A Manifesto

https://goimagine.com/judystreehouse/

Good Morning! I’m sure many of you have seen the movie, “Jerry Maguire”. Enough said, I think you’ll get the gist as you read further.

“Complacency is the Antithesis of Excellence”. This quote was passed on to me years ago during my time spent in the corporate world. It resonated and stuck. I was working for a very large national corporation. They had a mission statement of “Vision, Strategy and Values. Integrity was at the top of their list of Core Values. I believed in them, I worked hard for them, and I had faith in their mission statement and core values. I was happy and grateful to be a part of their team. I worked hard to accomplish their goals by adhering to their mission statement and core values. With them I also grew in knowledge and wisdom and personal development. I was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of a business and team with these goals and values.

But, as years went by and I advanced into upper management positions I realized the integrity of the company was only as good as the integrity of its employees; no matter their position, title, or income. I started seeing individuals encouraging and/or allowing traits of tweaking and skewing data in an effort to “attain” successful key measure results. In other words, I saw the habits of some people within the organization were not in line with the core values of the company. I was determined that I would not become a part of this group of self-accommodating individuals. Unable and unwilling to become lost in unethical roads to success I decided it was time for me to move on. Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in that corporation, their mission, and their core values. I so enjoyed each and every position I held and the growth and opportunities the company provided for me. I was grateful for the years I worked there and often miss the hard, challenging, stressful work that helped me grow individually and professionally with the satisfaction of a job well done. I wish this company continued success!

Now, I find myself at the same crossroads with my small handmade jewelry shop. I’ve been grateful for the years I’ve been a seller on the Etsy ecommerce marketplace. When I opened my shop there in 2014, Etsy gave me the opportunity to offer my handmade creations to people all over the world. I can remember the joy I felt when I realized that people in each of the 50 states had found something to enjoy from my small shop. Etsy helped me to grow even further individually and professionally, and I am grateful for the opportunities provided to me as a seller within their online marketplace.

Yet, “nothing endures but change”. Another quote that has stuck with me throughout my professional career. And, sadly, I am finding that Etsy is changing and evolving in a direction that doesn’t fit with my personal mission statement and core values. Individual shops exhibiting traits without a sense of core values, only greed and poor customer service are starting to infiltrate this marketplace which once focused on unique handmade and vintage items. And, yes, there are still great people within Etsy’s network of sellers offering quality handmade and vintage items along with honesty, integrity, and great customer service but it is getting more difficult to weed out the good from the bad. Etsy is hugely successful in the world of ecommerce, and I’m certain they will continue to be so. But, the time has come for me to re-evaluate the group with which I’m associated, and I’ve found that perhaps Etsy and I are no longer such a great match, at least with their current state of sellers. I wish Etsy continued success, it’s just my opinion that they no longer cater to niche shops and discerning customers.

I’ve decided it’s time for me to step away from the Etsy platform and find a new marketplace and group of sellers that are more in line with my personal mission and core values. I believe I might have found that group within Goimagine.com. Time will tell. They are just beginning and they have a dream, a vision, and a different way of looking at success. I believe they are a better fit for me and my small handmade shop.

And so, I am gradually moving items from my Etsy shops to my shop within the GoImagine marketplace https://goimagine.com/judystreehouse/ . I hope those of you who are searching for that perfect, cool, unique, unusual something will find your way to this new, innovative marketplace; a marketplace with a slogan of a #caringeconomy. They have a dream and a vision of change. A change more economically beneficial to the society in which we live. I hope you’ll take a moment to visit their website to learn more about their mission. And, I hope you will give the GoImagine marketplace and their eclectic mix of shops with handmade items and artistic creative sellers the opportunity to provide you with a great on-line shopping experience while at the same time working towards the success of giving back to the community by way of their #caringeconomy mission.

And back to my initial reference to the movie “Jerry Maguire”; in today’s world it may be a struggle to maintain one’s ethical stance with high moral standards but the end results are much more satisfying when you attain success through hard work and a commitment to your own personal core values and those of the people with which you associate! Nobody says change is easy but “Nothing changes if nothing changes”.

Nothing changes if nothing changes…….

 

JudysTreehouse
JudysTreehouse

Since opening my JudysTreehouse shop on Etsy in 2014, I can honestly say, “I’ve come a long way, baby” to get where I’ve gotten today.     When I look back at what little I did know about opening an online business and what I’ve learned and put into action I’m pleased with myself and thankful to those who have helped me.    Especially my husband, Greg.

Here’s a quote that has stuck with me over the years.    I’m not sure who coined this phrase but I picked it up from a manager I once had……

“Nothing changes if nothing changes.”

