I have enjoyed reading the orchid postings over the past 4 years and,
although I have been unable to contribute much, have truly gained a
wealth of knowledge from the many talented people that do post. I am
at a point now that I hope some of you can offer some opinions based
upon your experiences that will help me and possibly a few others. I am
a self taught goldsmith with about 8 years of experience. It started
as a hobby, while I was working in the electronics industry, with
hopes that after retirement I could work at it to supplement our
retirement income. My wife and I retired about 4 years ago and moved
from New Hampshire to Florida. We worked very little with jewelry
down there and spent most of our time caring for elderly parents. We
have recently moved back to New Hampshire and, out of financial
necessity due to differences in the cost of living, decided to really
put an effort into the expanding our jewelry business. Now comes the
questions. We are currently and have always worked out of our home.
We have a customer base of about 125. We feel that to grow our
business, we either need a small studio or storefront to increase
retail sales or start to sell wholesale to the other shops in our
area. I guess I am interested in the pros and cons of the two paths.
As a secondary issue with the studio/storefront, what is the bare
minimum needed for square footage and the cost (and any sources) for
outfitting (display cases, safes, etc.). Another possibility: Is there
a way to grow the business at home? We are somewhat concerned about
the security issue with regard to advertising. We are also interested
in how others have kept the “home business” separate from the “home”.
Any opinions, comments, suggestions on this issue would be greatly
appreciated. I, as many of you, am interested in trying to making a
decent living at a trade that I have found extremely rewarding. We
don’t want to become so busy that the reward becomes a chore, but we
do need to increase our level of business. Thanks again to all.
Jim Papuga Spirit of New England Warner, NH