Marlene: When did you start your business?
Alan: While in gold smithing school in Germany, I had a notion about teaching and I sketched out a classroom. When I came back in 1975, I started teaching in the Oakland Hills. In 1979 I opened the doors in the Phelan Building a jewelry building on Market Street in downtown San Francisco.
The master at work in the Revere Academy of Jewelry Design.
Marlene: What have been your artistic/design goals?
Alan: To bring more beauty into the world.
Marlene: Why do you think you have been so successful?
Alan: I applied myself in academics, art and goldsmithing, which built a good foundation. I did my homework, mastered a craft, and followed my passion. Then I just walked through doors as they opened for me. The times were different and people were just discovering the beauty of handmade crafts.
Earrings from 1988 and Alan Revere Jewelry Design booth from a long ago trade show.
Marlene: How did you learn about running a business?
Alan: The hard way, mostly. I took some classes, but in reality there is no way to understand the complexities of operating a business from the outside.
Marlene: What did you learn from operating your school?
Alan: It was challenging and rewarding. It was hard to rely on so many people, keep up with the times, follow lots of rules and keep the doors open. I am glad I don’t have to do it anymore. I think I have some survivor’s guilt. Haha!
At the Revere Academy
Marlene: What prompted you to retire at this time?
Alan: To everything there is a season. The rent was about to go through another roof. I felt like I needed to slow down. I felt complete.
Marlene: What do you think/want your legacy to be?
Alan: That’s a tough question. I have wondered. I feel like I have carried our craft across the ocean and across the millennium. I like the quote, “A teacher affects eternity…” by Henry Adams.
The American Jewelry Design Council 2001 Design Project "Flight'
Marlene: What have you missed now that you have closed the doors to the school?
Alan: While it was a huge part of my life, I don’t miss much, to my surprise and delight.
Marlene: What are your plans going forward?
Alan: To take it easy and smell the flowers. Life is slower and it feels good. I got my first tattoo and have been doing a lot of personal exploration. I am focusing on the people in my life. I have found the woman beyond my dreams. Life is good!
And, a new door just opened up recently. A few people started a group on FaceBook to follow projects in my book, Professional Jewelry Making,and they invited me to join. Let’s Make Professional Jewelry has over 3,000 members and is growing. This came out of nowhere and it fits just right. Now I can keep doing what I love, which is to teach and feed others’ passion for making jewelry, without 95% of the stress. Here is the link
The American Jewelry Design Council 2003 Design Project 'Fold'
Marlene: I can’t end without asking you what advice you have for people entering the jewelry world?
Alan: Prepare for the journey because it will be a challenge, one with potentially huge rewards on many levels. This means do your homework and legwork. Think your enterprise all the way through and write a mission statement. That should be a good start. Oh, did I mention to follow your bliss?
Marlene Richey . Creative business services for creative businesses . 40 years wholesale/retail jewelry business experience . Writer . Consultant . Professor . Speaker . www.marlenerichey.com