Last night I listened to Kate Hines of Kate Hines Jewelry speak very candidly about her jewelry business at a Design Salon gathering. In the '80s her jewelry was a big as the hair and the shoulder pads. Now her look is streamlined and sophisticated. I suppose that's the look that won her the opportunity to provide private label designs to J. Jill and other successful women's clothing moguls. She entertained us with stories of successes and failures, assuring us that she was just as human as the rest of us. Once her designs are approved her product is produced overseas. She's not selling out, at the moment, that's the only way to keep the costs low enough to do business with the big dogs. Halfway through I wondered what could I take home from this as a designer who creates "lines" and then does all the production work by hand. Most of us out there in polymer clay enjoy creating and designing each piece. Sure, the gals at Viva Beads aren't sitting in their kitchens rolling beads but I think that business was built more out of a desire to earn cash through mass production than a passion about creating wearable art. The conversation did however lead back to the importance of production staying here in America. It does feel appreciated - maybe just because I want it to be. And I'm talking about things on a teeny tiny scale - but I think customers get a sense of satisfaction buying local, buying homegrown.