Some changes are coming from a bit of reflecting on my first two years of business. Certainly I’ve become more confident at the jewelry bench in fabricating designs by hand consistently and in a wide range of sizes. Mostly, though, I’m angry at myself for letting my ambition overwhelm my ability to complete a few projects on time.
I have learned that:
A: Profit is not my goal. Inspired design is.
B: Mass-manufacturing is not my goal. Expert craftsmanship is.
C: Being the cheapest is not my goal. Constant innovation is.
When I confused those priorities, I found trouble. So I am scaling back to focus on making Meriken as good as I know it can be. I think a few of you have enjoyed my jewelry, and if so, I’m sure you’ll let others know. And if in turn they desire my work, then they’ll get in touch. So I’m going to be patient, stop chasing sales, and let good work go into the world.
I want our relationship to be based on the Art of the identity that you are crafting for yourself, not the anonymity of commerce or the arrogance of profits.
So you’ll see that the website is evolving into a portfolio-style presentation, with base price-points listed, and large images of each piece from our core collections. It includes the tumblr feed that is, in effect, our Open Studio. So if an experiment or prototype catches your eye, you can chat with us about tailoring a piece for you. I am trying to encourage open dialogue before purchase. It is you, and not your money, that is the biggest factor in my success. I have found it’s easier to converse for a minute than to configure a million variables online, so you’ll be able to send me a message from any page of the site. That way we can have all the specs for customization and production time squared away before you send any payments my way.
And because my day job keeps the heat on, but also requires a lot of travel, there will be periods where production has to briefly shut down. Dates will be clearly posted on the site, and I hope to leverage that time outside of the “making process” to conceive of more unique designs. For instance, after I get back from New York, Paris, and Hong Kong this March, we are planning a new release of Osmytza Filigree plugs that I think you’ll find worth the wait. I hope that the occasional forced downtime won’t get in the way too much. Our modifications are a part of who we are, and they’re not going away anytime soon.
Anyway, I just wanted to share these thoughts with you, so you know what’s going on behind the screen. Thanks for reading, and for making it possible to do what we do.
Owner, Lead-designer of Meriken Metals
I am finally back in Chicago - please email me if you’ve been waiting to place an order. My main site is rolling over to a new domain at the moment, so you can use this URL to view our current styles and pricing: