CATALINA BRENES about SAF
1. Why do you participate at SAF
The first time I participated was in 2012 when I had already heard really positive comments from collegues that had participated before. So without visitng the fair before I decided to take part.
This year, 2014, is my third time, I participate at SAF because every year has opened many doors after and during the fair. I had the opportunity to show my work and be able to sell it to people who had really appreciate it. Also some gallerists came and after SAF now respresent my work. I find SAF a very good moment to get yourself known as well as get strong in defending your work and have a real contact with the real world out of your studio. Getting feedback and having the chance to explain your work and feel confident with what you have done is why I participate very happily for the third time and hopefully many more to come.
2. What is SAF bringing you, material and immaterial?
The two times I have participated have brought me a good amount of direct clients as well as gallerists. It has also made me believe in what I do, since it’s always very hard to show your work to the public. As in any other fair, you have positive and negative comments about your work , but that’s what has made me stronger to believe in my path and that’s a touch of reality more than necessary for anyone who does jewellery.
3. Is it bringing you things after the fair, if so can you tell us what?
Both times my work has being published in several magazines, that the journalists saw my work in my stand. Also a couple of clients I was able to sell some pieces after the fair and some gallerists contact me after SAF interested in representing my work.
4. What would you like to tell jewellers still hesitating to participate?
I wouldn’t hesitate in participating, I took part the first time without even visiting the fair, but I had collegues who had spoken so good about it. I can tell you it’s worth it and I’m now doing my third time.
5. Your advice?
It’s a great opportunity to show your work to a very good, educated public who is willing to hear you and know about you. You just have to be strong to defend what you believe, since it’s obviuos there will be people who will not like your work or will strongly question it.
Try to make your booth in a way that it reflects your work and in what you believe, don’t settle just for a simple table, take risks and show it the best you can. The better you show your work, the more in sintony to what your inspired by, the more people will believe in it.
6. How to run your own small business…
it’s not going to be easy at all. I started a couple of years ago working as a part time job for a contemporary jewellery gallery in which I was constantly in contact with the reality. Many times a very hard one being in Italy in a very classical city as Florence. But it gave me strength to believe in what I do.
I decided to start my small business or look at my jewellery as my own company. To be honest I’ve never expected to get rich from coming to SAF I expected to gain clients and to have the opportunity to show my work, which for me means a lot and it’s a great part of why I do my work. I invest always a lot in pubblicity of my pieces, try to look for competitions and pubblications and nock on any door I think will be good for my work. Since I strongly believe you start from the bottom, little by little gaining each time more poeple who will believe in your work and hopefully one day have a good recognisition. At the end I want to be able to do my work all my life and have the satisfaction to see it grow as my small business and defintly this two times sin SAF has giving me a lot to make it step further.