One perk of knowing me well -- or maybe it's a curse; I'm not sure -- is that at some point, you WILL get some free jewelry. Though several of my friends have purchased pieces from me, I never pressure anyone to buy from my shop. I do, however, frequently give out jewelry as gifts for birthdays, holidays... and just because.
Some may think it's "cheap" for me to give something handmade rather than to buy, but it probably costs me MORE when it comes to the cost of labor and materials. Also, we're all adults now. Most of my friends are in their late 40s or early 30s, and already have everything they need. I do give things like gift certificates or clothes, but I figure that I can also give something unique that's from the heart.
I'm not always successful when it comes to choosing a piece that's appropriate for the wearer. I have a pretty good idea of my friends' styles, but sometimes I do miss. All are appreciative, though -- and it's really fun to see them wearing my jewelry, like when my friend Amy wore one of my enamel necklaces to a play we recently attended:
My friends and family have been very supportive of my burgeoning career as a jewelry designer. I just want to show them how thankful I am to have them cheering me on!