I have to admit – I started writing this blog post numerous times but I could never muster the focus to get to the end of it. And you know what? Every time I tried to pick up where I left to finish it, I found out that my head was in an entirely different place and I had to start all over. The truth is, for the first time in history, we are living through a globally-shared experience. I hope that ultimately, it will bring out the best in us all.
Like most of you, I have recently experienced such an array of emotions lately it felt as if I was riding a rollercoaster of feelings. The good thing was that these emotions emerged and disappeared in very quick succession. And I am glad that I had this written record of their coming and passing because it became a testament to how this one human responds to adversity. It may have started with trepidation and then became a mix of indecision, fear, anger, as well as disbelief. While snippets of these undesirable feelings still make an appearance once in a while, quickly my interior emotional world settled on the acceptance of the inevitable reality and the certainty that action was required. And action I took, prioritizing the best I could. I had a plan and I had a direction – moving forward!
Some of you may know that my husband, Bryan, and I own another small business, a rock climbing gym in Albuquerque called Stone Age. While my jewelry enterprise only involves me and occasionally support from Bryan and a bookkeeper, the Stone Age family comprises over 40 other amazing individuals who have worked, some of them for over 20 years, to make the gym a place where the climbing community could gather to share their love for the sport. On Monday, March 16, we met with our staff and announced that we will be closing the climbing gym to the public. We also announced that we will do everything in our power to keep them employed. And one idea I latched on for a new source of income (I am like a dog with a bone when I feel something is right!) was expanding our almost forgotten-online store I created with a colleague a couple of years ago for the gym. The time seemed to be perfect to move our entire gear inventory online using Shopify. Yep, I could now apply to the gym the knowledge acquired over the years in support of zMoxy: online retail platform creation, marketing, and developing social media strategies for business.
Shop Stone Age used to be one of my personal disappointments; it was the project in which I poured my heart and soul for several months in 2017 and for which I put zMoxy on the back burner. The shop that nobody could find on our website and that was hardly ever used - until now. The one I used to think of as a waste of my efforts, a failed experiment we were just talking about closing shortly before the pandemic hit. How things have changed! The shop has now been functional for a couple of weeks, sales are ongoing, and a team is in place to make it all happen as I step away to point my creative focus toward making jewelry. I am gratified that a bit of money is coming into the gym, contributing to keep paychecks going for our staff. It is truly just about a drop in the bucket but it too adds to the overwhelming and heartwarming support from members of the climbing community. Of course, we are still actively and aggressively looking into various programs available to small businesses to make sure we survive the months ahead and be better prepared for next wave of coronavirus (sadly, I think this is not over by a long shot), and develop a strategy for managing the new climbing gym that was supposed to open mid-May.
But all in all, I am glad to now have a smidgeon of control over my own life. Life in turmoil has no place in my studio! My sleepless nights filled with worry and work on the online shop are over and I can finally spend some time in the happy place where creativity runs free. My head is clear, ideas are being distilled, and most importantly, my heart and mind are now in a place of calm – because I believe that my jewelry retains the energy that I expend working on it and I I only want to infuse my jewelry with goodness and happiness. From this new state of mind, my new collection inspired by the resiliency of us all is being born.
So yesterday I finished the first piece of this collection – a ring that I feel exudes the concepts of strength, power, and resilience. Timeless diamonds, the strongest of all gemstones, are fit to take center stage. For your viewing entertainment, below I am attaching a couple of short process videos showing you in fast forward two of the many steps I take to create a new piece. If interested, know that I will keep adding process videos in my Instagram stories and they will be saved in highlights as well. Something new for me to try, perhaps something new for you to explore.
I hope you all stay healthy, safe, and however you are spending the time at home, I hope you do so to your benefit. Rest, love, spread gratitude - onward!