Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Geezer Chicks in Cyberspace

Sometimes my 'youngish' husband doesn't like it when I refer to myself as a 'geezer chick,' but I am amused by this moniker. To me, it connotes women of a certain age who are still around and kicking, still reinventing themselves and learning new things, and who still understand that even at this 'late' stage, many of us are starting new businesses and new lives.

It's been noted recently that the new online platforms are encouraging a whole new community of entrepreneurs who may be reaching the early edges of 'retirement,' but who definitely have enough life left in them to act on a dream, flesh out some ideas that have been churning, or to just take a chance and see what else life has to offer.

I'm proud and awed by the young set, who actually invented these platforms -- and of all the young entrepreneurs who inhabit them. But, seven years into the existence of  Facebook, we have seen it morph from a 'facemash' meetup system to an unlimited platform for every sort of endeavor. And the old set has signed on and also made it theirs.

Websites, Etsy, PayPal, LinkedIn, Twitter, Myspace, and, of course, Facebook network us together. Who would have suspected that an advanced platform like Etsy would be the very way to sell cottage-craft goods made by hand?

It is the 'Boomers' who have had to play catch-up, to get back into the game. Many of my friends have balked, but many more have plunged ahead. It's been a fun, if not nerve-wracking, process.

And so, begin to catch-up we have. Amazingly accomplished middle-aged artists are now in cyberspace. They excel in every craft category. They have had enough time to ply their craft, to develop their point of view, to master their materials, and now to market these creations in new ways undreamed-of by them when they were young adults.

I like to say that I was always waiting for 3 modern things to show up: the inexpensive calculator, the cell phone and Facebook. I am so glad I've lived to see them arrive! It is as much fun playing with them and developing my new business around them as it is to hunker down in my studio to create the art jewelry I sell.

And I am not alone. And I believe my ranks will swell as more and more 'geezer chicks' find their way to cyberspace to market their art. 'Geezer dudes' will, too. It is the way of today and the future.

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