Important Brown Dog Studio Tidbits

Thursday, July 16, 2020

more studio opening...

So in June...we did our best normal in the studio! What does that even look like?

One virtual show, hosted by Des Moines based Vintage and Made Fair and a Studio Trunk Show! A whole lotta beauties released onto the website...I created special collections for each of the shows, curated from studio favorites (including every single piece of the gorgeousness found in my own wrist stack!) and new additions to my Display Case Jewelry...can we all ooh and ah over gemstone and sterling earrings? I continue to rearrange collections on the website, but I'm pleased with the changes thus far...

Thank you to everyone who joined me during the studio FB live sessions, shopped on the website, and came to the studio for your reserved shopping session! You make it possible for me to keep making the designs I dream... up! Real Studio Trunk Shows!

First... July 30-Aug 1 I'm throwing open the studio doors!!!
Shopping open to all, no reservations needed, Friday July 31 (noon-8pm) and Saturday August 1 (11-3pm)
Shopping by reservation Thursday July 30 and early Friday and Saturday.

Masks required for all who enter the studio...If you have special health concerns or just want to make sure I can devote time to just you, I ask that you consider the reserved sessions.
You'll need to be on the studio e-mail list to receive an invite/address for the studio.*

The collections from my previous virtual shows and the June Trunk Show will be available, as well as a very large selection of SALE items. 

So here's the SCOOP on the studio's current sale items...

They're really great...I have been clearing out oodles of older styles, many of them have been appearing on the website under the SALE items category. In addition to sale glass charms (which aren't even on the website), I have been clearing out some sterling rings and ALL THE SPINNER RINGS, almost all of my resin (want to make more!), all the little metal charms that used to be on my "silver ribbons", license plate letter jewelry, more leather cuffs and SO MANY items that I've set aside to make room for whatever newness I'm creating. With the exception of my sale rack bracelets and necklaces that currently have a special place in the studio, I have plans for the majority of the sale items soon after this show. They can't live in the studio forever...

In other should come shop the new collections AND if you've been longing for spinner rings, little stamped bits and anything else on the sale page...get them while you can! 

In other news...

Look for an upcoming auction format...thinking weekly? any "votes" for day of the week?

Weekly??? Facebook Lives...or does anyone really need that much of me? Maybe "shop talk" or showcasing something I'm working on?

"Pop-up" studio travel??

Next Studio Trunk Show...Sarah's Jewelry Box...offering designs based on my own wrist stack, necklace styles, as well as selling some one-of-a-kind projects from jewelry retreats and cleaning out my private collection. 

*Remember that subscribing to studio emails gives you access to Studio Trunk Shows AND automatically enters you in the monthly random-number giveaway, announced in the email!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

the SHOWS must go on...June

Here we a year like no other, I have two (virtual) shows scheduled for June. For the time being, this is my new normal; all shows I regularly attend have been cancelled through at least August, and several through the end of year! (Please note that June Junkstock IS happening, but as I do not normally do that show, I opted not to try to squeeze in. JS is planning to offer some other options for those of us who were to be in the May event...I'll keep you updated!)

I have looked at ways to provide the best online experience for virtual shows...I know my studio friends will be patient with me as I bumble along! I'm certainly open to your sweet suggestions.

First up! Vintage and Made Fair's Virtual Summer Edition June 12-15. I have participated in this Des Moines area show several times in the past. It is one of the home-iest shows I have ever amazing combination of artists, vintage dealers, crafters, live music and food trucks. The virtual show's platform is on the VAMF Facebook page. You will be able to get a taste of a normal VAMF event with live music performances which will take place on the FB page...each vendor will have a photo with links provided to take you to his or her shopping page (I don't have my photo link yet, I will be adding it soon). Please note that all sales will be through individual vendors...VAMF is not having a live event to sell vendors' wares.

Here's a run-down of how to interact/shop with Brown Dog Studio (ME) during the virtual event.

