Well, I've thought and pondered and cogitated and considered, and I have decided. I am closing Pretty Things at the end of December and will no longer be selling jewellery.
This isn't an easy decision but I really think it's the only thing I can do. There are just too many obstacles. I haven't got the money to put into it; I work in the public sector and we've had a pay freeze since 2009 but sadly my rent, travel costs, utilities etc have not been frozen. Higher bills = less money for beads.
And then there's the availability of fairs and markets. There are no fairs local to me which means I have to travel, and that puts my costs up. That's if I can get to the venue by public transport, which isn't that wonderful where I live. I've lost two of my very best fairs when the organisers moved away and no-one else took them up. I've tried to find others but it seems everyone is selling jewellery these days and the best fairs will already have their quota of jewellery stalls.
The cost of materials has rocketed too. Jewellery making is a very popular hobby now. I attended a bead show in October and noticed that a lot of sellers have half-size strands of beads, but sold for what used to be the price of a full strand. And don't let me start on the price of silver!! I spent hardly any money at that show - £4 on some velvet flowers as a gift for a friend, £5 on a strand of lepidolite (which turned out to be appalling quality and pretty much unusable) and I also bought a cabochon as another gift. That's it! I just couldn't find anything I wanted to spend my money on. That's not normal!
So, all things considered, I think it is time to call it a day. I still love making jewellery, but the point of Pretty Things was that it was supposed to be self-financing and above all fun. It never was self-financing but now it's not even so much fun any more.
Anyone know any good macrame tutes? :)