Supporting Artists During Quarantine

Today I wanted to write about supporting artist during quarantine.  There are many small business’ and artists taking a financial hit during this bazar time.  As an artist and being friends with many artists and makers, I have a direct understanding and experience of this impact.  Many of us are experiencing low to no orders, and some of us have had to temporally let employees go.

On the other side of that, I’ve seen some very enthusiastic people (both artist/makers and patrons) on social media talking about supporting small business and it just warmed my heart.  So much so that I thought it’d be a great idea (as an artist/business owner) to share a few ways that you can support us artist and makers during quarantine.

Commission a Piece of Art

What a better time to commission a piece of art that you’ve been wanting for some time.  Granted you are in the market for some new art and have the means to do so, some artists are still taking commissions as many of us are experiencing very slow traffic in orders and commissions during the COVID-19 quarantine.

If you are in the market to acquire something special for yourself or as a gift, don’t hesitate to reach out to see if we are up for taking your commission.  Chances are some artists will consider it a lovely distraction to being stuck indoors for weeks, and would more likely appreciate the much needed revenue.  Also how great would it be to have something made for you during one of the most strange times of 2020 – you’ll have a story to tell for years to come.

Purchase Ready-to-Ship Items from Their Online Shop

Most of us creatives have an online shop of art and goods that are “ready-to-ship”.  This means that the products are made and ready to leave our studios in a day or two, sometimes on the day of your purchase.  If you have birthdays, anniversaries or other special days coming-up, this is a great time to send gifts and celebrate those you love and miss all while supporting the person who made it.

We are taking extreme precautions during our shipping process, and some of us even have a section on our websites explaining how your purchase will be handled and shipped during this pandemic.  This offers you peace-of-mind while purchasing things that bring joy into your everyday life.

Scroll through our on-line shops! Chances are you will find something you’ve had your eye on or discover a new piece that speaks to you.  And don’t be afraid to reach out to your favorite artist about inventory not shown in their web-shops.  It is very common for an artist/maker to not have every piece of their art/goods listed on-line, myself included.  I guarantee you; most of us have 20%-40% of inventory in our studio that is ready to purchase; not listed on our online shops, and those are real gems as they are usually one-of-a-kind pieces! So reach out, you’ll be surprised!

Check-in on Them!

Simply check-in on your artist, we will appreciate being thought of by someone who isn’t family or a close friend.   Aside from that, some of us creatives are experiencing lack of creativity and inspiration, which is our motivation.   An email or direct message on Instagram or Facebook, checking-in or even inquiring about how we are staying creative during this time could be the lovely boost we need to get back in the studio or start brainstorming new ideas.  So again, reach out!

I know we are encouraged to stay put for our safety, but that should not prevent us from celebrating ourselves and others, we just need to be a little creative on how we do so!

Stay healthy.  Be safe!


jewelers studio_charmaine vegas

#QuarantineLife and #StudioLife: Getting Creative

We are going through some strange times these days with the new and invasive COVID-19 sifting up our lives. Most of us have been home going week 3 now due to the mandatory “isolating” and “social distancing” and we have another 3 weeks to go. For me this does not change much of my everyday work life, since I work from home. However, this “social distancing” does effect important tasks for my business like picking-up new materials in the Jewelry District in DTLA.

So my question to myself has been, what do I in the with what I have in the meantime?

Getting Ideas

This morning I was on my sofa watching GMA and two of the personalities from Shark Tank were guests on the show answering question from small business owners whom are trying to wrap their heads around COVID-19 and it’s effect on their businesses and employees. One question that perked my ears was from a owner of a specialty bakery:

“My business has come to almost a complete halt, what steps can I take now to stay on the front of my customers minds when things begin to get back to normal?”

I thought this was a fantastic question that I relate to as my business has slowed down dramatically as well. One of the Sharks answer was seemingly obvious and idea provoking. He advised her to use her platform (Instagram, Youtube, Twitter) to teach her customers about baking.  Her customers currently have more time on their hands than ever. Teaching them how to become a better baker would allow the owner to not only connect and share her passion with her patrons, but to stay at the forefront of their minds. When life does go back to normal (or a new normal) and they have less time to bake and they are in need of a specialty cakes (and I gather there will be a lot of celebrating going on after all this) they’ll remember her brand and her generosity.

Getting Creative

At the beginning of all this “isolating” and “social distancing” I made a decision to stay off social media – something, if I’m honest, I do often.  But one social media platform that I continue to use no matter if I’m social cleansing or not is Youtube.  For some odd reason I don’t consider Youtube “social media”.

What I’ve noticed on Youtube these days is people, mostly business owners and influencers, getting creative and keeping things going.

Jimmy Fallon started doing the Tonight Show from his home, with his daughters doing the graphics and his wife woman-ing the camera.  Musicians like John Ledgen and Dj D-nice doing concerts and dance parties from their homes.  Gym owners are teaching classes remotely to help they’re members stay fit and interested in their fitness.  These are all great ways people are staying busy and keeping their passions aka business going (although not bringing in much or any revenue).

This not only shows ingenuity and focus, it also shows that these business owners and entertainers are ‘in it” for more than the money and ratings, they see that people need what they are sharing more now than before. And there is something heartwarming and human about that – people respect and appreciate that they aren’t just another dollar, viewer or follower to a business and entertainers.

With seeing others continuing life and business I began wondering, is “incubating” during this time healthy for me and my business?  So this morning I began considering what I could do to connect and share with my customers and others? Here are a few ideas that I came up with:

From Start to Finish

This would show me making a piece of jewelry or another object fully from start to finish.  A ring, a pair of earrings or a spoon even.  Unlike periodically showing my work-in-porgress’ on Instagram Stories; I’d record the full process and upload it my Youtube channel.  This could be interesting as making something from start to finish would show successes and failures.

Jewelers Talk or Artists Talk

This would be just as the title suggests; jewelers talking about what their studio, their practice and the creative ways they are staying busy during “isolation”.   This too would be recorded and uploaded to Youtube.

Jewelry Book Projects

This would be similar to From Start to Finish but instead of showing how something from my collection is made, I’d attempt to complete a project in one my jewelry books!  This could for sure lead to some entraining results as jewelry book projects rarely come out as depicted in the book.  And again, this would be recorded and shared on Youtube.

I have few more ideas, like, how-to-video, example: how to properly clean your jewelry, etc.  The ones listed above seem the most entertaining to me.  Having said all that, I have no idea what the end result would be of this or if it would be successful let along watched.  But, I am strongly leaning towards giving them a try.

In the meantime, if you have any ideas or suggestions do send them my way!

Stay healthy,