I Get Asked “Where Did it Start? You Being a Jeweler.”
I’ve been asked many times how I became a jeweler. People expect the, “My family had a store” or, “I studied fine art and started making bead necklaces” story.
My early years in the work world included waitressing, selling Fuller Brush door to door and starting my house cleaning business, Cinderella Services, and then selling it.
Then I decided to become a jeweler and apprenticed with Bobbi in LA who became a friend. But enough about me. I’d like to write about three jewelers with cool stories, who I admire.
Three Jewelers I’ve Met Who’ve Made Me Love my World
#1 – Bearded and Tattooed
There’s the fully tatted machine engraver guy. He’s big and
buff, tall and scary looking. I once asked Randy how he became an engraver. He said, “Look at me. When I got off my motorcycle people were afraid of me. I started doing it as a job, hired by a half blind engraver who couldn’t read my tats.”
“I ended up buying him out. I’ve got two kids and a cute wife. You should see the looks I get on parent’s night at the elementary school. The jewelers could care less. Look at you, you’re talking to me.”
I said, “I know you’re a big softie. You have more pictures of your kids around than most jewelers. You’re a diamond in the rough!”
#2 – Surprise From the Repair Bench
Then there was Ali, my now retired repair bench jeweler. He came to me through a retiring jeweler friend. He spoke pretty poor English, but he’d started apprenticing in Korea at 13 and was really good at fixing jewelry and making jewelry.
I’d draw pictures to communicate. I did that because he’d say yes and smile to anything I said, but not understand me. But my friend had said, “don’t talk, draw.” Then we did fine.
Fifteen years after we started working together his son came in one day. Ali wanted to introduce him to me. His son was handsome and confident. And going to …. Harvard!!! Ali never drew that! And I hadn’t a clue. What an awesome dad!
#3 – Kicking and Screaming into the Jewelry World
Then there is Eddie. He’s handsome, muscular and charming. Evidently he was quite a rebel. His dad was a jeweler and Eddie grew up working in the business to earn money, but he was NEVER going to be a jeweler. He clubbed till late at night and lived hard and fast.
Then his dad started slowing down and couldn’t run the business. Eddie stepped up and into the business. Somewhere along the line he started designing jewelry and all I can say is the jewelry industry would be poorer if he had stayed away. He designs for some big name designers and inspires me.
Wrappin’ it Up!
I’m surrounded by fascinating people in my industry. My learning has taken place with the conversations and demonstrations of skill by so many generous jewelers.
Discovering the unique, quirky and unexpected people I have found in my jewelry universe has made my life richer. I hope you enjoyed a peek into my world!Happy Jeweler,