The consultancy now has two full-time staff members and one part-time worker. “It’s really been in the last five years that we’re making progress. For all sorts of reasons,” Ms. Miller said, noting that the agency has had more than 15 clients over the years. “I think the pandemic had also had a major impact, as we were all faced with the reality of how interconnected we are and how sensitive we are.”
She said she lost clients in early 2020 because some jewelry makers were worried about their income. “But at the same time, we gained these nonprofit N.G.O. clients who weren’t traveling and had to allocate their budgets differently,” she said. “And that made an opportunity for us to be able to work with impacted communities and do webinars and bring their story more into mainstream.”
In April 2020, Ms. Miller started a program called Living Room Sessions, monthly conversations on responsible sourcing and sustainability that are held on Zoom and archived on the agency’s website, along with written summaries, allowing free access by the public.
A session in February 2021, for example, drew some 45 participants — including Toby Pomeroy, a jeweler and responsible jewelry advocate in Corvallis, Ore., and Danielle Keller Aviram, a writer and designer in Berlin — to discuss recycled gold, including the many meanings of the term, and the ways that using recycled gold creates its own impacts.
And in September, Ms. Miller introduced a six-part course, offered online for a $97 fee, that includes a look back at how the jewelry industry developed, the origins of the materials that it uses and the ways in which individuals, businesses or organizations could become more sustainable moving forward.
Between working with individual clients and maintaining its online programs, the agency has been very busy, Ms. Miller said. (She declined to disclose the agency’s annual revenue, noting that its charges vary, depending on the type of client and the services that are required.)