Is Your Shop Organizationally Impaired

When I first started B.BOLD Jewelry for Boomer Girls in 2008, I had no idea how to run a business. Every step forward was by trial and error—and there were plenty of errors. For the first year, I didn’t really have any system for organization. Pieces of jewelry began piling up, and I would find myself searching the studio for an order. How annoying!

In my third year, I realized that I desperately needed help. I hired an assistant since I needed one anyway for other areas of my life. Here are some of the things we learned.

1) Keep track of supplies. Know when you are getting low, and know where everything is. Know exactly where your favorite supplies come from and keep a file that describes them. Otherwise, you’ll buy the same thing again even though you already have it. Or you’ll run out without being prepared.

2) Try not to impulse buy. If you do, you’ll find yourself with many more supplies than you need. This, I think is the toughest rule for me to follow. My studio is floating in beads I don’t need and trinkets I thought might work in my jewelry but didn’t. These were all bought on impulse. Now, I am trying to learn how to stream-line the number of supplies I buy, and to create variation with fewer products. This has presented me with interesting creative challenge, and it has caused my designs to become more focused.

3) Make a list of the things you need to do. Don’t leave them to memory. Recently, I needed to photograph the hallmark on the back of a pendant in my shop. I kept meaning to do it, I’d remember, then it would slip my mind. Don’t underestimate the sheer volume of things that you do during a day. The idea that you’ll remember one tiny thing out of many is a pipe dream!

4) When you create jewelry and post it, try ordering your actions. Try photographing each piece of jewelry right after you make it. Then write your description and post it before you make the next piece of jewelry. After you post it, store it in inventory.

5) Go through your inventory regularly, keeping it up to date, and organized. I use plastic freezer bags with the inventory numbers written on the front. They’re stored in two long banker’s boxes. When the time comes to find something, the task is easy, and I don’t find myself looking between the couch cushions for a bracelet I forgot to put away.

Even though I am suggesting that you do all of these things, I still have days when I don’t follow the rules. My studio is still a mess, especially when I’m in the creative mode—beads are all over the floor. Now as my business is growing, it’s all the more important for me to ready for those busy days in my shop. The more organized I am, the more streamlined and less stressful my job will be, and the better equipped I’ll be to cope with the demands.

Written by Marcia Southwick

B.BOLD Jewelry for Boomer Girls on Ruby Lane