Thursday, July 16, 2009

Suze Orman Disses Jewelry


I love it when Suze Orman says “you are denied”. We all need, we all want. That piece of jewelry you’ve been lusting after just got buried in denial.

Suze Orman is smart, funny and quite the actress. Her show is like a bad accident I can’t stop watching. I’m always curious about how to spend money, sock it away or get out of debt. It’s really only a game of monopoly to me, and this whole money thing is a game I never played. But if I did, I’d probably take it more seriously. I originally started making jewelry because I’m such a “jewelry whore”. I used to stare at the renaissance paintings in the Cleveland Museum of Art and stare at the jewelry the subjects were wearing. Where can I get that, I wondered. Later, I figured out I could just make it. I had no idea, however, that it would take over 20 years to become a decent smithy/craftsman.

I’ve been traveling more, doing craft fairs, seeing what the customer has to say about my work since I no longer have a retail store. The response has been terrific and I’m always curious to speak with the other vendors. The last show I did, in Rhinebeck, New York was beautifully organized, executed and featured an incredible array of skilled craftsmen struggling to “survive in this economy”. We all had one thing in common, we want Suze Orman to stop knocking the spending on the jewelry.

I remember when I had my first store in the East Village of NYC during the years 1984 to 1991. I lived and worked in a tiny 250 square foot space which was organized like a small ship. There was a tiny showroom, a tiny studio and a bedroom loft, all on street level. I worked during the day as an office temp and would make the jewelry at night and open the store to the public on the weekends. I survived and created in the sesspool of artistic community. I did whatever it took to survive and create and so did everyone else. Often neighbors and clients would come into my store and hang out, look at the jewelry and leave. In the early days, the only confirmation that I had that my work was any good was the fact that it was stolen. I figured at least someone really WANTED it! (I put an end to theft when I installed a double-cylindar lock on the door and removed the key when someone entered and was held captive. In lieu of costly theft insurance, I simply had a metal pole by my side, but more stories on that another time…) Later, when the work actually began to sell, it wasn’t uncommon for me to hear comments like, “you know, I think I’m going to buy that ring instead of paying my rent this month.” or: “I was on my way out to dinner, but I think I’d like to get that necklace instead. I’ll skip dinner”. I wanted the sale, but my guilt was heavy. Usually I’d try unsuccessfully to talk them out of that.

So I think Suze Orman should shut up and STOP doing her part to kill the economy.. There is such a thing as reward. Simple pleasures. And we all NEED shiny, pretty things. It's a personal health issue.

AND P.S., Suze: How about upgrading your taste in earrings and stop shopping at Kmart?