(Rant) Angry Jewelry Store Owners & Krikawa Pricing

Lisa Krikawa
Lisa Krikawa

Why on earth would I be writing a story (okay, a rant) about angry jewelry store owners?   I certainly am not one. 

Now, I love jewelry.  I love my staff, and I love my customers.  I actually really enjoy what we do here at Krikawa.  One of the most rewarding things I do is help our clients discover the perfect ring design that celebrates and represents the single most important relationship in their life.  Many times, it’s a custom design, one that is born from one of our thousands of previous custom ring designs.  It’s funny, but there is a lineage to many of our rings.

And I simply love our end product.  What I can say, unequivocally, is that we do not skimp on our product.  It’s a spoken and unspoken tenant that underlies all of our choices in design and production.  From design, re-design, engineering for stone security, engineering for longevity, modeling, remodeling for the most aesthetic curves from every point of view, rendering, printing, sprueing, casting, degassing, porosity, alloy choice, diamond cuts, gem quality, setting style, prong thickness, ring thickness, ring weights, stone security, solder quality, integrity of laser joints, finishing steps, level and secure stone setting, old-world style, hand-cut pave and high polish straight bright cuts, hand finishing details, hidden details, refined polish, to quality control and photography, we carefully manage every step.   Every time there’s a choice, whether a stone doesn’t meet our standards, or we make a mistake and have to fess up, together as a team we make the ethical choice, and the aesthetic choice.

Setting a Stone
Cindy Setting a Stone Under the Microscope

I love my staff.  We are a group of consummate artists.  We love what we do, and every one here is doing what they love.  We live life as an art form, turning every choice and every action into a choice of love, light, and beauty. The talent here blows me away!  Masterclass computer modeling, master goldsmithing, and practically every other job here is done by the best of the best.

Graduated Pink Sapphire Layout
Graduated Pink Sapphire Layout

I actually really love our custom design process too!  It is tried and true; developed over thousands of custom ring jobs, for people all over the world!  From our hand made sizing rings of every size, half size and width, to our colored stone approval system and shipped mokume samples, from our beautiful and descriptive sketches created by talented ring designers, to the 3D model rendered beautifully for our client to see, we are able to guide our client in their design choice and material choice, as if we were sitting right next to them, even if they live in Australia or Canada.

And it doesn’t stop there.   I have an avid fascination with web design, search engine optimization, html, database and .NET programming, data organization, order process, social media, videography, and marketing.

Lisa in 1998 Outside of Garage
Lisa in 1998, Outside of Garage

So what’s the problem?   Well, in a nutshell, this sweetly humming little operation that I started in my garage ain’t cheap to run.   Remember the talented staff I was talking about?  That includes my accounting team.  Every cost is accounted for.  Our pricing is thorough and accurate.  We keep our prices as low but as accurate as possible. We want to make sure that we extend the best price possible, while assuring that we will be in business next month, next year, next decade. Custom jewelry is simply said, incredibly expensive to make.  And we make every effort to make our jewelry affordable.  Erika, our shop assistant, just came in my office and firmly reminded me that if I’m going to order something from one of our vendors, something I don’t need right away, to remember to have it bundled with another shipment so we don’t pay the extra $16 for shipping. Thanks for the reminder, Erika!  You see, we make cost efficiency a part of our way of living life as an art form.  We find beauty in curves and sparkle, teamwork and engineering, and in efficiency and cost effectiveness.

And I’m OK with all of that. Except today I received, oddly enough, two phone calls from angry jewelry store owners, who have customers that want to buy our product, and the jewelry store owners won’t facilitate the sale because of their belief that our prices are too high. While we do frequently work with other retailers with a win/win result, we can’t sell our custom rings for half price, because we don’t mark up our prices double.  So they can’t buy it for half price. I was told a lot of things, about how to make my jewelry cheaper and what the pricing should be on a ring that weighs x amount.  I was sorry, and I felt really bad. I felt bullied and berated, and I started second guessing myself.

Krikawa at the End of the Rainbow
Krikawa at the End of the Rainbow

I often ask myself, Why? I look for signs and synchronicities, and I try to listen to what the Universe may be telling me.  So what was the message today?  Well, in looking back through this blog, I can see that more than worrying about what other people thought, I was reminded about how much I love what I do, what I make, and who we are.  And that’s something I can be proud of.

Krikawa.  Where Your Dream Ring Comes True.

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Moissanite Engagement Ring
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