Rio Grande and Orchid

Dear all, I have an announcement to make concerning Rio. I cannot
speak for Rio but, I believe through their actions they understand
the problems to us in the trenches caused by their recent growth. I
feel that because of the strong reactions demonstrated on Orchid to
the problems they are having Rio understands how many of us have
relied on Rio as a supplier and experts in the equipment they sell. I
want to let all of Orchid know that Rio has very generously donated
to Orchid this year on a scale Orchid has never known. I saw the
annual Orchid dinner as an opportunity to tell the world about
Orchid, to share what I consider the most fantastic trade
organization, with the entire industry and to seek greater corporate
sponsorship this year in order to let the jewelry industry know about
us. I ,of course ,would not take such an action with out the
blessings of Hanuman and his complete involvement who felt it time
to take such a step himself. Rio stepped up to the plate and took the
opportunity to be Orchid’s prime sponsor this year. I’ll post more in
the next few days about the exact nature of this sponsorship and the
help available to Orchid from the industry. Sam Patania, Tucson

I applaud Rio for being the largest sponsor of Orchid. I will say
that Rio should not expect the people who have their living doing
what Orchid is about to continue to use a supplier that can’t meet
their supply demands because of their donation. We have our own
businesses to attend to.

I have read so many good things about Rio on these pages. People
referring other people to use them as a supplier, but a majority of
these were long ago.

Rio has to come up to the plate and supply. The longer they have
many dissatisfied customers, the more they loose. I have honestly
heard negative feedback about Rio for many months. How long should
people wait until Rio is “fixed.” I know they read Orchid, and I
would like to hear when their issues will be fixed.

I end my conversation here.
I wish good luck to Rio.

Well, I know first hand how exasperating trying to get an order form
Rio is. My position is that Rio has hurt Rio more than they have me.
I look forward to when they get straightened out but, in the mean
time, my business goes forward and I get what I need from who ever
has it. I have been asking myself why I have such loyalty to Rio. I
just appreciated their catalog so much as I was coming up in the
jewelry business. It was so much easier than any other ordering
system than my father or grandfather had to use. I remember when at
first they had allot of problems with their computer system, when
they first computerized in the '80s, I think it was. It was at a time
when computerization was so clumsy but , they persisted and really
put the hurt to the competition. Being on top is not a stable
position and integrating new ideas is a constant challenge but a
necessary business strategy.

The reasons that Rio is experiencing their problems matters little
to me. That they are having problems is even no surprise, who in
business doesn’t. That they are sponsoring Orchid is a pleasant
surprise, Orchid deserves it and needs it. I saw Rio as an
organization who could help themselves as they helped Orchid. Good
will in this community is worth allot of business in a business where
trust and face to face transactions are a norm. Maybe that is another
reason I like Rio, their catalog in motion gave me faces to deal with
not just the nameless voice on the phone. Should anyone who has a
grievance with Rio just forget it because they are a sponsor? Rio
isn’t that naive and neither am I . I think one thing that Orchid has
to teach is that there is no one best way to achieve anything and
that through a process of criticism and open mindedness we can all
become better at what ever we do. To me that is art. And business.
Sam Patania, Tucson

I’ve had my blinders on for the last few weeks or so, trying to dig
out of the holiday crunch. Haven’t checked my Orchid postings. It’s
nice to see Rio stepping up to the plate and helping out, especially
knowing the drubbing they’ve taken the last few months on Orchid –
not that they didn’t deserve some of that. Maybe they’ve been
listening. My last few orders have come through without a hitch.
Got one today, called in yesterday and went straight through – no
wait. Salesperson was pleasant as they always are at Rio. Not sure
if I’ll go to Tucson this year or not. If I do it would be nice to
thank them
in person.

ditto to Sam’s positive attitude about Rio. they have always been
there for me and I get my orders within 2 days. Who can ask for more?
Their catalogs are great with terrific tips ( I have been keeping
them since 1978). I am one of their first customers and wouldn’t

Jennifer Friedman in ATlanta

I started making jewelry in 1976. Rio Grande was one of the few
jewelry suppliers available to me through mail order in the Midwest
that carried a full range of not only tools, but materials like sheet
and wire silver. I have dealt with them ever since. Of course I work
with many other great suppliers, but Rio Grande has been a leader
just as Orchid has in working to bring innovation and productivity to
those of us that have had to come up the hard way in this industry.

I know they have been having problems, but what business doesn’t go
through that now and then.

I am not surprised that Rio Grande has chosen to support the Orchid
community. This is in keeping with the same committment I have seen
from them for my entire career.

Ken Gastineau
Berea, Kentucky