  • On the VAMF Facebook event page This page is GREAT if you want to take advantage of more of the virtual event beyond just my studio. You will have to scroll through 70+ participating artists and vendors to find the photo/link for Brown Dog Studio. The Brown Dog Studio section on the VAMF FB page allows you to comment/ask questions...and that link takes you to...
  • Brown Dog Studio's website...I have two main things set up for you here...FIRST, an evolving "how-to" page that explains my participation in the virtual event, including a schedule JUST FOR THE STUDIO, (including my Facebook Live schedule). SECOND...SHOPPING!!!, I have created a special collection for the studio, especially with this weekend's virtual event in mind. THE COLLECTION IS CURRENTLY BEING LOADED AND EDITED...IT WILL GO LIVE AT 9AM FRIDAY JUNE 12! You are more than welcome to shop the entire website, but this collection will include several brand new items, studio favorites and some discontinued sale items. Like my previous virtual shows I will offer a free local pick up option for paid website purchases, as well as single shipping payment, in case you decide to shop throughout the only pay shipping once!
  • Brown Dog Studio's FB page...This will be the most interactive part of the virtual show. I will have Facebook Live sessions each day (see schedule here) in order to show and model jewelry, take questions and help with custom orders. 
I'll be very available throughout the weekend, as if I were set up in person. I bounce around to all of the studio's social media accounts and the VAMF page, but I highly recommend that if you posed a question and you haven't heard back from me...message me on Brown Dog Studio's FB page in case your comment or question got hidden or overlooked. 

This format worked very well for last month's virtual Junkstock show in which I participated. Hopefully I have worked out a few kinks!

June 25-28 Brown Dog Studio Virtual Trunk Show...This show will be very similar to the Mother's Day edition I hosted online last month, but I'm kicking it up a few notches as I figure out what works best! Watch for a "how-to page" on the website, a special collection for the event (several items JUST in time for this show!), give-aways and FB lives (including our preview party Thursday evening...get ready for a whole-lotta Sarah lol). NEW!!! Barring any new virus constraints (pooh...I said the V word!), I will be adding RESERVED IN-PERSON SHOPPING. More details will come after this week, but I will be offering reservations on the website for 30-minute shopping sessions during the show (on the hour so there is no overlap) for you and a friend. I'm very excited to add this dimension to shows. If it works out well, I may offer a few sessions periodically between events. 

Other studio news...use of drop box is working out well for order pick ups. Don't be offended if I remind you a few times to find the box next to studio and NOT at our front door. My family (some of whom are currently working from home and are often on conference calls) have been instructed NOT to come to the door to direct you. PLEASE give the same instructions to husbands who come to pick up orders lol.

Friday, April 10, 2020

getting "up and running"

If I've learned anything over the past three weeks, it's that a willingness to adapt and the realization  that everyone else's gameplay is also penciled in GOES A LONG WAY.

I've organized and made lists and timelines...set the lists aside...worked on orders...lost myself in some GORGEOUS new work that I'm not sure how or when to roll out right now...stopped in the middle of the day to participate in online Mass or devotions...gotten crafty with non-studio work...gone all starry-dreamy-eyed over some more awesome gems that are currently sitting atop sketches of designs I have planned...engaged in much-needed online talk-time with other artists/creatives...bought more gemstones and silver (ha!)

But I haven't put anything new on the website. And I haven't followed through with the studio goals I planned to implement, even the goals I made last month once I knew my previous goals had to go out the window...I have zero idea about when there will be shows on the studio's week is the application deadline of several of my shows for the fall/holiday season...

Here's what I KNOW... uncertainty hasn't left me uninspired...On fire to create, explore, re-invent in my studio...there's no lack of new pieces or photos (I've been posting some...thanks for your encouragement and response!)...and without the constraints of planned shows and deadlines, I have days that I go into the studio ALL BUSINESS and lists and end the day gazing at some lovely new rings, sketches or slap on a bandage to cover a new cut or burn, leaving behind the messiest of messy workbenches (and mine's a doozy...over 15 ft long!)...

I don't want to make promises I won't necessarily be able to keep, so I won't put out longterm studio goals today...but here's what I HOPE to do short term...

  • April studio email next week (this week, leading up to Easter didn't seem right...) will announce the March give-away winner, randomly chosen from email subscribers. I will also preview some of my new designs and a hopeful timeline for additions and changes to website. 
  • A very large selection of SALE bronze, copper, aluminum add-on charms will head to website next week. Previously on little cards and priced from $8-$20+, they will all be marked $5 on the website. 
  • A VERY large selection of ready-made STERLING SILVER charms will head over to the website. Originally $12-$25+, these will be marked at SALE prices, to be determined.
(aluminum charms...these will be $5 each on website, bronze and copper too!)

In my creative bubble over here, I am happy to hear from you...loving comments here or on my other studio spots...until we see each other and I can talk your ears off and hear all about what's been going on with YOU! Sarah

Saturday, March 21, 2020

adjusting to the unexpected

Well...if you read my last blog post, received the March edition of studio's email, talked to me at Winterfest, or even as recently as last weekend's studio Grand know I had plans for the studio after our move and last year's slow down for move. BIG plans...more shows for shows...classes in the shows...oooh boy! 

You had plans, goals, family gatherings, deck parties with friends, travel, school and recreation events, graduations and other BIG life events...all part of our wonderfully normal lives and things we tend to take for granted. 

