How to Start a Revolution in DIY Jewelry-Making (Without Really Trying)
|Fire Mountain didn't start as rebels and revolutionaries. Chris and Stuart just wanted to help customers use the beads and cabochons they sold. Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, beading and jewelry-making were closely guarded secrets. There was no internet; there were no DIY television shows; there were no how-to books. So Chris and Stuart hired a researcher to find out how the experts put jewelry together. She went out and talked to those in the know, looking over their shoulders as they showed her their handiwork and learning all the tips and tricks for jewelry-making. Then she brought it all back.|
It's all about passing on knowledge and teaching the techniques and skills that have been taught to us. Poet and scholar Antonia Darder says that, "teaching is an act of love." All of us at Fire Mountain Gems and Beads agree.
Friendly Service That's "Packed with Love"
"I always shed a tear when I receive my "Packed with Love" heart sticker. It makes my day." - Patricia S.
Why does every order say "Packed with Love"? Because each one is.
"Packed with Love" is what powers over 16,000 inspirations in the Gallery of Designs, hundreds of jewelry-making projects and dozens of step-by-step instructions, how-to videos and product animations. "Packed with Love" means it's not just beads in a box--it's part of an entire network of information, inspiration and instruction. We'd put the stickers on the screen, too, but our computer techs hate trying to peel them off afterwards!
"Packed with Love" is part of our world-class Friendly Service. Whether you call, write, fax, email, "pin," "tweet" or "like," you're treated the same: professionally, helpfully and, most of all, friendly. We know you see our faces in the catalogs and on the website. We remember you telling us how nice we look when we model the inspirational jewelry designs. We want you to feel like you're part of our small town: the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads community.
Chris and Stuart believe that customer service is a philosophy--not a department--so people throughout the company are focused on making sure our customers get the products, the information and the inspiration they want and need. We give it every effort to give the best customer service possible, every time, all the time.
Bootstraps and the Boys and Girls Club
|Fire Mountain Gems and Beads runs an internship program (formerly called "Bootstraps") that offers paid internships to local high school students who want to increase their business and life skills. They have an opportunity to experience different departments within the company, entering a new group every six months, and learn business systems and software applications.|
Others--like Rosanna, Sam and Alicia--have stayed local and worked their way through college with us. Rosanna is part of the Accounting Group and Sam works with Fire Mountain's photographers, while Alicia leads the group who create web pages in our Gallery of Designs, EncycloBEADia and other parts of our website. Rosanna says that Fire Mountain Gems made it easy to be a college student and an employee:
"Because of the flexibility with my hours, I've been able to work while I went to RCC [Rogue Community College] and SOU [Southern Oregon University]. And Fire Mountain helped pay for whatever classes I took that applied to my job--all of my business classes and accounting classes were covered."
|Chris and Stuart are also personally involved with the Rogue Valley Boys and Girls Club. They share Fire Mountain's resources, facilities and expertise for Boys and Girls Club fundraiser events like Girlfriends Great Escape and Taste of the Rogue. Chris and Stuart are also active members of Rotary International.
They've encouraged community involvement among their employees, too. Every year, Fire Mountain employees fill barrel after barrel for the Josephine County Food Bank. Some employees are also members of the Boys and Girls Club, while others are involved in veterans' assistance programs, educational non-profits and service clubs such as the Lions, Kiwanis or Elks.
|Our customers come from all levels of expertise. Some are just starting out in the field. Others, like Tammy Honaman and our in-house jewelry-making staff, have years of experience.
Our customers include retail suppliers, beading stores, Broadway production companies and other high-output businesses. They include artisan beaders and jewelry makers such as Gulten Dye, Sherry Serafini, Tatiana van Iten and Christi Friesen. They also include designer artists who create for very personal reasons, like Donna G.:
"I have been ill for a long time and beading helps me stay sane. With each order I receive, it is like Christmas--getting the best gift ever! If it weren't for Fire Mountain Gems, I would be awash in sadness and pain."
We know that jewelry makers are succeeding on a variety of levels. Not only do we see you ordering larger and larger amounts of product as you sell your finished designs, we also get phone calls, emails and letters like Judy's:
Hard to believe it's been 40 years since Stuart started cutting turquoise in his garage, isn't it? Our goals remain the same, though: keeping you in touch with the latest information about color, design, techniques and new products, quality jewelry-making components and supplies at competitive prices--and the best customer service in the business.
Thank you for letting us help you succeed for 40 years (and counting)!
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