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Jewelry design manager for mac?

I’ve been looking for a simple way to keep track of expenses, and
create a manageable list of original work. I think something like
Jewelry Design Manager is what I am looking for, and the best
version would also link to Quickbooks for invoicing, etc. The only
problem is that I am a dedicated Mac user, and JDM runs on Windows. I
have looked into adding Windows platform, and some other software
that would allow me to run both platforms simultaneously to avoid
multiple re-boots, but I will also have to add QB for Windows if I
intend to use the QB link in JDM as well. All of this is becoming
very pricey, and I have minimal skills in QB for Mac as it is,
without having to adjust to QB for Windows, which is larger and has
more features.

I am using Numbers to attempt to keep track of costs per piece
(mostly 1 off’s, and small runs), and a Bento database with pictures
and the numbers worksheets, which I hope to use to track
consignments and sales. All of this is cumbersome, and I now need to
update pricing to reflect current costs. I have tried to figure out
how or if I can use QB is some way to price the work, but I’m not
seeing how to take parts and create new inventory without an order.
(As I said, minimal QB skills).

I want to be at the bench, not at my computer. Are there other
alternatives out there for us Mac people? I can just get JDM and the
Windows /Parallels software without the QB links, but it’s still a
pricey option.

Melissa Veres, engraver & goldsmith

Melissa -

If you must go with QB for Mac, be prepared for some frustration. It
does not have a good reputation, especially the current version. In
fact, the Mac version does not have all the functionality of the PC
version. (Sloppy/lazy work on part of the publisher.)

I went with MYOB since my needs were much simpler than yours. I did
a lot of research on the pros/cons of accounting programs for my
shop, and I wouldn’t touch QB with a 10ft pole.

Two things I would suggest: 1) get the software needed to run QB for
Windows on your Mac and a tutor to teach you QB, or 2) get the
database FileMaker and have a programmer write modules for it to
work with your chosen accounting software.

Both options are pretty pricey though, but at least FileMaker is Mac
native. Another possibility is to have a spreadsheet guru set you up
with templates that can be used instead of a database.

You need a database for what you want (QB, MYOB, FileMaker are
databases) and they cost money and your time/effort to makke them
work. Spreadsheets like Numbers or Excel can simulate the
functionality of a database, but you will find the limitations on
that pretty soon. A truly skilled spreadsheet programmer can work

Why no one is writing good accounting software for the Mac is beyond
me. Investigate FileMaker - the single user licenses are not too
pricey, and there may be modules already available that can be
modified as you need them.

good luck,
Kelley Dragon

Can you get a program like WINE? I use a linux operating system
(similar to MAC) and this program allows me to run Windows programs
on my linux system.

Have you looked at open office? this at least has spreadsheet and
database operations that can be used to track inventory and expenses,


i’ve sent out a couple requests for you, to mac communities. my best
guess would be to just get a windows computer and work through that
curve. you’ll have to buy software for either platform…a windows
operating system for your mac if you choose to stay on that machine
plus the application/s. an inexpensive windows machine will have the
os installed, and since it’s dedicated to work, it should have a
little tax relief…yes?

i’ll let you know what i find out.


I use VMFusion and that way I can run my Jewelry Designer Manager on
my Mac through Windows XP.


also, there is this to consider: Then be sure the accountant you hire
has experience dealing with artists. There are special inventory and
tax considerations that not all accountants will be familiar with.

For example, there is a special IRS guide for auditing artists and



Speaking as a jeweler who also spent 8 years at the University level
as a Client Support Specialist (One who provided soulutions to
questions such as you have asked), I would have to weigh in with what
Holly Swanson says below. VMWare.

Software that allows you to run Windows software on your MAC. To
wait for a version of Quickbooks for the MAC and marry that to an
inventory management system that plays the way it should with
Quickbooks is going to be something you may not want to wait for.

If you don’t care to wait and want to solve your “problem” in an
expedient and and effective manner, you don’t really have much choice
but to consider the Windows marketplace. VMWare allows you to do that
while continuing to use your MAC.

