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Fine Jewellery Designer Talk with Sonja Deklerk
Sonja Deklerk is the owner of a bespoke jewellery design studio in Edmonton Alberta and offers a curated collection of vintage fine jewellery. After studying Fine Art at MacEwan University, Sonja began her career in fine jewellery design working as an in-house designer for Adamas Goldsmiths and then Vandenbergs Jewellers. With over 22 years experience in the fine jewellery industry, Sonja is passionate about creating fine jewellery as uniquely beautiful as the individual for whom it is intended.
Sonja completed the Applied Jewellery Programme through the Gemological Institute of America and is currently studying to become a Graduate Gemologist.
Sonja is currently a member of the Canadian Jewellery Association and serves on the board of directors at the Leduc Arts Foundry.
In addition to this, Sonja is the host of the podcast “More Than Gold” a podcast that navigates the joys and sorrows of this world while rejoicing in three very important truths:
You are precious
You are of value
You are worth more than gold
Jewellery designers design and make jewellery using a variety of materials, including gold, silver and precious stones.
You could either produce designs for mass production, make jewellery in small numbers or create bespoke pieces commissioned by a client.
If you work for a company, it is likely that other members of staff will make your designs.
As job openings and job seekers are projected to be at relatively similar levels over the 2019-2028 period, the balance between labor supply and demand seen in recent years is expected to continue over the projection period.
You don’t need a degree or HND to be a jewellery designer – proven craft skills are more important – but those without a higher education qualification would usually need to undertake an apprenticeship or on-the-job training.
Salaries vary widely according to whether you’re employed or self-employed, how experienced, successful and well-established you are, and how actively and skilfully you promote your jewellery or business. It’s possible to earn high salaries, but this can be difficult in the early part of your career and an additional income may be needed.
Full Length Episode:
Complete Episode Transcript
Today’s guest is Sonja Deklerk Here’s our Job Talk with a fine jewelry designer.
Welcome to The Job Talk Podcast, where we talk with people who love their jobs.
Our guests open up about their challenges, surprises and secrets to success in their industries through conversation.
And we explore their careers, past work experiences, and the education that got them to where they are now.
Sonja When did you first discover that you wanted to pursue a career as a fine jewelry designer? Okay, so that that is interesting because I knew from a very young age I wanted to be an artist.
That was always that.
There were two certainties in my life.
I wanted to be a mom and an artist.
And so following high school, I studied fine art.
And after completion, I had no idea what to do.
But I knew I needed a job.
And so the only reason I got into fine jewelry design was because I saw an ad for a jewelry designer position at the school.
And they they said that they needed somebody with artistic ability.
And so I had no jewelry experience.
I knew nothing about diamonds, gemstones in gold or even jewelry design.
But I had artistic experience.
And so I went in on a hope and a prayer that that maybe I would qualify for this position and and I did.
And it has now been 22 years in the industry as a jewelry designer.
So you learned on the job.
Did you also have to take further education for what you’re doing? I did.
So I went on to study at the GIA, the Gemological of America, and I completed the Applied Jewelry Program.
I am studying to become a graduate gemologist.
But the jewelry industry, when you’re talking about jewelry designer gold smithing, there are very few programs that truly prepare you and teach you to to be successful in that field.
A lot of it is just hands on learning.
But as as this episode goes on, I can I can focus more on where you can go to get get the proper learning and an education to give you that step up and advantage in your career and maybe save you some time and give you some focus and direction.
Maybe that’s a great place to start.
Can we talk about that right now? Yeah.
So anybody interested in jewelry design should have an artist like ability and a love of creation.
So there is a wonderful program in Calgary, used to be the Alberta College of Art and Design.
I now believe they are called Alberta University of the Arts.
And so they’re the only program that I know of in Alberta that allows you to get a bachelor, fine art, even a master of fine arts, specifically in jewelry and metal.
And so that is a really, really wonderful program that they offer that that kind of gives you a broad exposure to being a bench jeweller touching on jewelry design, learning about diamonds and gemstones.
