Big Changes for RBD

It has been quite awhile since I have sat down to write a post. I just wanted to update those that are interested in my business, as to what is actually going on since my last post was in May of 2018, and we are in a new year. I cannot believe my mom bought a diner, but that is a title for another blog post down the line.

I (Rhiannon Bethany) am still working at Pageo. My year has been quite busy because I do have different roles there. I do graphic design, social media marketing, and sales among other things. It has been such a rewarding learning experience, being in that environment. And it is probably why I have been too busy to write. I love my job. But as life goes on, doors open and close. And I quite feel I am soon (please don’t ask me when haha) to be shutting the door on my time in Boston. I plan to move to Ct, to be with my boyfriend and to hopefully be closer to the Gemology Institute of America in NYC, my dream for ages now. But we will see the path life actually leads me on, because it has a funny way of not turning out the way we expect.

I plan to keep making and selling my jewelry. I have been in quite a few art shows recently, and for that I feel really blessed. I am taking Jewelry 1 at Metal Werx in Waltham, to help improve my studio habits and fabrication techniques. So you will certainly be seeing a lot of craft improvement I hope. I think that’s all for now. Stay safe y’all.

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How Trade School Changed My Outlook on Education

Not a day goes by that I am not grateful that I attended a trade school, for my high school education. My parents were very concerned, about where I was going to attend school, since they kept me in private education, for most of my life (blah). I know my mother wanted me to attend an all girls school, that would set me up for a future at Harvard, or some other Ivy League college, as was her dream. But that was not mine. One day, when my mother and I were watching television together, we saw a commercial for my high school, and I immediately knew that was where I would fit in. My cousin had attended for construction, and had done quite well. At the time my dream was to attend for culinary arts, but fate chose a different path for me.

At the time when I attended, there were about 14 different shops and we were given a period of about half a year, (one week each), in an exploratory of the different shop choices. We could only pick our top 9 favorite to explore, before we chose. Of course, culinary was at the top of my list, but so was Commercial Art, Auto CAD, and Metal Fab. The exploratory time was very fun, and it changed my perception, of what I wanted in a future career in. My aunt was an artist, and so was my grandmother, so naturally I chose Commercial Art and Design, later to be renamed Design and Visual Communications. And this was an amazing choice. There I learned all manners of fine art, and commercial art, and how to incorporate art and design, into business. My teachers were amazing, and very knowledgeable and I still keep in touch with them today. 

I was also accepted into a Beta Engineering testing program, that replaced my gym and science classes with Engineering and Electronics classes. These were fun and experimental times for me, and the lessons I learned there, have carried into adulthood. I certainly would not be electroplating my jewelry without prior electronics experience. I took part in a program called Skills USA, where trade schools and shops would compete in competitions, with the best and brightest of their skill set competing for gold medals. During this time, I met so many wonderful people, and I learned many "skills" that would translate into my adult life. Without my experiences in trade school, I don't think I would have the confidence to run my own business. I have talked to many people who have just gotten bachelor's degrees after traditional public school, and most can't find jobs. If you have the ability to create a good or service, or a need for one, then you will never be without a job. I crafted my degree and education to fit my life choices, and I think more Americans should rethink traditional education, because it is failing us. Most of the trades will have you trained and certified by the time you graduate, with no prior need for a four year degree. I'm not saying that one should not attend college, but it is certainly not meant for all. 

Thanks for reading!

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New Things to Come for RBD: Casting in Pewter?

Hello again! This week I had the pleasure of visiting the lovely state of Connecticut, while there was absolutely stunning weather. I went with my boyfriend and his family. There I was offered the opportunity, to learn how to cast pewter using moulds. The business was previously used to make chess pieces, and little figurines, but pewter is very easy to melt down, and I would of course love to make jewelry using them.

