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Two surveys - How are the holidays and


#1

Hi guys. I am once again inquiring about how fellow Orchidians
(Orchidites? Orchids? Orchidpods?) are doing this season. I am
curious how the wholesalers did as well as the retailers. We are
continuing to run well ahead of last year (although not by quite
such high percentages as earlier in December) and I’m curious how
others have fared.

Also, as I do occasionally, I want to know what you all are giving
your partners in love this year for the holidays. Personally I’m
giving my wife a 22k gold 6 ga round wire band with fused 16 ga and
24 ga wire accents with a bezel set 2.32 ct. natural (no heat)
cushion cut blue sapphire. Pony up guys. What are you doing for your
loved ones this year? And no excuses like you’re too busy. I haven’t
had any employee Aug 20-Nov 30 (maternity leave) and she’s only been
back part time since, so if I can do $220,000 in sales virtually
alone since August, and make my wife something like this, you guys
can certainly come up with something nice for your partners! We’re in
the business of giving love so let’s get on it with those who are
nearest, dearest and our best supporters year round. And if you
haven’t done anything yet you still have four days to do it in.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com


#2
22k gold 6 ga round wire band with fused 16 ga and 24 ga wire
accents with a bezel set 2.32 ct. natural (no heat) cushion cut
blue sapphire 

Mmmm!

My business is up 50% over last year at this time so I am happy and
busy. =) I am the “jeweler” in the house so I don’t get the yummy
jewelry. Since I am a novice (thus the quotes in the previous
sentence) and presently working in sterling I am not making my
beloved the ring he wants (he is more of a 22 kt, big rocking diamond
kinda guy). But I am working towards it. =) (Maybe next year after
some stone setting classes and a few more attempts at gold.)

So this year I bought a live Christmas tree. Sound cheap and or
strange? There’s a story…

My husband and I have been married 7 1/2 years so this is our 8th
Christmas. In those years, we have never done the same thing for
Christmas two years in a row. One of those years we moved before
Christmas and had a baby 2 days after. We have traveled for
Christmas (last year we were in Senegal for Christmas and Madeira for
New Year’s… some thing my 6 yr old was hoping to do again this
year) been home for Christmas, gone to Grandma’s house for Christmas
and so on. We have had a fake Christmas tree for 8 years, put it up
twice before this year. We haven’t been home so why decorate? And
home has changed… often. We have lived in 6 places since we were
married. In the last 4 years, we have bought 3 houses in 3 different
states. My 6 year old has lived in 4 states, my 3 (almost 4) yr old 3
different states. Gypsy life! But no family traditions- other than
moving every 18 months or so.

This year, we are home for Christmas so I got out the fake tree and
decorated it last week. But my beloved wasn’t in the spirit, he has
been a bit grumpy this week. Sounding very much like the Grinch in
fact. So last night I decided we were going to buy a live tree.
Talked him into the going with me, on the way there he kept saying
"We already have a tree. We don’t have to have a live one." etc. He
grumped about the cost, but I bought the tree anyway. Brought it
home, lugged it in the house (Live trees are heavy! All those roots.)
and decorated it. And what do you know… he turned on Christmas
music, put presents around the tree, let the kids pick and open one
present and was happy. We will plant the tree outside and next year
will put lights on it and it will continue to be our Christmas tree,
to be joined by another one next year.

So this year I am giving my beloved and my children the beginnings
of a tradition. Next year… yummy jewelry.

And we are planning on staying put. Pine trees have long roots!

Happy holidays all,
Michelle


#3

Hi Daniel

I made 4 gifts so far and one more yet to come.

I cut out the name of Sterling for my husband’s son’s girlfriend and
then cut and attached chain to each end.

For our niece a pair of sterling earrings with her initials and a
couple of lapis cabs, 6mm.

For my Dad I made a bola tie cutting the shape of Alberta out of
bronze and soldering on his initials, GAS, which is one of the things
Alberta is known for. Then I stamped and engraved various symbols of
Alberta and other things to do with our province. A leather cord and
(embarrassed) commercial bola ends. No more time.

