After four days in Bali, I flew to Bangkok Thailand to work on my new collection. I brought with me a collection of new stones and designs with the intent to produce for the holiday season.
However, have not designed anything new with the stones I brought with me from the US. It has been a struggle to just finish one set of production to sell for Christmas. Instead of a new collection it has turned into a production trip. I realize that I need to spend a lot of time working with a sample maker to create new designs, then give the molds and sample production to the factory to make the order. However, we did finish a really beautiful rose gold and silver crystal collection that I love.
THE THAI WAY
I did begin a project with my sample maker the last time I was here. His work is amazing. Really beautiful. When I meet him the first day of the trip, I reviewed the wax molds and handed over new designs. I was wearing yoga pants and a tee shirt. The next time I met his wife, I had been shopping and was tired from the heat. I pushed the meeting back 20 minutes. I had no makeup on and was wearing tennis shoes. I had a friend with me.
She was not impressed with me. She was in a rush to leave, and told me she was going to buy diamonds for another client. As soon as I left the meeting I knew I made a mistake. So, I decided I needed a Thai makeover. I met with my fashion friend at the super high end mall. She picked out outfits for me. I cut my long hair off. I actually applied makeup.
The next meeting I was early. I had my new outfit, heels and makeup on and jumped on the motorbike taxi (riding side saddle for the first time!). The sample makers wife was very impressed. Ha! She told me that I didn’t have makeup on and looked “mad", but now I look beautiful. We chatted a little, then I got down to business and gave her cash deposit and said she could only have it if she delivered my product before I left. Of course she said yes.
Don’t get me wrong, she is not materialistic. She is a wonderful person. I made the mistake. I needed to assimilate to the Thai way of doing business. It is a fast, competitive market. I need to compete.
I have both physically and mentally changed my perspective. I no longer want to smash everything and sell mountains. I want to mine perfect little creations, then sell to a select few. I want to reach personal customers. In one way, it is a deep personal connections with people who will wear my jewelry. Jewelry holds a story, and I want to be a part of it.