I think they even touch on a bit of an entrepreneurial side.
If you want to start your own design studio so that that’s a program that I would strongly recommend looking into if you are interested.
A less intimidating and and if you just want to kind of get your toes wet, you can take a look at the GIAs website because they offer valuable information, insight and and education.
You can take distance courses.
You might even want to start out with something as simple as just an introduction to jewelry and then you can get a little bit of an understanding and kind of see, is this something that I’m truly interested in? Because if you’re not interested, there’s there’s no point in pursuing something that doesn’t resonate with your heart and and something that you can’t be passionate about because jewelry design anything that is artistic and creative, you have to have a passion for it to truly thrive And and I could tell you, I am very passionate about what I do, which which makes it so rewarding.
And so for fulfilling.
There are many facets in the fine jewelry industry.
You don’t necessarily have to be a designer like I am.
You might find that you’re more interested in bench work and you want to be a goldsmith.
You might find that you really just love sales.
You like that, that interaction, the one on one interaction, and and you’ll you’ll thrive in a sales environment and maybe you are more interested in being an appraiser, a graduate gemologist, and you really are intrigued by taking in these pieces and assessing the diamond quality and, and the the gemstones and the gold purity and and so it’s just really a very diverse industry that you if you have a passion in design, there’s going to be a fit somewhere.
Actually, we were talking before we started to record and you said there’s a difference between a jewelry designer and a fine jewelry designer.
Can you tell us what the difference is? There are a lot of jewelry design programs.
There’s local you can go to I’m local in Edmonton here.
You could go to Bedrock.
You can take a silversmithing course.
You can learn beadwork, you can there’s lots of in the industry we call it costume jewelry.
Because it’s not using precious metals and gems and so it’s either silver or base metal or really anything that you can use as adornment for for creating a piece that you wear as jewelry.
But the difference is that it just doesn’t have that precious metal and it doesn’t have that material value.
And and so the worlds of fine jewelry and then the world of accessories, they’re different worlds.
And and that actually might be a nice place for someone to start off is just with silver smithing or taking a jewelry design course.
A little workshop Etsey is a good way to start out to like if you’re just really wanting to get your toes wet and not dove headfirst into this and start out start out with something simple because one, there’s not a huge cost involved.
Two, you can find out if this is something you’re passionate about.
And and then you can always grow and you can always learn new skills, and it can evolve and it can grow into something bigger.
I want to get into the details of what you’re doing now with the company that you own.
But we talk a little bit about your career path, some of the positions that you were in and eventually get to, maybe why you wanted to start your own business.
What my career path looked like.
I was an in-house jewelry designer for.
And first of all, I just need to give the warmest praise, love and respect for the companies that I have been blessed, because I truly feel it was a blessing and a privilege to be able to work with.
I was an in-house designer for Adamas Goldsmiths for for 18 years and an in-house designer for Vandenberg’s Jewelers.
And they are some of the best of the best in terms of people and the talents.
And and so I consider myself very fortunate.
But in regards to starting my own business, that there was always a part of me that wanted something more.
I wanted my own line.
I wanted I didn’t want to be an employee.
I just wanted something a little bit more.
And so I launched my own line in 2018, just on Etsey Actually, I started out very small.
kind of a side hustle and I was very intentional about the day that I launched that line.
My my dad passed away 11 years ago and that the anniversary of his death was always something that it was a painful day because there’s a lot of love attached and someone there’s love and and they’re going to miss them.
And so instead of having the anniversary of my dad’s death being something that was surrounded by pain, I decided to launch my jewelry line on the anniversary that it was the seven year anniversary of his passing.
And so now when when it comes to his anniversary of his passing, I now have something to celebrate.
And part of it is just in loving memory of my dad.
It’s a beautiful tribute, but so in 2018, I lost my Etsy shop.
I also got really interested in curating vintage fine jewelry.
So seeking that out, restoring it, having it appraised and and then and selling it.
