Although Dawn Dalto started out her jewelry business like most of us, thinking that she would like to make a living by selling her beadwork, she ended up following a path that led her more into pattern design and sales! Isn't it great to know that bends and twists in the road are not a bad thing?
Taking her marketing tasks seriously, Dawn is a very busy girl online, maintaining several websites and also selling through several pattern sales sites:
During the prime of my beady career I owned a brick & mortar bead store, travelled and sold beads at bead shows, designed and sold my own jewelry and beadwork at art/craft shows and designed and sold my patterns and kits. I have travelled and taught (mostly on the east coast) at many a bead shop or show.
Around 2006 beads, though still popular were knocked off the top of the craft shop pile by knitting. This was when I went back to work at a "day job". I had managed to build my business so that it supported me from about 2002-2006. Lots of long hours, lots of worrying and finally when the ends didn't meet in the middle anymore I had to face reality and get back in the workforce. A lot of the "business" end of things had driven the joy out of why I was so excited about beading in the first place.
For 4 years I have worked at a Ceramic Art Center. I had never touched clay before starting there and was hired because I had administrative skills, was an artist, but didn't actually work in clay. Today is the 3rd day that I no longer have a "day job", but have returned to being a full time artist. During my time at the clay center I did start working in clay and love it. It has resulted in a medium change for me, but also for a wiser look at the arts & crafts market. I felt I had to return to being self-sufficient as an artist because the work environment had become toxic for me.
I still love talking to folks about beading and helping educate and teach when asked, but it has become a part of what I do not the singular thing. I sell beads and patterns, sell my ceramic art and freelance as an "Artist Wrangler" to help other artists with advice and guidance. My plan is to use a little of all of my talents to remain self employed, pay the bills and be happy most of all.
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