Nice to meet you, I'm Rie Miyazawa, a jeweler.
When I hand over a jeweler's business card, they often startle me, saying, "Are you a jeweler?"
It's a job you don't see very often.
I didn't really want to be a jeweler, but I will try to unravel how I ended up becoming a jeweler.
3 non-negotiable things for working forever
Ever since I was a child, when I saw my working mother, I naturally thought, "When I grow up, I'll work cool too!"
When I was in elementary school and junior high school, I didn't have anything in particular that I wanted to do.
When I was in college, I went to two short-term study abroad programs in the United States and Canada, and I completely fell for the English-speaking world.
By the time I graduated, I was aiming to study abroad.
Study abroad as an adult.
So let's do something that will lead to future work! And, for the first time, I started to think specifically about my occupation.
At that time, there were three points that I thought I could not give up.
・Can be used anywhere in the world
・Things that can be done until the age of 90
・Must target women
1 I want to work using English! I thought, and I liked traveling, so I think I wanted to go here and there.
2 is because I wanted to live a life where I have things to do until I die without retirement age.
Because 3 liked beautiful women.
From my point of view as an adult, this was a rather naive way of thinking, but at the time, I was very serious and told everyone I met, "I'll do a job that satisfies these three points!"
I am still laughed at by old friends.
Let's go study abroad
Now that the guidelines have been decided for the time being, I decided to decide where to study abroad.
After doing some research, I was left with a choice between an apparel school in New York or a jewelry school in Los Angeles.
Where shall we go? ?
I'm fine with either... which one should I choose? I am very easy.
When I couldn't make up my mind, for some reason I met people who worked in jewelry, and for some reason, everyone I met told me, "You're suited for jewelry work!"
It's easy to ride when flattered, so I steered in the direction of jewelry.
I studied at the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) school in Santa Monica, LA.
(Currently relocated to Carlsbad, San Diego)
GIA has a long history, founded in 1931. It is a non-profit organization funded by the State of California, comprising world-class gemological educational institutions, identification and appraisal laboratories, and appraisal laboratories.
Gemological Institute of America graduates (GIA-GG) are active as appraisers in grading and identification laboratories around the world.
Currently, diamond appraisal standards used in Japan are based on this GIA standard.
I spent a year and a half here studying appraisal, identification, and metal engraving with friends from all over the world.
By the way, most of my friends have a family business that is a jewelry store, or a hobby of a very rich person.
I wonder if it was rare for someone who came from a normal family and jumped into the industry without industry experience.
I learned a lot not only from the classes at school, but also from talking with my friends.
So which direction shall we go?
As we get closer to returning to Japan, what direction should we take to work? I came to think.
Even if you say jewelry in a word, there are various things such as cheap ones, casual ones, and expensive ones.
Depending on which route you take, the suppliers and the buyers will change.
Do you want to be a wholesaler, a retailer, a designer, a craftsman, an appraisal agency, a job, or an independent business?
There were a lot of options, but the people I met in Japan who were involved in the jewelry business (persons in the retail industry) were all on the high-end route, and I had heard about the joy of working with jewelry from them, so I had no hesitation in choosing the high-end one. Aiming for retail on the route.
Before I met these people, I had the impression that "people who deal in jewelry are suspicious and sell expensive things" (laughs). Know how to play, know the real thing, and get along well with customers.
I also dreamed of growing old like this, so it feels like I only had that thought.
After returning to Japan
After returning to Japan, I wanted to learn more about the Japanese jewelry industry, so I got a job at a wholesale company.
The company here tied up with local kimono shops and boutiques, and worked to sell jewelry to the shop's customers.
I spent most of the month on business trips, setting up the venue, managing merchandise, and selling.
This is it...
It didn't suit me at all (tears).
I don't feel the excitement of wearing jewelry at all.
It could be an extension of the relationship, or a strong push for sales.
It's a wholesale company, so it can't be helped, but I gave up after a year.
"Let's do it in the way we really want to do it!" First, I rented a hotel room and held a meeting where people could see the jewelry I had selected as a select shop.
I was too naive to hold this meeting with zero customers, but my friends and acquaintances came and bought their favorite products one after another.
With millions in sales, I rented a room in an apartment in Shibuya and started a jewelry salon.
25 years later.
Jewelry still excites me a lot.
The sparkle in the customer's eyes when they encounter a beautiful product or wear jewelry.
When a customer who was a beginner in jewelry has developed a discerning taste.
When I met someone I would not have met if I hadn't worked in jewelry.
When I participated in an overseas jewelry show,
When I'm talking endlessly about jewelry with my friends.
After 25 years, I still enjoy this job.
And when you are in your 50s, where you can really enjoy jewelry, what kind of jewelry will you encounter, and what kind of woman will you meet? I'm not looking forward to it.
40 more years to work until I'm 90.
(There are still quite a few)
With a toned body and good posture, she wore a Valentino suit, a ruby large enough to hide her fingers, and a gray baroque pearl. We are aiming for a figure that recommends products with full force.
Maybe the reason why I work in jewelry is because I want to continue to be a woman who looks good in jewelry.