And I found a great passion in that.
I geek out a little bit when I find a piece that’s by a certain designer or from a certain time period.
But then fast forward to actually February of this year, I opened my own design studio in in Edmonton.
And so it’s been so rewarding and so exhilarating and I have had so many beautiful experiences in such a short time.
What is the name of the line and what is it that you have? And do you have more than than one line? Or is is is it the one that you design and that’s what you go with? So I I’m a bespoke jewelry designer.
That’s basically a fancy word for custom jewelry design.
So a lot of what I do is just one of a kind pieces for one of a kind individuals.
And my clients come in and they they maybe have a vision of of what they’re wanting or they have no idea at all.
But we work together and we we design a one of a kind ring for them that is a token or a symbol of something so beautiful, which is a relationship, love, a memory, a significant milestone.
And so these are just one of a kind pieces that I, I will not reproduce.
So that that’s primarily what I do.
I, my, my line is called more than gold.
And that is just very, very simple handcrafted gold bands that that carry a significant message.
And the message with these and I’m going to like this one right here.
Yeah that’s part of the more than gold collection.
And on the inside of the band is written the phrase more than gold.
And so as you wear those rings, it’s my hope that you are reminded of three very important truths.
One is, you are precious, you’re a value, and you are worth more than gold.
So in terms of a line, I, I don’t really offer a line yet that is in the works.
I do want to have a signature collection of engagement rings and even bridal jewelry that that’s maybe if you talk to me next year, it will have come to fruition.
But as of yet, it’s just it’s just a dream.
And the plans are in place for that.
And I hope that answers your question.
And I hope that answers your question.
Okay. Actually, I follow it up with.
So you work in your passion.
Congratulations on that.
Not everybody lives in a world where the work that they do is what they’re passionate about.
You also own a business, so sometimes when you get into that situation, you have to worry about the business development and running a business which is completely different from working in the passion that you want to work in.
How were you finding the balance of running a business but you know, wanting to keep doing what you’re passionate about? Oh my goodness.
So honestly, it was like just jumping off a cliff.
I’m like, I’m all in. Yeah.
And so the good, the bad and the ugly all came with that.
And it’s been a steep learning curve.
I haven’t found that yet.
It’s something I think that I’ll continually be striving to find, but I have been blessed to be able to have really amazing female entrepreneurs in my life who who are a great resource for me.
And so if I have a question about marketing or accounting, because at this point, yeah, I wear so many hats, I do it all.
And it’s a lot, a lot of work, many hours, blood, sweat and tears go into that.
And at times I think, oh my goodness, have I made the worst decision of my life or the greatest decision of my life? More often than not, I’m feeling like it’s the greatest decision of my life so that that keeps me going.
But there are definitely times when I’m like, I just I, I, I need some help.
I don’t know how to accounting.
For example, I just need to leave that in the hands of somebody who is a professional and knows how to do that.
And I’m learning that I need to delegate.
I’m a perfectionist, and I’d love to do everything myself if I could, but I’ve come to realize that there are some skills that I am much better at and other things that it just makes more sense to to sort this out and delegate.
Can we talk about your actual day to day where this let’s take let’s take a typical day for you.
What happens when you get up in the morning and you had to work? Okay. Okay.
Well, so first I’ve got quite the commute.
I live on an acreage about 20 minutes south of Leduc And so having my design studio in Edmonton is it has been so phenomenal for me because I wake up in the morning and I’m excited to go to the studio and when I’m at the studio so I’m all in, I can get so much done.
And so I’ve got that, that, you know, hours commute into the city, get to my design studio and I try to arrange design consultations.
I like to have two days of where I book design consultations and then the other days I can focus on working on the scale drawings, the renderings, getting quotes, ordering the, the diamonds and gemstones.
Oh, and then you’ve got to do social media and photography and all of that.
But yeah, a typical day.
I arrive at my office at about 930 and ideally I’ll have 2 to 3 design consultations, which I love.
