Featured Artisan Spotlight: Nora Price, BeauTeak
Posted by ArtFireContent on 05/11/2011 at 09:53:45
Please start by telling us a little about yourself and your studio.
I live in southern Oregon with my husband of 26 years. We moved here (Cave Junction, OR) in 1995 from southern California. I found a job with a local company in the fall of 1997. It was Fire Mountain Gems. They were still located in Cave Junction at that time. I was a phone representative for them in customer service and found the variety of jewelry components a little overwhelming.
Where did you learn your medium?
In order to serve my phone customers well, I decided to learn all I could about the jewelry components and how they worked. I picked up a small book (still in print) called The Basics of Bead Stringing, a few beads and findings, and began to learn. After a year or so of “play,” I was hooked.
Not wanting to commute an hour and a half each day for work, I left Fire Mountain’s employ three years later when they moved the company to Grants Pass, OR. But I never lost my love for beading and have been working at it ever since. I got up the courage to participate in small local craft shows until, one day, about two years later, I met up with a couple of women who sold their jewelry at juried craft shows up and down the west coast. They determined my work was of a high enough quality to join them, and I spent the next three years participating in various juried shows such as Best of the Northwest, Harvest Festivals in Pleasanton, San Jose, and Ventura, CA, and Art and the Vineyard to name a few.
How did you come to selling online?
The shows were wonderful and fairly profitable, but you could tell that economic problems were taking their toll on people’s expendable cash. The shows were a lot of hard work for the return of your time and efforts. Fewer people came to the shows and, of those that did, fewer of them were buying. The expenses of the major shows were making it impossible to make ends meet. Enter the internet! I got my website together after lots of work. It still isn’t exactly what I want, but at least it is there and I have had sales. But the sales were few and far between.
How did you come to find a home on ArtFire?
Besides continually creating and participating in a couple of local shows each year, I have been working at figuring out inexpensive ways of “getting my name out there.” It does you no good to sell if no one knows where to find your shop. Enter ArtFire! And I am very grateful for having them around. I don’t recall how or where I heard about ArtFire but I liked what I saw: the ease of set-up, and the price of participation. It was worth a shot! I have only sold one item, but I’m willing to wait. My work is quality and worth the price, but I feel I need to have it showcased to a venue that has a need.
Most of the people in my local area can’t afford what I make. If they could, they feel they would not have any place to wear it. I need to showcase my work to women who dress in quality fashion on a regular basis. Most of these women are in larger cities than southern Oregon has to offer. I feel my work would be well accepted in areas like Houston, St. Louis, and Miami; but I don’t have the money to buy advertising space in magazines and newspapers from here to the east coast. So I keep looking for ways to “advertise” without really taking out an ad. Write ups in travel magazines would be great since I live in an area that has a lot to offer to visitors. My husband even built me a wonderful studio and I’ve made myself open to appointment calls. Every little bit helps, but I sure do wish it all would “help” a little sooner than it has. It can be exasperating.