was lucky enough to be able to make.



With that choice, I immersed myself in being a mom and being a mom is all about doing things for your kids.  Slowly, you start to not do things for yourself.  You tell yourself, it can wait, maybe later, I don't have time, ..........

And here I find myself, 13 years after giving up my career to be Mom, my kids now in high school and middle school and an independent jeweler with a great business.  I find joy in making jewelry and love when others find joy in it and buy it, it validates to me that what I make and love, someone else does too.

Pricing your pieces is hard and I would venture to guess that most everyone who handcrafts something underprices it.  Partly because you have a sense of obligation to help your customers afford it, sometimes I find myself pricing things by how much I think people will pay not by how much I think they are worth.  Another part is that is it boastful to put large prices on something you have made?  Whatever the reason, we as humans probably undervalue ourselves in everything we do.  We as a species seem to always want to pull down instead of lift up.

This past month I have had some incredible things happen to me that have me changing my thinking and actually feeling much better about myself and my work.  First, I was asked to donate something to the Jackson Center for Conductive Education's annual fundraiser, The Grape Escape.  I had just finished a piece, following an idea by Pam East, and decided to donate it.  They included it in their live auction and I am happy to report, it raised $800 for the center.  I was thrilled!  Later, someone came up to me and whispered in my ear, I think you underprice your jewelry (with a very happy tone).


Then the next thing that happened was I decided to enter the Fall Foliage Art Show, this is not something I had ever done before and wasn't sure exactly how jewelry fit in.  They were so kind and helpful.  Well, when I attended the Awards Tea, there was my jewelry with a first place blue ribbon on it!  I was so excited.  And then, the next day I found out my pieces had sold (and for a very fair price).



This has all just solidified in my mind that I do have value, in what I do, both as a mom and artist.  It is all good and that I am starting to understand the real values of my work.  This week in the class I teach, my students asked me how do I price my work.  I started talking about all these things and decided to share in print what became very clear during my talk.  I share because I am sure we all struggle with these types of thoughts and I truly believe if you do what you love and do it the best you can, it will all be good.  If you take value in your efforts and your work, others will also.  But always value yourself and be good to yourself, remember someone is watching and will be following your lead!

***Disclaimer:  These are all my thoughts and there has been no scientific research done to prove any of it

2 comments:

  1. Hi Pam, I don't see any other way to contact you on your blog so here goes! We are partners! I love the jewelry pieces I see here. Do you have an Etsy store or a website? My email is Cabaribeads@comcast.net
    Patty

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