I love people and people.
It’s it’s an entirely different experience than going into a mall where you go to a big box chain store and and you look at their inventory and say, I kind of like that one.
So so a lot of people are not prepared for the experience that it is because this truly is an experience.
From start to finish, my clients come in, they’re greeted warmly.
I feel it’s very important to establish a connection and a relationship because I want them to earn my trust.
And I am so honored that they are choosing me to help them with a piece that is so special, sacred and symbolic.
This is a piece that they’re likely going to wear for the rest of their life.
So I want to make sure that it meets their requirements for it.
So it’s esthetically pleasing for them.
So it is functional, wearable, durable, and in order for that, I need to educate them.
And so the first design consultation is kind of a get to know you and, and an educating session where we go over diamonds, we go over gemstones, we talk about the different qualities, things like clarity, color, cut, carat, weight, the forces and and then that followed up with a second appointment when when I actually have the scale drawing ready and I’ll explain what a scale drawing is because the majority of people don’t even know what that is.
That is part of a fine art that is being lost as we move into more of a digital world and primarily jewellery Design is is is through CAD and 3D wax printing.
So this is where I’m different.
I, I do a scale drawing which is a technical drawing.
It is literally to scale.
So the exact finger size, the exact size of the diamonds like they have to be fractions of millimeters like that.
The level of precision that has to go in there is, is very precise, but I love it.
And so I draw the ring to scale from different viewpoints.
And, and so that allows the client to come in view the drawing and they’re going to have a very good idea of what this ring is going to look like before we even move ahead.
And so if any changes need to be made, it’s assumed that that drawing stage because racing graphite is a lot more affordable and easier to work with.
Then once you’ve got a ring cast in gold, there is nothing cheap about this industry.
And so you want to avoid expensive mistakes. So what you’re working in something that is so personal to your clients, how do you handle maybe they don’t like something or how do you how do you bring it along? Because, I mean, you just mentioned it’s it’s hard to fix mistakes on some of this material. Yeah.
How do you how do you handle that or have you run into that? You’ve got to get it right in the scale drawing.
And so I had to do multiple scale drawings were for clients because they’re just not feeling that it got it’s perfect and I’m 100% okay with that because I would rather those my feelings are not going to be hurt.
Yeah, I want you to have the perfect ring so I’m going to invest the time and effort to make sure that we’ve got the design perfect before we move ahead and cast in gold and set the stones.
And so yes.
No, there, there have been clients that I’ve, I’ve worked with where we just keep changing the design, change the design.
But then once you’ve got it and I can tell, I can tell by their reaction like, yes, we’ve got it, do you not have confidence moving forward? And so do. They. Yeah.
And so do. They. Yeah.
I was going to ask, do you think that’s the the thing that you love most about what you do is the reaction that you get from people looking at the work that you produce.
What do you love the best about being a fine jewelry designer? I love the human connection and I love the stories behind the pieces, so I consider myself a listener and an interpreter.
And so I find joy and passion and exhilaration in listening to my client’s life stories and then transforming it into something so beautiful that it is an heirloom quality token or reminder of their life experience, their love story.
There’s always something more to each design.
This. This not just a ring.
Yeah, it is so much more than just a ring.
And so when, when you have those stories and that that passion behind it, it gets very emotional.
And so my my currency is love.
And so when my clients react with like, there’s been tears, lots of tears, happy, joyful tears like that, that’s my payday.
And so I, I really hope to elicit those deep emotions in every client that I work with.
What are some of the obvious challenges that you go through when you’re when you’re working with the client? I think the biggest challenge is, is if a client isn’t willing to open up, I’m pretty good at connecting with people and I haven’t had that happen to often where I can’t earn someone’s trust and confidence and they they don’t feel comfortable opening up to me.
But the more a client is willing to engage and and share almost this, they need to take down walls and barriers.
And we need to have a heart to heart and determine what does this ring truly mean? Okay.
