Sue Tyson is one of ARTE’s most loyal vendors. Part of the original core team formed more than 6 years ago, Sue was probably the first handcrafted jewelry designer maker on the scene. I (Jan) remember her from the days when ARTE had its first exhibitions at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza. Woah! It’s such a long time ago; however, sometimes a trip down memory lane is vital in helping handcrafters understand how their work has evolved in time, and also how they have, as human beings, evolved. No judgement, no criticism. Only a learning exercise.
Sue Tyson has remained true to her niche – which is using authentic Murano glass from Italy in her designs. Her display is by far one that I enjoy stopping by every ARTE market without fail, because it depicts an artisan who has taken time not only to make beautiful jewelry, but also make the display appealing that you want to touch her jewelry and perhaps buy it!
Sue shares with us the first ARTE poster that was used at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza exhibitions. You can see a piece of her work on the bottom right corner of the poster.
Her first experience in displaying and setting up was at the Marina Market. “It was definitely a baptism of fire for me as the market was every Friday. It was always outdoors including during the summer months and exhaustingly hot. If there was a Shamaal or rain, that was even more fun. Backing onto the Marina, you always got wind in every direction! You always had to drink at least 3 litres or more of liquid /water during the day. Even though I was used to Hong Kong heat & humidity, Dubai’s summer was quite a shock.”
ARTE markets then moved to Al Ghazal mall for a very short season. The dark corridors meant that most photographs taken were dull and uninspiring. Still I’m glad Sue did take some photos, as part of her design evolution kit.
Not only has Sue’s display changed over time; the branding of her jewelry line has also evolved. She shares with us a photo of her earliest packaging kit.
Sue says, “So much depends on appearance, especially in Dubai. One’s first visual image/impression that seems to be the key to whether someone sells/buys or not.”
“My main focus, I think is always best quality that I can currently offer, affordability, durability, authenticity, honesty, and good customer service. So that covers packaging, gift bags, add-ons eg. silver polish cloths if they buy precious metal, tips on how to maintain pieces (So many ask if they can go swimming wearing Sue Tyson jewellery. I would say that one wouldn’t go swimming in one’s usual clothes/dress so why keep all your jewellery on?).
In keeping with the whole Sue Tyson Designs brand, Sue has started to incorporate the PERLAVITA! range of Italian Murano Glass beads in her existing Murano Glass designs. “These are made by Italian craftsmen following a long family led tradition since the 14th centure, I believe. They compliment my existing Murano themed designs perfectly.”
So here’s a note to newbie vendors. Be authentic. Create your brand from your heart. Start somewhere. And the path will open up, slowly but surely and beautifully.
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