How The Rise In Silver Prices Will Effect My Business / by Patsy Kolesar

I've talked a lot about fear on my blog and about trying to move beyond fear.......

Lately I have been stuck in a pretty deep swamp of fear.

You see my industry is changing. When I started out in my jewelry career only 3 short years ago the cost of silver, my metal of choice, was around $18 an ounce. Today silver is at an all time high of $38 an ounce and it is only expected to continue rising in price. They are anticipating that it could get as high as $60 an ounce by the end of this year and in the next couple of years could rise as high as $250 an ounce.

I use sterling silver in every single piece of jewelry I make. Sterling silver chain, clasps, earring hooks, posts, wire, and sheet. It's all silver. Which means that every single component of my pieces has more then doubled in cost and is going to continue to rise. Which is really freaking scary.

When I talk about this in my circle,the average response is always "why don't you just raise your prices?" and yes, I will have to raise my prices. But this is a bigger issue then just raising my prices. Raising my prices to the extent that I will have to if silver prices get as high as predicted could completely change the market that I'm selling to. It could mean that my current market, my amazing customers that I have been selling to for the past number of years might no longer be able to buy my work, or will at least have to buy less often, or really think before buying. I really value my customers and my stores so thinking about them no longer being my target market is scary. I worry that this rise in silver prices will push out some of the businesses at my level in the industry if we don't prepare for it.

I feel like I need to get out of my frozen in fear state of mind and be proactive and protective of my business that I've built. So I've come up with some options and would love some feedback and thoughts from my customers, my fellow jewelers, my peers, other business owners, mentors, smart people, and Donald Trump (because I'm pretty sure he reads my blog).

Here are the options:

1. Continue growing my line as it is and increase my prices as needed.

2. Change to plated silver components in my jewelry, possibly even silver plated enameled pieces to keep my prices in the same price range they are in.

3. Explore alternative materials......base metals, fabrics..etc to try to keep costs down and prices low.

4. Create a gold line. Move higher end with my work and embrace a higher end market.

5. Move to Argentina, find a husband named Pablo and drink wine all day and all night.

If you want to share some feedback, ideas, tips, or just have a conversation with me please comment below or send me an email to info at pkkdesign dot com