Hi Everybody. My name is Sueanne. And I am a Jewelryaholic.
“Hi Sueanne”. Sympathetic nods from the audience.
It’s been two hours since I made my last pair of earrings.
Twitching fingers from audience.
What's the Buzz Necklace
I’ve been a jewelryaholic for almost two years. I had a jewelry teacher come in and teach a class when I had an art gallery, before the recession laughed at me and said “What are you… insane?”. My friends signed up and made me take the class. I didn’t want to do it. But they made me. “Come on Sueanne”, they said. “You’re creative”. “But I’m not ‘crafty’,” I said. ” I never touch the stuff, hell, I can’t even giftwrap worth a damn”. “Come on,” they said. “We’ll drink wine and make jewelry. What’s the harm? If you don’t like it you can always stop”.
Wincing from the crowd. Hands covering mouths to hide smiles of pain. But they keep nodding. They understand.
At the first class I took in a ridiculously overpriced Sundance jewelry catalog and knocked off a complicated piece in under two hours. Then I made a pair of matching earrings.
A subdued gasp from the crowd.
Mystic Topaz Earrings
The next day I went to a bead store. I bought 4 different kinds of pliers. I only needed three, but I bought four. Four. I bought really pretty stones. They felt so good in my hands. What harm could it do, I said to myself, just a little hobby. I showed the neighbor lady at the school bus stop what I made at the first class. “Can you make me one?”, she asked, glancing sideways in both directions. “How much would it be?” “Sure,” I said, “I don’t know… 40 bucks? They want $98 for it in Sundance.” She cautiously took out 40 bucks and gave it to me when the other moms weren’t looking. “Can I have it by Friday? I’d love something for the weekend”. It was my first jewelry deal. It felt so right.
A few audience members wiping tears from the corners of their eyes. Two women leave the room.
After that people kept buying what I was wearing off of my neck, ears, even my wrists. There were deals done under the hair dryer at the beauty salon. At the PTA meetings. Waiting at the DMV. Finally the habit got so bad I had too much jewelry and I did a show by the beach. Now my secret was out and all my friends knew I had a serious problem. You would have thought one of them would have told me to stop. Staged an intervention. Just one. But no. It wouldn’t have mattered. I was too far gone. I wouldn’t have listened.
I sold almost every piece at that show. I could have stopped then. My dining room workshop was a mess, the writing was on the wall. But it was too late for me. I rationalized. I started calling it a business. I went to a few boutiques. Showed them what I had. Now I had enablers. They said “Sure, I’ll sell for you, it’s great stuff”. My enablers also sold out, I kept making more and more. I moved out of the dining room and took over a different room of the house.
There was no stopping me.
I put my stash on the internet on Etsy. Nobody even knew what the word Etsy stood for. They still don’t. I didn’t care. I was shameless. After a few sales somebody told me about Twitter. I jumped on, and admitted my problem to a global audience under the name @sueannesjewelry. I can handle it. I thought. What harm could a little bird be?
Open laughing from the audience. Three women take out their iphones and surreptitiously tweet what I just said. I hear the chirps as they send them on twittelator. Then they leave.
Honey Bee Necklace
“Blog, Sueanne”, they said. “You can write, so you must blog“. So I blogged. I didn’t have a clue what I would say so I called it Yeah, that’s Random. I started making friends and selling lots and lots of jewelry on Twitter. People started blogging about me. It was like having cheerleaders. The men looked especially cute in those super short skirts, but I didn’t care. Everybody was so nice. So appreciative. Soon one Blog wasn’t enough. I had turned my enablers into jewelryaholics too. They started asking for style advice. They needed more, more more. I was shameless. So I started Does this look good on me?
Hey… where did everybody go? The only person left in the audience is the lady with the metal allergies.
The Handyman takes away the table holding the doughnuts.
I leave. Time to make the jewelry.
Thank you, enablers.