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How's Business around the orchidsphere?


#1

Lately I’m pulling twelve hour days while I hear local competition
will be going out of business. But after this passed year there’s a
lot of ground to be made up. I’m not celebrating just yet. I am in a
more positive frame of mind though.

So how’re things all around the orchidsphere?


#2
So how're things all around the orchidsphere? 

I’m down about 12%.

I’m not unhappy though.

I thought at the beginning of this year I was going to really have a
hard time. Even though my landlord increased my rent by 10% ( may he
trip over his shoe laces) and every shop next and next next to me
have closed, I still can eat steak and cheese and drink beers.

Hans


#3

Hi Neil;

Lately I'm pulling twelve hour days while I hear local competition
will be going out of business. 

Same here, ungodly hours and I still can’t keep up. Barely anything
selling from the cases, but then again, I have scant inventory, a
bit of memo goods, tons of pearls which nobody seems to want in spite
of the incredible low prices. We’re up to our ears in repairs and
custom work. I’ve got at least a dozen waxes to carve, all behind
schedule. Maybe my prices are still too low, but I do have to
consider what people around these parts will spend. I’m pretty quick,
but not as fast as I used to be, I guess. I have no competition in
town. We can’t afford much advertising, but I guess word has gotten
out that we do good work. We buy scrap gold, make money on that, buy
at 50%, sell at 85%. And watch batteries, my god, must be $400-$500 a
month from those. Still, we just barely make the bills and wages. One
problem I have is, I can’t afford inventory so I don’t have much in
the store. I’ve gotten good at selling from catalogs. And I can sell
a piece of custom jewelry with a quick sketch, I’ve been doing that
for decades. There’s where all those college art courses come in.
Had to have a whole lot of drawing, painting, design, even anatomy,
etc., before I could even take the metals classes. I don’t think it’s
that way any more.

I can make stuff, as good as anything I can buy, but I’m too busy
with the custom work to do it. January, I’m going to have to stock up
on melee and gold and start pounding stuff out. Well, I can’t
complain, we knew we were going to do this on a shoestring, and it
looks like it’s working. I feel sorry for the shop owners who don’t
have bench personel. Gotta be tought watching the dust gather on the
cash register.

David L. Huffman


#4

Our dance card for Xmas is just about full. No days off from here on
out.

Jo Haemer
www.timothywgreen.com


#5

What I have done in my store is to replace all the "store bought"
jewelry with wax patterns. Yep, I scraped all the jewelry that was 1
year old and filled my case with trays of wax patterns.

The response has been phenomenal. When customers ask what the "blue"
rings are, I explain the casting process with the use of a sprued
pattern, an invested flask, the cast pattern with the spru attached,
and a finished casting. Using these aids, it only takes about 5
minutes to explain the process.

I also tell the customer that I can use their old gold to make
jewelry with for them. As I am using stock wax patterns, my carving
time has been cut way down. The customer picks out a pattern, I cast
and finish it, set any stones and it’s done. Easy…peasy.

I am as busy as I want to be. My wife calls herself a Christmas
widow as I am usually so busy that I can’t enjoy the season until the
24th of December. This is going to be different this year as I am
intentionally limiting the amount of work that I take in, in order to
spend some time doing “Christmas” things with the wife and grandkids.

Here’s wishing that each and every one of you out there in
Orchidland has a great Christmas season. And spend more time with
your family…


#6

Teddy

What I have done in my store is to replace all the "store bought"
jewelry with wax patterns. Yep, I scraped all the jewelry that was
1 year old and filled my case with trays of wax patterns.

Good for you. That’s how we ran our store eons ago. It’s a great
niche.

Here’s a suggestion. Advertise in the paper on CHRISTMAS DAY

“Was your gift the wrong size?”

Have a picture of a ring and watch.

Advertise you can size rings, shorten chains, watch bands, etc,

Also mention "Rush/While you wait service available.

We charged 50% more the week between xmas and new years and did a
gang buster business is simple sizings and such all that week. ALL
WOMEN want to wear their thing on new Years Eve.

David


#7

Praise God! Enjoy the holidays with family.

I sell higher end, no heat, sapphire (Kashmir). With Christies and
Sothebys auction sales on fire, I’ve had more inquiries than ever.

I’m just about sold out, and no stones to restock. Christmas begins
tomorrow.

Ed
KashmirBlue


#8
When customers ask what the "blue" rings are, I explain the casting
process with the use of a sprued pattern, an invested flask, the
cast pattern with the spru attached, and a finished casting. 

Customers often have difficulty understanding the “blue” rings and/or
visualizing what they will look like in gold. Tim Drouhard at the
Drouhard National Jeweler’s School had a beautiful display in his
retail area with each of his castings made in “jewelers bronze” (rich
low brass, alloy C-230, 85% Cu & 15% Zn). This alloy casts easily and
when polished, it looks like gold, so the customer views a reasonable
representation of the product. And the cost for the display for the
jeweler is much less than gold. Just a thought.

Good luck.
Jamie


#9

I’m doing very well despite the recession. My Christmas Open House
was more successful that last years. I’m also moving my store to a
better store site (mybisi.com).

Suzanna McMahan