All, I am very interested in this topic, wasn’t going to respond, but
feel compelled. So, once more out of the lurk - .
I have been making jewelry, off and on since 1968. (there was a
period of 12 yrs. that I did not make a single piece or cut a single
stone) My BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry did not seem to help a lot
in my evolution to where I am at present. ( I can make punch bowls
and teapots, but who buys 'em?) For 30 yrs. or so, I have supported
myself in the construction business. From custom home contracting to
re-modeling slums to high end custom interior trim, I have done it
Had a shop in Steamboat Springs, CO for 2 years in the mid '90’s, and
at that time, I could tell that to get truly established there it
would take at least 3 more years. For many reasons, including VERY
high overhead, that direction was dropped. In the meantime, I spent a
little over a year as the “jeweler in the fishbowl” at a mall jewelry
store. It was terrible experience! The owners were interested only in
the profit margin. They sold that jewelry that we all dread, cheap,
imported garbage. They up-graded diamonds as a matter of course.
Basically they were (are) total frauds. We did not part as friends. My
new shop opened on Oct.16 2001, yup, 35 days after 9-11. If I hadn’t
already signed a lease, I wouldn’t have opened. Needless to say
business has not been great. (as my consigners well know) Over
Christmas we sold only a small percentage of our gross out of the
cases. All the rest, was custom. It was the best quarter of the year,
but it didn’t take all that much to be the best. So, that brings me
to my questions. To all of you that have shops of your own, how long
did it take for your shops to become an income producing enterprise?
What was the economy like (locally) at that time? Did you do it on
your own or did you carry other artists work? Do you also service
wholesale clients? How do you think the current world situation will
(or has) effected your business? Do you have any other suggestions?
Mark Thomas Ruby