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Pay Your Jewelers Well

Image courtesy of The RephineryIn a recent open letter to the jewelry retail community, David Geller made a passionate and articulate plea to hire more bench jewelers and pay them better. If you are training to be a jeweler — or interested in becoming a jeweler — there is good money to be made. Your options include working for independent designers, jewelry manufacturers, trade shops, yourself, or jewelry retail stores. There's no doubt that many retailers are paying their jewelers well and marketing the benefits of having an in-house jeweler. But for those jewelry stores who don't seem to understand the power of employing talented, committed, well-paid jewelers, Mr. Geller speaks the truth.  The jewelry retail community requires in-house jewelers to remain relevant and interesting to the consumers, and this open letter conveys the reasons why.

Read Mr. Geller's open letter here.

Craftsmanship, artisan products, and value are attributes that consumers care about more than ever. When you are a jeweler, you can deliver those qualities, while doing a job you love. Thank you, Mr. Geller, for your important letter to the industry. The BEaJEWELER crew has printed it and hung it by our desks!


You're as Good as Your Tools, Training & Tenacity!

The Jeweler's Voices series is an offering from successful jewelers to aspiring jewelers, in which they impart their hard-earned advice and insight.

kristen baird bloom necklace"I’d like to share a few things that I’ve been told and some things learned along the way. Just a few ideas:

  1. Get the right tools. Invest in the good brands. It's worth it and will pay off in the long run. Nothing is worse that a tool that doesn't work properly.
  2. When designing and making, experiment, practice, fail and try again. Never give up on learning new skills and don't get down on yourself if it doesn't come out right the first time. Mastering skills takes time!

Read on . . .

Stick to your Metals

The Jeweler's Voices series is an offering from successful jewelers to aspiring jewelers, in which they impart their hard-earned advice and insight.

Mokume gane rings Jim Binnion"I guess if I could point to one thiinng that has made it possible for me to be successful doing what I love to do, it's that I never give up. I just don't quit. I never put it all away and go home and forget about it. To be self-employed — especially in something like this where you're having to make and market and do so many other things — you really have to live it. It has to  be your whole life. You're going to continuously run into things that will try and  derail you, whether it's financial, or outside stuff, or you didn't get into a certain show, or whatever it is. But you cannot stop. That's the biggest single thing. You can't stop, and you  can't say,

Read on . . .

On Skills, Collaboration, Fear, and Failure

The Jeweler's Voices series is an offering from successful jewelers to aspiring jewelers, in which they impart their hard-earned advice and insight.

Michelle pajak reynolds nectar"Here are some of the tips that are rattling around in my head; things I think it's important for future jewelers to know.

First, there is no shortcut to the 10,000 hour rule in developing your skills and signature voice as a designer. The world needs and wants your unique point of view — not another copycat. So dig in, learn, and enjoy the journey.

Second, living a creative life requires skills in collaboration. You may be on your way to becoming the world's most amazing designer, but you cannot build your career alone. Your circle of collaborators will extend beyond those who help you produce your designs. Your photographer, professional memberships, trade show organizers, retail accounts, marketing, legal and accounting service providers, and even your financial institution (hey, they're helping fund all this, right?) are all part of your collaborative team. Choose these individuals and organizations wisely, for they will exert great influence on your career.

Read on . . .

A Guide to Gauges and Tempers

gauges and tempersThere's a whole new measurement system out there — one that is understood by jewelers and not very many others! Halstead Bead recently wrote a blog post about gauges and tempers that lays the whole thing out for you. Read this article and save it. You won't believe how handy it will come in when you're ordering jewelry-making supplies!

Halstead Bead: A Guide to Gauges and Tempers

Straightening Wire

straighten wire tipIf you've worked with wire, then you've probably experienced the sublime frustration of dealing with a length of wire that has become kinked or trying to straighten wire that has come off a coil. Here is a quick tip (from the MJSA archives) that shows you how to straighten wire quickly and effectively.

Read on . . .

101 Bench Tips for Jewelers

101 Bench Tips webMany excellent books have been written on how to make jewelry, and of course, we have our favorites. This book, by Alan Revere, is a staple in many professional jewelry shops, and relied upon by new jewelers and old pros alike. 101 Bench Tips for Jewelers will help any jeweler speed production, improve quality, and raise profits at the bench.

Read on . . .

Use the Video Library to Jump-Start Your Training

How Its Made Gold RingDid you know many professional jewelers are self-taught? We are big fans of formal training programs to become a jeweler, because a good program can speed you along your way and help you overcome the inevitable hurdles in learning a new skill. But if you can't afford a program yet, if you need to wait a bit longer to start a program, or if you just can wait to learn everything you can, you have options!

Read on . . .