The upside is that with the advent of “virtual computing”, your
operating system MAC, Windows, Linux, etc…become less dependant on
the hardware you choose to implement. When you build and implement a
"virtual computer" you can essentially “copy” it to a DVD or
removable hard drive. Install a copy of VMWare on a new or different
computer, open that software and “boot” your virtual computer and
continue where you left of without having to once again wondering
"How much is it going to cost me to upgrade, move, rebuild my
"busisness system.

Hope this is useful…


i've sent out a couple requests for you, to mac communities. my
best guess would be to just get a windows computer and work through
that curve. 

I think there is a mac software that is similar to JDM. I’ll try to
find it, I have the name of it around here somewhere.

It is difficult to understand why JDM doesn’t make a Mac version.
(yes, yes, I know I could run it on my mac with a virtual pc
program, but I’m not going to.)


If you have a dual core mac, you can install windows and then run
any windows program that you wish.


The only problem is that I am a dedicated Mac user, 

Probably so, Melissa - why “dedicated”? The solution to your
question is right in front of you, as another has said - buy a
Windows computer. There is no real difference between the two, if
you (one) has any real facility with computers - just different
colors and one has buttons on the left and the other on the
right… No biggie. And I personally don’t buy into the mystique
on either side - it’s a box, full of electronics cards and disks.
Except that Windows has the world of business and accounting
software written for it…

Quickbooks doesn’t do manufacturing, or at least not very well. What
you are talking about is called “job cost accounting”, where you buy
a finding and a stone and have $xx labor and put it all together and
add profit and overhead and all the rest. Quickbooks is really for
vendors of either products or services, though there’s a bit of
overlap there. You still need to buy the part and then sell the
part. Buying little parts to make bigger parts and then selling THOSE
is generally custom-written, purpose-built software and it’s not
cheap. And basic Quickbooks really isn’t that hard, once you get the
hang of it…

I have my mac set up to run windows on one “side” as my husband and
IT support calls it.

It’s handy. I can still whip out my flyers etc. in Publisher very
quickly and I didn’t lose all my windows documents when we switched
to Mac. I can design our Enameling Guilds newsletters in a Word
template, save it and then e-mail it from the Mac side.

Also, because I do all my Etsy and online work on the Mac side I
haven’t had a run in with a virus in years.


here’s one additional consideration: Assuming she has an Intel-based

  1. Download and install VirtualBox. It will allow her to run Windows
    side-by-side with Mac OS (no reboot required), performance is good,
    and it doesn’t cost a cent.

  1. Buy a Windows license. Windows XP is arguably the best option as
    it has a lower memory and CPU requirement than Vista or 7 and is
    still widely supported. She can score an XP Home or XP Pro from ebay
    for around $50. Once she has the license and install disc, it’s just
    a matter of installing it into a VirtualBox virtual machine.

  2. Buy Jewelry Design Manager (and QuickBooks, if she wants it) for
    Windows and run it inside the virtual machine.

Problem solved.

i still think it might be better to let an accountant work with you,
than spend the time jumping through all the necessary hoops, plus
spend the time setting up, etc. my business is quite small and
doesn’t generate a lot of transactions, so it is easy for me, at the
present time.

you'll have to buy software for either platform...a windows
operating system for your mac if you choose to stay on that
machine plus the application/s. an inexpensive windows machine... 

Thanks for your input, and I’ll be interested to hear what your mac
communities have to say. I started with Quickbooks many years ago,
and was forced to get the latest version after my last mac os update.
I have not been consistent over the years in putting in my
just kind of used it as a glorified accounts receivable
and job log, so I would consider starting all over again. I do use
Bento, which is a Filemaker database program, there are templates
available, and its easily customize-able, but I have come to realize
over time that it’s a bit tricky setting up your database to provide
all of the results that you may want. It’s a bit confusing trying to
sort out how the various sets of inter-act, and how to
keep them updated and interactive. I haven’t found a template on
their website that will fit my needs.

It has been suggested that I get an inexpensive Windows machine to
use for JDM, and it would be less expensive to get a net-book than
updating my mac to run windows. I will also check out the WINE
program that was suggested for linux, (and look for a good
accountant!) Rather be engraving!

