2008 has been the most horrible year of our lives, as I can remember. Our business is down, our profits have shrunk to accommodate our customers' budgets and our expenses have skyrocketed. The Gold Market follows the oil price, both of which go up when our dollar is down. Investors seem to want the security of Gold Bullion when the Stock Market is uncertain, so that raises our costs. We Jewelers have to live our lives by the news reports each day. And world politics create spikes in the Gold Market as well. So our Jewelry products & parts actually cost us more or less depending on the news! Plus, the gasoline costs double now, when I drive to buy those parts!
I wish we could simply raise prices like the oil companies & credit card companies, but we can't! What's important to most people is food, rent, mortgage, gas, clothing, health care, school supplies, etc. Since 2001, things have been getting worse. Not just in the banking industry, but our air travel has been affected greatly. Not just the cost of tickets, and inconvenient lines & carry-on rules, but now we can't check as much luggage - so our Jewelry displays and equipment have been pared down, too - so we can't possibly sell as much at our shows as we used to.
But we are surviving in the Jewelry Business, unlike many of our other Jeweler friends - we provide many services (repairs, appraisals, restringing, re-designing, ear piercing...) and we are buying more old Gold Jewelry from customers in this economy than selling Gold Chains like we used to, although Gold Coins have been selling well! We are still hanging in there, because of the loyalty of many of our wonderful customers, and their referrals. We get great reviews and comments, because of how we treat our customers. We are compassionate, we are funny, and we are good! Sometimes things take longer than planned, but we take great pride in our work.
I pray that this election we will have someone in the White House who cares about "Main Street" instead of "Wall Street" & their friends in their pockets. We need money back in our pockets! Does the Bailout help small businesses like ours? How about bailing out WE THE PEOPLE of the United States instead of just the few BIG ones, (where probably the CEOs knew in advance of the failing & took all their millions out early??) Small businesses are what made this country great, and seem to get hit the hardest. Look at how many people there are on our Merchant Circle, just trying to improve their own lives, networking, promoting, sharing, surviving... without getting any relief in handouts. Best of luck to all of us! ~Janet