December 2013: I never really sit and think about the impact my crafting has. Today, I shipped almost 100 pendants. That number represents 100 people who will be opening one of MY pieces of art on Christmas. 100 faces that will be lit up by something that my two hands created.
Nothing makes me happier. I generally run on about 6 hours of sleep. I deal with rude supply distributors, I spend hours making, photographing, editing and listing my items.....then several days advertising those releases. I interpret the visions for custom orders, even when the customer has no idea what it is that they really want. I work while my child destroys my studio and touches everything that she shouldn't. I sometimes work on a piece for several hours, only to end up breaking it while trying to add the finishing touches. I've cursed, spilled my coffee, dropped expensive crystals and shattered them...
But I've also heard the stories of thousands of people. I've helped customers from all over the world create a piece of jewelry that they could never find in the retail world. I've befriended hundreds of other shops, some that I can say that I still learn from and idolize. I've learned about other countries and what themes are popular in them, and learned a lot from the people who live there. I have shipped to all 50 states as well as every continent other than Antarctica. I've made keys to commemorate lost pets, grandparents, husbands, and children. I've made keys to auction or donate for schools, animal shelters, wildlife rescue organizations, nursing homes, cancer research, military functions and religious events.
I've stressed, I've smiled, I've yelled, and I've cried. But when someone sends a photo of themselves wearing one of my keys.... or sends a message saying "It is even more beautiful in person!",.... I know at the end of the day, I've done my job. Keys aren't everything that I have in life. But I feel that everyone on this planet has a job or contribution that they are meant to fulfill while they are here on earth. Maybe I won't save lives, build skyscrapers, or release a hit music video in my life. Maybe I won't ever become a household name.
But for those who do love and support my business; those who encourage me, leave nice comments, positive feedback, or share my art.... You are my reason to "be" and to do what I do. As a military wife, I have a hole in my heart around the holidays. I should be with my family, and 3,000 miles is a long way from Ohio. But I know my husband has a duty in life that is part of a much bigger picture. I feel like fulfilling the visions and dreams of others is my biggest contribution to this world....and in turn, the love of my thousands of fans truly lightens my heart this time of year.
If I ever seem stressed, it is because I truly truly am. But stress comes with the territory and I wouldn't want to live any other way right now. I want each and every person to know, whether you have purchased something from me, commented once or twice on facebook, followed me from day one, or have just stumbled across my page and are reading this... I love each and every one of you and am so grateful to have so many fans standing beside me.