Melissa Veres, engraver

Hi Melissa -

There is QuickBooks for Mac

I use Quicken on my iMac for the business my husband and I own, but
am thinking of switching to QuickBooks.

For my jewelry business as mentioned in my earlier e-mail I use
Jewelry Designer Manager using VMware Fusion on the Windows side of
my iMac.

Holly Swanson

I don’t know what you mean by a dual core Mac but I have Mac and I
run Parallels which allows me to run windows along with my Mac
programs. Works just fine for me. Well enough that I am a complete
Mac convert!


This software is mac compatible: I have not
personally tried it, just letting folks know about it.



If you still want to stay with mac–I do–then you can get a dual
core desk top or laptop. They are all pretty much dual core for
several years now. You can even but a used or refurbished one. Look
at Craigslist or Ebay. I did.

You’ll still have to pay for Windows but the newer macs allow you to
partition the machine into essentially two.


Hello Melissa,

Rather be engraving! 

If your book keeping time was spent engraving, you would be having a
pleasant time and be making money.

A professional book-keeper will be quicker and more efficient and
their fees are a deductable expense. Your learning to use software
and the hours of data entry isn’t.

Best of all, come tax time you will not get any nasty surprises and
your accountant’s fees will be minimal because of the book-keepers

Anthony Lloyd-Rees.
Beautiful British Columbia.


I’m very behind on Orchid right now- busy with Christmas shoppers,

Just saw your post from the 7th of December- We are using MYOB,
which is not ideal but it does work. I suppose all programs have
their limitations. I have all my “parts” entered and inventoried,
from findings (I put them all together as “findings” to save time and
aggravation), to casting grain, bar stock, etc. Then I can
"build" an item in the inventory side. It subtracts the parts out of
their categories and creates the new finished product under the new
appropriate category ( pendant, ring, earrings, etc, ). Bookkeeping
and inventory also work together, so when I get an invoice for, say,
gold casting grain, I enter the invoice to be paid, and as part of
the entry, I tell it what category the gold goes into. The inventory
end of things then automatically updates so that grain can be used
when I later “build” my next project.

I’m not a bookkeeper, so I had a bit of a learning curve to start
with. I had a bookkeeper friend of mine help me to set up the
accounts at the beginning, which was very helpful. I also called
support a couple of times at the very beginning, which was helpful

Again, I’m not saying this is ideal, but it might work for you. And
of course, I’m a tried and true Mac person also.

Good luck,
david lee jeweler
Mason City, Iowa

PS MYOB is really set up and most advantageous to companies making
the same item over and over again. We don’t do a lot of that, so we
had to modify some things, but it does work for one offs. You just
don’t get to utilize the auto build features.

NOTE- MYOB Account Edge is what the program used to be called- now it
is Acclivity Account Edge, but it is the same people.

Melissa and Brenda,

I too am a dedicated Mac user and also use MYOB for all accounting
purposes. I haven’t been able to get the gist of using it for
tracking product though, where book keeping and inventory work
together like you have Brenda and hopefully, I will put it all
together someday. For now I use MYOB for my accounting, sales etc.
and this is helpful, especially at tax time.

What I use for keeping track of individual items is EXCEL. I started
this before I began MYOB.

This is also how I price out my jewelry for the most part. I built a
spreadsheet that will allow me to place a photo of the item, name it
and anything else I want to record; cost of findings, chains, metal,
stones, molds, my labor etc. I’ve made up formulas that will take all
these “costs”, add them together, add in the labor, overhead and
profit margin. Metal costs can be changed and will give me current
costs and even suggested retail prices. It took some doing and
learning curve to figure out the formulas, but it works great. And you
can design EXCEL to work in any way you want. There are no presets. I
have spreadsheets for different types of inventory, such as one for
stones, pearls, different lines or series of work, and for one of a

All this “business” is important if you hope to make a living doing
what you love. It is also time consuming. I’ve never really found
computer entries to be especially time saving, although MYOB does
save me a lot of frustration for tax time, payroll and can make
interesting reports. Hopefully, I can take the next step as Brenda has
and combine the whole project. Hope this is helpful.

Mary Ann Archer