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Poll: How long have you been mailling, and do you make money?

Your status as a mailler  

222 members have voted

  1. 1. How long have you been mailling?

    • Not woven anything yet!
      5
    • <2 months
      14
    • 2-6 months
      13
    • 6 months - 1 year
      24
    • 1-2 years
      27
    • 3-5 years
      44
    • 5-10 years
      39
    • 10-20 years
      50
    • >20 years (wow!)
      6
  2. 2. How do you treat your mailling?

    • Strictly a personal hobby
      29
    • Hobby, but I make a bit of cash when I can
      90
    • Aspiring to maIlle as an income source
      56
    • Chainmaille is a secondary source of income
      34
    • Chainmaille is my primary source of income
      13


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I'm wondering what proportion of folks here do maille for money, and how much they make. Also, madd-vyking suggested polling on how long folks have been doing chainmaille.

Voteificate! Also, if your board theme is dark and you can't see the poll, either highlight the poll section or change your board theme to light by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and click "change theme".

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I am something of an oddball in as much as I am Strictly a hobbiest. I refused cash for my work. It's not the "artist" sensability thing. It's that I don't want to make my joy into my job. I did that once, in IT, now I barely build my own machines.

I make on my schedual, I work when I feel like it, and if I don't feel it, I won't complete it. Can't do that if your plans are to make some cash.

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I had a friend who is a belly dancer, who I was constantly making jewerly for, ask me one day if I wanted to make some simple jewerly for her to sell off her basket. We work in a dinner theatre so she sells after show. So I started making her anklets and simple bracelets. Now I'm making hair flowers, hair dangles, rings, necklaces and all kind of things. As well as she gets me tables at belly dance conventions. I've been blessed with how much belly dancers love jinggly metal things! I love making maille and making other happy / fall in love with the items I make them. Its almost become a second job for me but one that I can control and do when I want to. Which i s usually all the time in my free time. It doesn't feel like a job and I don't think it ever will. I've been making maille since 2006 but didn't start selling so much untill about 2009. Figured id share since I answered the poll >^.^<

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I started making chainmail about 3 years ago and started sell jewelry shortly after that. This last November I bought a lot of ring and started selling it in a store that does consignment. I got in another store in the last month and am soon to be in a third. Since late November till now I would say I have made roughly $200. But my purchases were in the $900 so I have a lot to make up for.

RoS

Or BACON (I love it so much ?)

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I am something of an oddball in as much as I am Strictly a hobbiest. I refused cash for my work. It's not the "artist" sensability thing. It's that I don't want to make my joy into my job. I did that once, in IT, now I barely build my own machines.

I make on my schedual, I work when I feel like it, and if I don't feel it, I won't complete it. Can't do that if your plans are to make some cash.

Not such an oddball. I am the same way. I started out strictly hobby and, by fluke, got some of my items into a gallery. I lost all joy in making things so I have gone back to strictly hobby again and the joy has returned. The same thing happened to my sewing as well. I barely sew any more.

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There is an old saying "the best way to ruin a hobby is to make it into a job". I am trying to walk that fine line between hobby and job.

Exactly! At first it was just about paying for the supplies, but now I make some OK side money, but I would never do it as a living. I took almost all of last July off, just because I was busy needed a break.

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I started making chainmail after seeing an add for a dice bag in the back of a D&D magazine. I knew someone that made chainmail, so I asked him to show me how. That was 15-20 years ago.

I sell some of my work in the art shows of local Sci-fi conventions I go to. My goals for selling is to make enough cash to cover my materials and shipping. I have made my cash back, and still have a lot of pieces left around.

Now, if I can make back the cash I lost trying to help a friend get into a Ren Faire I'll really be happy. He asked me to buy a bunch of rings, and help him weave belt stock. Never got a dime back, and he got a bunch of the rings. Funny part is that I'm not that sore about that cash. I'm more interested in getting the money he owes me for a number of pieces I gave him to sell. I actually cared about making them, so they are worth more to me even though they cost much less to produce.

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There is an old saying "the best way to ruin a hobby is to make it into a job". I am trying to walk that fine line between hobby and job.

