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Sep 16, 2016

Breaking the pattern of fear-based living: Can I get a “Hell Yes!”

Imagine Yourself as a Craftsperson…

drivingYou decide to roll the dice and apply to a Chicago outdoor craft show in the blistering heat of summer with the hopes that this event will equal the awesomeness of last year’s Midwest circuit (which, by the way, blew your mind with its abundant results and enthusiastic crowds). Confused and panicked upon receiving rejection letters from those desirable shows, you start to scramble for plan B and apply to any show that still has open enrollment and hasn’t filled its sacred jeweler spots.

The prospect of an arduous 18 hour drive and outrageous booth fees seem to make total sense to you as you sit back in your cozy armchair sipping cocoa and watching the snow pile up outside your window, in the dead of winter back home in Maine.

You assure yourself that you are completely sane in your decision making. You are not panicking. You are not desperate. But secretly you know you are.

My Fear-Based Decision

It was impossible to get comfortable in my 110 degree Chicago jewelry booth this July. Desperately trying to find a nonexistent breeze while avoiding the sun at all costs, I started to write in my journal about the importance of making life decisions only if they are a “HELL YES”!

You might find it odd to visualize me scribbling madly with a bag of ice down my backside to avoid heatstroke, when customers could be coming by to purchase my goods. But you see, that was the problem. No one was venturing out to the shade-free, hottest part of downtown Chicago, to try hot metal jewelry on sweaty bodies. The show didn’t draw the crowds. I intuitively knew this back in January as I desperately typed up my application.

The fabulous shows I had experienced the year before had also been hot and bothered, but the reputation of these events drew massive crowds who were prepared for the adventure of finding art even amidst burning temperatures. I craved conversations with folks like these. I had forgotten how exhilarated I had felt each day when I had the opportunity to share a special moment with each new client. It was definitely a “HELL YES”!

I am not exaggerating!  It is easy to see that I felt far distant from my usual positive mindset that day and could not find find a “HELL YES” in this experience. What a gift has turned out to be!

Goodbye Fear-Based Decisions

When you join the retail circuit of national craft shows, you are saying yes to brutal drives, lots of heaving lifting, pricey booth fees, parking nightmares, expenses for hotels and food and all of those other draining aspects of life on the road. With fingers crossed for perfect weather and hungry crowds, you prepare your little 10 x 10 tented mecca to sell EVERYTHING you brought to share.No one can see, but you count on an internal cheerleader to guide you on your creative journey – encouraging your business decisions, boosting your confidence when shows go south, celebrating your great sales and spontaneous connections with strangers who  now feel like friends.

My internal support system roused me from my stupor that day. I realized I had made a decision out of FEAR, fear of of not having enough. Never again!

Embracing the “HELL YES” in Everything

Making a living as a craft person can be an amazingly rewarding but incredibly arduous career choice. The benefits of being your own boss, making your own hours and creating something with your hands is beyond priceless. The flip side of this freedom is the incredible blood, sweat and tears artists must endure to ensure their artistic vision can translate into an actual income.

I learned from sitting in that sweltering hot booth this summer that if you say yes to anything that you do not feel 100% inspired to do and if FEAR is your main motivator, you will never have the energy, inspiration and desire left in you when the “HELL YES” opportunity does come along.

I have seen a profound shift in my life as I select only what I can full
y embrace. The simple choice of engaging each decision, person and plan with full gusto has made my experience on earth so much richer, more authentic and fun. If rejection comes along, I don’t run to fill the void. I trust that an even better adventure is on the way.

It is so hard to say no to something when there’s no guarantee that you will be OK without it. FEAR-BASED thinking can keep you saying yes to people, places and things that will do more harm than good.

Isn’t it worth taking a chance to let go of fear-based decisions and opt only for those that make you shout, “HELL, YES!!!!”

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Dec 16, 2015

Giving Back with Gold! Flash Holiday Vermeil Sale to Benefit Maine families this Holiday Season!

I feel extremely lucky for all I have in my life and want to give back! I am really excited about getting into Gold Vermeil this year and have a nice collection of pieces to share with you. Please consider purchasing a piece over the next few days and help GIVE BACK too! I will be donating 50% of ALL SALES from this 14K GOLD VERMEIL GIVING BACK Collection between Thursday Dec 17th and Sunday Dec 20th to the Opportunity Alliance here in Portland. I am hoping to help buy warm clothes for local families in need and give their children some presents to help celebrate their holiday season.