For my niece I pierced her name out of 18ga Sterling then soldered
it to another sheet and enameled her name in pink (her favorite
colour). Then I bezel set a Star Rose Quartz in a bezel after I
painted the inside black to better show colour.

For my Husband I am designing a Sterling chain with small pieces of
sheet between the links that will later I will engrave with symbols.
Of course this will not actually be made until after Christmas as he
will not make time to pick out his symbols.

For me he is redoing my engagement ring and I just got the stone I
wanted in (a 1.91ct, 7.5 x 7.5 x 4.9mm Tsavorite Garnet). So the ring
itself will not be made until after Christmas. But this allows me to
at least design it as well.

Karen Bahr - Karen’s Artworx
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


#4

Daniel,

Once again, small town in central Michigan, and November sales
matched last year’s dismal numbers. As of today, December sales also
running about the same as last year, however average amount spent is
lower, so traffic count is higher.

As to the partner’s gift, after 41 years together we now buy small
(under $50 and NO JEWELRY!) and then do something after Christmas
for the both of us. Looks like this year we will be going to Vegas in
April to celebrate our daughter’s 40th birthday. Entire family and
many of her friends are making the trip to help her remember this
milestone in her life.

Jon Michael Fuja


#5
I am curious how the wholesalers did as well as the retailers. Also,
I want to know what you all are giving your partners in love this
year for the holidays 

Hey Daniel, commission business has been hugely up for me ( tripled
at least! ), too early to tell about the consignment to gallery
business… As for my loved ones, fresh tuna steaks rather than gold
and sapphires- meow meow :slight_smile:

good wishes to all, Christine in Sth Australia


#6

Daniel,

I like “Orchidites”.

Having no spouse, I get away with a large box of dog biscuits! The
fruitcake is still all mine!

Bill Churlik
www.earthspeakarts.com


#7

I love your idea of planting the tree after Christmas, I did this
many many years ago but wish that I had planted it further away from
the house.

Sam Trump.


#8
Having no spouse, I get away with a large box of dog biscuits! 

What??? No diamond studded dog collar this year??? Doggy is going to
be very, very upset.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
www.spirerjewelers.com


#9

In regards to Daniel’s survey; I too have had a surprisingly good
November and December, doing more than twice my usual business! I
have been in this location for ten years now, and have developed a
fair amount of “call backs.” But in addition, there is some high
profile advertising being done by Spanish Village Art Center in San
Diego House and Garden Magazine which seems to be increasing our foot
trafic. It has taken many years to convince the Board to spend the
sum of money required to buy this monthly ad and for me at least, it
seems to be paying off handsomely. But I can’t say that for other
artists at Spanish Village, some of whom are crying about the worst
business they have ever had this time of year. Go figure!


#10
I love your idea of planting the tree after Christmas, I did this
many many years ago but wish that I had planted it further away
from the house. 

We bought a species of pine that doesn’t grow larger than 20 feet
tall and 10 feet wide. We have 5 acres on which to plant so none of
the trees will be all that close to the house. The first several
years are going to form a wind break between our house and the
neighbor’s. :wink:

Happy holidays all!
Michelle


#11

I came real close to projection.

This being a new location after a year’s absence ‘same store’ data
does not apply. But if I were to draw conclusions…This new
location allows me to work less, keep more. I’m not a slave to the
business anymore. That’s pretty tough to argue with. I did nearly as
much in August, yes August as I did in December. I kinda like
spreading it out. I didn’t load up on January dating, for which I am
sooo relieved.

