Saturday, April 16, 2011

Embracing Change

Timing is everything........

When I display my jewelry for shows I like to share the stories behind the pieces. This past Culture Crawl I had my Love Story Necklace displayed on one of my mannequins. Pinned to her torso I had my favourite quote by Mary Oliver,

"To live in this world, you need to be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones
like your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go, to let go."

People stop and they read it, and for some people it resonates. I had one woman come up to me and say "it's nice to see a designer who gets that jewelry is all about love"

It sounds so simple, but it means so much to me. Jewelry is about love.

This afternoon when the sun was shining I took my sketchbook to the park up my street and I started sketching new jewelry designs. I just started moving the pencil and drawing what ever was hitting me....but nothing brilliant was hitting me. Then I started writing....."It's always about the emotion for me, the thought, the moment, the feeling that inspires the piece.......So where am I at today? What am I feeling?.......I'm embracing change......I'm waiting with great respect for the Cherry Blossom trees on my street to bloom........I'm being open to the possibilities......and I'm letting a little bit of hope back into my life."

After connecting with where I was at, I started sketching again....and the designs came to me.

Timing is everything......

Patsy Kolesar

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Getting Ready for the SNAG Conference

At the end of May I will be attending my first ever SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmith's) Conference. To say that I'm excited doesn't even start to describe how I'm feeling about doing this. I live, breathe, sleep, inhale, think about, talk about, love - making jewelry. To be surrounded by my peers and mentors for 4 days talking about all things jewelry art and business is going to feel incredible.

I will be a part of the trunk show which features emerging artists, which is a little scary for me but so very very exciting.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How The Rise In Silver Prices Will Effect My Business

I've talked a lot about fear on my blog and about trying to move beyond fear.......

Lately I have been stuck in a pretty deep swamp of fear.

You see my industry is changing. When I started out in my jewelry career only 3 short years ago the cost of silver, my metal of choice, was around $18 an ounce. Today silver is at an all time high of $38 an ounce and it is only expected to continue rising in price. They are anticipating that it could get as high as $60 an ounce by the end of this year and in the next couple of years could rise as high as $250 an ounce.

I use sterling silver in every single piece of jewelry I make. Sterling silver chain, clasps, earring hooks, posts, wire, and sheet. It's all silver. Which means that every single component of my pieces has more then doubled in cost and is going to continue to rise. Which is really freaking scary.

When I talk about this in my circle,the average response is always "why don't you just raise your prices?" and yes, I will have to raise my prices. But this is a bigger issue then just raising my prices. Raising my prices to the extent that I will have to if silver prices get as high as predicted could completely change the market that I'm selling to. It could mean that my current market, my amazing customers that I have been selling to for the past number of years might no longer be able to buy my work, or will at least have to buy less often, or really think before buying. I really value my customers and my stores so thinking about them no longer being my target market is scary. I worry that this rise in silver prices will push out some of the businesses at my level in the industry if we don't prepare for it.

I feel like I need to get out of my frozen in fear state of mind and be proactive and protective of my business that I've built. So I've come up with some options and would love some feedback and thoughts from my customers, my fellow jewelers, my peers, other business owners, mentors, smart people, and Donald Trump (because I'm pretty sure he reads my blog).

Here are the options:

1. Continue growing my line as it is and increase my prices as needed.

2. Change to plated silver components in my jewelry, possibly even silver plated enameled pieces to keep my prices in the same price range they are in.

3. Explore alternative materials......base metals, fabrics..etc to try to keep costs down and prices low.

4. Create a gold line. Move higher end with my work and embrace a higher end market.

5. Move to Argentina, find a husband named Pablo and drink wine all day and all night.

If you want to share some feedback, ideas, tips, or just have a conversation with me please comment below or send me an email to

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What If The Cherry Blossom's Didn't Fully Bloom This Year?

The Cherry Blossom's on my street are about to burst into bloom. Bringing spring, new growth, and new opportunities with them. I crave this time of year. When February gets so dark and gloomy I dream of the pink cherry blossoms that will soon be on my doorstep. Other streets are already blooming. I wait with patience and respect for my street to catch up with the rest............Then I started thinking.......The cherry blossoms only get to bloom in their full pink loveliness for such a short time and then they are gone. Then their tree endures our fall, and winter. Hard months for all of us. Especially hard for me. So what if the blossoms on these trees are reluctant to bloom again to their fullest? What if they just can't do it again knowing that the winds will blow them down, some people will walk past without even looking at them, and they will all fall down again leaving the branches bare to endure the pains of winter? What if they needed more time to heal from what our extra grey winter threw at them this year? What if they just didn't feel like fully blooming again? What if they needed a little longer to protect themselves from being so open, exposed and vulnerable?

New Cherry Blossom Necklaces......made with hope.

cherry blossom necklace
enamel necklace
enamel and silver necklace