Home » The start and end of a million dollar career. Sigh.

The start and end of a million dollar career. Sigh.

Remember this piece I made for our Heard Museum exhibit? It took me 4-5 hours and about 1,000+ beads. The end result is beyond stunning. The picture does not do it justice. We hung it in the museum and it gets so many raves, oohhs, and ahhhs from everyone. I KNEW I was onto something. I made a plan to launch a new branch: “Crafty Chica Chandeliers”. I planned to make a gazillion of them for Spanish Market in all kinds of pop themes, because I had so many requests from exhibit patrons. Plus, I knew it was winner, because the IKEA marketing department invited me to demo it at the 4-year anniversary party of the Tempe store. I envisioned becoming a millionaire, a high-end artist with different variations from this one single RIMFROST lampshade. Donny Deutsch, here I come! All I needed to turn my fantasy into fruition was to scoot on back to IKEA and buy their entire stock of RIMFROST shades.

Well, mis amigas, I finally made it to IKEA this weekend, all excited, cracking my knuckles in anticipation. Proud to take on this new and exciting venture. With dollar signs dancing in my eyeballs and the ca-ching sound playing in my brain, I practically skip-sprinted to the lighting section.

But…my beloved RIMFROSTS weren’t there.

WTH??? Maybe they were sold out?Before I went into panic overdrive, I saw a clerk walk by and asked her for the deal.

“Oh, those have been discontinued,” she replied.

*Falls to knees and pounds the ground*

Wahhh?? Noooo….!!! Even after she told me there were NO MORE, I still searched high and low around the lighting department looking for at least one RIMFROST shade. In my crazy mind, I believed I could manifest them. I left emptyhanded. Well, except for a bag of Swedish meatballs.

I talked to the marketing department today, and next week I’m returning to choose a new chandelier/shade for my demo. I always try see the bright side (no pun intended) of these kind of situations, and have faith I’ll find another model that I can work with. Maybe not for a new career, but just for the demo. I am crushed. I could have been a millionaire chandelier artist (JK, I’m dramatic, I know!).

Thank goodness I still have my glitter!!! I L-O-V-E my glitter!!

Have you ever had a what you thought was a million-dollar idea and it made your brain all crazy? What happened with it?

DeAngelo’s DIY samurai costume!

PROJECT: Diced Up Duvet


11 thoughts on “The start and end of a million dollar career. Sigh.”

  1. I had a “million dollar idea” once… and within a week saw the exact product for sale in a drug store. On one hand, it was a rush to think of it and be creative, definitely crushing to see it was already done… but then… I’ve never seen that exact item take off and “make it big” so maybe it wasn’t THE million dollar idea!?

  2. I invented a Web site editor in 1997, before there were any. It has features missing from web editors even today. Trouble is, I don’t write code. I had a guy though, and if we hadn’t chickened out and stayed with our day jobs we would have gotten rich in the dotcom boom.

    As if that weren’t bad enough, I went into development on a stop-motion animation program I designed, at a time when there was only one Amiga-based system. This time, code was written (same guy, plus another), UI designed, manual written, marketing, forecasts and a business plan. I even shot a movie with my 6-year-old daughter, then interviewed her about the experience for the pitch video. Then all three of us went to work at Adobe, and we contractually could not work on it any more. There are now plenty of stop-motion animation programs, none of which with the features we had, but enough to bottom out that market.

    What did I do? I cultivated intense bitterness and regret. (I tried learning to code, but I hated it.) I wish I could be more positive, but you hit a nerve when I was already strung out on account of the election.

    OTOH I can be positive about your situation. You have had one killer year by my reckoning. A solid brand like yours backed with talent like yours — this ain’t gonna be the last golden opportunity for you. Keep building that empire!

    –Mike Jennings

  3. Wow, I can so relate. I had this “brilliant” idea of marketing my own wood jewelry bracelet blanks, similar to the ones I used when my designs featuring these were featured in Belle Armoire Jewelry early last year. Someone else apparently saw these, too and moved a little quicker than me. So, even though I had a manufacturer all set to go and things were in process, I walked into a Michael’s in Oklahoma and found someone else had exactly captured my design and were selling them through Michael’s. I can’t tell you how upset this made me for a few days. But, as always, I got over it and am working on new projects to be “that next big thing.” Of course, I’ve learned from this. I’m not going public with any of my “brilliant” ideas until I am 100% ready to market them. It was a learning experience. Thanks for sharing this with us. It’s good to know these crazy little things happen to everyone from time to time.


  4. I saw that chandelier that you made and absolutely loved it!! I thought of making one similar for my bathroom. I went to the IKEA website (the closest one to me is 2.5 hours away) and it was gone. No where to be found. I feel your pain! 🙂

  5. I also had an idea that I thought was going to make me rich and famous. Unfortunately the next moring I couldn’t remember what it was. I could just remember it was going to make me rich and famous. Alas, back to my dreams.

  6. Yep! I had (have because I copywrited it) a design for dangle-y earrings for stretched ears- sold the idea to a world-wide company & then… the person backing me with the money for the studio buggered out. If I can ever get to jewelry-silversmithing again maybe, just maybe…
    But Kathy, you are FAMOUS, I saw your stuff in Michaels & I remembered buying from YOU when you were on eBay YEARS ago. I still have one of your switchplates BTW!

  7. No ideas have come to me yet but I wanted to tell you that your chandelier looks great. I just made one myself and I had the hardest time finding affordable crystals. I mixed real and plastic in my light LOL I prefer all glass though…


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