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Competition, Community, and Respect

leather raven feather ponytail holder or shawl pin

Had a rough day today, contemplating an unsavory situation. As luck would have it, I came across these words that I wrote last year. It was a timely reminder of where to focus my energy. While the lame situation still needs resolution, I’d like to pause from my pissed-offedness for just a moment, to acknowledge the good:

I’ve spent a lot of time and energy griping about those unethical competitors who copy, undercut, and just generally slither around the internet. It’s true – they are many. But perhaps I haven’t spent enough time acknowledging the friendly and ethical competitors who have treated me kindly. There are many of you as well. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀                                                                                      ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune to know countless artists who’ve helped me to hone my craft and to learn the ropes as a vendor.

Despite the fact that we’re “competing” in a similar market, you’ve treated me with integrity and respect, helping me to learn and encouraging me to grow. We’ve empathized with each others’ struggles, and celebrated successes.

These positive professional relationships have endured time and trends, and many have grown into genuine friendships that enrich my life. Thank you for this! It proves that “competitor” doesn’t have to be a dirty word. We all choose how we conduct our businesses (and ourselves) and we CAN lift each other up without detracting from our own goals. In this way, we all thrive.
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So yeah, the jackasses are out there – but so are the good ones!

I’m grateful for those of you who choose to take the high road (even when it’s not the easy road) and I promise to treat you – and your work – with the same integrity and courtesy that you’ve shown me.

Raven feather ponytail holder © 2010 Andrea Adams/ Beadmask

photo courtesy of Priya Alahan Photography

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Lady Trieu Custom Headpiece

Well then! This one was a difficult birth, but I’m happy with the end result and so glad that she made it to her new owner.

Lady Trieu leather headdress
Golden wing headdress

The first time I worked with Miss K was 6 years ago, when her mother commissioned me to create custom Halloween masks for her and her sister (K is the peacock). This family was lovely to work with. Their mother let them design their costumes, and it was a lot of fun to try to actualize the kids’ ideas. I was honored to learn that mom had special shadow boxes built for these masks so that the girls can enjoy them year round.

custom leather bird masks
custom bird masks circa 2012

So when mom approached me recently for this project, I was happy to oblige. Especially when she gave me the background story: Miss K had a school report that required her to dress up as a historical figure and tell their story. She chose Lady Trieu, who is often called “the Vietnamese Joan of Arc”. She was a fierce rebel warrior who lead her people in to battle. I LOVE that K chose such a powerful role model for her school report! It was a pleasure to craft this headpiece based on her vision of this historical figure. The design was inspired by a crown worn by Miss Vietnam, as well as her mother’s tattoo. Her report was a hit, and her smile makes the costume.

 

Lady Trieu leather crown
Lady Trieu headpiece