Peregrine peddler: a job for hard times?

Peregrine: adj. wandering, roving

Peddler: n. one who travels about selling wares

I think these terms are redundant, but heck, they both begin with P and describe a business opportunity for this economic downturn.

Running a bricks and mortar store is expensive. You have to keep an inventory and pay for rent, utilities, insurance, and a sales staff. Because sales are down, many people have closed their shops and are attempting to conduct their business online – some successfully, some not so much (yet, anyway).

An acquaintance of mine, a jeweler, was one of those who shut his shop. This was unfortunate because at a charity auction some months earlier I had  bid on a $50 gift certificate towards a piece of jewelry or a repair at his store.

I consoled myself that at least the charity had gotten the $50.

But then last week he called to say he’d be in my neighborhood and could swing by and take a look at  repair work. From his old-fashioned doctor’s bag emerged all sorts of tools and spare parts. On the spot he fixed a broken earring, measured my finger for the ring that needed to be bigger, dated, appraised and gave me some history on my grandmother’s watch, and helped me decide how best to convert an old pin into a pendant.  He put all my bits that needed bench work  into those carefully labeled little envelopes jewelers use for repair orders.

My jeweler is forging a new life as a mobile craftsman. (He already had a loyal clientele who trusted him – he’s also bonded – and he’s listed his service on the web.) Now twice a week  he makes the rounds of our county picking up and delivering jewelry from people’s homes.  On the weekends he completes the work in his studio.

Until he gets his mobile business more established he’s gone back to work for a major jewelry chain.  Meanwhile, I sure appreciated the convenience and undivided attention of the house call. And he says he likes getting out too.

Is this the wave of the future?

2 responses to “Peregrine peddler: a job for hard times?

  1. “The illiterate of the 21st century
    will not be those who cannot read
    and write, but those who cannot learn,
    unlearn and relearn

    A quote I live by, from Alvin Toffler”.

  2. So true. Flexibility is everything, because, as Heraclitus (I think) once said: “All is change.” Certainly the Buddhists and Taoists would say that.