It’s 4am on December 22nd and the day begins for us at Sabando Design. We are a true mom and pop operation. My wife Kristeena and I design, fabricate and sell the jewelry we’ve been offering at the market for the past six years.
We generally follow a Monday through Friday schedule at the Market, but sell every day from Black Friday to Christmas Eve. I will give you a little insight on what it takes for us to keep a full selection of products at our booth on a continuous basis.
Our early rise enables us both to fabricate rings, pendants, bracelets and earrings in silver and gemstones daily before heading into the Market. Many of the products you find in the Market require a multiple-day process before they are able to be sold.
We are set up to make things from conception to finish in a continuous sequence. Many jewelers use various tumblers to get a finish on their shiny creations. We are set up to tumble chains in crushed walnut shell tumblers for a bright finish, but we usually use a sequence of motor buffers and compounds to get that alluring shine.
Throughout the year we purchase finished faceted stones and gemstone roughs for our designs. In the final weeks before Christmas we have no time to actually cut and polish the various cabochon gemstones used in our designs, so this generally happens when the weather is warmer, because grinding stones involves lots of water on diamond impregnated wheels and belts, and our hands get cold from the constant spraying while polishing. We try to ensure that we have enough raw materials to get us through the holiday season.
Throughout the year we offer custom design work for our customers and friends. This is great for people who plan a more personalized gift for their loved ones. We often set stones with sentimental meanings or etch specific designs into metal for our customers. Every year we stop taking custom orders by the 15th of December so we can just focus on balancing our product mix for the remaining days.
These final days before Christmas simply revolve around the two of us fabricating and selling. Our morning ritual is to caffeinate first, and crank the heater and tunes in our downstairs studio. We each make our own individual pieces, but agree on what we need to give a balanced color and size display at the Market. By 6:30am we usually try to have our polishing complete so we have enough time to shower and walk our dogs before we head downtown.
Around 8:20am we arrive in the Market and pull our cart from its locker location. At 9am the bell rings for roll call. We choose our selling locations by seniority. Every vendor is assigned a number when they are accepted in the Market. We are number 153 out of a total of around 260. Once we have have picked our spot we need about an hour until we are properly displayed and ready to sell.
By 10 :15am you should find Kristeena and I ready to assist you. “Three more days!” is our mantra today. We hope to welcome you down to the Market among our friends and fellow crafters and artists.
by Ron Sabando, Sabando Design