Whew! The busy 2021 season is beginning to taper off to a now manageable experience, and the dust has begun to settle in my showroom and workshop. It looks like a jewelry grenade went off! So much was going on at one time it was impossible to concentrate on one thing at a time because of the droves of folks coming and going. The special orders and commissioned pieces were no easy task to complete with the supply chains in my industry being so chaotic these past few months. No matter what it was – diamonds, gems, gold jewelry, tools, boxes, and general supplies – there was always one thing or another that was unavailable at the time. Large jewelry manufacturers were either closed or working only a few days. I have a jeweler friend in Boston who is only open Tuesday through Thursday 10.00 AM to 2:00 PM????
Overnight delivery from anyone in February to early March was a joke; it took 10 days for an important diamond delivery to get to me when sent overnight from Miami! My shipping to other parts of the country fared no better; some mail orders took weeks to get a second day package delivered to my customers. Many time sensitive articles did not make it in time for Valentine’s Day.
We also did our best to keep things safe for everyone during the current pandemic (Whether you are a believer or a non-believer the pandemic is affecting your life too!). The only good note lately is the price of gold is lower than it has been these past weeks; I don’t expect that to continue. Why you ask? Because it would only help my business if it continued to drop in price making nice jewelry affordable to many who have been priced out of the market these past many years.
Besides the before mentioned reasons, we in this industry are suffering from factory delays or complete shutdowns especially from large city companies who, only a few months ago, were operating at skeleton crew levels. In other words, not a whole lot of jewelry manufacturing was going on. Weeks ago, the supply chain was near comical; a special order that took two weeks can now take three months or more. To make matters worse a lot of American jewelry manufactures have a great deal of the production done overseas, and things can get hung up time wise going through customs. European jewelry manufacturers were especially hard hit – Italy for example is a huge source for jewelry. To add insult to injury when the order did finally show up it was either the wrong color gold, wrong size or wrong shape, or better yet it was completely the wrong piece of jewelry! I could not believe how some suppliers got it wrong two or three times in a row!!!
Many of my diamond suppliers ran out of certain sizes and qualities of the spectacular white-hot gem and caused what was available out there to be at a higher cost for a while.
I stressed to folks this season if it is in my showcase and you like it, buy it, or leave a deposit to hold it. I refused to place orders from certain catalogs because by the time it would arrive to show the customer, they would have either lost interest or flew the coop back up north or take the wagon train and return out west and then I’d be stuck with a diamond encrusted gold penguin a customer no longer wants, ya! Sure, penguins are in huge demand in Southwest Florida!
It’s always something even out of the shop; even now I can’t help but notice certain shelves at the local supermarkets empty. One day it’s baked beans and another not a single Q-tip to be had on the whole island. So I understand it’s not just me, many other industries are facing certain shortages, like individual catsup packets???? I’m told the increase in takeout orders due to COVID-19 have caused that shortage.
Hopefully, things will soon get back to normal. I received my first vaccine shot last week and I haven’t grown an additional ear or a tail, so I guess I’ll be ready for the second one next month.
Hang in there and be safe and enjoy a soon to be a quieter island paradise!