Celebrity Gifting

For better or worse, we are a celebrity-centric culture. In the US, celebrities are akin to Britain’s Royal Family. There is no disputing that the lives, actions and interests of television and movie stars (not to mention Reality TV personalities) shape trends in fashion, home décor and many other aspects of our daily lives.

As a small business and jewelry designer, there is no better coup than to have a celebrity filmed or photographed wearing a design that has been handcrafted by you. But how does one even get their work into the hands of celebrities, let alone photographed while worn (or held or used) by a celebrity?

Over the next few weeks I will try to detail how I managed to become involved in the world of Celebrity Gifting, and just what it has meant (increased media attention) and not meant (it’s not a “miracle” cure for slow sales) to my own small business.

My journey to Hollywood began when I stumbled across an exceptional group of artists professionally run and organized by Valerie Propst Guerrero. Founded by Valerie, The Artisan Group’s mission is to introduce Hollywood to the best-of-the-best in handcrafted products.

After doing a little research, TAG looked almost too good to be true! A juried group of artists participating in a collaborative, enthusiastic environment where creativity, feedback and encouragement flow freely?! Sign me up!

First, I had to decide whether my work would meet their criteria for accepting new artists – this is a juried group of artists, after all. I read through the jury criteria; high-quality handcrafted products, exceptional product photography, unique products, and on and on… My head was swimming! Would I ever meet the standards set by TAG? Yikes! As with many artists, I doubted whether my work product was good enough. I reminded myself that I have been selling my jewelry for the past seven years and that I successfully operate a retail shop where my jewelry has consistently been one of the top two performers.

So, I had to give it a try. Luckily, for me and my ego, I was accepted without a hitch.

Interestingly, I have seen similar doubts and sentiments expressed by the hundreds of talented artists who currently make up TAG’s population. Is my work good enough? Are my ideas creative and unique enough? Do I have what it takes to be successful in my art? The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and the answer is a resounding “Yes!” in so many of these cases. But as artists we wonder and worry about when our lucky streak will end; when the loyal customer base we’ve carefully cultivated over the years will suddenly come to their senses and realize that we are not artists, but are in fact just hobbyists with limited talents. Or maybe it’s just me.

In August, 2012, I was lucky enough to become one of several hundred TAG artists who have been blessed with the opportunity to gift celebrities with our artwork. For me, the real journey began when I secured a spot in the Golden Globes Gift Lounge swag bags. I committed to creating one hundred pair of earrings for the swag bags, which would be given out to a variety of celebrities and industry leaders on January 13, 2013. Hollywood, get ready, here comes got sparkles!

Do you feel like celebrity trends have an impact on your choices in fashion or home or elsewhere in your life? Is this a positive influence, or do you feel like you need to “keep up?”

Next week I will chat a bit about the process of designing and completing one hundred pair of earrings, and the media exposure that this opportunity provided me.

For more information regarding The Artisan Group’s mission, and possible inclusion as an artist, please visit their site www.theartisangroup.org.

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