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Trying out a brainspiration brings in unexpected results.

I always want to try new things, but I don't always make the time to do that when I'm dividing myself between fulfilling custom orders, responding to client questions, packing, shipping, taking photos, editing them, trying (but failing) to keep my social networking momentum going AND spending quality time with my circle of family. (this circle includes my close friends as we refer to ourselves as non-bloods but still family.)

So when my FB page reached 500 likes, I wanted to combine a celebratory give-away with an opportunity to do something new. In a sudden burst of inspiration I decided to make my give-away different than others I've seen. I offered my participants an option. Option A was that the winner would be surprised with a piece I would make to size, but all of the design elements were purely up to me. Option B was a gift of any item currently available for immediate shipping that was $100.00 or less.

I confess, I did not think I'd get many takers. Previous drawings I've run netted from 6 to 15 entries. And so I figured this might get me 20ish. Instead, I a received 107 separate entries. And my FB likes jumped up in a couple of days to a bit under 550. That surely set my heart racing it took years to get to the 500 mark. I was a little astonished with the number of people who favored option A. The comments, where folks said they would love anything I might make, set me back on my heels. This is because I tend to be really critical of my work and my photos, particularly when I compare my work to other jewelers'.

The level and breadth of response simultaneously uplifted my spirits and reminded me to step back sometimes and try to see what I do through my prospective customers eyes. We have to do that for pricing, as well as when just looking at our past oeuvre. [French for work, but I like it better than the English as oeuvre is used to denote a life's work and it sounds a little bit like Oooofff! The kind of noise one sometimes makes doing heavy lifting. As a metaphor it puts more weight and significance into the meaning than does the word 'work.' ).

But I digress a bit. What I'd been wanting to try was to incorporate different wire wrapped link styles into my usual standby of wrapped loop links, usually made with gemstones or beads. The link style I settled on for this piece was the coiled links. I wasn't 100 percent certain of their strength and durability, having seen steel springs go wonky in other applications (like beds, inside small locks, on fence gates, etc.) I didn't want to use this link style in something I would sell, until I could see houw it fared in some real world use. By doing it as a give-away, I can later ask the wearer how it holds up for her.

I did run the risk that the winner would have selected option B. But so many people choose A, I was almost assured the random number generator www.randomnumber.org (I chose the integer generator option.) would end up with an A person. And it did. Or I would have been back to the drawing board...so to speak. What I did not do was jinx the thing by starting on the proposed necklace until after the winner was selected and notified. Another thing I promised was not to reveal the finished item until after I'd shipped it to the winner.

I shipped it out on Monday of this week. And now I'm sharing it with all of you. Thanks, in advance, for reading and commenting.500LikesHandcraftedCoilLinksCollar (1)
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