Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

[Biz talk] The Long Emergency


I just joined Ganoksin & Orchid recently and have been lurking /
catching up on the community. I’m starting out in a niche market
i’ve been following for a few years and will probably have some
questions later on. My experience has been primarily on the business
side so far.

I have a couple of book recommendations and a question.

First, my book recommendations for pure enjoyment reading aRe:

i. “Barren Lands: An Epic Search for Diamond in the North American
Arctic” --by-- Kevin Krajick

ii. “Diamond: A Journey to the Heart of an Obsession” --by-- Matthew

Second, my question:

I’ve just finished reading “The Long Emergency” by James Howard
Kunstler, where he predicts peak oil and its decline will
dramatically change the way we do everything.

With recent gas price increases and generally overall, the price of
everything increasing in the U.S., are you worried about how that
will affect your business? And if so, how are you preparing for it?

Alex Rose LLC

In the likely event that the middle class suffers more shocks
remember that the upper class will always fingers crossed have
money to spend. During the great depression did not some high end
jewelers continue to prosper?

No doubt it will be necessary to adjust one’s marketing and so
forth. Fine tune the message. Fit the niche.

Personally I will continue to court the higher end of things. I
won’t abandon the middle, they have a way of becoming the higher end
in time.

I’m lucky enough to be in a market that is suitable for this plan.
Under different circumstance I might go do something else entirely.

But this point is crucial to everyone… manage your debt well. You
will need to maintain your flexibility and endurance. The problem the
middle class faces is debt. Do you want to be in that same situation?

"Diamond: A Journey to the Heart of an Obsession" --by--
Matthew Hart 

A friend gave me that book a couple years ago and I couldn’t put it
down and usually reading makes me sleepy. I think I have a bit of
Homer Simpson in me…

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Ben Franklin said, "Keep thy shop, and thy shop will keep thee."
This is where I place my hope for my future. Whatever awaits.

I’m responding as Neil is. As he pointed out, there were some during
the Depression that still had the means. Some of the most beautiful
jewelry ever made was created during the most trying financial times
in modern world history. This tells me two things. First, there will
always be the wealthy, and there will always be work for those that
can cater to their desires. The other thing I take away from that
time was also an observation made by Charles Darwin; only the fittest
will survive. Only those in the best position to cater to those
wealthy few, in quality of both design and craftsmanship will make it
through the worst, if that should ever occur.

As Neil also observed, debt will be the bane of those who succumb to
it. “Neither a lender nor a borrower be” is another Franklin adage I
try to live by. I do not extend credit to my customers. After all, if
the worst happens, who is going to be the first in line to be
forgotten? The Power Company or the jeweler that is owed for a
diamond wedding set? As to being a borrower, my guess is that a bank
will try to repossess my tools and inventory long before they put
people out of their homes to satisfy their investors and their bottom
lines. I certainly hope that would be their priority. I intend to
avoid that by not owing them anything.

One of the best hedges we in the jewelry industry have is that,
unlike clothiers or restaurateurs or any number of other livelihoods,
our inventory does not go out of style next season or spoil by next
week. Even if it does go out of style, it will never spoil. We can
always pull the stones out and melt down the metals if something
doesn’t sell and we need the money. Not too many other industries
have that kind of Ace in the Hole with their inventories.

There is another aspect of what we do that is horrible to
contemplate, but still somewhat comforting when considering a
terrible set of conditions. During the Holocaust, three occupations
that could save someone from the gas chambers were being a classical
musician, a seamstress or a goldsmith. Sobering, but true.


"Neither a lender nor a borrower be" is another Franklin adage 

Not to take away from your excellent points but that quote came from
the play Hamlet written by William Shakespere. Not say Ben Franklin
didn’t use the phrase because it falls in line with all of his other
timeless adages.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Colorado Springs, Colorado