Net Profits: 3 Jewelry Artists Killing It — Off the Grid, Pt II

Craft shows and jewelry trade shows offer great ways to gain exposure and network with fellow makers, but sometimes your core customers are hanging out somewhere else — at a rock festival or microbrewery, for example. In Net Profits: 3 Jewelry Artists Killing It — Pt I, we share how Allison Cimono of RockLove is killing it and creating “parallel cultural pockets,” as Hilary Halstead terms it. Read on to learn how another artist is making waves.

Net Profits: 3 Jewelry Artists Killing It — Off the Grid, Pt II

Gem Chains
Recycled skateboards, gemstones

Tara Locklear

“Running a business is a challenge every day,” says Tara Locklear, who makes jewelry from recycled skateboard decks. Just as creating and refining her jewelry is an ongoing experiment, so is marketing and selling it. “There’s a lot going on right now. I just keep trying things. Every year, there’s something new and different.”

After establishing a market with the local skateboarding community, Tara was invited to exhibit at the ACC Show. That experience pushed her to get serious about her business and gave her access to a supportive community she calls her “craft family.”

Last year she tried other crafts shows, including the Smithsonian Craft2Wear [] participated in group trunk shows, pop-up shops, [] and the Penland School of Crafts benefit auction. Instagram is another way she connects with her customers. People who buy her jewelry often post photos of themselves wearing it, tagging her (@taralocklear) or including the hashtags #taralocklear or #taralocklearjewelry. “This is great because I can see how my jewelry is being worn right now,” she says.

Where besides jewelry venues would your jewelry be a natural?

Did you miss Part I of this series? Here’s a quick link to: Net Profits: 3 Jewelry Artists Killing It — Off the Grid, Pt I
Read on for Part III: Net Profits: 3 Jewelry Artists Killing It — Off the Grid, Pt III


NET PROFITS is a regular feature about using the Internet for jewelry selling of special interest to those with a home-based jewelry business that appears in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist.  Learn more in “Mining Your Niche,” August 2017.

CATHLEEN MCCARTHY has written about jewelry and business for Town & Country, Art & Antiques, Washington Post, and her own site, The Jewelry Loupe. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Get more Net Profits in every issue of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist