I have taken on repairs more times than I care to count where I
felt sorry for the customer, and out of sympathy knowing they would
have a hard time finding someone to fix it, or find someone that
would be reasonable, I took it in. I solved their problem, but I
created one for myself.
When I first started my business, I took in every repair that I
had any hope of fixing. After ten years, it is really hard to turn
down some repairs, I just have a nature that wants to help solve
someone elses problem, and I still don’t realize how much time and
effort it actually takes to fix the piece.
When I sat at the bench looking at the piece I wondered what I
was thinking when I took it in. The definition of insanity: doing the
same thing over and over the same way and expecting the results to be
I am diligently working on limiting myself to repairing only what
is purchased at my store, and goldwork I know I can get well paid
for. It is still hard to turn away things that I know I can fix.
When I first opened my store I had women in their 70's or 80's
that had costume jewelry and I knew they had no idea of how much just
the labor would cost to fix their treasures. If I could do it simply,
I would do it and not charge anything. I knew they would not be
purchasing new jewelry from me. Fortunately those type of jobs don’t
walk in the door anymore.
Since I have 30 or more repairs , custom pieces and stock for the
cases on my plate at all times, I have to try and have a sense of how
I think I will have time to do all that. A constant struggle for a
person who is organizationally and time management challenged.
Many times I have agreed to do something custom that I had no idea
of how to do, basically jumped off a cliff without knowing where I
would land. This has always worked out for me since I am good at
problem solving. I got paid to learn whatever skill I needed, learned
about the materials, and only did the job if I could do it with the
technical skill of a professional. This also taught me to have
discipline, I already had commitment and responsibility. I also was
never afraid or ashamed to adopt someone ( sometimes without their
knowledge or consent) as a mentor and seek advice.
That's where I am in my process. Working with metal and stone is a
creative use of my obsessive compulsive disorder.
Richard in Denver