I see some challenges for the coming year. I know what I need to do.
I just have to get off my lazy rump and do them. I’m a chronic
procrastinator, which I will change…really, I will…right
after the new year :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


#12

My business is still in fetal stage so can’t report on that…and
I’ve spent the last five days getting packages out to loved ones
around the country. Today I get back to polishing the castings I made
a week ago, then setting stones…

As to gifts…

Husband made a wish list on Amazon so it was easy. His items
included a Kloss iPAL radio for his shop. I also got him a pair of
Crocs, a CD Yusef Islam (?) formerly known as Cat Stevens, a National
Geographic book of images by women photographers (he’s a photographer
and art lover so he gets a big coffee table book each year.
Brother-in-law and sis sent Sennheiser wireless headphones (also from
his wish list, and I wrapped) so he can watch movies on the movie
screen silently while I watch TV in the bedroom at night. Cool, I
don’t have to hear the subwoofer thundering in the living room. So
don’t know if that is a gift for him or me.

BTW, his sister also sent us a Turducken from the Cajun Grocer. It
is thawing in the studio fridge waiting to be cooked on Monday. And
some Kringle from O&H Danish Bakery in Racine. That was phenomenal!

I already know the gifts for me since I bought them, wrapped them. A
vintage strand of graduated pearls with a 14K WG clasp set with old
Euro cut diamonds and a one carat sapphire. And an Ipod shuffle, so I
can listen to my stuff while he listens to his opera during the
workday (yup, we both work in our home studio.)

But the really cool gift he gave me was a new bench last week.
Actually, he made the bench, 8 feet of white counter space on three
hardware store stock 12" cabinets. The true gem if I may say is the
drawer he made in the center cabinet for my oxy-acetylene tanks. I
just open the door and pull it out to turn on the tanks. Then I can
slide it back in while working. Elegant! The whole bench has lots of
light (he put in an extra troffer), two stations of space - one for
metal work, one for waxing, etc.

And he assembled the heavy, pre-strung 7’ tree we bought at Walmart
two years ago. One more year and it pays for itself and no needles on
the ground. ( Plus with my allergies, natural trees = migraines.)
Then I decorated it.

I think I came out ahead!

I hope all of you have a really wonderful holiday season. Thank you
for your stories, advice and thoughts. My heart especially goes out
to Eric and Dennis for their incredible family losses. I pray you are
given the grace of more healing every day.

It is so easy to get strung out on the commercial side of our lives,
particularly when this time of year is a large part of the year’s
revenue. So breathe, take care of yourselves and let yourselves be
loved. Yeah, and pass that Irish Cream baby!

Nel


#13

I response to Daniels survey. This is my second season as a
retailer, for the first 28 years I was a wholesale buisness or
working for somone else. We are up by 60 % over last year. I might
be able to stop eating beans and rice and have a steak now and then.

I am in Noth Carolina and it is the 24th of December, the last piece
of work is done and I am sitting around doing nothing for the first
time in 25 straight days. It is 60 and sunny outside, we opened up
the front door of the store to let the fresh air and the customers
in. I feel sorry for the folks in Colorado, I know what that is
like, I used to live in Iowa and I moved to get out of the winter
weather.

John Wade
Wade Designs


#14
I am once again inquiring about how fellow Orchidians (Orchidites?
Orchids? Orchidpods?) are doing this season. 

Surprisingly, I just had my best year ever (19 years making wire and
gemstone jewelry). The surprising part was that I had all of my
product stolen late last year-displays too, so had to start from
scratch… spent the whole year with about 1/2 of my normal
inventory. Now I’m wondering why it was so good, different
merchandise? better display? just luck of the draw?

as I do occasionally, I want to know what you all are giving your
partners in love this year for the holidays. 

No jewelry, never jewelry for either of us. This year we’re giving
each other a much needed vacation: two weeks in Kauai.

Bev Ludlow
Renaissance Jewelry
http://www.wirewrapjeweler.com


#15
I am once again inquiring about how fellow Orchidians (Orchidites?
Orchids? Orchidpods?) are doing this season. 

These terms make me smile.

We should check be careful of the name we pick, and check for
alternate meanings. Otherwise, the results can be embarrasing.

In Phoenix, there was a gentleman who thought a single orchid would
be a cool logo and he named his business the “Monorchid Gallery.”

It did get him fame, or at least notoriety. Monorchid is a medical
term meaning “having one testicle.” It made the local papers, and I
am not sure he ever did live it down.

Lee