Crafter’s Motto: “I Can Do That” and Sundance Buyer Blues

Blogged under Crafting a Career by Tammy on Saturday 8 November 2008 at 4:16 pm

Just as I was sitting down to lunch today, the postal carrier brought our mail, which included a Sundance catalog filled with awesome jewelry, like this necklace designed by Dana Kellin. It’s made of white labradorite, rainbow moonstone, pale gray quartz, and iridescent cultured pearls. Of course, while I always love 99.9% of the jewelry I see in this catalog, especially because so much of it very dainty and wearable which is totally my taste, I am just like most crafters when I look at catalogs like this because I know that I can make a good portion of what I see in between its pages. In fact, many of the same techniques in this necklace, such as wire wrapped loops, are staple techniques of mine.

I’m not saying I invented these techniques, but I’m amazed (and a tad jealous) that someone has managed to use them and sell high-end artesian jewelry through an outlet like Sundance. I know, too, that I am one of a zillion jewelry designers who would like to be able to do the same, and so with this idea a number of months ago, I actually contacted one of its buyers and asked for an interview via email. At first, I was told yes, and she would “get back with me.” Of course, she didn’t, so I emailed her again and was told that she was busy but still interested. Finally, she just stopped answering my emails all together.

Can you tell I’m very disappointed and even a little miffed? Why did she go back on her promise? I’m not sure. Maybe she really is too busy to answer a few questions from a little jewelry designer/writer. Maybe she realized that she would be inundated with jewelry designers once I published the interview. But, I’m the type of person that when I say I’ll do something, I’ll do it, so I just don’t get this kind of reaction, humf!


  1. Comment by Vintage Crafts — November 9, 2008 @ 7:41 pm

    I’m sorry you were blown off like that. If it helps, you’re not the only one being treated that way. I find that more and more people these days have poor manners. Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier though. 🙁

  2. Comment by Lora — November 9, 2008 @ 8:56 pm

    And didn’t she realize what a big readership you have and what bad PR her rudeness would be? Very foolish!

  3. Comment by Tammy — November 10, 2008 @ 7:31 pm

    Thanks, you guys. What I think most people like this don’t get is that even though I could make a lot of what I see in the catalog, I’m the type of person that would also buy some of this stuff because I’m so addicted to jewelry and I really appreciate hand-crafted artwork. I would be most of us are like that. Though, of course, it’s not like Sundance needs little ol’ me to promo them!

  4. Comment by Lyn — November 16, 2008 @ 3:50 pm

    What a small world. I too, was looking through the Sundance catalog and found a necklace that “I can make” for my daughter! It is the cute leather and pearl necklace on p. 96. Providing I don’t sell it, which I won’t, is it ethical to copy this design?

  5. Comment by Tammy — November 16, 2008 @ 5:54 pm

    Hi Lyn, normal rule of thumb is that as long as you don’t resell it and make it for personal use, then that’s usually okay to do. Of course, if it is at all possible, asking the designer for permission is also encouraged. But, I am far from a copyright or ethics expert.

  6. Comment by Margot — November 20, 2008 @ 11:29 am

    I LOVE the Sundance Catalog. I save them to view later for inspiration. My favorite necklace is a tiny sterling stamped heart that says, “mom” my family got me for Mother’s Day a few years ago from Sundance. I either go tiny and delicate or hugantic, not much middle ground here. The catalog presentation is always so stunning and simple, my kind of design.

    I think it’s a tough thing to get in there and I wonder how they select their artists. Like most things, it’s probably who you know.

    Beautiful design!


  7. Pingback by More artsy links! — November 21, 2008 @ 7:37 am

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  9. Comment by Cathy Koentges — January 17, 2009 @ 9:25 am

    I too wanted to sell through Sundance a few years back. I called and they were very kind and returned my calls directly. The marketing person indicated that because of the tremendous volumn of sales, part of the selection process is to agree that I could potentially be able to ship at least 3,000 pieces or more if they had that many hits on my piece(s). That left me out. I sell locally and people love my stuff, but I am still far from being able to manufacture in that quantity. Oh, well.
    Cathy from Washington State

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