Recently, one of my best clients, “Mary,” inquired about another jewelry artist I somewhat know. My client was concerned about “Mark’s” well-being because Mary had contacted him multiple times about purchasing a 3rd major piece and never heard back from him.
Mary went on to say that she had a few dealings with Mark and each time she felt slighted in some way. She was asking me what I knew, because her feelings were hurt, and she was looking for some reassurance that this was a mistake. I tried my best, but really don’t know Mark very well, so I just tried to make Mary feel better with other kind words.
Mary is an awesome person. She is an amazing jewelry collector. She loves to collect jewelry, and part of what she loves is developing and maintaining relationships with the artists. Mary has been very good to me in my business. For the past few years, she has purchased multiple expensive pieces each year. I value her business and her delightfully quirky personality, and I value her as a vital part of both the craft and retail world.
I am grateful for this relationship in another way because Mary’s husband sells insurance. I purchased my life insurance from him, after getting to know him and trusting him as someone who was not aiming to take advantage of me. Later, he helped me figure out what to do about my health insurance. I didn’t know who else to ask! And he gave me invaluable advice, and left the door open for any other questions I might have.
I just got off the phone with Mary this morning. She is hoping I can make a bracelet for her sister. We talked about all sorts of options, she asked me to send her pictures of my new work, and then she asked about Mark. She said recently she referred her sister-in-law to Mark for a major necklace, and once again he never returned the call. She was upset and once again wondered why someone in business would not want her business. Again, she told me that she has purchased two major pieces from Mark; did he not appreciate her business? I had nothing to tell her but I agreed with her and wondered myself.
The lesson to me from knowing this is that I must appreciate each client for not only their support of my business, but also for the support of my choice in how I live my life. Without clients such as Mary--or the dear people that just walked out of Mora with a sweet garnet necklace--I would not be able to live my life as I like. I love my life. I am grateful I can go to a job I like every day, instead of one that makes me cringe. Sometimes it is easy to get wrapped up in growing our businesses and so we forget the actual people who help us found the business. As makers and sellers, we must not forget them, and we must not treat them badly. It is a terrible mistake to treat our customers as if they do not matter. Without them, we have no business making anything.
Note: Names have been changed for anonymity.
Like so many people, I have entered into a love affair with Pinterest. I’m more of a taker than a giver. That means I re-pin other people’s posts more than I add fresh-off-the-internet pins to my pages.
My main love is the DIY/Craft section. Oh! The places I’ve been since seeing all the hundreds of ideas. Rock painting. Cardboard letters. Giant bubbles. Snowflakes from magazine pages. Re-painted kitchen cabinets. Hand-fashioned & repurposed cold frame. My husband actually worried I was manic. Nope, I told him, it’s just Pinterest.
I love to garden and avidly post about my garden (and my life) on Facebook. Through this, I recently reconnected with a childhood friend, Stephanie Smith. I went to her house last Saturday for wine and garden talk with her and her friend Dree. Stephanie (incorrectly!) thought I was a professional gardener. Upon arriving, I immediately informed her that my gardening is purely experimental. Luckily for me, this usually works out all right. We talked about our gardening plans, swapped some seeds, and drank some delicious white wine.
Then I discovered she is a crafter. A good one! I was completely impressed with her crafts and her craft room. She and her friend Dree get together and craft all year, making presents for their friends for Christmas. They enjoy the planning, the making, and the giving. What could be better?
The importance of craft--of all kinds--was once again right in front of me. This week I gave a talk to some students at Warren Wilson College and East Tennessee State University about the Penland School of Crafts. The notes for the slideshow talk about “…the idea that craft represents values that are important to the world…the pleasure of working with one’s hands and making beautiful things, the excitement of satisfaction and creation of new ideas, the learning that comes from interacting with materials, the self-knowledge gained by pursuing challenging skills…” These thoughts touched me so deeply. With this in mind, seeing the crafts that Stephanie and Dree made together was truly lovely.
They made toile aprons, wine sleeves from old sweaters, wine glasses with chalk paint for personalizing each glass...and Dree loves to paint. She arranges her paints by color, of course.
I do care about the quality of craft--craft of all kinds. But I also care about
the intention and the spirit with which craft is made. Sometimes one is more important than the
other. But often I find both ideas equally compelling. The joy that
these two women find in crafting together was completely obvious. I know their
friends found joy in the handmade gifts that they received.
We're celebrating this holiday season in a BIG way ... by hosting our first GROUP SHOW
featuring the incredible talent of 16 LOCAL JEWELERS.
You won't want to miss the exceptional collection of EARRINGS that will be available starting DECEMBER 1st.
Jewelry is the PERFECT GIFT for everyone on your list. Discover the MANY SURPRISES
IN STORE at Mora this holiday season!
Time to reveal an exciting secret: Mora is launching two new lines of designer jewelry!
We're throwing a party to celebrate their debut, and we hope you can come.
Above, left: We are thrilled to debut jewelry from Branch, an independent design studio in Venice, California. The delicate jewelry from Branch is inspired by small natural forms, such as seeds, buds, feathers, and leaves. We are presenting a selection with and without small diamonds in sterling silver and 18-karat gold. Branch jewelry is darling and desirable. Come see for yourself on Friday, August 3rd!
Above, right: Our very first men's collection, designed and created by Joanna Gollberg and available exclusively at Mora, premieres August 3rd at the launch party. This handsome collection is made from finely textured sterling silver darkened with a rich patina. Some pieces feature incredibly soft leather and tiny, flush set diamonds. We are super proud of the incredibly tasteful range of rings, bracelets, cuffs, and necklaces that will be available.
Our last post featured a very attractive pair of silver rings custom made for a lovely local couple (below, left). Well, what a difference a week makes! Our client decided to have her ring set with an array of diamonds from family wedding rings (below, right). Don't you think she made a magnificent choice? All together now ... heck yes!