Crunching numbers and time

Taking a creative business and making a living at it. Is it possible to create high quality, artisan jewelry and make a living at it? I believe so. I know folks who are doing this. It is not an easy venture, that's for sure.
As I mentioned in a previous post, (you can read it here);
I have alot to think about; brainstorm, and goal set. Putting things on paper is always a good start.
So I started looking at just how much production I can manage to complete.
My best "guestimation" is this: I can complete 5 cuffs and 5(metalsmithed) type of earrings per week on average. This means about 40 new items per month. And this is if I am working say, 4 or 5 days a week on jewelry.
So I figure that I need at least 50 items for a show (day); plus more for backup. This seems like alot of production work! Full time? You bet; plus some. Not news to the seasoned artisan, I'm sure.
How many shows can I do?
Another difficult question to answer. I know many artisans who do 20-30 shows per year; ie: they make their full-time living like this.
I just can't imagine myself doing that many shows. Such tiring work.
From my brainstorming, I came up with a number of doing 1 show per month, 8 months of the year. It is too hot for outdoor shows during the summer months here. That still doesn't sound like enough income to make a living on.
So, options for more income? Teach a class-
get into more galleries, shops, etc.-
try to gain some wholesale accounts-
increase the quality of my work using more professional techniques-
finding a uniqueness-
How do you make your unique business work? If you are an independant artisan, I'd love to hear what works for you. Feel free to leave lots of comments!
I'll be tackling other topics for thought in later posts.

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Brooke Shambley said…
I did my first "show" on Saturday. It was a marketplayce where a lot of home businesses and crafters got together. I did much better in one day there than one day on Etsy with just as many "hits". In person is very valuable to an artist.

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