Wednesday, October 3, 2012
So much has changed in that time period and yet so much is still the same. When I opened (with a partner, under the name Spirer Somes Jewelers) in October 1982, gold was selling for approximately $375/oz.
The Internet didn't exist yet and most small businesses didn't have any type of computer. There were no cell phones. There were no Starbucks on every corner. In 2004, the partnership broke up and I reopened under my own name. Today gold is selling for $1770/oz., all of my advertising is done on the Internet, computers are an absolute necessity, we use cell phones not just for talking, but texting, shopping, web surfing, reading, watching movies, and I'm sure someone must have proposed to someone else via the cell phone at some time. And then there is Starbucks.....
But in 1982 people did buy engagement rings, wedding bands, anniversary and birthday presents, just the same as they do today. And I got just as much of a kick out of playing a role in so many important events for my customers as I do today. Because, honestly, that's what has always brought me the greatest joy. Yes it's nice that I can earn a living doing something creative, challenging and fun. But that's not what really moves me. What does move me is that I work every day of my life with individuals, who are going to purchase something that I actually designed and made, that they are going to wear and use every single day of their lives. Not a day goes by that I won't, in some small way, be a part of such meaningful times of my customer's lives. How can you not love that feeling?
The woman who placed the very first custom order I ever took in is still a customer to this day. And I have made her daughter's wedding bands. I have always had dogs in my shop and customers still come in wanting to know where the (now long dead) dog is that they remember. I have had customers who have come in and bought second and even third wedding bands from me (yes for different marriages) because they have liked what I do so much. That's a kind of weird compliment, but hey, I'm located in Cambridge and anything goes here.
In those 30 years I have set in jewelry: human teeth, dog teeth, a piece of the Berlin wall, rocks from the top of Mt. Everest (I think the top is a little lower now on account of it), pieces of titanium removed after operations, tyrannosaurus rex teeth, beach rocks, shells, and just about every imaginable gem and mineral. I can't say that I have ever been bored. Every new challenge, whether in how business runs, or in the jewelry that I make, is always interesting to me.
I actually don't like dwelling on the past very much. However, it is worth noting a large milestone in some fashion or another. So here I am writing a blog article (blogs???---the term didn't even exist 30 years ago) about this milestone for me. But I am truly looking forward to the next 25 years of helping my customers and continuing to be that small, meaningful, part of their lives.
Pictured above is a hand built, one of a kind, 18k gold wedding band.