The only art form my mother was ever into was casting ceramics, and while she was pregnant with me, she cast and painstakingly hand painted, this lovely and very ornate nativity scene. It is the only inheritance, that I really want from her. She is keeping it for me until I buy my first home. When I told her about casting pewter in moulds, she goes: "So it's like ceramics, but with metal?" and I laughed out loud. She also added, "So this has nothing to do with the fact that you were practically born in a ceramics studio, right?" Well, creating runs in my veins.

At this point in time, I know only a little bit about pewter. But I am in the process of learning. I watched this interesting video on youtube and the process seems easy enough, if you have all the tools, and moulds. Pewter melts at a relatively low temperature, which makes it ideal for casting at home. I certainly don't have the space for this in my little home studio now, but these are the plans for the future of RBD. I will post the video below, as well as an example of the Pewter figurines, I got to take home with me. And thank you for reading!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NttWpkcnX8

 

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Photography: A Tool and My Means to Escape

Anyone that has ever met me knows I am not a shy person. We can thank my mother for that. She stuck me in modeling school at age 7, so I would learn how to be confident in myself. She knew I was a nervous child, so she wanted to teach me the skills I needed to succeed in life. I'll always be grateful to her. I do not consider myself a "model" as much as I consider myself a "designer" but I love to make art in all forms, and photography just has a way of letting you be someone else. 

My mother developed my sense of style young, and her best friend is a dressmaker, who used to dress me for fashion shows. I have always been drawn to the accessories though, and I feel they are just as important as the main outfit.

I enjoy being in front of the camera, almost as much as I love being behind it. Planning concepts is such fun. When I was in high school, at Blue Hills Regional Vocational High School, we often would plan scenes, and photoshoots, as well as regularly go out and tour the city of Boston, for our art projects. I use photography to tell a story about my art work. I want people to understand my love of form, texture, and colors.

Not only is Photography my way of speaking to people, it is my way of letting them know how much I value my life. Thank you so much for reading.

I have a few upcoming Photography projects:

 In depth product photoshoots

Implied fine art nudes with jewelry and accessories

(And shhhhhh don't tell, some Levitation photography, can't wait!)

@namastephotography

Attending Art Shows as a Vendor

On the Eve of my first show, around this time last year, my mother and I spent countless hours making sure I had, every single thing I needed prepared. We priced every piece (I brought way too many), we had proper signage, and way too many props. My mother and I love to go to craft shows together, so getting ready to be a part of one, only felt natural. On the big day, I was so pleased by the reaction of the women at this event, that it launched a love affair for me, and I have been trying to perfect my techniques, ever since.

Since my first show last year, I have been in about fifteen shows (give or take), and I have even been invited to a recurring, free monthly show, on Newbury Street in Boston. It's nice not to have to pay a booth fee, or have to look for a show every month. Since I'm still in school, about one a month is all I can handle, anyway. For my fellow artists out there, I recommend you look into the RAW Boston events. I went once as a vendor, and once as a model for one of the artists, and it is an absolutely wonderful networking event. You meet all kinds of artists practicing tons of different mediums. And because I attended this show, I was invited to my monthly Boston event. 

Networking and collaboration are two extremely important tools for small business owners. Online will only help your small business so much. People like to see the face behind the brand. 

So, fifteen shows later and what have I learned for my art show this evening? (I got invited yesterday, and I'm not panicking, because I'm prepared.) I certainly will not over prepare this time. I know I don't need as many pieces, and I don't even need to bring a table. My whole small business fits in one small box (pack light, so break down is easy). ALWAYS BRING YOUR SQUARE READER. I had to cancel my last show because my phone broke and I could not accept credit cards. And always be prepared to answer your customers questions. People are very process oriented, so they want to know how you make your art. Tell them. And always have fun!