Please contact Maggie to purchase any of the 14K Gold Vermeil piece you see in this Give Back Collection. There is only ONE of each piece available and the offer is only available for a few days, so ACT FAST! Call Maggie at 207.899.5939 or email her at info@maggiebokor.com between Thursday Dec 17th and Sunday Dec 20th to order. All orders will ship out Monday Dec 21rst unless local pick up is available.

Won’t you consider sharing the JOY of the season with me? Please share this post with anyone you think might be interested in my Holiday mission! PEACE everyone!

GET A GIFT & GIVE BACK HOLIDAY SALE!
Rain Collectionfloating pearl rain gold white pearl with earrings dec15

large rain splash necklace and earrings with white pearl dec15

rain splash necklace and earrings dec15Radiance Collection
large radiance gold necklace and london blue topaz earrings-dec15

radiance drop gold necklace white pearls radiance white topaz earrings dec15

radiance drop gold necklace green amethyst dew drop earrings dec15

dew drop cluster necklace white pearl dew drop earrings dec15seashore collectiongold barnacles 2015 dec

sand dollars gold dec15

seagrass gold necklace with hoops dec15

starfish gold 2 strand pyrite necklace dec15

starfish gold turmaline necklace dec15birch collectionbirch square gold necklace and earrings white topaz dec15

gold birch 2015 dececho collectionecho pearl vermeil necklace with large echo earrings dec15

echo necklace vermeil with peridot and green amethyst echo earrings dec15

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Jul 02, 2015

The Winner is….First Social Media Giveaway at Maggie Bokor Jewelry

instagram soaring bird giveawayOne of the interesting aspects of running a business is today’s world is our constant connection to the world wide web and social media. I must admit that I spend a great deal more of my time trolling through images on Instagram or daily posts on Facebook than I probably should, the reality is that time on your phone aps has become an important part of marketing research and a very valuable resource. (I must confess that my hours of watching silly animal videos…well that is just for me.)

winner june 2015I ran my first ever Giveaway on Instragram and Facebook over the past few weeks. It’s a great way to get the word out about your work AND I get to giveaway a brand new piece that I will be showcasing this summer at the NY Now Summer Wholesale show, so it feels extra special to me. I was impressed with the number of people who decided to get involved and feel encouraged with the comments I have received about the direction I am moving with my work.

instragram winner pick by dakota june 2015Yesterday, Jackie and I chose the winner. Actually Dakota chose it by sticking his nose deep in the bowl and pulling out the winning name. We think he was trying to eat it, but we were able to retrieve the folded tasteless treat and gave him a bone as a reward. Good dog!

The way someone entered was to LIKE the image and start following me on Instagram, LIKE and SHARE the post and start following me on Facebook. OR you could send me a picture of yourself wearing a Maggie Bokor Jewelry piece with a description about your connection to the work.

I was so excited to receive this image and email from Susan Foster. Not only was it a wonderful testament of how she FEELS wearing my jewelry, but also her connection to the new Soaring Bird Jewelry I am making. In her own words:

susan wearing mbjHi Maggie. I would love to enter the drawing for the jewelry giveaway simply because I adore your jewelry. I currently own two of your pieces. Attached is a picture of me wearing my favorite necklace while I’m hiking the beautiful Red Mountain trail in Colorado Springs. I love that I can casually wear your jewelry on a hike or I can wear it to dress up an outfit for girls night out.  Best of luck to you and your new line which I’m excited about. I am an art teacher at Cheyenne Mountain Elementary and we are the Soaring Eagles!  Our mascot is an Eagle and the students “SOAR” in the hallways.  Take Care. Fondly, Susan Foster

How awesome is that! Congrats to Rachel @Freaky.Frye who won the new Soaring Bird necklace and a HUGE thank you to all who participated. I am looking forward to sharing more work with you all in this fun way!

