The Value of a Purchase

I am a small business owner; but before I was a seller, I was a buyer...

I remember the first time I wanted to spend my money on something that really mattered. I’m 7-9 years old and we’re back on the the East Coast of the United States visiting family. The ocean tide is out, allowing the sand flats to bake. I know we’ll make it back to my grandparents’ house in time to jump in the water. In the meantime my mom and I are walking down a street in one of the many little towns that make up Cape Cod, MA. We’re just window shopping, but this necklace catches my eye. We had been here before and I remembered seeing it in the window. “Can we go in there?” I ask. We walk into the little shop. It is full of everything, from locally handmade to imported goods from every corner of the earth. The items in this packed emporium take up every inch. It smells like  Patchouli and incense. The light coming through the windows makes the items with metal surfaces glow. “Can I get this?” I ask my Mom, pointing to the necklace. “Do you have enough money?” I put my hand in my pocket and pulled out a few dollars. “It’s kind of expensive, Whit. You sure you REALLY want it?” my mom says in the tone a mom takes when she’s questioning whether this will become another lost trinket. I have to admit, at the age of nine I had only ever spent my money on two things, candy and ice cream.  So, I’m sure this investment I was asking my mom to buy into was kind of a surprise to her. I can’t remember if she split it with me or I ended up giving her all my 5¢ candy money, but I did get that necklace. A 16” sterling silver necklace with three little green jade stones. I wore that thing everywhere and I guarded it till after one of my many moves as an adult I finally gave it away.

The funny thing is 26+ years later, I still think of this event, both when I buy jewelry and now as I make it. That experience was important to me on a few levels. I was at a point in my young life where I was learning the value of making a dollar and spending it. Though I had always been a good saver, I was really learning what and how I wanted to spend my money... on temporary things or things of value that would last a long time. 

Today, the values and standards I’ve put into Temper + Forge pieces, and on myself now as a maker and designer, have complimented that idea of investing in something that will last a long time. I aim to create good quality, hand-forged items that manifest attachment  and make their owner feel good, happy, and confident. 

I am a small business owner; but before I was a seller, I was a buyer. I know what I look for when I purchase an item and I wouldn’t accept providing my clients with anything less. So, as you shop this little studio, I hope it gives you all the feels that I had and still have while shopping for handcrafted, local, or artisan. I hope you feel excitement getting your package in the mail, joy when you or a loved one wears the piece you purchased, and an attachment to this little shop in Alaska.



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