I guess taking down that wall and barrier is is the biggest obstacle because once that was gone, like the whole process can then move forward organically and with excitement and exhilaration.
Where do you find your inspiration? Is it through conversations with with your clients? Yeah.
So I would say the majority of my clients come in with with at least some kind of an idea of what they’re wanting.
Whether they’ve got some images that they taped on Pinterest or people usually have some kind of image imagery.
And that’s a really helpful way to put me in the right direction.
And, and I never replicates a ring like I, I’m very as an artist, it’s very important to me that that there is some uniqueness and originality to the things where if somebody brings in a picture and says, I want this ring, but that’s not something that sits well with me.
And so so I like to use it as a starting point for inspiration and, and then I can add my artistic flair.
Oftentimes, people really value my opinion and my my artistic ideas.
And so there’s no set way then that it comes.
It just kind of as far as I meet with a person and I ask questions like what what is your your daily life like? Like, do you are you outdoorsy? Or were I because the line has to be designed to be functional as well.
So there are so many factors that go into designing a ring and finding that inspiration to make sure that this ring is going to be a good fit, esthetically functionally and and durable and sustainable for wear.
How they want to wear the ring? Yeah.
Do you have favorite materials that you work with? I love everything. Yeah.
Okay. But I am just loving yellow gold right now.
I really like to work in 14 or 18 karat yellow gold.
I love colored gemstones.
They just make my heart sing.
So, so colored gemstones with diamond accent.
That’s my material of choice.
I’ll show you this one.
I don’t know how well that’s going to show up on there, but this this one is my ring, and it just is everything that makes me happy.
Yellow, gold, diamonds, and then a big, beautiful colored gemstone.
Yes. For those listening, will, will make your website available to them so they can take a look at some of your work.
Where do you where do you get your diamonds from? Okay.
So sourcing is very important to me.
And the day and age we’re living right now there’s there’s a huge focus as it should be on ethical sourcing.
Sustainable sourcing. Yeah.
And so I was very intentional with the companies that I chose to work with to make sure that one, they were a member of the Responsible Jewelry Council too. They were S.A.S.
Global Certified and three, they, they use recycled precious metals.
So so I only work in recycled precious metals.
And, and so the company that I do the majority of business with, they’re phenomenal.
They’re, they’re in Louisiana.
I try to keep everything local first if I can.
Yeah, but definitely I want to stay in North America.
That’s important to me.
So as much as I can local here in Edmonton and and Canada and then what I am not able to get here then, then I use the company in Louisiana and so I, I offer lab grown diamonds, natural diamonds, Canadian diamonds.
And it’s important for me that the Stones are certified so backed with a certificate or some other documentation.
About 20 years ago, I had an opportunity to go tour the Diavik Diamond Mine up in the North Northwest Territories.
I’m curious, is that is that mine still going or did they shut that down? Oh, okay.
COVID has hit the diamond industry hard, has it? It has even DeBeers.
The diamond mines weren’t operational for the first time in history over COVID.
And De Beers. Sorry, where’s DeBeers? they when it when it comes to diamonds, most people will think DeBeers because they’re, they’re the biggest.
And I’ve for quite some time throughout history, they had a monopoly on the diamond industry.
with mining Yeah and so so COVID has impacted every industry I think.
But for the first time there was no rough diamond being mined.
So there’s no rough diamond to cut, which led to a shortage in supply.
And so Canadian diamonds they they are very, very hard to come by right now.
So is the supply chain issue affecting your industry as well? Is that a big challenge for you right now? It is. It is. Yeah.
What’s interesting is, is we’ve kind of seen the rise of lab grown diamonds over.
I mean, that’s been lab grown.
Diamonds have been around for a while, but they’re really starting to to make a scene in the jewelry industry and there’s a lot of debate over it.
Is is this considered a fine jewelry? I that’s that’s a topic that I am heavily interested in and invested in.
And I just read up on everything that I can.
I, I firmly believe that the lab grown diamonds are here to stay.
And I would say it’s an industry disruptor.