I postponed last Saturday's portion of the Trunk Show due to weather (slick, steep driveway), even knowing deep down, that rescheduling for TODAY might not be possible. And now, our plans have changed...

There's a restlessness and unknown, a hopefulness laced with worry (that we're trying not to voice too much...) as we adjust to a new normal that has no definite timeline (and apparently requires 5x our normal quota of toilet paper). More time online, replacing work and social interaction, education and entertainment. Nonstop (mostly in a good way) family time is getting inventive and I LOVE seeing everyone's sweet, unexpected, HONEST, humorous and touchingly human reflections and revelations...seriously just a week into our common new (temporary) normal. So much positive coming out of this! In your home, in mine!

 Adjusting...having more family (and resulting bikes in my path to the studio), social media distractions, logistics all interfered with studio creativity and productivity.

I spent a lot of the week organizing, sorting and planning (I'm stuck in that mode, guess I haven't made that much progress lol)...

  • In anticipation of some new studio venues and designs, one goal was to declutter my inventory and set-up...BAM...let's get started!
  • Remember me, so adamant about closing down the studio drop box...well, I guess I have to laugh...let's figure out a way to make it work for now! (you WILL have to be on the studio email list in order to use the dropbox. I need to stay firm on that requirement). I will continue to ship as well. Shopping in the studio is on hold until recommendations change.
  • Watch studio's FB and Instagram accounts for when I add new designs and sale pieces (as I continue to thin out older styles) to my website. Inquiries about the items are fine, but transactions will be on the website.
  • Plans for Junk Jubilee (end of April) and Junkstock (May) are both tentatively on hold...Both venues will likely be postponed...for all of our sakes!
  • April's email edition will announce the March winner of studio email drawing!
I hope you'll understand that I realize there are so many other things to consider at the moment...things that are bigger than my little world...
but I wish you health, a peaceful heart and lots of love in your life today!

Monday, March 9, 2020

grand re-opening!

I'm excited...getting ready to open up the new studio for its first show THIS WEEKEND!

I sense that this means sharing even more of myself as an artist than I have in the past...and that's saying a lot!...because this space is going to be ME. I've been reflecting these past few months about what it means to create ART and how very personal it is...


We started with dirt...Todd and I watched this process from the beginning, making decisions along the way about our new home...but choosing how to put together my workspace was a HUGE part of this build. After 9 months, I'm back onsite creating. It's wonderful to be back in my own space, and the year of cleaning out my old studio, moving to a rental space, using a small single desk for every aspect of my work, and then moving it ALL into my new space helps me to appreciate it even more!

I'll still be traveling to away shows, but I plan to hold most of my trunk shows HERE...

While I'm super-happy to open up this space to studio friends, there are some changes that I need to make to help respect the time I need for keeping up with my workload/family/creative time in the studio...

  • Invitations to Studio Trunk Shows will ONLY come via email...I know I've said this in the past, but I always end up answering oodles of messages right before the show and urgent requests for my address during the show. There are good reasons for the emails...Obviously I don't want my address made public on social media (although you are ALWAYS welcome to bring a friend don't have to ask!)...if there's a reason I would have to cancel or change the show, I would be able to reach everyone...

A special perk for my email subscribers...there will be monthly give-aways or special viewings, JUST for YOU! 

  • I am discontinuing the studio drop box/pick up and won't be offering ANY non-show time pick ups or meeting for private consultations. I could give SO many reasons for this change, but I'll just mention a few right now...I'm in a new construction area so there's no way for me to secure a drop box. Plus, the number of times my doorbell rings with people who have a question about their order or husbands who didn't listen to you and take the wrong thing out of the box and still ring the doorbell... I know it doesn't seem like much for one person to swing by my studio to pick something up or visit about an order, but each interruption during my day means I just don't finish what I want/need to get done or my time creating...(I won't even mention the people who come by at bedtime...just so they're sure I'll be there...whoops...I just went there!).
So...2 fixes for this! First...ordering online and having me ship, easy-peasy! favorite!...Trunk Shows should end up being about once every 2 months...and...wait for it...I will be adding mini-shows in months that I don't have a trunk show. I see these as maybe 3-4 hour events, NOT fully set up shows, but you can pick up items...put in a special request in advance...CONSULT TIME for special orders AND small set up for shopping! I hope you all realize how much I LOVE having my Studio Trunk Shows!!! might even get to see what's on my workbench!

  • Classes...having this space means that I will be able to teach on-site! More to come about this!

I'm talked out...but sharing some eye-candy...just a wee bit of what I've been working on! Hope to see you this weekend. Sarah