Tuesday, October 19, 2021

What Do You Need That For?


Last month while sweeping the front of my establishment I overheard a couple admiring (or so I thought) the jewelry in my window display. She happened to mention to him that she liked one of my gold palm trees. He curtly replied “Now what do you need that for,” and pulled her away from the window by her elbow. I saw the disappointment in her eyes and felt so sad for her, and my second thought was…  What a jerk he was! I’m sure it would have been OK if he purchased a new set of golf clubs or a salt water rod and reel, whether he needed it or not. (And I truly hope he’s reading this.) I firmly believe in a thing called Karma.

I once had a lovely lady walk in on a Saturday afternoon minutes before I was closing for the weekend. She apologized and said it would be a quick sale and it would take no time at all. She tried on a pair of very expensive diamond stud earrings, looked in the mirror and said, “I’ll take them,” and left them in her earlobes. She didn’t even ask me how much they were! While ringing up the sale of the week, I asked her what the special occasion was. She said her husband had passed away recently. I stood there stunned, not knowing what to say. She mentioned that while he was among the living he refused to buy her these beautiful diamond earrings, something that she’d always wanted.

I guess there will be no discussion about that subject in the future!

I once had a customer who wore nothing but really cheap jewelry. All I did was patch it together for her and what amazed me was her husband was a very successful banker. While talking to her one day, she lamented that she would really like to own something nice, but her husband of 50 years insisted jewelry was a really bad investment. End of subject!

Wow! I’m glad that philosophy is not island wide!

It’s not the first time I have encountered such negativity about my wares, which happen to be nice jewelry. Many times the role was reversed where a husband wanted to buy his wife a really nice piece for and she insisted, “No honey, please I don’t need it.” Whaaat? Hey! I’ve been trying to figure out human nature for over a half a century, to no avail. Take my wife, she needs another designer purse like a hole in the head, but I don’t go off on her like a raving lunatic when she buys yet another one. (Although her collection of what seems like a fifty once worn tennis shoes and rackets tends to irk me a bit.)

One thing is for sure, most folks don’t need to own a single piece of jewelry, even a wedding band for that matter. Happily for me that’s not the case. Now that I think about it, once a guy asked me if he could “rent” his wedding band for his wedding ceremony and he promised he would return it the next day?

(I honestly don’t make this stuff up, this is one particularly peculiar island to live and work on.)

In a sea shell, jewelry makes (most) people feel good, women especially… well most women. Heck, I gave Phoebe, my beloved little dachshund, a glittery collar once and even she pranced around happily showing it off.

We have all heard, “It’s the thought that counts,” and it’s no secret that nice real gold diamond jewelry pushes the thought thing to the max!  The key words here are “Gold Diamond Jewelry.”   Nothing feels like real gold. Is it the heft or just the fact that real gold and diamonds will always be more of something special?

It’s a memorable experience when a child gets her first pair of real gold earrings or a simple charm and chain. The look on their faces is priceless. It always reminds me that jewelry is a gift of love, and for memorable times or just because. (As I have mentioned in the past, jewelry has gotten a few guys out of the doghouse a time or two!)

And now the dog days of summer are upon us. June, July and August… Ugh! The months Marco business people dread. Of course, the month of December is my favorite month of the year ( as it is for most jewelers) or is it the month of September when I’m off the rock, lazing away in who knows where? Then again, December pays for my slack-off September. Alright, they’re both my favorite months.

   I always have plenty of projects in the off months, things I could never try to attempt during the hectic heights of season. Plus I can start creating new exciting pieces for store stock for the coming season. On a good note, even in the summer months everyone who works in my shop has a positive attitude and really loves what they do and this, for the most part, attracts (mostly) positive people, (It’s no island secret I personally tend to repel from folks with negative vibes!). My staff has the patience of Jove, resulting in an enjoyable positive experience for all, especially the folk that really like nice jewelry, which then increases my bottom line, making that laid back September thing totally possible.

Have a happy and safe summer season and remember to be kind to one another!

Richard Alan is a designer/master goldsmith and the owner of the Harbor Goldsmith of Marco Island since 1994. Summertime is the perfect time to come in and have him create the jewelry of your dreams.  239.394.9275 www.harborgoldsmith.com

One response to “What Do You Need That For?”

  1. Chris Curle says:

    Marco Island is very lucky to have Richard Alan and his talent (and personality!) Over many years, he has created original nature-related jewelry for my husband to give to me for different occasions: a burrowing owl gold drop, palm frond gold earrings, adorable gold frog with big diamond eyes ring, a gold anole with little diamond eyes ring, a gold/amethyst purple martin drop, bird of paradise gold/silver earrings and many more. All are Marco-centric and I treasure them and always appreciate the fact that he and Don came up with each flora or fauna item and then Richard put his creativity to work. Richard Alan is not your average jeweler! And his family and friends staff makes for a warm atmosphere.

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