MJSA EXPO: Why Should Jewelry Designers Subcontract Their Work?


MJSA EXPO panel after the talk

Dateline New York: At the  MJSA EXPO 2011

New York and the MJSA EXPO panel speaking experience were wonderful. First I’ll tell you about being on the panel then I’ll tell you the message that really rocked the room.

With a Little Help From Your Friends: Subcontracting Jewelry Work

How and why you’d subcontract, were the big discussion points at this one and a half hour panel.

The panelists were Joel Weiss of Carrera Casting, Me from Calla Gold Jewelry, Malak Akut from Zaiken Jewelry and Carlos Zamora from Tech Design.

We were moderated by the excellent Peggy Jo Donahue of MJSA Custom Design Magazine.

Each panelist contributed their expertise on the topic from their viewpoint. I definitely learned from my co-panelists. The message that I felt was really important was, why you should sub-contract.

MJSA EXPO 2011 Panel desription

The Faces of Our Panel

The Peter Principle says, “Everyone rises to their own level of incompetence.”

It seems to me that doing everything yourself limits your competence and your productivity. Not that you can’t make amazing jewelry, but your imagination has more to give.

The best way to have your jewelry “design line” look all the same, is to limit yourself by only using your skill-set in the making of your designs. Mmmm, we don’t want that.

Reach Out and Expand Your Productivity

By reaching out to these outside-of-your-box-skilled subcontractors, you reap the design rewards that only they can give you. The special finishes you can now offer and the different setting styles you can design with will set you free.

What Sorts of Skills Should You Consider Sub-Contracting?

A specialized caster, like Carrera Casting can help you by telling you how to detail your design properly, so it will cast well, even if you’ve had failures in the past. This kind of help  will allow you to focus on designing what you’d like, not on keeping it simple.

MJSA EXPO 2011 Attendees

The attendees asked excellent questions and added to the event.

By working with a skilled CAD (computer aided design) maker and wax creator like Carlos at Tech Design, you may find that designs that were previously but a dream, can be made real.

You Don’t Need to do it All Yourself

You don’t have to do it all yourself. If you want to have a life, think about loosening up and  letting go and asking for help. I know I did and it changed my business forever. For the better I might add!

I love my subs

I love my life and I appreciate my sub-contractors and how they let me design in so many different styles. They set my imagination free and save me from burn out.

What’s the Takeaway Message Here?

This MJSA EXPO panel really pushed home the message that subcontracting is a great way to expand your jewelry business.

Their soon to be released list of Sub-Contractors will be a boon to the industry.

Calla Gold in Times Square at Midnight

It’s like Midnight and I didn’t even need my flash in Times Square

Can I Say How Much I Love New York?

I do love it. This was my first time and Manhattan was everything I’d hoped for and more.

Peggy Jo Donahue of MJSA took me on a great walking tour. We took in Broadway, Sardi’s, Times Square and the moving visual feast that is midnight in Manhattan.

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About Calla Gold

Calla Gold is a Personal Jeweler and Author who takes pride in working with clients one-on-one to integrate their personal sense of style and taste into custom designed jewelry and repaired jewelry pieces.   Unlike typical Santa Barbara jewelry businesses, Calla Gold has no brick-and-mortar location. Calla Gold comes to you, bringing you the jewelry collection you want to see and collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry. Calla also works with at-a-distance clients.

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Ralph Cordova
13 years ago

Calla, I’m proud that you are our jeweler. Look at you just movin’ and shakin’!

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES)
13 years ago

Calla, your panel presentation was great. Your enthusiasm shone through!


Dr. Lynn K. Jones
13 years ago

I wish I could have seen you! I know you had the whole room smiling!

Stacy C
13 years ago

One of the most trendy designer, MJSA EXPO are really gorgeous.