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Beyond the Glass Feature: Dana’s Goldsmithing

How Canadian jeweler Dana Smith rediscovered her passion after more than 25 years of business

Dana Smith of Dana’s Goldsmithing had a successful business and committed customers. Yet leading up to 2018, she faced a creative and business crisis that led her to reimagine her store. Why?

Let’s take a look at her reasoning.


Realizing Her Vision

Dana sat down to identify the core reasons she needed to make changes with her business, and she came up with three main problems:

  • She was an early Matrix® adopter, yet 10 years later, she was still the store’s only CAD designer. Her long hours meeting customer needs limited her ability to grow her business.
  • She needed at least one more CAD designer, but her efforts proved fruitless. Part of it was her location in Port Perry, Ontario, an hour from Toronto. Few designers wanted to move there. How could she attract them?
  • With the surge of online competition, branding had grown critical, and she needed to identify and clarify hers to ensure the survival of Dana’s Goldsmithing.

After conversations with key staff and family, she started to define the future direction for Dana’s Goldsmithing. Working one-on-one with customers to create custom jewelry was her passion, and it would be the primary focus of her reimagined store.

Dana’s Goldsmithing Reimagined

As she researched store design, several of her industry connections referred her to Jim Tuttle, owner of Green Lake Jewelry in Seattle. His store is well-known in the industry for its unique aesthetic, imaginative integration of custom design, and functionality.

Dana called him, and he invited her to come and visit. She wasted no time booking her flight, and the visit gave her insights into what she could achieve: a customer-centered jewelry space that welcomed customers and put them at ease. She wanted to increase customer interaction with all aspects of the business.

Changes included:

  • 360° cases for an open, connected feel.
  • Two on-floor design stations.
  • A glass wall that let customers see the jewelers at work.
  • More technology: flat screens in the store and iPads for all sales staff.

The renovation doubled the shop’s size and opened up the second floor for an office/design area and a lunchroom.

Just as importantly, she and her staff reviewed all store policies to see if they were in line with their tag, “We make it personal.” Policies that didn’t accomplish this goal were modified to fit — or discarded. Dana says this clarified and reinforced their commitment.

“Working as a team was key,” she says. “We examined what we were saying and doing.”


Rediscovering Her Passion

With the store’s new look, feel, and branding, she hired two CAD model makers, three designers, and a second goldsmith. Today, the store communicates the team’s enthusiasm and excitement. They often have 50 to 60 custom orders in their queue, all in different stages of design and production.

Technology has opened up new business avenues. Dana works with customers over Skype, greatly expanding her reach. The result: “We’re all excited about our work and the store. Customers feel the passion, and they love it.”

What are Dana’s parting thoughts? “I took a big risk, and that’s scary. But the results justify it all. This experience renewed our passion and commitment to the business. I think we all feel that our possibilities are endless.”

Learn more about Dana’s Goldsmithing and her business adventure in the Spring 2020 edition of Beyond the Glass.


Elizabeth Raffel

I've been with Stuller since 2013 • Primarily read books on physics and other sciences • Was blown away by 'Breaking Bad' • I believe no woman can have too many boots or too much jewelry • Been writing professionally longer than I care to admit • Studied tailoring after college.