In 2005 when I left school I moved to Morro Bay, CA and moved into a one bedroom apartment over a double garage. If I stood on my tippy toes I could see a spot of blue where the Pacific was. My bathroom was downstairs. My studio was in the garage and it shared space with my vehicle.
Most days I sat in a sweatshirt with a space heater at my feet learning how to do production work. My support was available over the phone. When I got my torch the technician sat on the phone with me as I set it up as I was fearful I would blow myself up in the process.
I had a couple of galleries in Morro Bay that carried my work and I had a copy of the first sale pinned to the wall.
Initially I thought if I found 50 designers that liked my work I would be done. I had no one around me that I knew who made jewelry to have a community with so I had to make up my own rules and find my way.
I did a lot of $35 shows where I set up my tent and tables and sat all day and realized few people were coming. When you charge $35 a vendor you have no money for advertising.
People came to Morro Bay from May to October and after that the small community was empty. I had to look outside the area. I started doing shows in Southern California and ran into a show manager who recognized I was a newbie and did not treat me well. She cancelled me a week before one show, because one of her friends wanted in to a full show and then forgot about me in a second show, so when I showed up she didn't have a planned space for me. I found better promotors of shows.
I lived in a very casual community - tee shirts - shorts and sandles. One of my mentors informed me that if I wanted to sell jewelry I needed to wear it. He was right. Selling off your neck, wrist, ear or finger is the best.
I set up accounting, found ways to take credit cards, and corrected the many learning experiences I encountered.
Finally I determined that I needed to find affordable housing, so I moved to a rural community in Arizona, started traveling to multiple states, setup an internet site - actually several of them and determined that this was it and I was the one who was lucky enough to do it.