Thursday, January 1, 2009

Highlights of 2008 for Scarlett Garnet

2008 will be remembered as a turning point for Scarlett Garnet. Garnet quit her corporate life and started waitressing to focus on making jewelry. We finally created an actual line to distribute to boutiques, started a new website, joined forces with other indie crafters, safely drove to California and back, and really started to take Scarlett Garnet to the next level. I recently looked at pictures of our old displays and read a blog from 2006 in which I was happy to have sold 3 things and made $26 in the Charleston City Market. We have come so far since then! We are selling jewelry in boutiques all over the nation, have gained media attention in STL and KC, and are excitedly setting goals for 2009. Through all of the stress, all-nighters, hours on the road, and frustration, its easy to get lost in the day-to-day. Its neccessary to look back so that we can see the progress, and hence will mark the turning of the year with a little retrospective. Thank you to everyone that has supported us, by buying jewelry and helping us with all of our events. We hope you have a happy YOU year!

Scarlett Garnet started off the year with awesome photo shoots by photographers Becca Spears and Ann Grace. During the day, we were able to shoot in a beautiful old house in Kansas City. The lighting was eerie in some rooms, but romantically filtered in others. Becca's shots really captured the character of the house, our jewelry, and the handmade wedding dresses by Janay A Handmade. We ended the day at the Mercy Seat Tattoo Studio in downtown KC. Ann shot our handsome male volunteers wearing the more manly side of SG in the unique parlor. These photo shoots led up to the beginning of the bridal co-op and our first show at Wirken Photo. We drank Charles Shaw I "imported" from STL, sampled Cakes by Joe, and enjoyed the work of Janay A and Ornamental Petals.

I was so happy to be a part of the STL Farmer's markets this year, and look forward to continued success with them next year! This picture was snapped at the first day of the Tower Grove Farmer's Market in May. Constructing all of the display items takes many hours of patience and digging at antique stores, so it was great to finally see it all completed and set up! This was also the day we found out we had been accepted into the Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco! I still get the chills thinking about when I first saw that email. Deliriously tired from staying up all night the evening before to sew scarlet red table clothes for the market, I re-read that communication 5 times before I believed it. We had applied to the Renegade numerous times and had finally been accepted in! That was really a turning point for SG and forced us to start getting our line together and making everything presentable.

Garnet and I both learned metalsmithing in 2008, which really drove us to new creative levels. We picked our favorite designs and directed our focus to getting photos taken, prices nailed down, both a printable and online catalog created, and to compiling lists of boutiques to market. Just hours before leaving for San Fran, we were printing off our first line sheet.

Although you won't be able to read the details, this was our itinerary for our drive out to San Fran for the Renegade Craft Show. Neither Garnet or I had driven across the country, and my anxiety was managed by making a color coded itinerary in excel. The blue at the top was to signify our "sleep" time, but in actuality, there was a lot less blue, and lot more pink drive time.
I snapped this picture as we stopped along the Great Salt Lake (yes, Band of Horses was playing in my head). Garnet's striking red hair was in perfect contrast to the barren landscape.
We got along splendidly for the whole trip, had no major mishaps (besides a cracked windshield and a speeding ticket), scouted boutiques in every major city on our route, and freakin rocked out at the Renegade.

While scouting boutiques a few weeks before the Chicago show, I met up with the lovely ladies at Hunny/She She on Damen. They booked us on the spot for a Trunk Show the weekend of the Renegade! They printed a big sign to advertise in their window that had to be documented. There were many good shows in between, but the next show that stands out is the Renegade in Chicago. With one Renegade under our belt, we thought we were prepared for this 2nd one closer to home. However, we were not prepared for the torrential downpour that Chicago experienced that weekend. We bought duct tape and tarps then hunkered down for a wet show. This situation had the potential to bring out the worst of the collaborators, but wine o'clock came early and no tempers flaired. This also marked the first booth-sharing with Shelah of Destroyed by Design, a pairing that will be oft repeated.

SG continued with multitudes of shows this fall and winter. We were pretty booked with a show in KC during the week, and one in St. Louis on the weekend for the majority of November and December. We have been living and learning on so many fronts, and are starting to truly realize our potential. For 2009, we hope to be more organized and better planners (no more all-nighters or overnight shipping charges!), to elaborate our line with new designs, get into more boutiques in the mid-west and the nation, to expand our bridal and wedding custom jewelry clientele, and to maximize our exposure in more venues (such as etsy, facebook, and more!). We know that the sky is the limit for us and that our hard work will pay off in the end. Thank you for reading and for your continued support of Scarlett Garnet! -Katie

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