Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mind Mapping - the Best Entrepreneurial Tool for Creatives…Ever

Have you ever used Mind Mapping as a way to "brain dump" all of your ideas onto a surface so you can sort, categorize, prioritize, and pick through them?

I have known about mind mapping over the years but never explored it until now. It is not only fascinating, but also so very easy for the creative mind to grasp. It actually pushes your creative thought and gives all ideas a place to live!

I encourage you to try out Mind Meister - a free online mind mapping tool that also has a pro version if you want a lot of mind maps (you get three maps free).

But, for me, I only need one for now. I am developing my entire GalleriaLinda jewelry business strategic plan in one map. I find it easy to update it with those "flash ideas" that come to me with no where to go. I keep my mind map open in my browser the entire day and I put those ideas in my mind map for a later think tank session. 

Some of the categories I have created for myself are things that help me dig deep into why I love my GalleriaLinda Contemporary Handmade Beaded Jewelry business and ideas to strengthen it:
  • Why customers buy jewelry
  • Why Linda makes jewelry
  • Why Linda sells jewelry
  • Distribution channels
  • Online marketing channels
  • SEO channels
  • And much more specific to GalleriaLinda!
 Here is a view of my "in progress" idea board. I have blurred the map (it is not you) due to proprietary information but I wanted you to get the idea that it is OK to be messy, but important to document all your ideas as they come to you!

Check out the MindMeister free mind mapping tool and try it out. This is a perfect way for creative people to develop their business plan or to focus on only one aspect of your business, such a promotion.

I would love to know what you think if you use it. And, how you use it. Leave some comments!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Important $6000 Grant for Bridge Jewelry Designer Business

Update: February 2, 2013

It is time for 2013!! Think about it....getting a grant to start your jewelry fun to dream and bring it to reality.
Halstead Bead, Inc. awards a business grant to a new jewelry designer in the bridge segment each summer. The grant awards $6,000 in start-up capital and merchandise to a new design company.

If you are starting a new jewelry design business, please check out the 2013 jewelry grant application and eligibility details!

Get answers to your questions on the Halstead Grant FAQ page.

Get the Halstead Business Development Grant applicatio

Deadline: Postmarked between April 15 — June 9, 2013.
Winner notification: August 2013 

 Original post from January 14, 2009

Have you ever thought about applying for a jewelry business grant? Anything is possible! The more you apply to, the better chance you have. If you qualify for this grant, it is time to get your application submitted.

Applications are due between April 15 and June 17, 2009 and focus on business skills as much as design talent. The jewelry design business they are looking for is one that creates "bridge jewelry."

"Bridge jewelry spans the gap between fine jewelry and costume jewelry. Bridge items are high quality accessories that can be worn every day. Primary materials are silver, copper, gold composite products, crystal and semi-precious stones such as lapis, onyx, turquoise, malachite, quartz, freshwater pearls etc. Bridge work can be strung beadwork or castings."

Halstead Bead Grant AnnouncementCall for Entries! Halstead Bead Sponsors $6,000 Jewelry Business Development Grant Prescott, AZ – January, 2009

Halstead Bead, Inc. is calling for entries to its fourth annual Business Development Grant competition for new American jewelry designers entering the bridge jewelry trade. The grant will be awarded to a winning candidate in August. The winner of the 2009 Grant will receive $6,000 in cash and merchandise as well as other benefits. All finalists will be eligible for a mentorship program that matches new designers with established and successful jewelry entrepreneurs.

The Halstead Bead Business Development Grant differs from other jewelry industry competitions and awards because of its emphasis on business skills. Entrants must demonstrate not only extraordinary design, but also a strong business strategy. The application experience promotes the business planning required to make a jewelry brand commercially viable at the national level in today’s competitive market.

Designers utilizing a wide variety of fabrication techniques including casting, lampworking, precious metal clay, beading, or metalsmithing are eligible to enter the competition. Candidates must be US citizens who began their businesses after January 1, 2006. Their design companies must focus on “bridge” jewelry which is the segment between costume jewelry and fine jewelry that includes accessories in sterling silver, semi-precious stones, crystal, freshwater pearls and other similar materials.

Complete application details can be found at
Candidates must submit a design portfolio, business plan, resume and answers to several questions. Applications must be received between April 15 and June 17, 2009. The grant website also includes several helpful articles on launching a national jewelry brand as well as information on past winners and finalists. Previous grant winners include
Bridgland Studios, Belle Brooke Designs, and Ananda Khalsa.

The grant sponsor, Halstead Bead, Inc., is one of North America’s leading jewelry supply importers and distributors. The firm was established in 1973 and now supplies thousands of component resellers and jewelry manufacturers around the globe. Halstead Bead, Inc. is wholesale only and sells findings, chain, wire, sheet & beads for the bridge jewelry segment in sterling silver, gold filled, copper, freshwater pearls, gemstones, glass and Crystallized Swarovski Elements.

~~end of announcement ~~