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Working at home


#1

Some of the latest notes seem to have a hint of paranoia . . . I
have an “in home studio” actually, it is a jeweler’s bench and a
buffer along with a vented soldering area in my basement.
Sheesh, the houses in this neighborhood range between $450,000
and $120,000, and I’m going to guess that most houses have more
expensive and collectable things to steal than the few hundred
dollars worth of sterling or gold filled and a box full of
semiprecious stones that are found in my basement.


#2
  I'm going to guess that most houses have more expensive and
collectable things to steal than the few hundred dollars worth
of sterling or gold filled and a box full of semiprecious
stones that are found in my basement.  

I am in a similar situation and would agree with you but what
makes me paranoid is the thought that a would be robber might get
it into his mind that there is more gold/silver/gemstones lying
about than there really is…and therefore might move me up a
little higher on his list of places to rob.

Derek


#3

This thread reminds me of the pitfall of working at home during
my benchwork days. I only worked by word of mouth, because I
never wanted to advertise who, what or where I was. How do you
promote yourself while keeping a low profile?

Gail


#4

The problem is the bad guys don’t know how much you have or
don’t have. They just want to steal it. Quite often, the
inconvenience, destruction and mess these guys make is worse than
what they get away with, not to mention the problems that arise
if you get involved.


#5
and I'm going to guess that most houses have more
expensive and collectable things to steal than the few hundred
dollars worth of sterling or gold filled and a box full of
semiprecious stones that are found in my basement.<<

Remember folks, it’s not what you know you have in the house.
It’s what the burglar THINKS you have that makes him break in.

One other point, you can’t count on a burglar for smarts, if he
had any he wouldn’t be breaking into homes.

Dave


#6

Hey all of you at-home-tool-using-metalsmiths…the concern
about home security should be inbred from the first moment you
open your mouth and announce to an aquaintance that you’re a
’jeweler’, silversmith, goldsmith or gem collector working out of
your home. The word gets around and sooner or later some moron is
going to think about his last viewing of ‘Diamonds Are Forever’
or ‘Goldfinger’ and decide that it’s better to burgle YOUR place,
as verses your closed mouthed neighbors because you MAY be
hording large amounts of non-traceable bullion. Get it? It’s the
’aura’ of wealth that attracts the run-of-the-mill thief not the
subjective reality as you may see it.

So the question comes down to whose life and what material goods
you are willing to risk rather than have a basic burglar alarm
system installed. On this matter i’ve recently done some
research. ADT, the ‘Pizza-Pizza’ of the industry, will install a
motion detector system, with trip-alarms on a half dozen entry
points for a grand total of U$250. and a U$25.00 a month service
fee. I’m going to get some competetive bids but basically i
think that quite reasonable considering the stress of not having
one. Don’t you? Besides it may also lower your home insurance
bill by 2 to 4% depending on your location.Kim Eric Lilot.


#7

Hi - I’m afraid there is always more to add to this subject!

I use a p.o. box address and give a very vague description of
where my studio is. I like the reply that spoke of not
specifying that the studio is at home. In my basement, if
someone were to peek in the street side window, they would think
it was solely a laundry room (camouflage effect!). The one time I
am extremely cautious is when there has to be work done on the
house. It is really hard - if I’m in the middle of a deadline -
not to be at the bench. But, say with the termite people - or
when we had the house painted and even if we have yard help - I
don’t let on what work I do. I’ll even cover the bench with a
blanket and definitely hide any raw materials and lock things in
the safe. Where I am, most of the break-ins are drug related and
I don’t trust the workers to be drug free from experience. I’m
sure word travels if there is a good house to hit. So, I keep very
mum. In the phone book, we only have a phone # - no address.
That’s all. I know a jeweler I worked for locally was robbed in a
big way 2x, and one time they even hauled the big safe. These
robberies occurred at the shop location. Last fall - across from
our fine arts coop - in a nice upscale small shopping mall - the
cafe had their safe stolen (large heavy one) from an inner
barricade. There was major construction on an upstairs restaurant
at the time and everyone figures it had to be an inside job. The
mall even has a very good security watch. Nowhere is really
totally safe - but we can be as smart as possible. I personally
have been robbed at gunpoint at a small health store several
years ago, and all I can say is trust your sixth sense. When I
do a public event - guild fair - I never walk to my car with
anything valuable. Wait til the car is close.

It is good to be smart - but not to live in fear.
Cynthia


#8

Hey for all you guys worrying abut security insurance is the
best policy. When we renewed our policy this month with Jewelers
Mutual I noticed that they now have a craftsman’s policy as well.
They are a great company to work with. They are located in
Neenah WI. If anyone wants their phone # email me off list and
I will dig it up.


#9
This thread reminds me of the pitfall of working at home during
my benchwork days.  I only worked by word of mouth, because I
never wanted to advertise who, what or where I was.  How do you
promote yourself while keeping a low profile?

What I’ve been doing to deal with this is, first to get a
P.O.Box to put on my business cards and correspondences. Also, I
work two days a week in a gallery that sells my work so I can
direct people who are interested to the gallery. This works out
well for me and the gallery. If this isn’t possible, I’ll meet
people in a neutral place, like a coffee shop. I’ve never been
kicked out of one for this, and customers don’t seem too put off.
It’s kind of nice, and provokes conversation. I just tell people
that my studio is far away and really inaccessible, that seems to
do it! I didn’t like people coming to my studio even when it WAS
separate from my home. I would always make sure I had someone
else there with me, which wasn’t always convenient. Unless you
have a genuine storefront open to the public these alternative
seem to work better to me.

Amy O’Connell
Amy O’Connell Jewelry
http://www.ezmo.com/amy


#10

Hi Folks,

As a dental lab, I have some of the same concerns. I keep my
metal in a LARGE gun safe. The good thing is that there is no
advertising. The dentists are the only ones that know. As to
the jewelry, my business card only states what I do and a
contact phone number.

I have an 80 lb. Labrador retriever who sleeps very lightly
and is a sweetie EXCEPT if you are a stranger or for that
matter anyone who is sneaky. She likes them for appetizers - no
ketchup please! I also have a team of 4 famous men who guard my
house - Hillrich & Bradsby and Smith & Wesson!;o)

Regards,

Skip

Skip Meister
@Skip_Meister
N.R.A. Endowment &
Certified Instructor
in all disciplines
Certified Illinois D.N.R.
Hunter Ed, Instructor


#11

Gail:

Having done the “at home” thing for about 12 years, I can
honestly tell you that you are simply limited to word of mouth
advertizing. How much work can you crank out anyway? Now that
I’ve been contracting with a local retail jeweler and fabricating
my own custom pieces for over two years I’ve shifted my
priorities and never looked back.

Best of luck;
Steve