Periscope Pitch Night

by lindsay walker

For the last few months myself and 19 other creative entrepreneurs have have been participants in the Periscope arts and business program through The Arts and Business Council of Nashville. We met at the ECC once a week for 8 weeks to hear a different business focused lecture, which always included group discussions followed by gathering into smaller groups to discuss our business ideas with each other and our small group mentor. There were fun activities throughout the time including a VIP night at the Symphony and happy hour meet ups whenever we could get together. The program ended with Pitch night at Oz Arts center, where all of us talked to the attendees about our companies and pitched our ideas in front of a panel of cool celebrity judges who rated our presentations. Basically it was like “Shark Tank.”

Building a creative business takes time. Everyone’s journey looks different. Officially it has taken me 5 years of of building something, that I fully enjoy and can be supported by. In those years of bartending part time and bootstrapping my way towards full time jewelry work, I have been rejected many times by potential buyers, grants, applications, random strangers I was pouring drinks for, you name it. In that time I have taken bad and good advice, learning all the while what works for me and for my customers. The most difficult aspect has always been, “how do I talk about myself and my company?” The elevator pitch has alway felt so hammy to me. Also, it’s difficult to condense my creative work into a couple of sentences? The simple questions of “how long you been doing this?”, “what kind of jewelry do you make?”, are actually difficult to answer.

Finishing the Periscope program changed that for me. My mentor directly helped me to narrow down that darn elevator pitch, business professionals volunteered their time to give myself and my cohorts advice, information, and guidance. Getting up on a stage in front of over 200 people and a panel of judges to talk about Walker Jewelry for 4 minutes seems like a small thing, but it wasn’t at all. It took months of preparation, deliberation, and it was the best thing I could have done for my business.

Days before the pitch night I signed another lease on an adjacent space next to my current live in studio where I can accommodate my classes better and offer a “community workspace” for local jewelry enthusiasts to return and practice their new skills. With the pitch perfect prize money that I won, I’ve been able to already spruce up the space with improvements and buy additional tools for students to use.

My hope is to build a jewelry community in Nashville/Old Hickory where people can help each other to grow and feel a little less alone while navigating their dreams. Check out the printed elevator pitch below and the class picture of the beautiful and brave artistic entrepreneurs. For more information on Periscope send me a line or link up here.

Make Your Own Wedding Ring Workshops

by lindsay walker

Since opening my little space in Old Hickory I've gotten to do 4 Wedding Ring Workshops with some of the most awesome soon to be married and married couples I've ever met. The context is like no other! These guys are walking into the workshop with little to no experience in metal work, but a willingness to learn and have fun. That is literally all it takes!  We start the mornings on these days sipping coffee and chit chatting a bit, typically I have gotten to meet these guys before during the consultation where we talked about ring sizes and material options to work with. By the time the workshop rolls around, I feel like we already have a good rapport going, which is so important! Making your own wedding ring on the spot can seem daunting for sure. I'm always amazed to see how quickly everyone picks up the techniques that I teach and how supportive everyone is of each other; helping to provide encouragement and affirmation when needed. This make your own wedding rings workshop is such a journey! And also symbolic of life and love.

I do have to say that I always get slightly emotional when the class has ended and we sip champagne and reflect on how the day went. There is an air of relief, surprise, love, and pride all at the same time while examining a freshly made pair of gorgeous rings that will be looked at and cherish for years and generations to come. These workshops are an honor to do. For everyone who has come out to Old Hickory so far to take this journey....A Big Thank You and a Big Hug! Here are some pictures below of the couples and their work. Please email me today if you are interested in making your own wedding bands. 

Walker Jewelry at the Tennessee Craft Fair

by lindsay walker

I had a great time at my first Fall Tennessee Craft Fair and was honored to receive best emerging maker . Read about my experience in this beautifully written article. If anyone is looking to belong to a group, I would highly recommend joining Tennessee Craft. They provide many different ways of support for up and coming and established artists. The monthly meetings with guest lecturers, are a great opportunity to network and learn from other artisans. 

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