Thursday, July 1, 2010


I don't know if any of you readers (if there are many?) have been by my shop, but it has been closed for the last two weeks. I was just a tad overwhelmed and I was starting to have work nightmares. Those of you who make jewelry can relate, maybe? The kind of dream where you are working on something and then you make a horrible mistake and the piece just crumbles to dust (or something equally horrible). Am I the only jeweler/metalsmith who has these dreams?

So, these last couple of weeks I've been steadily working away on previous orders. I think I took on too much and just couldn't handle it all. It is hard to gauge what exactly I can do in a day, and I'm always a little overly optimistic. Everything seems so easy, until I am actually doing it. This job requires so much concentrated attention. When you need to focus, only 100% focus will do. It can be draining, for sure. So, for mental health reasons I decided to take a personal day...or, um, week...two weeks. It hasn't been totally complete, since I have still been working and trying to answer emails. I even took a few orders each week, but I think I should have waited on those. Summer is just so hard, since so many people are getting married and they NEED jewelry by a certain date. I always feel so bad. When someone has their heart set on a certain piece for their engagement/wedding, I feel like I should do all I can to get it to them. So I end up saying yes, when I perhaps should say no, since it stresses me out. But I just can't!! People are so nice, and I always find it so flattering when someone wants to buy my stuff that I just can't tell them no.


Well, I am getting ready to reopen. There will be some changes, new designs etc. I will also be discontinuing some items. Mainly my silver wedding sets and other silver jewelry. I will still be offering silver items, but mostly pre-made bangles, simple rings and earrings etc. Those will be first come first serve and I won't be taking custom orders in silver at all. If I have made something is silver for a mold, I might offer it as a sample sale. New items in palladium will also be available as sample sales. I will also not be making the eternity rings anymore (I don't think). I will have eternity rings, just not the ones I have been making. I had come to dread it anytime someone ordered one of those, since the stone setting was quite laborious and time consuming. I have to do this because otherwise I will be too busy to do things that I really enjoy doing, like designing, drawing and carving new stuff in wax. I know that some people will be disappointed about this decision, but I have to do what I have to do to maintain my sanity. I can't keep working at the pace that I have been in the last year, it will burn me out. I would like to continue loving what I do.


The fall/winter issue of Oregon Bride magazine comes out this month. A wedding set of mine will be featured in it. It is very exciting for me, but I'm not sure what effect it will have on my business. But exposure can't be bad. :-) The Shop Monkey and I will be going to a fancy cocktail party thing next week that the magazine is sponsoring (?? I'm actually not exactly sure who is holding it, but we got the invites through the magazine). I'm not exactly well versed in fancy parties, but I think I will like dressing up. And seeing the Shop Monkey all spiffed up will be super awesome too. :-)


I'm still experimenting with taking photos of my rings on people. Mostly just myself at the moment, since my lady friends are scattered all over the place (Alaska, Thailand, Arizona). But I am sort of planning (she doesn't know yet) to use my one Portland girlfriend as my model. She has gorgeous hands (tiny!), and is gorgeous in general. I think using someone else will make it easier to have a model, since I feel too self-conscious about myself in pictures. I don't want people to think I'm self-absorbed (although, I probably am! Aren't we all to some extent?) And it is really hard to take pictures of yourself anyway. See below. I feel all myspacey.

Okay, well, I've got to get to work to prepare for my "grand" (re)opening. I've also got a stand alone website in the works, but I had underestimated how hard it is to build one of those things. Anyone know of a good webdesigner? Recommendations would be much appreciated!


vena amoris said...

I do web design but not programing I do have a few people I can talk to.

I love your work and would love to help out.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear that you got so overwhelmed, but your new plan seems really smart and positive, so congratulations! I really admire this company that you've built and the success you have earned! And I wish you more success to come!

Bean said...

Bean! I have been checking your shop every day for the past two weeks EVEN THOUGH I signed up to be notified when it reopens. I just like to look at all your pretty things. :)

I hope your rest was good for your brain and fingers and eyeballs and heart. Stress is not good. It can cause ulcers. (Those are bad.) You deserve to take a real rest and not just a fake rest.

I am SO EXCITED to see your new designs! :D I want to buy everything but we just bought a house. I think I'm supposed to save the money for plants and tiles and mulch and another credenza. But afterwards, I hope to spoil myself silly (and just say it's from Mike). :D

P.S. I want to see pictures of you and the Shop Monkey all spiffed up for your fancy shindig!

P.S.S. You are not self-absorbed. You look more demure than myspacey, although your reference to myspace was so accurate I laughed aloud in my cube.

P.S.S.S. Sorry for leaving you the world's longest comment. I just couldn't help myself!

eliana said...

Please come back soon!! Im dying to get one of your rings! :)

erin said...

May I ask why you will no longer be making silver pieces?

(I promise I'm not being mean, just honestly curious!)

Bean Collins said...

Hi Erin,

I will be making some silver items, just not as many as before and as I said, mostly just simple bangles/rings etc. It's really not economically feasible for me to continue making so much in silver. Making an item in silver doesn't take me any less time or effort, and it is just as hard on my hands (which I have started to become concerned about), but the recompense (emotional/intellectual and financial) for the time and effort has started to not be worth it, to be honest. I also just prefer working in gold or palladium. I like the way they feel, and I like the way they look. I would rather be able focus my energy on creating new designs rather than always having a scad of silver orders in the queue that I've made a million times before. I didn't start doing this to be a machine, pumping out jewelry. I wanted to do this because I love jewelry as a sort of art. Like tiny sculpture, pieces of perfection. And right now, after a year and half of making a lot of the same things in silver over and over again, I'm ready to not being doing that and to move on to something else.

Okay, sorry for the novel. :-) But I hope that explains everything.


tibbyme said...

i dont know what you're talking about! i think you look gorgeous in this picture you posted of yourself with the ring. your eyes are so beautiful! haha

enjoy! and welcome back

OpusMuse said...

From a fellow seller's point of view, I totally understand what you're talking about, when doing something you love turns into a chore or when you actually dread doing it.

I just started learning silver clay fabrication. Someday I hope to have a shop selling fine jewelry when I'm ready. What pulls me back is the amount of work that involves when fun & creativity turns into work & datelines once your shop takes off. It's kind of an irony isn't it? Sorry I didn't mean to sound off putting.

But I'm happy I found your shop & enjoyed admiring your work. They're so beautiful to look at, makes me go all starry eyed! I hope you'll find a balance in feeding your artistic creativity & the joy of making it.

cheers, nicole