The Good, Bad & Ugly: Nathan Weekley with Virage Goldsmiths
Nathan Weekley, with Virage Goldsmiths, ties his love for the Waco community into the experience of his jewelry shop. Right on Austin Avenue, his personal experiences with customers are what drives his passion for creativity. Nathan hits on both the Good and Bad of the entrepreneurial journey.
Who do you look up to for inspiration?
Every morning, just like every working American, I prepare for my work day by opening up my inbox, one email at a time. And every morning, Seth Godin delivers inspiration. His entrepreneurial story alone is fascinating, yet his writing and podcast are what encourage me as a fellow entrepreneur. His blog is published every day with a new post and sent directly to my inbox (you should sign up too – it’s free!). It always shifts my thinking around my business. One of my favorite posts is titled “Entrepreneurship Is Not A Job”, where he tips the scales of thinking around our businesses and states, “You don’t apply. You don’t get a salary. No one picks you….Entrepreneurship is a chance to trade a solution to someone who has a problem that needs solving…The work is to solve problems in a way that you’re proud of.” I couldn’t agree more with Seth. At Virage, we strive to provide our customers with an interactive personal design experience – jewelry they have been wanting, have imagined and have been dreaming up – yet could not find in other big box jewelry stores. We are proud to offer our customers affordable, elegant, and unique fine jewelry.
What’s your greatest weakness in managing your business?
One of my favorite things about Virage is the location. I love turning on my favorite tunes, propping open the door to the studio on a crisp Texas morning (before it gets sizzling!) and inviting anyone walking by to stop in. I think this has been my greatest weakness in managing my business. I often find myself having meaningful conversations with curious Wacoans and out of state travelers moseying around the Austin Avenue district. Unexpected conversations with locals and tourists are often my favorite part of the day, although I usually find myself working late into the night past normal business hours in order to complete the day’s tasks behind the jewelers bench. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t trade the late nights and early mornings! At Virage, we value connecting with others and creating a welcoming space to land.
What sparked the fire that inspired you to start?
Working in an industry that is moving toward inexpensive overseas manufacturing, mass produced designs and a cookie cutter customer experience, it felt as if my freedom to create was slipping away. My inspiration was sparked from a necessity to take complete control of the jewelry design/manufacturing process. From design to final creation, I craved a space that allowed the studio to be an experience. An experience where we invite the customer on an artistic journey that ends with a one-of-a-kind, personal piece we are all proud of.