I have been in Bangkok more weeks this year than ever in my life. Things there are really exciting. I use that word cautiously, as a ruby and sapphire buyer. ‘Exciting’ means, in reality, that the wholesale precious stone markets are in a bit of a chaotic state. There is a real shortage of fine quality stones. Demand is very strong, and prices are rising dramatically. This makes my job particularly difficult. Not only do I struggle to find top quality stones, but I then need to be sure that I am not overpaying for them. The only way to find out is to hold firm on my offering prices, and see if the sellers actually refuse my offers. If they do, then I have wasted time and not purchased the parcel that I like; but at the same time I will have educated myself on the reality of the price increases. I guess most people don’t consider that ‘exciting’, but then most people don’t enjoy the hassle of bargaining. (That’s why Shane Co. offers the right price to begin with, and we don’t bargain with our customers.)
Meanwhile, I also have been busy with our jewelry factory here in Bangkok. We are designing a new line of pendants, which will be out in a few months. I have been personally actively working on this line, and it will be unique. I am putting a French flair to it; and expect to generate a lot of excitement when this collection debuts.
We are also busy expanding my Couples Collection, as the demand for these unique styles of bridal and wedding jewelry has exceeded our expectations. We have an entire collection where the lady’s ring (or rings) is unique and feminine, and a man’s wedding band compliments it so people can see the similarities; yet at the same time the man’s ring is masculine and handsome. Finding the right balance is really tricky, and our customers love the tie-in between his and hers, yet don’t feel foolish like they are wearing matching outfits!
We continue to expand our fashion jewelry business at Shane Co., and I have been busy in Bangkok creating new products for that purpose. Our buying team just returned from Hong Kong, where they were at the world’s largest jewelry show. Besides the product that our own Bangkok factory produces, they buy most of our styles from the leading jewelry manufactures throughout the world. The styles we have in stock now demonstrate the fact that all of this travel and extra effort really does pay off, as our customers keep supporting our family business. And for that, my son Rordan (who runs things in America while I am in Asia) and I remain grateful.Share on Facebook
When speaking with my wife recently about booking a Mother’s Day brunch for our moms for this year, it suddenly hit me, she’s a mom now too! My next thought was, and I’m a dad! I know it sounds beyond obvious, but it was a weird realization that in my sleep-deprived state of having a seven-week-old newborn in the house, I somehow managed to miss.
Now I have to plan two Mother’s Day celebrations each year, as if one wasn’t hard enough! Good thing there is more than one meal to be eaten in a given day, or someone’s feelings would be hurt.
So I’m now planning my first ever Mother’s Day dinner with my wife, and already I’ve made my first mistake, right off the bat. As we’ve had scarce time alone since the little man’s arrival, I said to her, “You know what could be cute? Having one of our sisters come over to babysit and going out somewhere nice for Mother’s Day dinner.” I was quickly reminded that that would ‘defeat the point’ of a Mother’s Day dinner.
Such are the growing pains of being a new dad, I suppose.
If anyone has any stories or advice along the lines of the above, I’d love to hear it.
Being a new dad has been such an amazing experience. I’ve never had a two-month stretch close to anything like these have been. It’s been, fun, exhausting, frustrating and educational all at once. We’ve received contradicting stories and advice from essentially everyone we know. I have finally concluded that there is no ‘normal’ time for him to start sleeping more than a few hours at once. No ‘normal’ amount of crying, no ‘normal’ amount to eat. With me being an ‘A’ type personality, this drives me nuts, but at least I have finally come to the realization that the only thing ‘normal’ is whatever he’s doing at the moment. Life suddenly became simpler.
So, Happy Mother’s Day to all the new moms, not-so-new moms, grandmas, great-grandmas and moms-to-be. I’m looking forward to whatever parenthood brings, and if the past seven weeks are any indicator of what’s to come, it should be an amazing ride ahead!Share on Facebook