Interdisciplinary. Community. Advocacy. Humor.
Miriam, kudos to you for making the realization that I made a long time ago. I am a jeweler with a background of making items for clients. I found out that what I could not do well was better left to someone that had immense experience in that area. That way, I actually could make money, not lose it by trying something that I was not skilled in.
Thanks for sharing your experience!
Miriam, my background stems from being a bench jeweler. I was trained to do every aspect of a piece from drawing, wax carving, casting, cleanup and setting stones, to repairs of pieces. I found that as I did less custom wax carving and/or casting of pieces that I turned to a friend whose experience is in carving custom waxes for stores in the metro Kansas City area. At first I would still take on a simple wax, now I just give her a shout. I know her base prices and when I don't I get a quote and then add on what I need. As for the casting end, I send it out to a New York firm whose work is completely in casting and cleanup. It is a quick turn around and quality work. However, I have found that I have to be careful of their material costs as they are pretty much retail. That hurts a bit, but in silver not a big deal.
Again, since I have really been away from the bench my stone setting skills are not what they used to be. So I just factor in a difficult setting job as it would be at a jewelry store. Most people haven't a problem with this.
Miriam, I feel that if you providing quality craftsmenship, your customer will do nothing but recommend you and your work. But if you produce a piece of crap you are doomed!!
Wow, I went overboard here!!!
From working in the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham, I've quickly learned that there are experts in any field who can do the work way faster and for a very small cost! Stone setters, engravers, platers, polishers... I know a lot of jewellers who pay to have those things done for them, and it certainly seems like a reasonable way to get a lot done in a short amount of time.
It's really good to hear what other people are doing to make their businesses run: thank you for sharing!