What I like best about Europe are the small towns with their narrow winding streets. Take this photo of a small village in France, for example. The homes all appear to have been built back in the 1800s.
In a normal week, I am given four potential custom pieces for which to work up estimates. Typically, customers approve two out of the four projects. My job is to create them as best I can, while at the same time, being mindful of my customers’ budgets.
Missing due dates, stones breaking, and rings melting are what keep me up at night. Nothing is worse for me than to have a sales associate tell me a customer is in the store to pick up their ring and I haven’t finished setting the stones yet.
Joe Karbo’s 1973 book, The Lazy Man’s Way to Riches, is about an ordinary man’s struggle to become a great salesman. In it, he dedicates his success to always trying to meet his customers’ needs. To this end, Karbo identifies the motivating factors for why people make significant purchases.
Halos and micro-pavé have both been on the fashion charts for several years now and remain hot sellers for most jewellers. For the past two years, though, I’ve noticed raw diamond designs skyrocket in popularity. For me, these little opaque twinklers have been selling as fast as I can set them.
How would you describe a custom client? Can we boil him or her down to just a few words and if so, what would they be? Would you say picky, unique, fun, worldly, crazy even? Over the years, I’ve dealt with customers who fit nicely into one or even two of these categories.
The bench jewellers I know, myself included, have a tendency to use their tools for purposes other than for what they are intended. I, for instance, tend to grab a pair of diagonal cutters when I want to snip through a piece of binding wire or lift a worn prong off a diamond. Actions like these dull cutters and make them useless when trying to achieve a fine flat cut through a chain’s link.
I’d like to begin this article with a short discussion about pricing chain repairs. These jobs are a great source of dependable income for bench jewellers, as they take very little time and the cost is low. An experienced jeweller should be able to fix approximately eight chains an hour.