As I was planning to start blogging, I struggled with what to write about. Should I talk about myself, how I design, what’s hot, or what’s not? When it comes down to it, I think the real purpose of me blogging is for customers and visitors to get to know me. I think that can get lost on the web. You’re dealing with real people on the other side of the screen. Shouldn’t you like the people that you are buying your custom jewelry from? I want to give you a chance to connect with me on some level; artistically, personally, or professionally. After all, I get plenty of opportunities to get to know our customer’s through the items they order.
When I am asked for a bio that explains my background, my business, and what making jewelry means to me, I always highlight that the personal connection I feel with my customers is the most gratifying part of my job. Of course, I love the craftsmanship of making personalized jewelry, but it’s the intimate aspect of making a one of a kind design with meaning for someone that I find utterly addicting. The other day I was touched by a piece that I was making. I decided that is what I needed to share with you… the raw emotion that I feel when making jewelry.
When I begin a piece, I review the notes and details. It’s a packet of the parts, the order sheet, and notes. A lot of times the designs and layouts are straight forward, but at other times I want to understand exactly what the customers are thinking and the meaning behind it. Last week I was working on a bracelet that was a gift from a wife to her husband. The text was straight forward with birth statistics and a heartfelt phrase on the back; I just needed to confirm the layout. We’ve got some great employees that help with customer service and administrative tasks, so sometimes I am not fully aware of all of the details behind the meaning of a design until I look back at all of the conversations. I started reading over the conversations to clarify the
layout so that I could continue.
As I read through all of the conversations, to tell you that my heart sank is an understatement. There is powerful moment when you
realize that you are making a memorial piece for a family that has lost a child. I find that I have a rush of emotions and thoughts running through my head… a moment where I cannot progress. What stops me is not just the fact that I have three of my own children, but a palpable sense of loss comes through. I never cease to be humbled that I was chosen to make jewelry to help people remember
loved ones lost.
We work in a small shop with no cubicles. My husband, Andreas, is 8 feet away from my desk. In between us is our admin, Meg. The shop is busy, noisy, crowded, and distracting with little privacy. While the others may not notice my realization and its effect on me, as I gain my composure, I still struggle as I stamp the piece.