Thursday, December 9, 2010

My new bio ... not B.O.

 I decided that my last bio stunk, like B.O. Here's the new one:

"Gritgoods" is a play on my real name, Margaret Goodson, but my tag line "get some Grit in your Goods" has multiple meanings! Literally the Grit is the gunmetal amidst the Goods - semi-precious stones and sterling. In addition to the unlikely pairing of gunmetal and silver, my designs also include pairings of natural materials with stones. As to the figurative translations ... there are many and I leave it up to the buyer to find their own meaning.

Gritgoods was born from the desire to create jewelry that brings flare to the traditional and good taste to the ordinary. You will find my designs to be versatile, for everyday wear and fancy nights out, affordable and practical. By hand forming most of my sterling silver ear wires, and using lever backs and kidney shaped ear wires, my earrings don't fall out! Lobster clasp closures, large gauge jump rings, and hand-formed double looped links also ensure a feeling of security while wearing my jewelry. I keep my jewelry affordable because I'm also a special education teacher and can appreciate those who want to support handmade, but may not have the deep pockets for 'fine art'. I have taken a metalsmithing class but prefer not to go that route because of the expenses to myself and my fans.

I have a long-time appreciation for handmade Goods that started with getting handmade Christmas ornaments every year from my family. My Grandma painted canvases and gourdes, made ornaments, small baskets and even did some wood working. My Mom paints silk, my sister is a photographer and web designer, and my aunts make jewelry, hand painted tiles, baskets, and pen and ink drawings. I draw inspiration from my artistic family and also from the area in which I live - western North Carolina is full of talent and beauty. I originally came here in 1998 to receive my BA in Art (concentration in ceramics! go figure) and have lived here since.

Gritgoods makes every effort to have a low impact on the environment and buy locally. My business cards, tissue paper, and gift boxes are all made of 100% recycled material. I have a local supplier for stones, buy many supplies from my neighboring state, Tennessee, and also support many Etsy supplies sellers. I buy less than 5% of my supplies overseas. I keep sterling bits for recycling and support local movements like the Asheville Grown Business Alliance and Just Economics. Gritgoods is also a member of the Asheville Etsy Street Team.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Grit Greatness

Just the other day at a friend's house I found myself a little sad. She said to me "it's so cool that you wanted to make jewelry and you're making it happen!" and I found myself thinking 'it's not going that well' and 'I haven't really done much lately'. Well, those thoughts whipped my but back in gear.

I am now back in the flow, feeling like things are going my way. I keep getting repeat customers at the shop, I was able to get into The Big Crafty, and starting next week I will have a small space at the Kress Emporium. Wow. It's amazing what I can get done when I put my mind to it!!

And now I can do one of my favorite things - shop for beads and make jewelry!!

Keep on keepin' on.

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's SHOW Time

Spring is here (though with today's 30 degree temps you'd never know), which marks the start of some big festivals, shows, shindigs, extravaganzas ... etc. It's time to spend time outdoors with friends and family eating ice cream, smelling flowers, listening to frogs croak, and buying handmade crafts! Applications for us vendors start early in the year, and some were even due at the end of last year, and now begins the reception of acceptance emails, rejection emails, and actual events. So far I have applied to several events. LEAF did not accept the Goods, but hopefully with this years new fancy white Caravan tent set-up, I can send them a better photo for next year's LEAF. I applied to Bele Chere in July, but have yet to hear back. The deadline for The Big Crafty was days ago and I just squeaked in under the wire with that application. AND the first actual event for Gritgoods this year will be the Durham Art Walk. It's in Durham. Duh. Downtown there will be 20-30 indoor vending areas for handmade goods. I will set up shop at Morgan Imports which is on the West side. This will be my first attempt at this show and I'm really looking forward to it. The DAW coincides with Duke's parents weekend, so we should have a lot of downtown foot traffic that weekend. So if you're in the vicinity, or would like to take a trip to explore what downtown Durham has to offer these days, come out on Saturday April 17th 10am-5pm, or Sunday April 18th 1-5pm.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Gritgoods is conquering the world ...

... one pair of earrings at a time. That is to say - I just sold a pair of earrings to someone in Australia!!! Aside from selling to my sister in Switzerland, sales out of the country happen ... never. Not only that, but the earrings are a gift for someone in her wedding. That just makes me want to hug myself and say "awwww" as if I just saw a baby bunny rabbit.

It just so happens that I'm celebrating with the man of my life, drinking limoncello bought overseas!!

My mantra of the month - "My life works beautifully" ... and it does.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gritgoods Knits

Watch out world! I learned to knit (again); several people have taught me in my 29 years, but this time I actually went home, bought needles, yarn and practiced. Amazing how practice helps with retention. I have now made two scraps of dark blue crap, a fandangled cowl (which as far as I know is a scarf that you just put on over your head), and a traditional scarf with autumn colors. All are imperfect, but pretty darn good for a beginner.

