I started out with an interest in stones and jewelry having a rock collection about as far back as I can remember. When I was thirteen, I took up lapidary work, both cabbing and faceting, at home in PA for spare cash; and later professionally in NYC ion my late teens. In my twenties, I was hired by a NYC jewelry manufacturing company as a stone-picker and buyer, and so became familiar with the stations in production work. Since then, I have always dabbled in jewelry making. Recently (2007) I started a jewelry business with my wife; with the intent to make out own designs in silver and gold, using unusual gemstones, bought on EBay and at gem shows, with shells that we find locally on the beach near where we live in FL. We have also expanded our concept to include more traditional jewelry manufacturing and design. I hope to get up to speed with CAD in the near future as well. So far, we've had our share of problems making sustainable sales in this tight market. I have found Orchid to be an extremely informative, and I'm happy to have finally joined up.