Hello all. I have been lurking for some time while making
preparations to start a retail jewelry business and have found a
wealth of good here. I am now seeking advice as to how
to get products to sell, as my needs are just a bit unusual.
Our web based jewelry outlet will feature jewelry made from gold
that is certified as ecologically friendly. Following years of
research and training, mining communities in the South American
rainforest are starting to produce a limited amount of alluvial gold
which is certified as being non-destructive to the environment. The
certification process also reflects the fact that the refinery limits
emissions and that alloys used are also ‘green’.
We are currently seeking artisans who are interested in working with
ecological gold and selling those products through our site. My
question is this: What is the best way to reach and engage those
artisans? I have tried email to a number of Orchid members, but
received only a few responses. (This is not surprising considering
the amount of spam I receive myself). I realize that development of
these relationships must be an ongoing part of doing business, but
our catalog is in need of a ‘kick-start’ at the beginning. Oddly
enough, I didn’t think finding product would be such a hurdle in
starting the business, but it’s starting to look fairly big, as we
plan to launch by June.
The gold price shouldn’t be a big issue. Although certified gold is
slightly more expensive, I expect the retail pricing of jewelry to
easily absorb that cost. As to availability. we can facilitate the
supply of gold. Granted, we are the new kids on the block. Is that
scary to an artist who is producing pieces on a 'made to order’
basis? Any input from the artisan’s side of the equation would be
I have to believe that there are artists looking for a market. I
happen to have a market looking for artists. How do we make the
match? How should I evaluate an artist before committing to a
relationship? What are they looking for in me?
As there has been a good bit of discussion at Orchid regarding
environmental issues, I also welcome the community’s comments and
continued debate on eco concerns. I hope to keep this constructive.
I simply strive to provide an alternative for jewelry customers who
are environmentally minded and wish to make a positive choice when
buying gold products. It’s a niche, somewhat like organic
By the way. I love this community. I hope to find a way to
contribute back even a portion of what I have gained already from all
Thanks so much!
Matt (cyber-based, but plugged in near Houston)