Almost 5 years ago, I had an opportunity to launch Workingsilver.com as an online, ecommerce shop catering to hobby and artisan silversmiths across Canada. My focus was to offer quality tools and supplies at fair prices to silversmiths who may not have access to store front shops.
I was living on Gabriola Island when I started Workingsilver, and I was fortunate to participate in the artistic community on this lovely island with its many talented inhabitants.
It was a lot of work setting up an ecommerce shop, but it was lots of fun too. In addition to the ecommerce shop, I set up and for one year ran the Workingsilver teaching studio in Nanaimo, BC, which was great fun and quite successful. Best of all were the people I met in my studio, some of whom are friends still. I developed and managed the business by myself, made mistakes, learned lessons, and found that just having the website was less successful than I had hoped, so I let it slowly fall off the side of my desk.
After a few years, and a move back to the Lower Mainland of BC, I turned my attention back to my professional career as a Clinical Social Worker, but continued to make and sell my jewellery. I really do love pounding silver into wearable art!!
Then, as life would have it, I again saw an opportunity to develop a business, and this time decided to go full-frontal with the development of Workingsilver as an ecommerce shop (new website) a store front, and a teaching studio in New Westminster. I knew “intellectually” that resurrecting and expanding Workingsilver would be a big job, but little did I know that it would be a HUGE job!!
Drawing inspiration from a quote by Nelson Mandela, “It always seems impossible until it’s done”, I kept working and working and working, and finally I opened my Workingsilver Store and Teaching Studio on March 22, 2014 in New Westminster, BC – near Vancouver.
We (I saw we, because I now have a fantastic Workingsilver Crew) are still in our start-up phase, expanding the product line, developing policies, reaching out to the community and letting them know who we are and what we do, and building a customer base. Our silversmithing classes have been well received and people are starting to find the welcoming and creative Workingsilver shop and studio.
I’ve done it, now I have to keep doing it – every day, step by step, listening, learning, trying, failing and trying again.