I'm attaching an article on the importance of exhibiting at trunk shows. This is especially important for jewelers. Thanks for reading!

https://www.smartinsights.com/lead-generation/event-marketing/4-reasons-exhibit-trade-show/

 

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Failure is Necessary

This week's topic in my Business Innovation class, really struck a chord for me. And that is the concept of failure. We are groomed to view failure in a negative light, but often because failure happens, solutions can also occur. The company that embraces it's failures, and sees it's shortcomings as lessons, will certainly gain the advantage. We all remember how frustrating it was to learn how to ride a bike, or to swim. Maybe you got a few bruises, or swallowed some (gallons of) water, but you eventually learned that lesson. I remember my mother has a very Gung Ho approach to teaching me. She knew I needed to learn how to do things on my own, so she threw me in the deep end. And I learned then and there, how to kick my legs.

It has taken me years, to figure out, that I want to make jewelry. And, my jewelry also was not very pretty right away. (check my early Insta if you don't believe me, https://www.instagram.com/rhiannonbethanydesigns/)  I started school in Graphic Design and now I'm finishing my Degree in Business Management. If that's not all over the place, I do't know what is. I'm also 27 about to finally get my Bachelor's degree. Everyone is on their own path, achieving their goals at their own pace.

Nobody likes practice, but over time you can discipline yourself to become good at what you love. It just takes time, effort, and work. You can also fail, because of the shortcomings of others, and that's okay as long as you learn from the situation and move on. I found a wonderful Forbes article interviewing Dr. Sam Collins who was named "Top 200 Women to Impact Business & Industry" by Her Majesty, the Queen of England, she goes on to discuss why failure is essential to success. The article will be believe if you want to read it. And below is a photo of some of my not so perfect pieces. I did learn some new things about Electroplating, even though I wasted a bit of expensive material. Live and learn.

Thank you for reading as always!

https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamarruda/2015/05/14/why-failure-is-essential-to-success/#6cd401fa7923

 

Some failed pieces, because every piece cannot be perfect  I did learn a thing or two about what not to do from these pieces

Some failed pieces, because every piece cannot be perfect

I did learn a thing or two about what not to do from these pieces

Excited to work in Fine Jewelry Sales

It has taken quite a lot of work and perseverance, to get to this point in my jewelry career. It was my goal to attend the Gemological Institute of America, so I could one day get a job in fine jewelry sales (I still plan on taking classes); but it looks like that day has come way sooner than I ever imagined. Jewelry is a lifetime of honing craft and learning different techniques, and there are many different avenues to specialize in, because of how broad the industry is. Since I am coming into jewelry from a designer and a salesperson's perspective, I have a broad variety of career paths to choose from. But I still hear my dads voice ringing in my ears: BE YOUR OWN BOSS. And that is the future goal. But I cannot get to that goal, until I learn everything I possibly can about this competitive and fickle industry.

 Pageo Fine jewelry in Boston's acclaimed fashion central, Newbury Street has offered me a jewelry sales consultant position. The best part of the job is that they are willing to teach me. It is a family run business, but they have professionals on staff, who have been in the industry for years. I am so excited.

As for Rhiannon Bethany Designs, I will still attend my monthly shows, and you can certainly commission any pieces that you like. But I am going to be devoting a majority of my time to selling and learning about exquisite, one-of-a kind jewelry from some of the best designers in the world. I cannot believe my passion is being realized. I am truly grateful. It is important to work hard for what you want. Be sure to come visit me sometime on Newbury Street, I am sure I am going to want to be there all the time. If you are looking for the store, it is across from Cartier, on the basement level.

I also have a free art show this Friday, April 6 from 5 to 8pm on 100 Mass Ave (corner of Newbury Street and Mass Ave) FREE FOOD AND BOOZE!!! Come get your art on! *Show Cancelled*

Every story has a beginning! Below is the link about Pageo and the start of their family boutique.

https://www.pageo.com/our-story/

 

 

 

 

Paraiba studded Mermaid

Paraiba studded Mermaid

What does the future look like for RBD?

