The question is a good one, although obviously I can’t guess at what she may or may not already know.
Youtube is an invaluable resource. It is second only to google as a search engine and for people like me who love video, it’s the go-to search engine for questions about any number of issues.
The explosion of interest in jewelry making over the past couple of decades has resulted in dozens of people and companies (including myself) posting videos on youtube providing great content in an effort to interest potential customers in services or products.
So, the question is why develop a Professional Pearl and Bead Stringing course at all?
Well, there are three, possibly four, answers to that question.
- My work is directed at a specific niche within the jewelry making community and that is, those people who are seriously interested in developing professional level skills, whether they choose to monetize those skills or not.This means have at their fingertips a comprehensive understanding of the necessary skills, gemological knowledge and typical customer questions. I created the DVDs to meet those goals.
- The seemingly overwhelming reliance on crimps — a technique readily available on youtube — to create jewelry minimizes the importance of other skills and obscures their importance. I want my students to be as comfortable repairing a $30,000 pearl necklace as they are creating one from Swarovski crystal. I want them to be comfortable handling, discussing it and providing their clients with solid advice. I believe the DVDs provide a important building block in enabling this confidence.
- Confidence comes with hard work. While some pearl and bead stringing skills are easy to learn, especially crimping, others are not. Tying a clasp to a strand of gemstones takes practice. So, too, does tying knots. (This by the way is a partial explanation of why I believe metal bending has become so popular. While I think knowing how to bend metal is an essential tool for pearl and bead stringers, frankly, it’s a lot easier to learn.) My research on youtube suggests that while there is plenty out there teaching people how to smash crimps, there’s far less available on the proper way to tie knots, and there is little if any that shows people how to properly attach a clasp to a necklace. Without banging the drum too loudly, I also believe my teaching methods are far more effective than anything I’ve seen anywhere.
- My DVDs also share some of the specialized knowledge I’ve developed over the years, particularly in cross-sharing materials, techniques and tools. I believe this is entirely unique to me.
So, there you have it: a specific niche, skills development and enhancement, confidence and specialized knowledge.
I admit I was a little taken back at the blunt nature of the original inquiry, but her point was well taken. After a couple of e-mail exchanges, she did after all buy the DVDs. I haven’t heard from her since and I hope she is satisfied.