After a few years with Etsy I realized the effort and hard work that marketing requires.   Creating beautiful, unique, quality handmade items just isn’t enough.   To help the people find these beautiful, unique, quality handmade jewelry and gifts it takes quality photos, informative descriptions, great customer service, ongoing education around the internet and online businesses, positive thinking, an upbeat attitude, and faith!…….to name a few….

There are hundreds of thousands of online businesses.    There are hundreds of thousands of jewelry and gift shops.     There are hundreds of thousands of people who are looking for beautiful, unique, quality handmade jewelry and gifts.     How can I help them find them at https://www.JudysTreehouse.etsy.com.

I am constantly researching and learning and adapting to the ways and whatnot of having a successful online jewelry and gift shop.     I’ve learned a lot.    I’ve implemented a lot.    I’ve changed a lot.      Things were beginning to pickup but still, was I doing enough?

Here’s another quote that has stuck with me over the years.    Again, I’m not sure who coined this phrase but it’s another I picked up from a different manager I once had…..

“Complacency is the antithesis of excellence”

Etsy has a remarkable number of jewelry and gift shops.     There’s a plethora of beautiful, unique, quality handmade jewelry and gifts you can find on Etsy.    I, however, was frustrated (oh, bad negative energy) with what I thought wasn’t enough traffic to my shop.   I make beautiful, unique, quality handmade jewelry and gifts.   I was trying but it was slow going for me trying to be found on the great big web of Etsy.      What am I doing wrong?

So rather than just sit and wait and keep trying (throwing mud at the wall and hoping it would stick), I ventured out a little further on the internet sales platform, found an e-commerce website and decided to give it a try.

In late May, 2017 I opened my second shop, JudysTreehouse.myshopify.com.     I set up what I thought to be a nice, user friendly shop with quality photos and good descriptions of my beautiful, unique, quality handmade jewelry and gifts.     It was a new platform for me, very different from having my shop on Etsy.    I was researching, paying for advertising, posting on my blog, Facebook and Instagram, utilizing tips and techniques to help people find my shop.    But, what I was doing wasn’t enough.

After three months with a few headaches, no sales and pretty much no traffic to this second shop I’ve decided to close it.    I did learn a lot more about online business and marketing during those brief few months so not all efforts were lost.  Someday, I may decide to give it another try but for now I feel my best efforts are directed at having one online shop.    This way I can focus on continuously improving and implementing ways to help those people who love beautiful, unique, quality handmade jewelry and gifts find that something special at https://JudysTreehouse.etsy.com.

And, on a positive note, visits and sales are picking up at https://JudysTreehouse.etsy.com.     I’ve topped 100 total sales, I’ve had great customers and great feedback.    Perhaps my mud throwing efforts are starting to stick.

I am very grateful for all of the people who visit JudysTreehouse.   To have someone who loves beautiful, unique, quality handmade jewelry and gifts find that perfect something they’ve been looking for at JudysTreehouse is a pleasure beyond belief.    It is such a delight to send something I’ve loving created to someone miles away all across the USA.     I am very thankful and blessed.

So, in closing, I’ll offer a third and final quote.    And, yes, you guessed it, I don’t know who coined it and it did come from a different manager I once had…..

“Nothing endures but change”

And, with that said, I endure to change whatever I can to help those of you who love beautiful, unique, handmade items and gifts find what I have created and continue to create at https://www.JudysTreehouse.etsy.com

Peace, Love, and Joy

Judy

Some of the places where my creations have found home!
Some of the places where my creations have found homes.

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Things You Might Find In A Treehouse…….JudysTreehouse!

What’s Your Style?????       This and More at JudysTreehouse.etsy.com

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#judystreehouse, #boho, #chic, #artyjewelry, #artisanjewelry, #handcrafted, #unique, #eclectic, #bohemian, #jewelry, #handmade, #treehouse, #gifts, #boutiques, #jewelryboutiques, #shop, #findjewelry, #uniqueanddifferent, #valentinesday, #jewelrygifts, #eclecticwomen, #gypsysoul, #gypsychic, #hippiechic, #hippiegifts, #gypsygifts, #bohemiangifts

Gemstones……..Creativity from Mother Nature

Beautiful Gemstone Pendants.   Handwrapped.
Beautiful Gemstone Pendants. Handwrapped.

Lovely works of art by Mother Nature.     I’ve hand wrapped them with brass wire which I’ve put through a patina process and hand polished to give the wire an aged/antiqued finish.

They’ll be a fantastic focal point on a long antiqued brass chain with a few gemstone beaded links.

