Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lessons in Networking

The woman standing in line in front of me at Panera’s had on beautiful earrings.  They were silver horses with an ancient or native feel; they had thin galloping legs and upright black tassels for their tails.  I tapped her on the shoulder and complimented her.

She told me that she bought them at a gallery.  I asked her where; she named a college town about an hour north of where I live but not the name of the gallery. 

She told me that she is an artist and had not intended to buy the earrings but went ahead and splurged.  I told her I was a jewelry artist. She asked if I worked in silver.  I replied no and told her I was a bead weaver. 

I asked if she had ever seen the work of Luann Udell, because her work is the perfect complement to the earrings she was wearing.  Luann creates pieces that look like ancient carved bone.  Because she hadn’t heard of Luann, I pulled out my Blackberry and failed in my attempt to find her on the internet because I had misspelled her name.  I gave up and pulled up a photo of my necklace, India Spice, which she complimented. 
India Spice

Somewhere in the conversation she mentioned that she did a broadcast on art. 

Her dinner arrived and I had to place my order.  I did, however, manage to give her my card and told her to send me an e-mail and I would give her the information on Luann. 

Here is what I learned.  Being friendly is its own reward, but sometimes you might gain more than just a passing conversation.  Networking opportunities are everywhere.  I did well to show her my work and gave her a short summary of what I do best.  I gave her my card.  I should have gotten her name.  I should have asked the name of the gallery, especially since they show jewelry.  I should have asked about her art.  I should have asked about her broadcast.  Maybe I would have been able to do all those “should haves” if the line had been longer.  Next time I hope to have a few less should haves and I hope you do too. 

One more lesson.  She told me she had sold a few pairs of those earrings on trips out of state.  Women would ask where she obtained them and she would put them in contact with the gallery.  My first inclination was to tell her about an artist other than myself because the other artist seemed a good fit for what she was wearing.  Anyone can represent you when your work speaks for you. 

1 comment:

  1. Now, this is a great picture! I am so glad that you posted this.

    Charlotte NC


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