Tuesday, 26 March 2013
Why do You do it?
In 1987, after entering the fourth year of the three-year B.A. degree at the U of A, I scoured the Edmonton Journal “help wanted” ads. This was not the most prosperous time in Alberta’s history, but there were a few job openings at grocery stores and retail shops. When I saw the ad for Forest of Jewels in Heritage Mall, I thought, “I like jewellery, so why not?” Jewellery was something our family honored as a meaningful gift, and my departed grandfather had been a hobby-lapidary who made belt buckles, bolo ties and brooches from stones he had collected and polished.
I also recall thinking that helping people celebrate special moments in their lives was a good way to earn a living while I finished off the last couple of courses towards my arts degree. As it turned-out I really enjoyed the experience and thought that the reps had a pretty good life; travelling around in nice new cars and expertly advising retailers on the merits of their products. They didn’t happen to mention the dull, dangerous, depressing and stressful parts of their jobs, but that’s okay because I love it, warts-and-all!
This year more than most I’ve enjoyed hearing how some of you found your way into the industry; one of the most amusing of which was told to me by Jackie Doll; whose Mom Angela had returned from a trip abroad where a jewellery wholesaler mistook her for a retail jeweller. She came home and asked Jackie for a portion of her college savings in order to buy a used showcase and fill it with jewellery in the corner of a clothing store. They now operate four stores in Northwestern Alberta.
We all started somewhere, but have stuck with this industry because we can earn a good living, have fun with great colleagues and take pride in helping people develop their personal fashion and share gifts of love.