So if you think of Blockbuster Video and and now Netflix, I think lab grown diamond is is a similar comparison because you can get these beautiful stones that are diamond in every sense of the word.
The one thing that they are lacking is rarity.
And I am very clear with every client that lab grown diamonds do not possess that quality and rarity is directly affected to value and how a stone holds its value.
So should education is so key in choosing the materials that that you work with.
I’m going to give a little bit of a lecture right now because talking about ethical sourcing and sustainability, it’s important to know that if you’re choosing a lab grown diamond because you think it’s an ethical choice, it’s a sustainable choice.
That might not be the case.
There are different methods of producing these these stones.
One is h, t, which is relies heavily on fossil fuels and so is is horrible for the environment.
Then there’s CVD, diamonds, chemical vapor deposition and they can be produced using renewable energy sources like solar or hydro and so one of the companies that I am proud to work with is Diamond Foundry, that is in the United States.
And they are carbon neutral.
They use 100% renewable energy sources.
And and so like you, you cut out the really that the ethical issues are a non-issue.
If you could go back in time and talk to yourself as you were just starting your career, what kind of advice would you give yourself? Okay, I like that question because one, I think about if I could have gone back in time very often, like it was like, oh, man, I would have done this and this and this and that would have saved me all of these issues.
So what I would have told myself was that this is a career that you can really thrive in and enjoy.
Because when I first started, I kind of felt like it was a default.
Like this is just temporary until I can make it as a visual artist, as a painter.
And so I didn’t really I didn’t reach my full potential until and I haven’t even reached my full potential.
There’s always room for growth and improvement, but but it just was sort of a slow climb because I was thinking, well, this, this is just trying to pay the bills until I can make it as a painter.
And and then I kind of had this aha moment where I realized, no, I like, I, I’m creating works of art and they’re created using the most precious set of materials and, and so I wish I would have come to that realization sooner that that jewelry is a form of fine art and, and I would have started further education sooner, so I would have started studying at the GIA sooner.
I would have I would have taken the jewelry design program at the GIA because they are the one institution that actually still teaches that that process, the scale drawings, the watercolor renderings I had mentioned earlier in the episode about the Alberta University of the art.
You can take the program there, but they are not going to teach you how to do scale drawing drawings and watercolor renderings like that.
Process of jewelry design goes way, way back hundreds and hundreds of years.
And such a beautiful fine art that I just find so much joy and passion in.
And so I had I had the ability to go back in time.
I would have sat down with myself, gave myself a shake and say, Hey, like everything you’re looking for is right here.
Yeah, that that’s excellent advice to give to yourself, but you’re probably going to save some people some time that are listening to this and are interested in your career.
MM You’ve, you’ve added a podcast as a passion project.
Could you talk about what your podcast is about? I would love to know.
So I’m going to preface by saying that one of the first things that I tell my clients when I work with them is that the treasures of this world are not diamonds and gold, the treasures of this world are you and I.
And that’s something that I want to make perfectly clear with everyone that I work with.
And so more than gold, the podcast, when people think I’m a jewelry designer, they automatically assume the podcast is going to be about gold, diamonds, gemstones.
It’s not at all.
It’s about the true treasures of this world, which is you and I and navigating the joys and sorrows of this world together.
And so these episodes are heartfelt.
Like they they go into some pretty deep topics depression, suicide, the loss of a child.
But then they go into a really beautiful like there’s there’s always the underlying theme of finding purpose, perspective, joy and healing as we navigate these life experiences.
And then some of the podcasts are just joyful, like random acts of kindness or oh, there was one segment where we did Real Life Confessions of Frazzled Moms, and we just talked about the good, the bad and the ugly and our horror stories of parenting and has some great laughs.
So it’s just like the podcast is all emotions the full spectrum of emotion because that’s, that’s what it is to be human.
We’ve got a full spectrum of emotion.
