Monday, May 21, 2012

Jewelry Joy - A Day In The Life Of A Jewelry Artist

I am excited to have Melissa of Uphill Dreams share her day with us. At 29, she is completing her studies in the Jewelry Design program at Penn Foster College. She lives in Florida with her fiancee (Congratulations on your upcoming wedding in August, Melissa!) Here is a look into her daily life . . .

A Day in the Life of a Jewelry Artist
by Melissa of Uphill Dreams 


Hold on, let me grab my glasses…
Wait, is that clock right?! As much as I want to roll back over in bed right now I know I’ve got things to do, so I threw the sheets off of me and headed to the bathroom. 

Hey, the stone fell out of my nose ring! Darn it. Maybe I’ll make body jewelry one day. Yeah, and I’ll specialize in permanent-stone nose rings since there seems to be a market for them.

My mind is running a mile a minute to catch up on today’s tasks since SOMEONE slept in (not mentioning names). 

I missed the first Tophatter jewelry auction by an hour and a half. At least there are five more today that my handmade jewelry qualifies for. What is Tophatter, you ask? It’s a live auction site where I’ve been selling my spiral beaded bracelets for two weeks now. I’ve been more successful at selling my work there than I have through my own website. I admit I love the thrill of an auction, too.
I prepare for the Tophatter auctions the night before, but I want to check on my pending items and make sure I have enough and that they’re all ready to go.


Oops! I never paid my auction invoice last night. Shame on me! Sellers are charged $1 per item sold, and I try to pay my balance off every other night. I sold two items yesterday, and I am aiming at three or more today. Think about it… if I sold three bracelets every day for a month, where the average high bid is $6, I would make $540. There’s my incentive! No, my biggest motivation to do this is knowing people around the world are wearing my handmade jewelry. I seriously get a rush from that thought! 

Was that thunder I just heard?! I guess I’m not going to Michael’s Crafts for those organza bags today… not on my scooter. Rain check!

My fiancĂ© and I moved two weeks ago, and this new home has a tin roof over the screened in porch. I think I’ll sit outside for a bit and listen to the rain… and the thunder… and the inevitable ambulance sirens that sadly follow Florida storms. 

Anndddddd…. the electricity is out. The good news is that I’ve got about two hours on my laptop’s battery to get some administrative stuff done for my jewelry business. The bad news is that it’s May in Florida and my air condition is no longer on. 


The power just came back on. Yay! While it was out I unpacked another box (c’mon, who gets all unpacked after a big move in less than two weeks?!) and I found some of my school books. I’m a student at Penn Foster College. I enrolled in their Jewelry Design and Repair program last January because I’d like to work with metals and gems one day (did someone say body jewelry?). I should graduate by December of this year, but I am a month behind on my studies due to the move and the wedding plans. Did I mention I’m getting married this August?  

Thirty minutes ‘till lunch! I watch Judge Mathis from 3pm to 4pm while eating. What can I say; I love the reality TV courtroom drama! I also enjoy seeing the different types of jewelry people wear on the show. You never know when creative inspiration will attack. 

My main jewelry job today is a custom Russian spiral beaded bracelet. It’s for the high bidder in last night’s Gift Certificate auction. I don’t have gift certificates for my website yet, so I’ve been auctioning off custom pieces instead. The high bidder, Hannah, wants bright teal and gray beads, but I am still waiting on her reply with the size of the bracelet needed. Russian spiral bracelets take me approximately 2-3 hours to complete, so I should have it done sometime today and ready to be mailed off tomorrow. Let me check my email and see if she’s replied…

No reply yet. I guess I’ll organize my work space a bit before break time.


I’ve been working on Hannah’s custom bracelet for an hour now. I’m about a third of the way done. I think the gray with the bright teal really pops in a sophisticated way. She chose great colors!

I’m taking a small break now to add a bracelet to Tophatter’s Artisan Jewelry auction. Actually, it’s not really a “break” because it’s jewelry-related. Heh. 

There weren’t any spots left in the auction, so I added my bracelet to Standby. When items are in Standby they require an initial bid to be moved over to the actual auction. And what do you know… someone JUST bid on my bracelet. Yay! It will probably be another two hours before it’s on the auction block, but now it has the chance to be bid on by others. 


I just finished the bright teal and gray custom bracelet. Now I am turning my attention back to the auction site. I entered another custom bracelet into the Gift Certificate auction, but it’s still in Standby. Time to let the online world know about it through social networking! I’m afraid of spending too much time online getting the word out about my jewelry with all these different social networks and not enough time making the actual jewelry.

Oh, that reminds me… my auction from earlier sold for $8. That is much less than the retail price on my website, but that doesn’t bother me too much. I love the feeling I get when seeing people bid or buy my handmade goodies and when I package everything up to be shipped states away. What a rush! 
I have two more hours before the last auction of the night begins. I’m taking my mom’s advice and trying to sell something besides my (favorite) spiral bracelets. This upcoming auction will be for my Do It Yourself Island Dreams Unique Necklace Kit. I’ve got a good feeling about this. 


Dinner is in the oven. It’s ranch-breaded chicken with fettuccini alfredo tonight! My fiancĂ© works second shift, so dinner is usually served at 11pm. 

I still have two hours before the next auction, so now it’s time to relax in front of the boob tube until the man of the house gets home from work. Is Operation Repo on tonight?

I only sold 1 item today, but that’s one new customer I’ve made! Yeah, I’m an optimist. I’ll be up for another two hours getting ready for tomorrow’s auctions, and then it’s bedtime for Bonzo.


Melissa is generously offering 30% off all orders at her shop, Uphill Dreams. Use Coupon Code: DREAM30 at checkout. You have until next Monday, May 28th to take advantage!


Dana said...

So much fun to read about your daily life Melissa! You are funny, and clearly talented!
(I purposely dig the crystal out of my nose ting, because I wear them backwards {inside out} and don't want the gem to fall out IN my nostril!) LOL

Savard Studios said...

Stopping in from Etsy. I'm your newest follower. Love your blog!
Here's mine

Tonya H said...

This was so much fun to read. I am a student also. I am gettingmy degree in medical office administration....nothing fun like jewelry making and repair. That is awesome. Uggg I hate unpacking from a move. So many other fun things to be doing. lol Thanks for sharing your day, Melissa!

Lovlie said...

What a fun life yours is! I can relate to your time schedule. When I'm at home, I would wake up no earlier than midday and pretty much have lunch at 3 - 4 pm like you! lol! Glad to know I'm not the only one on this kind of timetable. Then I go to bed at 3am. I'm more creative at night than day. Nice bracelets, I love your pieces! :D

Melissa McDorman said...

Thank you everyone for your wonderful comments. I had a blast making this blog for you, and I hope to be able to contribute more in the future!