The work of finding a winner was as dizzying as Toby the cat with a pearl necklace! Choosing a judged winner of the three month BUILD A LINE challenge was NO easy task!
Build a Line was a master class from B'sue Boutiques. It was all about pulling your look together! The goal was to build a small line of cohesive pieces that would make sense to buyers and sell at realistic prices.
Who are WE, the judges? Well......that would be the members of the B'sue Boutiques Design Team......and me, Brenda Sue Lansdowne, owner of B'sue Boutiques , who led the challenge group.
Our members are Marcia Tuzzolino, Kate Mulligan, Cynthia Wainscott, Linzi Alford, Jann Westlake Tague, Judy Jones King and Irene Hoffman.
It took us a lot of hard thought and a good week of consideration, going back to blogs, sometimes reading through a participant's complete set of three AGAIN....and sometimes AGAIN!! analyzing process, thought, look and intent.
Each who carried through all the tasks, gave it their heart and tried their best to work this puzzle was a winner! The vast majority of our participants hit the marks and did a great job.
So as judges, we had to go beyond all of those things and look for a rookie player who worked outside the lines of their usual style. We decided to look for someone who had made incredible progress, as well as hitting all of the other marks.
It was appropriate that ELIZABETH HILDRETH won the RANDOM DRAWING for 75.00, because not only had we considered her line, but she did exactly that.....she went outside of her usual design style and looked for a style that spoke to her, as well as would be viable:
Others who truly hit the marks and made actual collections--beyond just a line, were Leila West of Leila Nicole Designs, and Marica Zammit, of Bead Lovelies:
Things like these bracelets, while not having a lot of detail, will surely sell quickly and to a wide variety of people. I personally felt that what Leila had done was quite intelligent though also simple. What she produced could easily be wholesaled as a fashion line, if she desired. There are a lot of color choices and a number of themes.
Marica's line will appeal to the trendy Boho crowd and is extremely well thought out and well done. Again, if she had the desire, this line could EASILY be marketed to boutiques in tourist areas....and she would do extremely well with it:
Pamela Anger's (Novegatti Jewelry) soft and pretty line combining filigree and handmade polymer clay flowers would have a strong gift line appeal. She would do well at small shows, home parties, and also online! Her jewelry would also do well in a wholesale showroom, represented by a company that presents lines to shops.
All three of these lines are ready to be built into expansive collections that may go as far these these designer would ever care to go....if the desire to do it is there.
We were still searching, however, for our rookie! We wanted someone who went completely outside their normal skill set, normal style, and made the new ideas work.....as well as potential to grow.
Though others had more experience building the types of lines they had created, we just kept coming back time and again to SUSAN BOWERMAN, from WOODSIDE WIREWORKS.
Susan's look could go gift or fashion, could be layered, could be collected.
The combination of the silver and rose ox metal will make a great statement while blending beautifully with many skin tones. It will also appeal to people who like a classy but trendy look, and the look of precious metal without the price.
EVERYTHING Susan did was outside of her standard skill set. She has been a jewelry maker for many years, known for her beautifully beaded, chunky statement pieces. She was never one to let metal be the focus and she did not need to this time, either. She herself decided to do the ultimate challenge by jumping through a new window.
Susan is going through some challenging times right now, but so are many who participated in this class. Let it be said that she won ON MERIT ONLY. Merit is the ONLY way to be fair to all OR fair to the new designer. If it was not for MERIT, our time as judges would have also been a waste of time.
Again, the choice was gut wrenching because we had so very many extremely talented artisans in this class.
Congratulations to Susan, but congratulations to all of you who challenged YOURSELVES to enter new territory and decide what works best for you---be you hobbyist, maker or designer.
PLEASE REMEMBER: All three are honorable and no one is better than the other! These are simply terms that describe how big your dream is....and that's all they are, in my book. No term implies more skill or more important than the other.
It's all about what YOU want it to be.
In parting, I'd just like it to be said that I feel I was the biggest winner of all.
My goal in offering my past experiences as a guide for those who wanted to try something new, was the hope of becoming a better teacher. I also hoped to help ones to see the need to pull their work together because I have been seeing a lot of work that is great, but it's just all over the place. My own work can tend to do that! No one is immune! We are all just bombarded with so many new ideas daily. The trick is to find and use the inspiration that speaks our own voice.....and creates a brand.
Just as I have created a brand as a components business that focuses on unique, quality goods.
I thank you participants for allowing me to be your teacher, to express my viewpoints and to learn from you about expectations.
I need a little rest.....but! I can't wait to do this again.....or to see what comes NEXT....FOR YOU.
Thanks again to Tammy Adams of the Paisley Lizard, for designing our badges.