 

 

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Jun 15, 2015

48 Hours in Bar Harbor-Maggie Bokor Jewelry Version-Part 2

linda's green eggsHello again! Thanks for stopping back in. I would love to share some more of my adventure in Bar Harbor/ Trunk Show weekend.I left off with my evening with the talented Linda and Ken Perrin of Atlantic Art Glass. In the morning, Linda treated us to her very own version of Green Eggs sans the ham. The photo doesn’t do justice to the bright raw swiss chard and egg dish, but I can tell you it was delectable! It was a pleasure to connect with such dear friends and it set me up for true success all day long.

cara at KOTAfter a wonderful morning of sharing and celebrating, I headed out to visit my talented jeweler friend Cara Romano who had just opened her new KÔT gallery right on Main Street in Ellsworth. What a beautiful store she has created with a fine group of artistans: many I am proud to call friends. We had a great time talking about the creation of KÔT. Cara is not only an inspired designer, but a patron of the arts with a passion to share the stories behind every piece she carries in her gallery. Looks like I will get an opportunity to join this curated group very soon, so stay tuned and make sure to drop by if you are in the area. Definitely worth a visit.

KOT interiorAfter a quick bite to eat at the Flexit Cafe right outside her door in the same sweet Main Street establishment, I was ready to explore Acadia! It was nearing 2:30pm when I entered the park, so I knew that I would make the best of my time to find a short climb and some great views to savor all the way home. The Perrins had given me some great trail ideas and so I headed right to the Sand Beach parking lot to find the trail head for the Beehive Trail. I remember Linda had asked if I was afraid of heights because the Beehive Trail was basically a sheer cliff wall of rock for about 500ft to the summit with some areas where only metal railings to aid your climb. Looking back it would have been better to wear my hiking boots instead of sneakers, but I was ready for the adventure and off I went!

beehive trail warningThe hike was memorable most of all for the foreboding warning signs on the trail head. Labeled as difficult with possibility of falling and possible death. To be honest, I didn’t think to much of it as I passed by families with small children in flip flops on my ascent, but I did have a few moments when my shoe slipped on the long bars and I was grateful I was smart enough not to look down in those moments. The summit was exceptional and I even took a video, but it is hard to hear with the strong winds. I learned that I was pretty out of shape even with my daily elliptical workouts at the gym and that I must get myself back to Acadia soon.

beehive trail bars

 

My descending path was rather uneventful and much easier on the backside of the ridge. I spotted a wonderful cairn built by the staff with some added stones from hikers through the years. I walked right from the rough path of ragged rocks to dip my toes in the Atlantic Ocean down at Sand Beach. A rare little breach of sand and sun along this rugged landscape that was filled with visitors for far and wide. The sand was coarse and completely beige with no algae or seaweed and only a few spare stones. I walked along the beach as I knew there was a heart stone calling me. As a sweet little heart shaped rock spilled out of the surf in front of me, I took a moment to thank the universe for the gift and knew my visit was complete.

acadia heart stoneHeading down to visit with a dear friend for the night and a Sunday brunch ahead of us with two more of our dear companions, I could write to you all about these adventures too, but I will save it for another day. I leave you with some spectacular images of Acadia and hope they inspire you to plan your own visit to this magical place. Peace, Maggie

sand beach panorama

beehive trail summit pano 1

beehive trail summit pano2

 

 

 

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Jun 13, 2015

48 Hours in Bar Harbor-Maggie Bokor Jewelry Version-Part 1

The Maine Magazine has an editorial section called “48 Hours in….” where they send out their staff to investigate, photograph and sample the flavor of Maine towns. I have enjoyed learning more about great spots that I have yet to discover. One place I have longed to spend more time in is Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. I have had the pleasure of showing my jewelry at the Maine Craft Guild MDI show for years now. Yet, each time I visit, I haven’t found a way to get some extra time off to explore until now!

spruce and gussy signThe owners of Spruce and Gussy, a fabulous Bar Harbor gallery now carrying my work, asked me to do a trunk show last week as part of the First Friday events. I had an absolute blast getting to know Michelle and Patti along with a whole slue of regular clients and vacationers stopping by. It was a delight to meet and assist them in picking out special pieces of jewelry for themselves and loved ones. There was even a little taste of Shakespeare in the store at the beginning of the evening to entice locals to check out the rich theater community in the area. Nice to be right in the middle of the magic.

spruce and gussy jewelry set up

spruce and gussy trunk show signTrunk shows are such a great opportunity to get to know your galleries and let them get to know you a little better. When you are starting your relationship at a wholesale show or through a sales call, your focus is on business to see if you will be a good fit. You might get little bits and pieces of their personality and what their vision might be. But until you get to step into their world and spend some time together, you can miss out on some great connections and the possibility of a deeper bond than just artist and buyer. Michelle and Patti are both jewelers themselves and they know what they love. They have a great ease with each other and their surroundings. They belong in Bar Harbor and they made me feel like I too belonged in this beautiful town.