Thanks for reading guys. When I started Rhiannon Bethany Designs, I had no definable goals as to what I wanted the future to look like for my tiny business. But as time passes, values are created by the things that are important to us. Of course, I have plans to expand my business by attending more shows, marketing online, and networking with other creatives. But more than that, I want to take the skills I have ultimately been blessed with, and I want to give them back to the community. I want to partner with local men and women, who have the same vision. I am looking to volunteer some of my time at either Rosie's Place or another local shelter. Giving back is fulfilling. The world needs more kindness.      http://www.rosiesplace.org/give

The next real business venture for RBD may be in the form of a Kiosk. My father always wanted a hot dog cart, and he grew up telling me he wanted one. I also went to flea markets, yard sales, and craft shows all the time with my mother and grandmother, so you can imagine why I choose to sell at them for a living. I always noticed the jewelry tables getting the most attention. I think a kiosk will give me mobility, constancy, and more room for inventory. There is a jewelry cart on the corner of Park Street that has been there for thirty years. I need to find a killer location like that.

https://www.amazon.com/Unknown-Cart-King-EZ-Cart/dp/B01FKPYECY/ref=sr_1_fkmr2_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522245427&sr=8-2-fkmr2&keywords=cart+portable+jewelry+kiosk

I think I would be able to man a jewelry kiosk by myself. I honestly would need to think about the location a little bit. Possibly an outdoor mall (I believe the indoor mall is dead). Maybe I could post up somewhere in the city, but I have to get a permit to do so. I also am going to be forming an LLC just as soon as I have finished school. Five more classes to go. 

Theft is a huge thing in jewelry, so of course I would be armed with locked cases, and other safety devices. My mother will always maintain that I put safety first, so wherever I choose to locate my jewelry kiosk, it must be in an incredibly safe location.

Thanks for reading about the upcoming plans for RBD. Be sure to check out my free show, Friday April 6 from 5 to 8pm at 100 Massachusetts Ave, Boston (Corner of Newbury Street)  Buzz the fifth floor FREE FOOD, FREE BOOZE, And some awesome local artists. Be sure to check it out!

 

 

Jewelry kiosk

Modeling to Promote Designs

Lately I have been on a mission to bring brand awareness to my own designs, but also to meet other local creatives that are on their own paths to success. Networking is so important in business and I would venture to say that setting up contacts in the industry is almost as important as sales. I was lucky enough to receive training at the high school level on the importance of brand awareness, coupled with commercial design. Andy Warhol did it best, he taught us you can use art to sell products.

I also want to bring awareness to other sustainable brands that are focusing on the long run and the future of this world. We have one planet and we treat it like crap. I personally love the mission of companies like 4Ocean that have sustainability built into their core brand. For every bracelet sold they remove 1 pound of trash from the ocean (most of you have probably heard of them).

https://4ocean.com/pages/coral-reefs?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIqLyMwuDu2QIVnYWzCh2eTwI5EAAYASAAEgLCfvD_BwE

Something that has been important to me personally is the preservation of our homeless vets, women, and children. My mother has been in law enforcement her whole life and she herself is a vet, and it pains me to see the horrible conditions of some people after having served us so diligently. She was a rape investigator in the military and I have heard countless stories of abused and battered women, and I want to make it my mission to help. Of course this is a long term goal of mine, but I plan on opening shelters designed to teach skills to people so they can eventually join the work force. Whether it be carpentry, art, automotive skills, you name it we need to bring trade skills back to the people of our country. I was blessed to go to a technical school where I was able to learn design as well as engineering. If we were to expose more kids to free hands on learning, I believe we could produce a better work force. Guys please let me know what you think. These of course are long term goals of mine. But I would really like to know your opinions and any ideas you might have. Below is an article about how teaching the homeless basic skills can greatly improve their lives.

https://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2014/aug/22/literacy-tutor-homelessness-skills-reading

Thank you so much for taking the time to read!

Small Business