Net Profits: Mind and Body Fixes to Reset Your Jewelry Business

By Cathleen McCarthy

We all experience setbacks, even in the best of times. When things go wrong in jewelry business or studio, the best thing you can do is avoid getting sucked into a downward spiral of negative thinking. Why did I ever think I could do this? This is too hard! I’m not good enough!

The psychology of positive thinking is nothing new – just look at all the books out there with the word “happiness” in the titles – but some interesting research is being done lately on its effects on productivity. This is something jewelry artists can put to work both in the studio and selling their jewelry.

Brainstorm solutions. It can be a huge release to share the challenges of making and selling jewelry with others in the same boat. But don’t just vent. Take it a step further

Positive psychology expert and author Michelle Geilan advises using a setback as an opportunity to inspire action. Gielan teamed with husband Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage and popular TED speaker, to study how mood impacts productivity.

Among other things, they discovered discussing solutions, rather than just complaining, led to as much as a 54 percent more positive outlook and increased problem-solving ability by 20 percent. “Just focusing on the stress is really bad for you,” says Gielan, author of Broadcasting Happiness. “But focusing on the stress and investigating solutions at the same time has a tremendously different effect.”

Don’t take it personally. When faced with a setback in the studio or in your jewelry business, resist the urge to beat yourself up. Face the problem and start breaking it down instead.  “I think the first and most important step is to understand what you can control and what you can’t,” Geilan says, “starting with what we can control in our own environment.”

Release the clench. For jewelry artists, in particular, it’s important to tune into the stresses you’re putting on your body. If you can’t leave your studio for a long period, take short breaks every hour to stretch neck, arms, wrists – all those parts you’ve been unconsciously clenching as you hammer and saw. While you’re at it, try to unclench your mind. You might find that design you’re working goes more smoothly when you come back to it.

If you need assistance, check out the audio guides at Reset, a business launched recently by Raissa Bump, a studio jeweler based in San Francisco. After Raissa found herself getting tight and achy at the bench, she began tweaking yoga poses to suit the wear-and-tear of the jewelry maker. She even has saw-frame handles specially-designed for a wider grip. I took her workshop at the SNAG conference this year and it was standing-room only!

NET PROFITS is a regular feature about using the Internet for jewelry selling of special interest to those with a home-based jewelry business that appears in Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist. Learn more in “Finding Balance in Business and Bench.”

CATHLEEN MCCARTHY has written about jewelry and business for Town & Country, Art & Antiques, Washington Post, and her own site, The Jewelry Loupe. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.


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