Good morning all!
What a whirlwind!
Since speaking with Hanuman at Tucson in February - my first whiff
of the idea and format of Clasp - I've known it would address MY
perceived needs. However, the cost was a big consideration for me and
it was almost last minute that I knew that I could go to the Clasp
Beginning with the events leading to my decision to attend the
conference, the details of making the arrangements, the smoothness
of every step of the travel experience and culminating with the
convergence itself, I can only say I was where I needed to be and my
being there was meant to be! Now, there's no looking back to what
might have been!
I offer a huge thank you and congratulations to Rio and their staff
and much appreciation as well to our own Ganoksin, Manufacturing
Jewelers and Suppliers of America (MJSA), The Society of North
American Goldsmiths (SNAG), and Bench Media who served in advisory
rolls and were instrumental in contributing to the resounding
effectiveness of this inaugural Clasp event. Even the hotel and staff
I was very impressed with Wendy Rosen for her willingness to spend
so many hours each day reviewing portfolios and mentoring artists
regarding possible entry into the wholesale arena and targeting
markets for their work.
The event was phenomenal in nearly every way and worth more to me
than I could have dreamed. Rio's planning, consideration of our needs
(personal, physical and professional) and attention to myriad
details was evident as the hours continued to unfold. Wherever there
may have been a concern or question, it seemed to have already been
This was a wonderful opportunity to re-connect with friends, meet so
many Orchid posters and lurkers as well as others in the industry -
potential Orchid members :-) - and network. Kind of like an Orchid
dinner that lasts for days. WOW!
My current status is that I know my muse and continue to work at
refining the techniques relevant to my work. My continued
overwhelming weakness has been [no surprise!] the business topics
that are essential to jewelry makers. As great a temptation as it was
to follow my "Muse" or to glom onto details by experts in "Method", I
filled my dance card from the "Money" track. I was not disappointed.
Thanks especially to David Feldman and Andrea Hill as well as the "75
Actionable Business Ideas In 75 Minutes" panel. The was
presented at a level I can understand and includes steps I can take
to achieve these skills. I appreciated hearing do-able,
understandable business steps presented in a way that encourage the
entrepreneur, individual or small group rather than being geared to
someone who already has a business degree. I can do this! Go me!
There is so much to speak of in superlatives that it is easy to
gloss over those elements that were lacking in some way. Common sense
would allow that there must be some things less than perfect and
Most of the issues that I had and comments that I heard reflected
individual levels of need for specific material and only rarely
concerned the effectiveness of a presenter or the materials.
The reality of negatives obliges the attention of anyone concerned
with excellence and I commend Rio for doggedly pushing us to complete
and return an honest evaluation of our experience. They offered
something to us in exchange for the they will use to
finesse their future performance: the evaluations were our "ticket"
for the full event CD!
Additionally, they were constantly alert to our on-the-spot
reactions and input, taking initiative to inquire what was and what
wasn't working. The staff was actively involved with attendees in
breaks, happy hour events, "dinner with new friends" and impromptu
The evening that Clasp adjourned I had the great fortune to spend
some time with a group that included Mark Shipman, Business Coach of
Rio Grande. There was much laughter, sharing, networking and
satisfaction. A highlight of that evening for me was receiving from
Mark a small card imprinted with "The Bell Group Principles" of
I believe this list of principles encompasses the essence of what it
takes to be true to a goal of excellence and I would like to share
1. Do what you agree to do.
2. Do not encroach on other people or their property.
3. Create an environment of trust.
4. Be open and honest.
5. Treat everyone with dignity and respect.
6. Express and value all feelings, concerns and ideas equally.
7. Exchange your best effort for the best effort of others.
8. Develop long-term relationships of mutual benefit (win/win).
9. Have fun.
10. Passionately develop and pursue shared and individual
purposes and goals.
11. Strive to maintain a positive attitude at all times.
12. Maintain your power to succeed by choosing not to believe
you are a victim.
13. Take responsibility for your part in each life experience
and learn from it.
14. Be successful by helping others to be successful and
accepting that help for yourself.
15. Lead by influence (using reason, benefits, and inspiration)
rather than by coercion (using force, fear, and innuendo).
Whereas this would apply to life as well as business, I would
suggest that they are not separate.
Orchid Rocks! Rio Rocks! Hanuman, Charles and Ton Rock! Jewelers
Rock! Live long and prosper, all of us!
Pam - who is back home in Arizona and giving abundant thanks to my
beautiful, brand new granddaughter, Abbigail Mary, who patiently
encouraged her not-as-patient mother to postpone labor for a week
past her due date so that I would be present when she arrived!! I
thank my beloved son and daughter-in-law Joe and Becky for presenting
us with so lovely a creature of marvel and miracle to join her
equally awesome nearly-2-year-old brother, Alex. My heart is full to