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Artist Spotlight: Dancing Raven Stoneworks

Artist Spotlight: Dancing Raven Stoneworks

D. Robert Smith has been in the jewelry industry since the early 70's. He owned a repair and custom design shop for over 40 years, and 2 galleries along the way, and was awarded some jewelry awards on the show circuit. He retired (2012) due to injuries from an accident in 2006. But that would just not do, especially the former clients and friends who pretty much said, 'He is not going to retire just yet!" Now Robert is focusing on just work to sell to galleries. His styles are somewhat simple, and are styled to frame his first love...stones.

Describe Your Work

Robert hand fabricates, forges, textures, most all parts of his jewelry, excepting of course certain findings. He also cuts virtually all cabochons used in his jewelry.

How did you get started in the crafts business?

It all started with rocks in the floor of the truck while outdoors, then in the early 70's the bug bit him again.

How long have you been wholesaling?

DRS had previously done wholesale, in his first venture in the 1970's, all the way to the early 2000's. He owned a jewelry manufacturing business in the 70's then moved to repair and wholesaling jewelry, particularly at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. From 2004-2012, his shop specifically did repair and custom design.

What percentage of your business is Wholesale? Retail? Commission, etc.?

Wholesale is still coming up in numbers...retail is about 20%, with custom design about 20%. The eventual goal is about 80% wholesale to galleries and fine shops.

What are your top 3 marketing methods for reaching new buyers?

Right now, it is mostly online through my website, show guides and here on IndieMe.

How has IndieMe helped your business?

Mainly getting the exposure to a larger and more national group of buyers.

What advice do you have for new craft galleries?

Simply select artists that represent the theme you will set or have set, for your gallery/shop. This makes it easier for an artist to select or tailor work that fits in your business.

What advice do you have for new craft artists?

Perseverance. It is your friend.

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