Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Little Bit of Pearl Heaven!

Despite having pneumonia I recently went on a buying trip to the east coast. On my last trip I heard about a warehouse with a large but incredibly messy room filled with old jewelry findings, stones, glass pearls and assorted weirdness. Of course I made this my first stop.  It was a hundred degrees and I considered not going because I felt awful. I just could not stay away. 

I am so glad I went. I spent five hours digging through piles and boxes of untold treasure. The picture above is part of my haul. The pearls are all glass made in Japan during the 1930's and '40's (all pre WII). I grabbed creams and blush strands in many sizes and lengths and cannot wait to use some. They are the best glass pearls ever made and nothing of their quality is currently produced.

The paper packets are filed with foil backed rhinestones from the 1930's. The story behind these chatons and navettes is quite interesting. As the Nazi party in Germany was becoming stronger and it looked like invasions into other parts of Europe were imminent, one glass stone maker fled Czechoslovakia. He landed in Austria and founded a new company there. His name was Swarovski! So these are all Swarovski stones made at his factory in Czechoslovakia and I have a huge supply. In the trade these are referred to as Czecho Swarovski.  I also purchased many faceted glass beads in crystal and jet from the same factory. These beads are destined for Glitterfest fall. 

I spent several days hunting through warehouse after warehouse and found some amazing things. I hope you will come to Glitterfest October 3rd to see all the treasures I will use in my jewelry!

For now I have to rest. The heat and hunting did not help my pneumonia and I am back where I started. I do not like being sick and resist resting. My body now requires rest so I will listen and give myself a few weeks to recover. I will gaze at my table of pearls and quietly think to myself that it was worth it.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Risky Business: Legal Checklist Final Chapter

You have probably seen the mayhem commercials for insurance. Mayhem is not your friend. We often go about running our little businesses without giving him much thought. Today is the day to consider what Mayhem could cost your business and perhaps your family.

I advise all of my small business clients to do a liability assessment every year. This is pretty easy but most people would just rather not think about the what ifs.

1. Drag out all your insurance policies.
      Is your inventory covered to be replaced if your home or place of business burns down?

      If you are creating your product in your home and using a torch does it void your homeowners  

      What business activities do you need extra coverage for? Soldering, welding, glass fusing??

       Jewelry almost always requires additional insurance! You must find out exactly what your policy

     How much liability coverage do I have and is it enough? Could I loose my home if I am sued.

2. Make a list of things that could result in a lawsuit.

      Someone injured on your property or in your store.

     Defective merchandise.

    An injury during a class.

     Are you giving warnings about dangers? Are students signing a liability waiver? This is a must!

     Did you know soldering with a torch destroys your retinas and the damage is cumulative? All
     persons soldering with a torch must wear didymium lenses to prevent damage. I bet your instructor
     did not mention that every time you use a torch you are risking your eyesight.

     An injury at an event or show- someone trips in your booth.

3. Research what permits you need and any laws that might regulate your business.

     Many cities limit the type of business you can run from home.
     How does California proposition 65 effect my products?

     What warnings must I post or give?

     What type of license or permit do I need?

Play the devils advocate and figure out all the things that could go horribly wrong. Now take steps to protect yourself. Insurance is not as expensive as you think and it is part of running your business and is necessary. Make insurance expenses a part of your financial business plan. I cannot afford insurance is not an excuse it simply means you need to tweak your business plan to realize a profit.

Don't be afraid to understand your potential liability. Knowledge is power. Safer, conservative business practices often mean higher profits long term. You can do this without all the risk!! This is just a partial list of all the things you need to consider but it is definitely enough to get you started! Go out there and realize your business dreams! You can do this!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ramblings of A Madman, Ok Woman

Sorry for the blog absence- things have ben a little crazy. Good crazy but crazy. Glitterfest seems like a distant memory as I begin prepping for my fall jewelry line. I am having such fun gathering all things sparkly and shiny. To my surprise I have been using loads of color too. I often shy away from color but not this year- it is all about color.  I have found the perfect vintage color pallet to work with and I am really enjoying all the possibilities.

The best laid plans often become an entirely different journey. I intended on listing a few summery pieces on etsy but Art and Soul beat me to them! I have tons of jewelry at Art and Soul on 101 in Encinitas so if you are looking for a little bit of summer that is the place to go. I just mailed them the rest of my summer goodies so they are well stocked with Lulu Max jewelry. I will actually have to make a few more items for etsy. That will be a pleasure as I do not often get to work in season. Most jewelry is actually created one or two seasons ahead. For me it is always Christmas in July. It will be fun to work with summer colors and still be enjoying the summer! I just scored some amazing butterscotch bakelite swallows and I am pleased I will not have to wait until spring to debut them!

Tomorrow I am going to take a little break and head to the beach for some surfing! Sometimes you just need a day at the beach.

Back thursday with our legal checklist wrap up blog post!!