Sunday, July 15, 2012
"Advance To Exciting Career In Jewelry!!!!"
Those words "advance to exciting career in jewelry" used to make me laugh! That was how my boss at the manufacturer titled his want ads for bench positions followed by "no experience necessary...must be good with hands". At that time, I was learning the trade. My work would consist of days of long production runs performing the same task over and over again to hundreds of pieces! We had special names for some of those pieces. "The Dreads" stands out in my mind. They were little cluster earrings with a larger center stone surrounded by 8) .0075 diamonds ( for those of you not in the trade they measure about 1mm). I will never forget as long as I live, the day I tipped my tray of over 1200 of those tiny diamonds all over my bench and the floor, and had to find them all! CRAZY!!!
I was reminded of those days today as I sat at my bench downstairs cleaning and polishing hundreds of castings to set and assemble for the upcoming gift buying season. The work is dirty, and anything but exciting. As the owner, CEO, artistic director, etc., etc., one would hope that these tasks would be handed to minions to perform. There's the rub in starting your own business. I am still at the stage where I do it all. I often wonder what it is in me that would make a forty eight year old woman with a good paying job want to start from scratch? I remember being in the conference room with the woman who was my previous boss frustrated with me asking "why can't you just be happy collecting a pay check?". I don't know...I just can't!
So that is how I spent my Sunday, cleaning and polishing castings. What gets me through the task is a vision of a viable business, where I can hire some students to work with me (we'll do the boring work together!) I have had many people tell me the best plan is to source the work overseas because the manufacture of jewelry is no longer viable in our country. I prefer to think of my business as an incubator where other creative people can train to develop their own micro businesses, hire a few students to help them and then pass it on!