You can find the finished necklaces at JudysTreehouse.etsy.com

Copper Jewelry – Copper Cuff Rose Ring by Judy’s Treehouse

Handmade copper ring with rose
Handmade copper ring with rose

I recently had the pleasure of creating a custom order for a friend who happened across a picture of some rings I had posted on my Facebook page, JudysTreehouse.

I was a little nervous going into production as it had been a while since I had made these and hadn’t made many in the past.    I also wanted to add a little something extra special for her to the design.

Handcrafting jewelry usually results in each item being unique and different.   Depending on the design, you may not always get an exact duplicate of something you’ve made in the past.    You can try to replicate a piece but usually they come out with slight differences.    This is what makes handmade pieces so unique and special.  Then there are  those “oops moments” when you unintentionally mess something up; cut a piece to short, make a wonky wrap, break a bead, snap a wire, etc.     So, I decided to make two rings, just in case.

the band before sanding
the band before sanding

The first step was to cut the band.     I used 20 gauge copper.      After the cut, I then sanded the piece to smooth the edges, top and bottom.

applying the design to be etched into the metal
applying the design to be etched into the metal

The next step was applying the design I wanted to etch into the metal.

after the etching process
after the etching process

Etching the metal takes patience and practice.     Sometimes an air bubble can ruin your design.     Leaving the metal in the solution too long can result in the metal becoming too thin for the project.    Not leaving it in long enough can leave you with a partial uneven design or not enough of the design showing through.     In this case, it turned out perfect!

after the patina process
after the patina process

Applying the patina is my favorite part of the process.     I used a butane torch to heat the metal to create the patina.     As you can see, each piece turned out entirely different.     This is another process where patience and practice develops your skill level.    I absolutely love the colors that developed in each of the bands.

shaping the band
shaping the band

The next step was shaping the band around the ring mandrel.     Using a rubber or rawhide mallet keeps the metal from being damaged.   Hammering the metal not only gives it the desired shape and ring size but it also strengthens the metal helping it to maintain its form.

the ring bands
the ring bands

ready to add the stone
ready to add the stone

I knew my customer wanted a light blue rose but I wanted to consult with her on the band color since they were both so different.    She chose the one on the left in the above photo.

The completed rings
The completed rings

The next step was to wire wrap the stone to the ring.     Again, wrapping the wire and getting a secure fit takes time and practice.     I started on the ring she hadn’t chosen because I wanted to practice my wrap and determine the wire design.

I was happy with the design and set out on the ring for Dianalynne.     It came out perfectly…….BUT……….     To help tighten and secure the wire, I had taken my pliers to the wire wrap on the underside of the band to give the wire a little twist.    My pliers slipped and I gouged the wire!    The wire was damaged but still secure and appeared to be sturdy enough…….BUT…….it did not meet the standards of quality I do my best to attain with each of my creations.

I was so devastated.   The initial wire wrap had turned out so perfectly!   I was afraid a second attempt wouldn’t turn out as well.     I had to put the ring down and just walk away from it.     So, I went shopping.    But, all I could think about was the ring and how I wanted to handle the situation.     I came up with a few thoughts, bounced them off of my husband but in the end I knew what I had to do.

I had to believe in myself and my abilities.    So, I removed the damaged wire and set to rewrapping the ring……..and low and behold it turned out beautifully.

I was happy with myself  and I had one happy customer.

I still have the other blue ring available for purchase.     It is a size 7.    I have not listed it in my Etsy shop, but if you are interested you can contact me and I will create a custom order for you.

I’m out of blue gemstone roses and my original supplier no longer has them in stock.    But I do have many other colors in my stash and anticipate more rose rings coming soon to Judystreehouse.

Sometimes you just have to trust in yourself.     You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Flower Power!

Bright and Cheery!
Bright and Cheery!

Love these!!!!      Just listed these lovely  necklaces today @ Judy’sTreehouse.etsy.com       Limited supply.    Each necklace is unique and lovely.

I found a few of these pretty Mother of Pearl (a.k.a. MOP) carved shell flower pendants a while back and, as is my usual habit, had to get them.     At first, wasn’t sure how I was going to incorporate them into my jewelry designs.

Although the flower pendants are beautiful enough to dangle alone from a long chain, I wanted to create something more unique with them.

It took a while but they finally took form in these colorful and flashy tassel necklaces.     Flashy, bold, colorful statement necklaces!

#tasselnecklaces #handcraftedjewelry #judystreehouse #longeclecticnecklaces #flowerpower #hippiestyle #gypsysoul #bohemian #bohochic #jewelryboutique #shabbychic #flowerjewelry #exoticjewely #statementneckalces #longnecklaces #fashionjewelry #jewelrytrends @judystreehouse