Running a creative business is never easy, especially in the jewelry industry. It can be hard to balance designing and creativity with the brass tax of running a business.
This is precisely the reason I wanted to chat with Ashley Longshore. Take a listen to our podcast below to learn why she thinks all artists should be entrepreneurs, and 4 tips on how to leverage your personality to boost sales!
Meet the Artist
From lines of glitter cocaine to Jesus surrounded in Louis Vuitton to Kate Moss as a nun Ashley Longshore’s pop art paintings are never shy of daring. Her art makes noise. A prolific artist at a pivotal moment in her career. She has been compared to Andy Warhol by Town & Country magazine for her obsession with pop culture figures and brands as well as her relationships with celebrities.
She’s had major collaborations with brands such as Chloe and Anthropologie and has emblazoned the path for pop artists and fashion to co-exist. Her work is collected by loads of celebrities, professional athletes, famous jewelers to the stars, and even royalty who all have one thing in common, they have taken notice of a new player on the contemporary arts scene.
#1 Become a Doer, Not Just a Thinker
One of the biggest lessons we took away from interviewing Ashley was her infectious energy. She truly believes that the key to mastering art and business is to just get stuff done, and throwing fear of rejection to the wind. As Ashley puts it, “There’s no time for me to sit around whining, complaining, curled up in the fetal position on a sofa because I don’t have a fresh idea today.” All it takes in one small moment to give you the inspiration for your entire collection.
Don’t waste the day away waiting for inspiration, complaining about your workload, or analyzing that email in your drafts for the umpteenth time. If there’s something that needs to get done in your business, big or small, just dive in and the inspiration will come.
#2 Work With Positive People
Don’t waste your time selling your work to stores – or, in Ashley’s case, galleries – that don’t whole-heartedly want your work to succeed. In our interview, she reminded us that our designs, our art, are our most precious commodity. Charge what you’re worth, and do your best to get something positive out of all your professional relationships.
#3 Put a Face to Your Brand
While you certainly don’t have to, Ashley highly recommends putting a face to your brand. People love a story, and as a visionary, they certainly want to hear yours! “Tell your struggle as much as your greatness,” Ashley says, because your struggle to grow a jewelry business is at the heart of your artistic passion.
Tell your personal story through your merchandising and website to show your clients the passion behind your work. There are thousands of designers out there, and your story and personality are the only things that can always be uniquely yours.
#4 Never Give Up
We are well aware at how corny it sounds, but the “never give up” mindset is completely necessary for artists and entrepreneurs, of which we are both! Try, try, and try again, because it only takes that one feature in a magazine or one order to get the ball of growth rolling.
As Ashley puts it, “keep going uphill. Push yourself. Push yourself in comfortable ways and greatness will happen from it 100%.”
We covered all these topics in today’s episode and so much more. Our conversation with Ashley was so enlightening, so be sure to have a listen above!
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