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50 Ousel Falls Road, Unit 2
Big Sky, MT 59716


Artistically crafted jewelry. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets made with responsibly sources gold, silver, and gemstones in Big Sky, Montana


Trials & Tribulations of Being the Boss

cynthia kellogg

Recently the jewelry studio/ gallery space Ari O Jewelry was in sold.  I was forced to pack up the jewelry studio and move to my new location.  As a person who compartmentalizes tasks - so as not to get overwhelmed by the "big picture" - I compartmentalize the move as just that - "a move". 

I didn't think about any other parameters.  So in 3 days I packed up the old space and threw it all in a heap on the floor of the new space.  I found myself in my new jewelry studio surrounded by chaos.  I hadn't thought about the new jewelry space at all.  I'm pretty sure I had convinced myself that I was going to move, set up shop and get back to business as usual. 

As I stood in my new jewelry studio, under the harsh glare of the florescent light and the orangish/cream colored office paint, the feeling of, "Ugh! This will never do!". I knew at that moment that I was going to have to convert the new jewelry space toAri O Jewelry Studio - a contemporary working studio/gallery space.

Where to begin? and Uh-Oh this is going to be a ton of work - as "detail" is my middle name.  Oh and did I mention that it was October- the beginning of Retailers ordering wholesale jewelry for Christmas?! 

So began the "new space" woes.  Step one: configure the space and the scheme ( that took a Long time and a lot of shopping on the internet, as we are Rural here in Big Sky).  While working on the gallery part of the jewelry studio, I still had to pay attention to my orders, my jewelry repairs, marketing, and try not to lose my mind- this is why I compartmentalize. 

A huge problem was ventilation.  When I moved from my old location (an old pizza parlor with a commercial hood for ventilation) I had to research and come up with a way to vent my toxic torch fumes.  I contacted Sentry Air and talked to a rep who sold me on a ductless air mitigation system that cost a pretty penny (found out later I was sold the wrong system).  The system consists of a filter housing in the shape of a box with a "snorkel hose" coming out of it, which you are to set close to your torch flame to suck up the bad air it puts off.  Well since the system that I was sold- didn't have enough suction, I had to get the torch flame Very close- So close I started the snorkel on fire!  Oh the odor of melting plastic- so good for you! (not) One Thousand dollars well spent- thanks Sentry man.

Then came the wholesale jewelry Christmas orders.  Those orders were fine- expected- but dang, always such a busy time.  I had to get my shop some inventory after being wiped out from a summer/ fall season of Farmer's Markets. 

Meanwhile, the retail special orders were pouring in AND for the first time in my career I had a product failure.  One of my wholesale jewelry orders consisted of a new group of earrings that were breaking.  Good to know so that I can learn from my failure, but ugh, the problems were starting to add up.

So now with the Grand Opening of the Ari O Jewelry Studio looming in the near future and the unveiling of Ari O door signage declared another do-over, I notice my jewelry torch has blown one of it's gauges.  I know I have come too far to give up - and I wouldn't do that anyway - so I trudge on - I trudge on as the Captain of my own destiny, the only sailor on my ship - I am the "Boss", the boss of all my own problems