Wednesday morning, December 2, 2015, I was called into an impromptu meeting with the rest of the editorial staff from both Art Jewelry and BeadStyle magazines. I was immediately queasy. The company had already gone through several mass layoffs and everyone was on edge. Besides, from my experience there is no such thing as good news during an "impromptu meeting." We walked in and HR was already at the table, a stack of papers in front of her. I swore under my breath and took a seat.
We were told December 30th will be our last day. The company was killing off our two magazines, but wanted us to finish out our current issue — how's that for motivation? We were told not to talk about this to anyone until they released a public statement, and if we didn't stay until the 30th we would forfeit any chance of severance. We sat in stunned silence, some cried, others were too shocked to know what to do. I'm sure I don't need to explain how uncomfortable and upsetting working those last few weeks were. Not to mention it's a bit of a downer for any sort of holiday spirit.
Working at Art Jewelry magazine was a dream job for me. Not only did I get to handle beautiful jewelry and speak with artists from around the world, I was also encouraged to learn as much as I could about the techniques and projects featured in our magazine. Friday afternoons were reserved for studio time. This was so amazing, I need to repeat it... We had a fully-stocked jewelers studio at our disposal AND we were encouraged to use it! Every week! Where else can you find that?
It's been a few months and some days I miss it more than others, but what I miss most is being a part of such an amazingly talented team. Our magazine looked good not only because of the gorgeous work, but also thanks to the efforts and talents of our Art and Photo teams. But it was working so closely with the other editors that made the job so enjoyable. Not only was I surrounded by many talented artists and writers, but I was lucky enough to call most of them friends as well. —TDA