Prototyping Ain't Easy! (My journey making carrot themed wearable art)

Prototyping Ain't Easy! (My journey making carrot themed wearable art)

I truly enjoy creating custom wearable art pieces; but it can be challenging!  Words are symbolic and have different meanings for different people.  For me, I always challenge myself to try new design concepts and methods when creating wearable art piece.  I enjoy providing an alternative perspective that challenges someone to see or think about things differently.

But, when designing new wearable art pieces, you must be mindful of the symbolism behind the words and concept that you feature in your pieces.  Create authentically and use designs, colors, and images that have value to you.  But, after you create that piece, you should product test your piece to make sure it isn't offensive.  Ask family and friends for feedback to understand their perspectives and to experience how they react and interact with your piece.  It is important that you develop thick skin during this process because people may provide feedback that may be difficult for you to hear.

Recently, I made carrot earrings to commemorate the 44th Carrot festival in Schenectady, NY.  It took 6 iterations to create the Fantastical Carrot earrings and 3 more iterations to create the Classy Carrot earrings.  It was a hilarious experience.  I was scouring my bead collection in search of the perfect beads.  When I thought that I would them, I made a prototype. I was so proud of my Fantastical carrot charm and shared it with my family and close friends and asked them what they thought it looked like.  I was confident they would know but was surprised when they said, "a palm tree," "an arrow," and "a [Caribbean] pear."  

My one vegan cousin told me that the fantastical carrot charm wasn't realistic enough and that I needed to change the stem better reflect the carrot's authentic shape. This nudge for me to redesign led to the creation of my classy carrots wearable art set.  

When I showed my meat-eating cousin my two carrot designs, he said hated the classy carrots and felt the fantastical carrots were a stronger design because they was more visually appealing.  Both cousins were adamant and passionate about their views on which was the better design and told me to scrap the other "weaker" design.  

I thought my design concept was "dead" until I texted pictures of both sets to my one vendor friend.  She looked at the images and said, "What are they supposed to be carrots?"  Yass!  I thought, "She gets me... and other people will, too.  I just have to sell it and see."

In the end, product testing resulted in me creating two carrot designs to commemorate the 44th Annual Carrot Festival which is an amazing family oriented event that I was invited to participate in.  I always try to pay it forward whenever blessings come my way.  As a product vendor, it can be difficult to find places to sell and I try to support charity themed events.  I am honored to have been invited and now have two pieces that I made with love to sell at this event.  Thank you, Congregation Agudat Achim, for the design inspiration!

Classy Carrots Earrings & Bracelet Set

Photo credit: Salvage & Shine (c) 2022

Fantastical Carrots Earrings & Bracelet 

Photo credit: Salvage & Shine (c) 2022


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