Powering Through The Jewelry Stash

This week I made quite a bit of progress in putting new cases together for the jewelry caravan in preparation for our busy estate sale season. Mother and I took a trip to Joann Fabrics and chose some cute new floral fabric to line the cases. We thought it would be complimentary to the Mexican jewelry as it is colorful and cheerful. It can be seen peeking out a bit in the photo above.

I also invested in 10 new brown tablecloths for the sales. The color we were using is no longer offered on Amazon so it prompted me to see if I could order from the company directly. I was not only able to place a wholesale order but the price per cloth was less than half of what they were charging on Amazon! The color name changed slightly (from Dark Espresso Brown to Espresso) but hopefully the color is the same. There is even a bit of dark brown in our new fabric so it should coordinate well.

Unfortunately just about all of our existing cloths have bleach spots on them due to customers doing acid tests at the sales to see if we missed any precious metals in the clients' costume jewelry. I was told that these boorish people were even wiping the leftover acid from their stones on my cloths. We would have been happy to give them a paper towel! Once I figured out what was going on I put a ban on acid testing and do not sell gold at the sales anymore. It is too bad that a few bad apples ruined things for everyone.

But I digress - Mother and I have been working on tagging the vintage Mexican silver and estate silver jewelry - she has been recarding everything and I have been making labels with the Brother P-Touch. They are so much easier to read than the handwritten tags and will last forever, I should have done this a long time ago. I worked on pricing more of the Tucson Gem Show finds (I am making my own color-coded cards on the Cricut) and I am so happy with the results. So far Bali jewelry is on the grey cards, Mexican on the black cards and amber on the dark brown cards. Rounding out the set of four colors will be Native American jewelry on the kraft paper color cards. I have cream color paper for a future collection as well. A couple of late nights were involved but I was able to put five medium size cases together with this jewelry as well as the Mexican silver and Tibet jewelry. I brought two cases to the Glenview sale on Friday morning and three cases to Park Ridge - Rose Ave on Saturday morning. As much as I would like to continue this project I will have to put it on hold for a bit while I do my taxes and estate sale paperwork.

I continued to power through the Native American jewelry collection by putting together a lot of interesting pieces without stones. The lot did well - I could have sold the amazing vintage fluted bead necklace and the snake earrings 20 times each! The Fred Guerro Y-necklace, the longhorn bull pin/pendant, the Navajo earrings from Federico's personal collection, two of the stacking cuff bracelets and the kokopelli pin also sold. Interestingly there were no takers on the lizard earrings which I found at the same time as the snake earrings. I think they are just as cute! Also, I felt the strand of vintage beads on the left was too covered by the earrings due to space limitations so I am going to include them in next week's lot. The remaining items will go in the online store as soon as possible, definitely after Tax Day.

I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel - I have three more lots of vintage that I can put together, and then I have another lot each of Southwest Style and Buffalo Dancer. If I do not receive any more new pieces, then I will turn to another jewelry project which I will mention shortly.

Slowly but surely I am learning about more of the Shopify store's features. I found that I am able to invoice customers for their purchases by adding the products they purchase to the online store and sending them a draft invoice. Customers then have numerous ways to pay including PayPal which is the recommended method of payment in Facebook groups. I am excited that layaways will be a thing of the past as customers can either choose to pay using PayPal's new Pay In 4 feature or Shopify's version called Shop Pay Installments. It is a win-win situation because customers can pay for their pieces over time but not have to wait until they are fully paid to receive them. I also do not have to wait for the payments! I am able to see the payment methods the customers are choosing and while many of them are still choosing to use PayPal, they are also taking advantage of installments or paying through Shopify directly. I am happy to get "credit" for my Facebook sales in my Shopify store and communication is a breeze and so professional. All my sales are tracked in one place no matter where the items are purchased. This will make things way easier come tax time next year.

The long-term goal for the online store is to first get the inventory fully built up and then work on store promotion. However a medium-term goal is to create some online estate sales with the Native American jewelry and possibly advertise them nationally. EstateSales.net will allow me to direct customers to my online store where they can purchase items there. I will be able to create a special collection just for the online sale to cut down on the navigation to find the correct items. I was already planning to do this for a long time (I tried it two years ago with moderate success but that was before Shopify) and noticed another local company had a great online sale with jewelry, purses, sunglasses etc. They seemed to do pretty well, selling quite a few items at full price and with a 25% discount the last day. The difference with my items is that they are going to be discounted 50% for the entire sale and I will pay shipping. I am looking forward to this project as I have amazing pieces I would like to share that are too valuable for the jewelry caravan and would definitely grab the attention of a national audience.

Aside from work, I feel a bit like a hamster on a wheel. The routine is take care of Margot, take care of Kuochun, make sure Mother has everything she needs, take care of Vivi whenever I am there - repeat, repeat, repeat. And between all that, jewelry selling as a necessity to keep up with bills and of course lots of estate sale work. I am very grateful that the online jewelry selling has been going well. It got me through the stay at home order in 2020 and is helping me again two years later.

Kuochun decided he wanted to try and take a trip to Costco on Friday and see if he could handle it. Luckily there was a motorized scooter for him to use. It was his first time to use one and it took him a little getting used to but eventually he was able to control the speed and not just go full tilt which was challenging in the crowded store. There was a lot going on in there with lots of people and lots of free samples being handed out. I was proud to make it through there without taking any samples and they had a lot of good ones, including Lindt truffles. The weather was lousy on Friday as well - cold and rainy. He made it through the Costco trip but I feel like it has taken him several days to recover from it. I know it will make all the difference in the world when he can have the catheter removed and then he can really concentrate on getting better.

With all the work and seriousness of helping family with their health issues it is nice to have a guilty pleasure which for me is TV. I would say the most serious program I watch is The People's Court, I have been watching it since the Judge Wapner days when I was a teenager. I have always been interested in problem-solving and I have definitely learned a lot about the law over the decades. I also like that order is kept in the court and people are not allowed to talk over one another. I have enjoyed all of the judges but think Judge Milian is amazing. I also enjoy the discussions/Q&A sessions they have added between cases since the pandemic with her husband, Judge John. It is evident that they have a fantastic marriage. I have fallen behind but I have many episodes in the DVR in case I am able to watch while I work.

I have been watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians since the very beginning, I have never missed an episode. I am a fan of American Idol and when I heard Ryan Seacrest was producing this new show on E! about a large blended family in L.A. I thought why not give it a try. Little did I know that 14 years later I would still be watching. I know they are polarizing people - many (who I am sure have never seen the show) think they are famous for nothing but they actually work very hard and are the original social media influencers. They were able to take things to the next level when they stopped promoting products for other companies and created their own companies and products to promote. It was actually an ingenious idea and they have taken it all the way to the bank!

Keeping Up ended last June (and in the meantime I picked up 90 Day Fiance which is better than any soap opera) but the Kardashians are coming back with their new Hulu show next week. I do not have a Hulu subscription but I will sign up so I can watch the new show. I just learned that Dancing With The Stars is moving to Disney+ next season and even though I have been watching it since the second season, I do not think I will pay for that one. There is nothing else on Disney that I would want to watch. Streaming programming seems to be the way of the future but there are so many choices it does make it harder for people to decide how much they would like to invest in it.

Lately these videos have been appearing on my Facebook feed - I do not know who this girl is but she has got the Kardashian sisters' voices and mannerisms down pat! Completely hilarious for anyone who knows and loves them...

Yuri Lamasbella On Instagram: @_lamasbella

Well, back to the real reality, see you next time!