2020/2021 How it ended, how it begins?
I last blogged in November. If you remember back then, there were many who had lost faith in the democratic system and Covid-19 numbers were spiking across the country going into Thanksgiving. As a business owner, I was a bit scared. I ran the numbers and kind of wrote off Christmas. I said something along the lines of "we'll survive no matter what. I have a good life and enjoy my craft. My wife has a good job, so maybe it doesn't matter if I don't get paid this year". That was then.
We had a record breaking December and I am incredibly grateful. We went into January with many jobs in our work boxes and we had a great start to the year. Our staff is safe and I feel like we have a safe and comfortable place for our customers. I feel like we are striking a good balance, making some excellent jewelry and starting to have some fun again.
Yesterday 2/9, we took final payment on one of the more beautiful rings we have made in recent memory. We'll post some of those pictures soon. So things are looking pretty good.
As I type this, I am at home with my two kids. We had a child care issue. It is also our slowest time of the year even when not in the middle of a polar vortex, so I don't mind taking a "work from home" day.
One of the things I have been doing is adding labels to the pictures on the web site. I joined the workshop in 2009, that first year we spent a lot of time improving our digital photography. It is fun to look back on our old work. Some of it I leave in our albums for nostalgia. I shuffle the pictures around to show the diversity of what we do. I take out pictures mostly because of the quality of the photos and when our craftsmanship improves and I see obvious flaws.
We are settling into our new location and are starting to take care of a few projects we put on the back burners. Hopefully, by the next time you visit we will have our screens up and running adding a necessary digital element to the showroom.
Many old friends have shuffled into the new workshop and been incredibly kind with their words. There seems to be a common theme in what people are telling me. Often I hear, this is a beautiful store and it feels like an appropriate home and what Jewelers Workshop is supposed to be. That means a ton. Thank you.
Long time fans will notice several new additions to the staff. Robert who started in 2019 is continuing to grow and we are leaning on him more and more as his skills improve. Michael has lightened my load tremendously by assuming much of my CAD design responsibilities and we will be adding another bench jeweler next week. Robert is a bit of a throwback. At almost any time in our history we’ve had a guy like that in the shop. Michael is putting his own spin on the Workshop. I have only once seen him without a tie and he has a different approach to designing jewelry. It is awesome watching them grow and leave their fingerprints on the Workshop as we prepare to welcome somebody new next week.
On a personal note, I have gotten some great skiing in this winter and because of the mask mandate have experimented with growing a beard. My wife and kids hate it. -Jason