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In-store jeweler

Thank you all for your input on the in-store jeweler dilemma that our
shop is dealing with. We work in a small to medium size market, so
each account is very valuable to us and so naturally we want to do
the right thing here. We want to make our service be a cordial and
pleasant one where we both benefit and see the value in each other’s
position. The challenge is making it a “win-win” situation for both
the retail mall store and the workman who needs to feed a family and
provide a creative atmosphere for others in his employ.

   From your experiences, I can tell that there are even more issues
to be addressed than I had originally considered or calculated. 

I am a goldsmith and I believe that by nature we are a very
independent and creative creatures willing to explore the unknown,
pressing our talents into the unknown. Casting with the use of a
broom is definitely an example of that!! I sometimes long for the
free time to hack off a piece of wax and just start carving. But I
need to make a living and I am responsible for the interest of a
business. So when demands are made of me (i.e. in-store jewelers)
that reduce my efficiency, then naturally that independent creature
stirs a bit and I resist the change. Perhaps in my quest for freedom,
I forget that change is the natural way for us to become better.

Maybe I should take my teenage son’s advice and “take a chill-pill
dad”! But I still have to come to terms with taking a very
productive worker out of my high performance shop and assign him or
her to a bench in a mall store…and make it pay. Kevin R.

      But I still have to come to terms with taking a very
productive worker out of my high performance shop and assign him or
her to a bench in a mall store...and make it pay.  Kevin R 

Hi Kevin - Sounds almost like an unreasonable curve ball to catch from
my naive view. As an individual who is not experienced at this level
of the business/trade - I was motivated to send off a few thoughts
nonetheless. Very awkward situation - since you were not consulted as
to your interest in providing the jeweler for the mall store before
they created the space.

Perhaps the change of providing a mall jeweler for the shop could be
done on a trial basis - “x” number of months. If the employee you are
sending is happy and productive in his current situation - it is
possible that he/she may not be happy and productive in the new
situation at the mall. If I were that skilled employee - I would like
to have the option to return to the position that worked for me
(behind the scenes). If the mall position is just for “show” and you
are still providing the body of work for the shop from behind the
scenes - you may not want to give them your best bench jeweler to work
behind glass - especially if the tool set up is not the best. Send
them someone who doesn’t mind being on stage. I’m sure the
productivity is better behind the scenes - so, I would definitely
limit the number of hours on location.

Just a few thoughts that may or may not be valid - hope I understood
your dilemna correctly. Hope the “cents” made “sense”. :slight_smile: Thanks -


I can certainly understand your frustration with loosing goldsmith’s
to these mall stores that think they can support a jeweler. The
volume is just not there in most cases. The promises are always
big…but the payoff is never there for the one-person underfinanced

Have you ever considered having your workmen sign a noncompete
document? You may want to consult with your attorney and see if this
would be viable in your situation. Then when you go to the expense
of putting someone on staff, then they must come on realizing that
they will be a permanent fixture as long as they choose to stay in
your area. Then make it a great place to work, pay them well and
treat them with the respect that a talented goldsmith deserves and
maybe it will help your situation. This is one of the reasons that I
do most of the personal contact with our accounts because I don’t
want my people becoming too friendly or chummy with the people on the
other end of the line. That is the beginning of a trusting
relationship and in many cases, may be the beginning of loosing a
valued account.

This business has its political side for sure, and keeping your bench
workers certainly takes its toll.

Kevin R.