Written by Vera Audette, creator of Spirit Of Vera.
I have come to believe that the following are the pillars of my foundation:
- My persistent exploration of my medium.
- The knowingness that I have limited knowledge in how to run a business.
- My absolute gratitude and respect towards my customers.
The tactile play relating to my silversmithing I think imbibes the actual work with an authentic interest. This results in an attention to detail and a quality that is well received by those that are sometimes used to being duped in this field. This doesn’t only apply to the construction of the pieces, but ultimately inspired the sourcing of the materials. I wanted to play and be expressive with a material that suits my other ethical dispositions. A material that can serve the community and the environment as well as my creative spirit. Who wants to play with a material that is the product of the commodification of human life or the exploitation of the environment? Not I.
My lucidity and humility are also key components to the way in which my business has evolved.
I had to teach myself nearly every component from making the jewelry, to balancing a budget, to determining prices, to marketing, everything online and so much more. I made no assumptions about what I knew. In every imperfect discovery in all of these categories, certainly as it relates to the operational aspect of the business, I attempted to be absolutely honest with myself. What aspects of my knowledge need to be improved upon? One attempt was often not enough in discerning the misinformation or biases I was feeding myself to protect my ego. I had to accept shortcomings, and be in gratitude for having discovered them. Otherwise, how could I improve, seek and receive vital information?
Gratitude and respect towards those supporting me is probably the most important concept that ties in all of these other ethical and intellectual positions.
I respect and honour my customers enough to position myself from their point of view. How would I feel in the face of this business? How can I make another feel respected and honoured? Essentially I do this by holding myself accountable to the quality of my work. If a piece breaks, I fix it. No questions asked. This policy has inspired my designs, and I believe, gives clients piece of mind. They know that I am interested in a long term investment in the piece of jewelry and in them as a customer. This is mutually beneficial because it allows me to stay top of mind as well as ensure an impeccable service.
These are conceptual motivations for the creation of the policies and practices that have drawn individuals to my very new and small business, amid a saturated market. These are my differentiating points that have been the product of years of individual work as well as a given disposition.