Then I learned the purl stitch (was using only the knit stitch). I decided to take a chance and pattern my stitches to create a "V" formation on a new scarf (sage colored). It's working!! There are a lot of mistakes, but it is pretty cool if I may say so myself.I will upload a picture when it's done.

So, this is why Gritgoods, is "Gritgoods Designs" ... my future lies not just in jewelry, but in many mediums: pencil drawings, paintings, yarn, ceramics and jewelry.

Until I get better, here is an example of someone else's work that I find tooooo cute!! There are many Etsian knitters I admire.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Variety of Favorites

As a jewelry designer I like to sit and design new things rather than sit and make the same thing over and over again. The other day it occurred to me to make earrings similar to a pair I've been wearing for about 3 years! I've always called them one of my favorite pairs, designed by me, and now I'm making them in more varieties! The originals have amazonite and tridacna, which is a deep sea shell, but what I really love about them is the length and the way they swing. I feel so sexy when my earrings brush my neck in a breeze or as I turn my head. Another great thing about these earrings in particular, is the use of a little seed at the bottom. Its teardrop shape is a perfect end to the slender style. My sister brought the seeds to me from Thailand. They have straw-like innards that I have to poke out before fitting my headpin through the seed's hole. Poking out the innards and matching them for size, shape and color is time consuming, but well worth the unique flavor it gives these special earrings. Although they are different from the typical Gritgoods signature look, they are Gritgoods originals and very unique. They are also one-of-a-kind! Be on the look out for more long earrings in the Etsy shop. And if you have any suggestions to name them, let me know.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Valentine's is Coming Early This Year

Never have I been so excited to celebrate Valentine's Day. I have already designed and made new pairs of earrings. All are red, or have a hint of red, the color of love (and blood... I'm just sayin'). Included in the new designs are a Gritgoods famous pair of cluster earrings, made with sterling silver and bright red coral. Coral is about as good as it gets for materials that are bright, deep, dark gorgeous red. I also did some Gritgoods hoops with coral, and made a simple sterling pair with the lovely carved coral flowers I like to use. With half the pairs I went back to Gritgoods old style and used dynamic coral cupolini to top off other stones. And that Italian word brings me to the reason I am so excited about Valentine's Day. Lucky me: my boyfriend is going to Italy for work, for 4 weeks! And I get to join him for the last week! We will be near Rome and travel into Tuscany for a couple of days. As an art major I am well aware of the major art pieces in Rome and plan to see as many as possible while I'm there. Caravaggio's work is high on my must-see list, in addition to the traditional Sistine Chapel, the Basilica, and the Colosseum. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world right now. There's nothing like a planning a trip to Italy to feel inspired to create works of art while at home. Here's a sneak peek of what's to come in my Etsy shop. And keep in mind, with my departure date set as the 9th of February, all Valentine's Day present purchases must be made by the 5th!! Please Excuse the poor picture quality ... it's just a peek!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Turtles love the little things in life

This morning I woke up to find on my facebook page a post about my Etsy shop featured on Etsy. I stared at it for a while, trying to remember when I posted that. Well ... I didn't! Of course, being raised in a safety-first family, I changed my login password first, fearing someone hacked my account. Then I checked my Etsy shop and it all became clear. 300+ views on this bracelet and 20+ new people who "heart" my shop .... I was featured on the front page! This happens to some Etsy sellers weekly if not daily, but this is my first time being shown on the front page! Everyone who visited between 7-8am this morning saw my bracelet front and center without having to navigate to my shop specifically. So I went to the Etsy community, dowloaded a little picture to post on my item that says "this item was featured on thr front page of Etsy," smiling the whole way. These are the little things in the life of a retail shop. In reality my business should be featured somewhere daily, make a lot of sales daily etc.etc. But this is part time work to me, that I visualize being full time in the future. I consider myself the turtle (as opposed to the hare) taking my time, celebrating small successes, and pacing myself to enjoy the journey. After 3 years I am only up to 93 sales in my Etsy shop, and still just as proud to own it as I was when I started.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Customers

Gritgoods is looking forward to meeting with a possible new client in the next couple of weeks. Not a date set yet, but I'm sure they want to meet (as opposed to the last client). This client has about 6 stores in the Asheville area, and I'm sure my Goods would fit in well with their look.

Gritgoods is making New Year's resolutions to continue getting organized so that marketing can be more streamlined. Gritgoods is all for making good choices for festivals to attend this year and hopes to meet a lot of new cool artists!

Here's wishing you all a productive year in 2010!