Time to Sign Up for The NEW Build-a-Line (BALC) Master Challenge Workshop


Workshop2023-1

After a three-year hiatus, we're back with the NEW BALC workshop--based on the same concepts as before--but organized better, easier to follow, and with some cumbersome requirements from past classes, removed. Check it out:

Things have changed a bit in the last few years. At B'sue Boutiques, our supply business, we're finding that fewer people are highly focused on selling; more would rather learn to do better one of a kind work. And while the idea is heady, not everyone wants to become a designer with an international business.

You'll find the NEW BALC WORKSHOP easier to follow with far less pressure to learn quickly. Also, instead of just having a discussion group with modules you can read, you will be learning by VIDEO, and you can ask questions in real time if you are able to meet with us when we are LIVE.

 SIGN UP FOR THE NEW BALC CLASS HERE

If you can't come to class when we are live, you can watch any time you want, and you can watch over and over again.  There is no finite window of time for watching, as the class will belong to you.  While the classroom on Facebook is open, you can ask questions and tag me so you can get a direct answer.  Or, you can make an appointment to talk on the phone about anything you're having trouble getting your head around.  So if you've taken this class before--and many have--you'll appreciate the changes and the more relaxed atmosphere.

But who IS the BALC workshop for? What's it all about?

BALC stands for BUILD A LINE CHALLENGE, and it was created with the intention of helping artisan jewelers to find their own creative voice along with the ideal customer for their work. It's all about tightening up your style so that everything you create, no matter the media--looks like one person made it--YOU!  You can be an experienced jewelry maker, or you can be entirely new to making. This course is beneficial to all because we aren't teaching you how to make jewelry---we are teaching you how to manage the process. Being honest, the process can be just difficult as learning the skills and knowing what you need to master the tools and buy the supplies to do the job. 

Generally there isn't a lot said about the managing thing when you take a course or study a technique--so the idea of cohesive work often remains an enigma yet for people who've been hard at it for a number of years!  That's why you'll find the BALC class to be invaluable.

Don't we all have a certain hand in our work that shows no matter what we do?  True, that--but for many it's buried and greatly in need of excavating!  While some innately know how to 'edit' their own work, it's likely most need to learn to do it.  It's important develop a second set of eyes---learning to look at what we make as if  we didn't make it.  This way it's easier to see how to tighten things up and stop playing around with every new idea that comes down the pike.

But how do you know on which design styles you should concentrate?

The class is built on a number of  simple exercises that can help to re-route you and get you where you want to go. First, you'll learn what having a cohesive line of jewelry really is....and you will learn by real-life examples. You'll discover the elements of YOUR style, rather than simply be an admirer of someone else's. There are a few simple ways to unmask your design personality and understand your customer's. Many don't really have a clue who their customer really is, not even some who have been selling for many years. They may have sold thousands of pieces--they might even have some idea of what will sell for them--but do they know why people buy their work? Or what kind of person is attracted to what they do? 

The class will have a minimum of 18 themes (before, we called them modules) discussed in 6 Fridays of three and a half hour sessions on Fridays at 12:30-4:00 pm.  This will allow more students from the West Coast to join us, since we are in Eastern Standard Time. Can't do it on Fridays?  NOT TO WORRY: Remember, once you purchase this class. it BELONGS to you. You can watch ANY TIME AT ALL, as many times as you'd like. I'll be available as your instructor at the classroom group we'll create at Facebook (if you are on FB and want to participate, there). If you'd like to talk to other students, you can do that any time at the class group. The class group will be open until mid-April, and the class itself will wind up sometime late March 2023.  LOTS of time to work with the classroom material.

THE THEMES ARE:

SECTION ONE:

What Does a Cohesive Line Mean to You?

How B'sue Created a Cohesive Line---a Number of Times

SECTION TWO:

The Elements of Your Style

The Camera Doesn't Lie

More Commentary on Finding Your Creative Style

Design Styles Gone Before Us

SECTION THREE:

Which are YOU?  A Hobbyist, a Jewelry Maker, or a Designer

Finding Your Unique Customer (If You Sell)

OOAK Design Vs. Duplication

What a Business Plan Is--And Why You Must Have One  (If You Don't Sell, a Personal Mission Statement)

SECTION FOUR:

What is Branding?  (This applies to non-sellers, too).

Pricing Jewelry for Profit/Costing   (They are NOT the same thing)

The Pyramid Theory of Pricing

SECTION FIVE

Getting in the Way of Your Own Productivity

Will You Be Selling Online (Not selling?  Still good to know how it's done)

Managing your Jewelry Making Inventory

Enchantment

The Power of Research

All of these topics have been re-examined and the entire class re-written. So if you took the class in the past, there will be new things to learn.

As with all B'sue classes, we leave the finishing up part, open.  If we don't get everything covered on time, I'll continue with more sessions. If something comes up that needs to be developed as a new theme, I'll will continue until it is. No one will pay any extra, either.

The biggest exercise in the BALC workshop is that each student should carefully consider doing the Class Project. I used to be a beast on this!  There were stiff deadlines and if they weren't met, you could not continue with the class.  We had sub-reveals and three blogs each one had to write during class, and there was a Pinterest board you had to pin to, as well. It was amazing how few students dropped out with all those requirements laid upon them. I think 95% completed the class and fulfilled all the assignments. I was adamant about it, because I wanted students to succeed---and felt they never could if they didn't learn to meet deadlines. Honestly, those deadlines were some of my biggest teachers back in the 80's and 90's when I was just finding my way and had my large gift line of jewelry. I thought having hard deadlines would help my students, too. 