So producing the podcast, what have you learned from going through that experience? Hey, I have learned that everybody has a story and it is it’s a story that is absolutely worth sharing and hearing and then holding space for the emotions that go hand in hand with that story.
And those stories are what make life worth living.
They help us connect to around us.
And oftentimes we feel like we should be guarded, we should not share our trials and struggles, and we should put on a brave face like we’ve got this, we’ve got my life is all together.
Everything is going great.
I’m not going to show you the the dark, ugly messes because nobody wants to see that.
But the problem that arises when we have that mentality is we start to think, well, you know, there’s there’s dark equity messes in my life, so something’s wrong with me because I’m looking at her and her and her and him, him and they call her all together for something’s wrong with me.
And so as we open up and have vulnerability and share our struggles and our joys we find that we can connect to relate to other people better.
And so that I kind of always knew that.
But the podcast really reinforced that for me and it’s helped me to view everyone in a different light because you just, you don’t know someone’s story until you have a chance to really sit down and have a heart to heart.
So so the, the girl at the grocery tell you don’t know what’s going on in her world.
The bank teller.
You don’t know what’s going on in his world.
And and so you really need to just be mindful that you don’t have the whole story.
You don’t have the whole picture, just treat everyone with unconditional love and kindness and you can’t go wrong.
And so I think that that is probably the biggest takeaway from my podcast.
And so I think that that is probably the biggest takeaway from my podcast.
What is the best advice you could give to somebody that is considering pursuing a career as a fine jewelry designer? I would say, you know, start, start with at least a part time job in a jewelry store.
And I would say make sure that there is an on site goldsmith in in the jewelry store that that you just take a position at and you’re going to have to learn because there is a lot of working knowledge that you need to have in place before you’re able to design jewelry.
So you need to learn how rings are made.
You need to see how they are repaired, what daily wear and tear looks like on the ring, because that is so incredibly helpful when it comes time to designing rings.
If you’re just to jump right into let’s say you want to pursue CAD design, but you don’t really know how a ring holds up over time.
You can design something gorgeous, but if it’s not designed to last, you’re not going to have a happy client in the end because you know you’re going to start losing stones or that goes to thin, it’s going to wear away.
That’s a problem that I see on Etsy all the time.
Like there’s gorgeous photos and images, but I look at that ring and I think that’s that’s not an everyday wherever ring, but it’s beautiful as an everyday wearing.
And so working, even just part time.
That gives you an idea as to one.
Do you like working with people? Do you have those people skills? Can you connect? Do you find joy in this? It also gives you the opportunity to talk to Goldsmiths and kind of look over their shoulder and ask questions like I I’m sure I drove her goldsmiths crazy.
They probably never admit it, but I just ask so many questions and I learn so much from them.
So being in that environment where you’re just kind of hands on is a really great stepping stone to see if this is something that you’re interested in and you want to pursue.
And if yes, then a great way to take the next step is keep working in that industry.
But there’s distance learning.
GIA is perfect.
I can’t praise GIA enough And so you can start out with the Applied Jewelry Program, which is very manageable to do online.
Well, while working part time or full time, once you’ve.
If you love that, you can move online again and again and you can maybe go and become a diamond graduate.
You can then go on to be a graduate gemologist.
Or you could you could say, You know what, I’m all that.
I want to go to the GIA.
You’re going to have to study on campus.
And they have a wonderful program for teaching you how to become a jewelry designer.
So I would just like small and simple things start out small, see if this is a good fit for you, and then keep growing because this is a career.
I think every career is one where you can just keep learning, keep improving, and the more and more you learned, the more and more you find reward and satisfaction.
Well, I love your positive energy, and congratulations on working in a career that involves what you’re passionate about.
Thank you so much for joining us.
Thank you so much.
I just want to say that I am so grateful for what you’re doing because not everybody knows what they want to do.
And so this is just a great way to kind of get an idea, get the inside scoop as to what it’s truly like.
So, so yeah, I hope and pray that, that this is helpful to someone out there. And once again, thank you for having me on.
Thank you so much.
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