Taking the Plunge
Let’s be real with each other for a second. We’ve all done it. One too many nights of customers walking in five minutes before closing, one too many gold buys that consist of large Tupperware containers of garage sale junk when the store is slammed with buyers – one too many of “those” customers during the holidays. At those points, we’ve all thought about quitting our day jobs and venturing out on our own – setting our own hours, picking and choosing our projects. Writing may not be the pull for you, but for me, being a jewelry blog writer has been the perfect balance to my daily work.
Don’t get me wrong – I love my job, and I don’t plan on going anywhere. I love the customer interaction, I love seeing someone light up the room when they find the perfect piece – at the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade this job for anything. But after a few years behind the counter, I found myself wanting more. More travel, more exposure to the width and breadth of styles and experiences in this field. Those things can get lost in the day to day details of the store. So when I saw the opportunity, I took it, and I haven’t looked back since. That being said, all jobs have their rewards and challenges, and this one is no different.
The Allure of Life as a Gemstone Junkie
The single best thing for me about jewelry blogging is that it’s a perfect match for my personality. I am a sometimes maddening combination of OCD and ADD. I want everything to be perfect, and I also want it to constantly change, or I get bored. Jewelry blogging is a dream combination for me. I have researched everything from the latest trends in bespoke men’s jewelry to the impact of climate change on South Sea pearls, and every single time I learn something I didn’t know. As someone who started my working life as an anthropologist, the interplay of stone colors, shapes, sources, and people is fascinating.
Another unexpected benefit is how much writing has upped my game in the store. I know with assurance that my customer should snatch up that fabulous pair of hoop earrings because they are THE hot ticket item this summer, and I can explain exactly what makes an unheated Burmese sapphire more valuable than the commercial gem they were eyeing at the last store. I never saw the world through rose colored glasses – but now you might say I see it through a kaleidoscope of vibrant gems.
Not Everything that Glitters is Golden
The downside of this is that whole OCD thing. The odds that I am going to over-research any given topic are pretty good. I’ve watched 45 minute documentaries in Russian with poorly translated English subtitles to get important details for a post, and sometimes the flood of information (and limited amount of space I have to capture it all) means that I stare at a blank, blinking screen for two hours and can barely squeeze out three sentences. Thank god that isn’t a daily thing. Some days I fly through five articles like they are nothing. Like everything, it’s a process.
Schedule flexibility is another huge perk. I have a little, and my time with her is one of my biggest priorities. I mean she’s eight – so I have a max of about five years before she locks herself in her room and her primary means of communication is the eye roll. In the meantime, sometimes working means that I lie on the bed and write while she snuggles up to me and reads. For me, that’s priceless. On the downside, flexible hours mean that sometimes a client is working on the other side of the world with a 13 hour time difference. When it’s 3:00 pm there and things are happening, guess who is up writing at 2:00 am on the other side of the pond? Is it worth it? Absolutely…but coffee is my new best friend.
Overall, the independence and flexibility are amazing…but it only works if I am disciplined enough to stay on task and meet my objectives. All in all, the rewards far outweigh the risks, and given the chance to do it all again I wouldn’t change a thing. If you love to write and you love jewelry, blog writing is a great place to be.