linda and kenOne of the perks of doing an evening trunk show in Bar Harbor is the opportunity to visit with some of my favorite people. Linda and Ken Perrin of Atlantic Art Glass live only 20 minutes away in the sweet town of Ellsworth. After their surprise visit to Spruce and Gussy to say hi, I stayed overnight with the Perrins, sampling some yummy food, good wine and great conversation past midnight. As I mentioned in my last post about my great artist friends, these two are definitely key members of my tribe and I value their insight and openness on this journey of embracing a creative life.  One of the best parts of our conversation was learning more about the non-profit they have started called Artsworth. Housed in their wonderful glass studio just below their cool loft living space where we spent our time together, these two engaging art enthusiasts/entrepreneurs have created an art center to inspire the entire Ellsworth and Bar Harbor community and beyond.

I am grateful for your attention and time. Stay tuned for my next installment of my 48 hours Bar Harbor experience. Should be hot of the presses in a few days!

 

 

 

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May 31, 2015

The Incredible Gift of Artist Friends

hands and flowersEvery time I return from a show, I am full of joy from visiting with all of my fantastic artistic friends and making a few new ones along the way. Part of the fun of wholesale and retail shows is meeting your neighboring designers from all over the country. It’s a rich and vitally important part of my life. We are all artists working towards the same goal of sharing a part of our creative selves with the world. We support, comfort and urge each other to grow. We share our experiences around techniques, business practices and all of the trials and tribulations of being a self-employed maker.

I am lucky enough to share a studio with two amazing artisans, Mary Anne Cary and Tina Dinsmore. My awesome assistant Jackie Kitts makes my life so much easier and our new intern Danielle is a pleasure to have at the studio. Having that creative energy flowing from room to room is enough to keep me motivated to keep showing up. It’s hard to believe that SoPo Art Studios was founded in South Portland six years ago. We have seen each other through some really rough times, danced through our days, laughed, cried, struggled and celebrated all of the wonderful work that has been produced in our sweet little studio.

The depth of my artist friendships are hard to describe. There is an innate bond between us. A special tribe that you don’t need a special handshake to join, only an investment into sharing your soul’s expression.

 

 

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May 13, 2015

Marking Life Moments with My New Cairn Collection

Anytime I have encountered a cairn on a trail, I stop to take in my surroundings. It feels like an invitation to breath and cherish the moment. The carefully stacked stone sculptures were made by someone on their journey: marking a moment in time, a directional change in their path or an honoring to a loved one who had left this life.cairn play

cairn play backI have been making drawings of cairns for a while now. Trying out some free form models in clay and finally playing with my first silver metal versions. Bringing these stacked, rounded shapes to life have made me more aware of the transitions in my own life. I have designed a delicate spine on the backside of the pieces. The stones speak of a delicate balancing act: strong and fragile at the same time.

Just like my own spine that has held me up during the darkest of days, I embrace the hidden strength that only the wearer of this jewelry will ever see. As I reach the two year mark since losing my husband, I honor my widowship. I have sailed on to create a beautiful new life with his blessing. As if we had taken a long hike and stacked stones to mark his transition to his new path, I honor you, Greg. Peace.

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May 07, 2015

The Healing Power of Jewelry- Tiny Barnacle Bracelet makes it to France!

A few months ago, I received an email from a lovely woman in France who found my Barnacle jewelry online and wanted to purchase a bracelet for a friend fighting the good fight against cancer. She and a sweet group of friends call each other “Barnacle Sisters”. They pooled their funds together to make this gift a possibility for their friend. I shipped out this sweet delicate reminder of their love to France. I just received an email from my new French client who let me know that her friend had received the bracelet and LOVES it! I can not explain to you how much it means to me to be a part of someone’s healing process. Honored and blessed to make a token of strength, a reminder of love and a beacon of hope. #hope #barnacle #notbeyondus

barnacle bracelet to france-maggie bokor

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Apr 25, 2015

New Wrap Bracelet Photos with Robert Diamante at Berlian Arts

Just returned from a photoshoot with Robert Diamante at Berlain Arts in Westbrook. Excited about introducing my new clasp for each of my five collections this spring! I have gemstone and pearl options for these versatile wrap bracelets that can also been worn as a 21″ necklace. I am always ready to make a custom design for you! Maggie Bokor Wrap Bracelet Collections 2015

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