Instead, I think it discouraged them and wore them out, even though most of them completed the tasks. I noticed that most did not continue to apply what was learned in the class, because if they learned anything, they learned it was really hard work. They were more interested in the JOY of making--and all that pushing was just sucking the JOY out of it. I understand that, too. I'd rather be making rather than having to understand the process and make it work, too.  Making it work is satisfying at the end, but only the student can decide if they want the pressure that goes with it, in their life.

With the NEW BALC Workshop, you'll learn how to manage that, too.  You will find your own pace and by the time class is over I wager you'll have a fine idea of who you are as a maker and how much of it you want in your life.  You will learn ALL ABOUT IT, how the whole thing works.  Some want to know so they can press forward; just as many are intrigued and just plain want to know, that's all.  Everything about both sides of that coin will be presented for you in class.

So....no blogging.   No Pinterest board (we'll do hashtags).  No getting behind on printing modules, there won't be any during class as we will be LIVE on video and you can go back, any time.  No sub-reveals.  None of that burdensome stuff. I will have written material but it's become so much like a book, I'm investigating having it bound or perhaps having someone make an E-PUB version, or saving it into a .pdf that can be sent to you....as it can be difficult to manage files at Facebook and worse to print them out. If we did all that for the students we'd go in the hole as ink is so expensive and it would take days to get it ready.  And, since I got a lot of practice writing my 1928 book, the module-book would be well laid out, proof-read nicely and well-edited to make sure the material flows.

I'll let you know more about that later as many might like to have a copy. If I have them printed, I will have time and money into them that's not been covered by the class fee, so I don't know how much to tell you just now. We're going to find the least-costly way.  REMEMBER:  you will have and OWN the classes, so it would be good to bring a journal or notebook to the video classes to write things down. Anything you forget you WILL be able to go back and get.

The CLASS PROJECT and the REVEAL of the simple lines the students will create as part of the learning process. There will be a deadline for the reveal, since we need everyone to get finished in a certain amount of time.  In the past we asked students to decide on a theme before the official beginning of class, which will be JANUARY 27, 2023 this year.  They were asked to report their themes to me and I didn't allow more than two people to take on the same one. I'm not doing that any more. You decide what you want to do, gather your materials, and follow through. It's about you and your getting the most from the class--not how good we make a Pinterest board look. 

I'll open the classroom at Facebook for BALC in a couple of weeks, before the VIDEOS begin. This way I can answer questions about deadlines, what the classes are about, what you think you need to know most of all (because I'm open to that and will do my best to make it happen) and how to plan your lines for the class project and reveal. I will decide on the reveal date after we are into class a couple weeks as I'll be able to see better how long it will take to get done with the subject themes in class. You will have plenty of time if you decide on your theme and  go ahead and gather your materials as soon as possible. 

During the time we are in class you'll prepare your lines so they'll be ready for the reveal.  As before, you won't show your line at all, not even a little bit, til the big reveal at the end.  ;-) As with all B'sue events, I'll be asking you to use products from B'sue Boutiques...but they do not have to be recently purchased. If you have B'sue stuff already and can make it work, then do so. 

Also, there are pieces/parts that don't have to come from B'sue Boutiques.  Things like:

cord

jump rings

head and eye pins

Bits of wire

glue

plain (not ornamental) clasps

tiny, plain spacer beads

ordinary bead caps

So if you have that sort of thing or have another supplier for it, then no worries.

If you are using mixed media product like Apoxie Sculpt, Perfect Pearls, Lumiere, Lunar Paste, Rice Paper, etc. we won't know if you are using ours, of course. BUT:  we would very much appreciate it if you would. Patronizing B'sue Boutiques for things you need is one of the reasons why this extensive course that will require a great deal of my time, is so inexpensive. In the past students have been good about using our things, so once again, we hope that if you need to buy something, you'll purchase it from us.

Focal items like beads, connectors, stones, stampings, castings, charms, pendants and chain should come from B'sue Boutiques.  As mentioned, you can use stuff you already have but if you don't, please check us.  If you are having trouble making what you want to make because we don't have what you need, please contact us and maybe we can help you figure out a work-around.

Here's a bit of advice: Don't get too fancy with your class project. This may or may not be a line you'll want to continue. You're doing it to work through the things we're learning. It might be best to make simple lines that only require a few focal items.  Anybody ever see the video where I make a whole line from one stamping? I wrote an article about it for Belle Armoire a few years ago, too! Click below to see the video.

Building a Line from One Stamping

Okay guys! I hope I got it all. Please contact me via [email protected] or Facebook Messenger to Brenda Sue Lansdowne....or call us Mon-Friday 9-5pm EST   800-868-4393

And...here's the link to sign up (below)!  I hope many will sign up soon, but I *will* take students  up until a day or two before class. If you wait a long time, though, it will put you behind the eight-ball in gathering supplies--unless you already have what you need.

AGAIN...here is the link:  SIGN UP FOR THE NEW BALC CLASS

 

 

 

 

 

 


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