Movak

That is very, very true.

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I've been mailing for about 12 years and it's mostly a hobby. I have made a little bit on some commissioned pieces, but the couple times I tried to do a craft fair, I barely got the cost of the booth back. I much more enjoy the process than trying to make money off of it. If I could find a way to make maille pay the bills and then some, I might be tempted, but I'd probably not pursue it. I like maile more for the artistic nature and the challenge of making new pieces. I've got a few completed inlays that I should post pics of, but it's not been a high priority.

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I started out learning so I could make stuff for costuming for me and my husband for NERO and things just kind of exploded from there. people kept asking me to make stuff or if they could buy stuff I had already made. Breaking my ankle 1 1/2 years ago left me off work for 8 weeks and for someone who was working 50-60 hours a week with an occasional weekend off that left me with nothing to do but make stuff to keep me from going completely crazy. I pretty much still make whatever I want with a few special orders thrown in when I get them, but even those most of the time are more like ...I want some thing like that one in (insert colors here) and I then make something in those colors but other then basic bracelets most of the time things are never exactly the same, so I never get bored. since I use mailing to de-stress and relax most nights (like knitting for other old ladies) I figure I might as well make some money on the side from it.

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I've been mailling for 7 years, but making jewelry in some form or another for 18 years which started as a hobby when I was 6. I'm an independent studio jeweler, so for me, chainmaille is not a hobby (not anymore anyway). At present, my jewelry is my secondary income, but my plan is that within 3-5 years it will be doing well enough to be my sole source of income.

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Lets see been mailing for about 10 years. currently taking a haitus until I can get back stateside for good. For me chainmaile is more of a hobby but I have turned a good dollar in return. So for now I just write down designs and wait impaitently to go back to the states.

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I came to mail by costuming, and stayed for the creative possibilities. I've also made a ton of jewelry, some of it I sold. I'd like to make more money with it, but I mostly just want to make cool costumes.

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After 35+ years and a monopoly that Microsoft would envy, I have yet to reach the poverty line.

Meaning you're under it or over it? :P

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I love how you've been making chainmail longer than several of us have been alive.

That would be 'selling with intent to profit'. For 'making' (or at least trying to make) add another 20+ years.

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Grew up being fed the idea that you could be anything you want when you grow up, and the caveat --"Find something you love to do, then figure out how to earn a living doing it..." by society, on the one hand; and the sometimes harsh reality of --"You better just do what you've got to, to make a buck and support your family" on the other. After 25 years in the work force living much more by the latter, I somehow maintain hope to make the former more my reality.

I have diverse interests, so keeping myself entertained is easy, but finding ways to bring home enough bacon from doing any one of them is a challenge. Self employment helps-, children being mostly grown helps-, but focusing too much on any one discipline/mode of expression still makes that choice too much like work to leave it fun. So if I can bring home some money doing what I like and still like it, and compromise as little as possible to "the man", I guess I'll be doing okay.

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wait until the mostly grown children are actually fully grown and move out...it is almost heaven, the peace and quiet, not having to fight for the TV so I can put on something mindless while I make chainmail and not have to watch one or both of them killing zombies and don't even get me started on the dramatically decreased food budget with 2 grown boys out of the house, leaves more money to buy rings... lol

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I had a bit of trouble answering the second question. Right now it's "Hobby, but I try and make a bit of cash when I can", but I would like to get my work out there and try to generate some income. Kinda wish I could've picked both ^^;

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I started last year about 4 moths or so befor GENCON, me and my friends dicided to make a vest. We coiled ad cut the wire off a hand crak and everything. got the whole piece finished, only to find out that we made the pattern sidways XD

I imidietly tosed the vest at my friend that showed us how to make it. I never fixed it, its too funny a memory for me. lol

sence then iv just been makeing pieces for friends that ask or things that look like a chalange

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I've been knitting maille since '95. Since 2000, I've been the 'unofficial mailler' for the Seattle Knights, as I'm the only person in the group who has been willing to knit more than one shirt. At this time I believe I've made somewhere around 20 shirts for people in the Seattle Knights.

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