My Deep Knowing Necklace is one of my favorite necklaces and the story behind it involves self-worth, money, and courage. It came about a few years after I started making jewelry, at a time when I was really taking a good hard look at my jewelry business and wondering if it was actually going to work. I had been making and selling jewelry for about 3 years and that year I felt like I had done so well! I was selling so much, but I was also so worn out. For 5 weeks straight I worked 7 days a week, with shows on each weekend. By the holidays I was burnt out.
The new year came and I sat down to do my taxes. I was sure I had made more money than I had in the previous years- after all, I had been selling so much! Well, after a long day of numbers, my least favorite thing, I sat in dismay. After working my ass off making and selling jewelry, I had barely made enough money to cover my expenses that year. My prices had been too low and they didn't reflect that time and materials that went into each piece. I was barely making a living. And I was heartbroken. (Rest assured, my accounting skills have improved a ton since then, though it's still my least favorite thing to do!).
I spent a few months thinking hard about what to do. In the end, I decided that I needed to raise my prices. It was simply the only way for me to continue making jewelry and doing what I loved and to have a chance at making an actual living at it.
While raising prices might seem like a simple thing to do for a business, it took a lot of soul searching for me. I wanted my pieces to be affordable, but I realized that I simply couldn't compete with machine-made mass-produced jewelry prices. But would anyone buy my work if I raised my prices? Was my work good enough for these new prices? What would people think?
The opening day of the Brattleboro Farmers Market I set up all my work with my new prices. I was literally shaking. Who was I to try to sell my work for these prices? What was I thinking? I had just made a new piece that I loved, the largest piece I had ever made up until that point, but it didn't have a name yet. I placed it on my display that day. I had designed and made it during my inner turmoil of deciding to raise my prices so that I could continue to make jewelry.
I took a deep breath and decided to stand strong
and be proud of the work I was bringing into the world
. I looked down and decided that this necklace, which meant so much to me, would be called my Deep Knowing Necklace
. The necklace came to represent everything I was most proud of in my work: courage, vulnerability, strength, and trusting of instinct.
To make a long story short, while there was a transition phase, you and so many people showed me how deeply you support local artists and handcrafted jewelry
. I felt uplifted and encouraged
, and because of this, I have been able to continue making and selling my jewelry, while supporting my family. My Deep Knowing Necklace
is still one of my favorite necklaces. I think it also means a lot to the people who wear it. Here's what Julie has to say about it:
My hope is that this necklace supports you in just the way you need, giving you strength to trust yourself, to listen to your instincts, to be vulnerable, and to believe in yourself. We all have deep knowing, it just sometimes takes a little work to uncover it.