Making jewelry is serious business.
For the past year, the Lloydminster Jewelry Guild (LJG) has become more organized and business-oriented. They have instituted a yearly fee and now meet every month to discuss their affairs. They also set up a shared bank account, Facebook page and have two retail outlets, at the Root: Community Emporium and the Lloydminster Cultural and Science Centre.
“There’s a lot on the business side that we’ve discussed and gone through,” said LJG president Dawn Lawrence Floen. “Before that it was pretty causal. It was just whenever we had a sale we would get together. But we’ve become more organized in the last year or so.”
On March 7, the LJG had its monthly meeting at the Second Cup coffee shop with seven of the group’s 18 members in attendance. They decided on holding their May 2 Mother’s Day sale at The Root: Community Emporium and they discussed arrangements for the Streetfest art market in the summer. The LGJ has also expressed an interest in the “pop-up retail” initiative being put forth by the Lloydminster business community, and members have been attending meetings.
The jewellers each specialize in different styles and materials, crafting with items like copper, chain mail, wire, glass and beads. The monthly gatherings are an opportunity to catch up and share what they have learned since they last met.
“We share each other’s work and any new tools or tricks or techniques,” Floen said. “That’s really important because we feed off each other’s creativity like any other arts community and we learn from each other.”
Floen says that as the LJG has grown, it has had up to 21 members, the business aspect has become more important. In the beginning, only one or two members were selling their wares.
“I think at the time I was really the only one ... maybe one other, actively trying to create a business (as a source of income),” she said. “A lot of them were just beaders who were just doing it for a hobby, and some still are, so we really have explored that business side of it together.”
Since then, they have discussed marketing strategies. They now have access to graphic design for their business cards and a lot of members, who often dabble in other art forms, sell their work on their own websites.
“When you’re making jewelry, the components for jewelry are not cheap. So even if it’s a hobby, it’s nice to be able to sell to at least support your hobby, and so that’s what a lot of us do,” Floen said.Â “We’ve got two sales a year, a Christmas sale and a Mother’s Day sale, that we’ve done together for the last three years so we’ve got a real routine going now.”