What Jewelry Would You Be Most Likely To Buy This Holiday Season

Friday, December 29, 2006

Member Guidelines: Please Read If You May Be Interested In Joining

The Art Jewelry Collective runs on an artist co-op model, which means it relies on its members to contribute as active participants in its activities, financing, group discussion, and labor required to achieve its goals. As in larger society, a collective is made up of a group of people who come together to benefit both themselves and each other, operating on the basic premise that what helps the group helps each individual as well. Although some members may gravitate more towards one of the group's projects while others take more of an interest and enthusiasm in another, the end result of having a group in which all members play a productive and particapatory role is that all members ultimately gain more.

You should be aware that although there are some groups and organizations in which you pay a yearly membership fee and receive a newsletter and benefits while remaining mostly an outside observer, this is not one of them.

A Word About Dual Membership:
We realize that there will be some members who belong to several marketing groups in addition to the AJC. In some cases this can be an assett while in other instances it may be problematic. Please think carefully and assess whether you have the time and committment to offer and whether the groups you belong to are all working in the same direction. If demographics are vastly different, "more" advertising may not necessarily mean "better" and your efforts may end up scattered and spread too thin. Keep in mind that belonging to several joint advertising groups will cost you more money and will require more time in addition to family, outside employment and social life committments. If you feel you can juggle more than one group and be fully present in this one we welcome you.

As a member of the AJC you will be expected to take on some level of responsability and become a valuable team member on whom your teammates can rely, as you can rely on the others within the group. It is often said that instruments when playing in harmony make more beautiful music than they possibly can alone.

Whether imposed by the culture, or innate, artists have historically been known as solitary creatures, but our survival not only as artists, but as people depends on our ability to form and maintain connections with others. This is never more crucial than in lean times. Contrary to what some may believe, you don't lose what you have by reaching out to others. In fact it is just the opposite. It is absolutely true that there is strength in numbers, yet still there are people who choose to go it alone thinking erroneously that they preserve more by not giving anything away. What makes a successful co-op is that when all members are giving 100% nobody is left without.

Imagine for instance a large boulder. It weights, say 200 lbs. You could try to lift it yourself, but most likely not only would you not be successful, but you would also hurt yourself in the process. If you asked 5 of your friends to help move it out of the way the weight would be evenly distributed and no one person would endure too much strain. With enough people lifting that huge rock together you hardly realize that it weighs 200 lbs because the weight each person is lifting is considerably less.

The same principle can be applied to advertising. The more people who participate and the more they put into it, the greater the return. Those who opt out lose something by not participating, and the rest of the group misses out what the inactive members might have brought to the table, thus must work even harder to achieve their goal.

When all enter into such a venture with an equal committment, what each gets in return is immeasurable. More important and lasting than any monetary compensation, people often find that things they only dreamed of doing alone, with a group become possible.

Current and Past Group Projects and Activities:

* A 2007 AJC Calendar
* Drawing For Free Pair of Bead-woven Earrings
* Featured Members' Opportunity To Buy Copies at Bulk Rate from Printer
* Regular Treasury Lists Posted on Etsy of members' work
* AJC Postcards Printed
* Group Etsy Store

What We Have Planned:

* Print Ad committee
* Online Ad Committee
* Gallery Procurement Committee
* Website Maintenance Committee
* Welcoming and Membership Committee
* Direct Mail Committee

Advertising/Marketing ventures
* Developing a Print Ad
* Placing Print Ad in 3 issues of Ornament Magazine
* Developing a Directory of Galleries/Stores Compatible with Members' Work
* Submitting Members' Work/Placing in Galleries/Stores
* Online Advertising With Banner Ads, Link Exchanges, and New Website
* 2008 Calendar

If you are interested in membership, please provide the following information in convo on Etsy to Pippit Carlington (Giftbearer);

Name of Business
Your Full Name
Mailing Address
Phone Number
Etsy store link
E-mail address
List any special skills you have that might be helpful to the group.

At that point I'll take a look at your work. There are three possible outcomes:

* Accepted
* Denied
* Deferred; You'll be given suggestions for improvement in order to meet membership criteria and acceptance will be contingent upon those improvements. We feel that if one is truly right for the group they will be willing to work on these areas.

Please understand that durability and quality of workmanship are two principles we take very seriously and that deficits in one or both of those areas could hurt your business as well as the businesses of other artists we represent.

If your work is a fit with our demographic, and meets durability and workmanship standards you'll be asked to send your banner and a short bio including your name and etsy shop link by convo on Etsy to Kelli Coaxum (Kelliope) to add you to the members page of the Wordpress blog.

AJC asks its members to submit items to the shop to raise funds for future advertising/membership ventures. These items don't have to be expensive, but they should be quality jewelry, other high-quality hand-made items, or commercial/handmade supplies. When an item donated to the group shop sells, AJC will take a percentage to be placed into the group account to cover the Etsy and PayPal fees. The remaining amount will go into your personal AJC account (which acts as a credit toward advertising you participate in). Please submit item(s) as soon as you receive word that you will be accepted, as late submissions will hold up the group from reaching its financial goals in a timely manner, thus delaying advertising for everyone.

Winnie Bahr (Alexandrasjewelry) is our Treasurer and she is the one managing the group shop. If accepted, please send your bio to her also and description and photo of item(s) you would like to donate. Her e-mail address is Winnie@beckerglove.com

Each seller ships their donated items when they sell, and Winnie will PayPal the shipping fee to the particular seller.

We also have a Flickr group that we encourage members to join at http://www.flickr.com/groups/artjewelrycollective/ where you can post your pictures. Note: To be a member of the Flickr group you must first be approved in the overall group through the process outlined here. After you receive notification of acceptance, please go to the Flickr link, make a request, and either Kelli or I will approve you there as well.

When I receive your information and all the other requirements have been completed I'll add you to our group e-mail and our membership list.

Once accepted, each member is expected and encouraged to continue to improve and develop themselves as an artist. You will find our other members very supportive in that process. Please don't hesitate to ask if you need help with anything.


Pippit Carlington
The Art Jewelry Collective

Friday, September 29, 2006

Update on Group Composition, Format, and Future Plans

The group has been hard at work developing its advertising plans, and assigning organizational roles. We are looking into various options in both online, and print advertising, as well as the possibility of opening a complete website to host members' bios, jewelry photos, and links to Etsy. We would like for the site to be fully self-supporting from member contributions and/or adspace rental in a number of creative forms.

We now have a Treasurer, and also a source for a low-cost professional ad to be drawn up, the design of which can then be used for many future online and print purposes.

Committees are being planned to work on various facets of marketing, including researching and attracting a list of gallery clients to Etsy, promo material for show-packets, and identifying and marketing to other untapped demographic populations other than age who are ready, willing, and able to purchase art jewelry, (just to name a few things that are in the works).

We are developing a growing list of ad forms, contracts, and media kits, forming important relationships with ad representatives in a number of places, and assessing which advertising will give us the most bang for our buck, and in which order.

Please feel free to look around at the Etsy online store links of our members below. We hope you will consider shopping with us for those special people on your Christmas gift list. A variety of exciting styles are represented.

To New Viewers:
If this is the first time you have been to Etsy (a wonderful online mall for all things hand-made), please take a minute to set up your simple, secure, (and Free) buyer account. Sign-up can be accessed at the top of any page of entry.

Group Members (48 as of June 1, 2008)