I am here, blogging, because a friend pushed me toward it. The same friend urged me to set up a shop on Etsy. (check out her Etsy shop – BleuRidgecreative) And start a Facebook page for my business. Now she has me tweeting, too. And she wants me to learn html so I can code my own webpages. (eep!)
If you read my first blog entry (Introduction to the Paisley Lizard) you already know I started making jewelry because of a friend. Not the same one who cattle-prodded me into using social media to market my wares. No, this is the friend who regularly enabled my bead habit when I didn’t own a car by driving me to jewelry supply stores, local bead society bazaars, and the International Gem and Jewelry Expo. (oh my wallet!)
I started playing with polymer clay because a third friend took me to a “polymer clay 101” class. (she too drove me to bead shows) I learned how to make wrapped loops, jump rings, and caged beads because yet another friend took me to a “wire-wrapping 101” class. That friend continues to recommend design and technique classes by which I can improve my skills and take my creativity to new levels. (Homework? At my age?)
I found the graphic designer (Lauren Williams at OMG designs) who turned my concept for a paisley lizard logo into reality because a friend recommended her. I started making polymer clay buttons because that friend asked if I could make a few (ha!) to accent her fabulous crochet hats, headbands, etc. (check out her work at The Country Crab) Her custom button orders (yes, she keeps them coming) got me back into claying after a two-year hiatus.
If you’re sensing a theme here, it’s that Paisley Lizard exists because of my wonderfully supportive (or enabling) friends. Not only have these friends guided development of my techniques and online presence, they are loyal customers, purchasing my handmade jewelry, buttons, etc., for themselves and as gifts for friends and family. I was beyond honored when one friend commissioned me to design wedding jewelry, first for her sister’s wedding, and then for her own.
Most of my friends receive handmade jewelry or ornaments from me for their birthdays and at Christmas. They show them off and tell all their friends to visit my Etsy store. My friends also shower me with tools of my trades at every gift-giving occasion. I am rather pragmatic and love these practical gifts. I started baking gourmet cupcakes – a different flavor every week – almost two years ago. I’ve been presented with various exotic flavored oils, liquors, adorable cupcake liners, decorating tools, giant mixing bowls, and more.
It may be true that my friends have benefitted from supporting my jewelry-making clay-shaping cupcake-baking obsessions. So what if their motives aren’t entirely selfless. Who doesn’t love one-of-a-kind jewelry and gourmet cupcakes? Paisley Lizard exists because these friends of mine have stood behind me (pushing me into new things), chauffeured me (even after I bought a car – because the Beltway frightens me), sat next to me (fumbling through workshops with me, and helping me “man” tables at craft fairs), and promoted me (spreading the good word about my work). So I humbly thank them all, those mentioned here and the ones not named (you know who you are).
“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”
― Linda Grayson