When I was young, family friends would ask me if I wanted to take over my family’s jewelry business and I always enthusiastically said “no”. Instead I decided to go out on my own studying design and architecture and fulfilled my dream of working overseas. After eight grueling years of working long hours in a work-obsessed culture, I was utterly exhausted. At the time I had just given birth to my fourth child and now had four children under the age of six at home. I realized that while my work in architecture and design was thrilling and rewarding, it was no longer sustainable for me.
My family recognized that I was burnt out and my parents gently introduced the idea of working for their 35 year old jewelry business Boma. I was still living in Asia close to our manufacturing team and could simply observe what was going on. What started as a small observation turned into a full-time obsession.
I became extremely curious about the jewelry making process. I recall thinking after my first day of walking the floor that this was all a precious treasure and realized that most people have no idea about what a production process looks like. Under one roof we effortlessly took pure silver and molded, sculpted and transformed it into beautiful pieces of jewelry with an ease that revealed our time-honored dedication to handicraft. And the part that surprised me the most was that our workers were smiling and happy. I watched their joy as they shared fruits from their gardens with each other and played chess during their lunch breaks. The permanent look of stress that I was used to in my previous work environments wasn’t found here.
This new opportunity allowed me to make a move into a career with more lasting value and one which created meaning for people. Entering this world of making handmade things made by real people made me reflect on what potential our company could have for the future. Most consumers are powerless to know where and how the products we buy from stores are made. Unlike me, they never get to witness how a production process takes place first hand, they never see the face of the maker of the product. My opportunity and new role would be to connect the maker and our customer in a way that would bring awareness and value to our products.
Our blog is an effort to tell the stories of our makers and to show a personal side to our 37-year old business. I'm looking forward to bring you all into our process and for the first time share the stories of our makers, artisans and silversmiths so that I'm not alone in knowing our unique process.