Renaissance Silver Shop: A Guide to Opening Your Own Silver Business

Carter Rhys provides a detailed guide to creating and building your own silver shop business.

| November/December 1970

  • Silver shop business guide
    Carter Rhys talks about his silver shop, Renaissance and how to start a silver business. 
    Photo by Carter Rhys

  • Silver shop business guide

When I was asked to write this article I had grave doubts as to whether I could be of much help to anyone. If considered as a real business, Renaissance silver shop is actually very backward and poorly done. In fact, it's the most unbusinesslike and informal shop I've ever seen—including "hip" establishments—and it certainly isn't making us rich. Nor have I any intention of correcting these shortcomings . . . I'm just not into making more money than we need.  

We named the shop Renaissance because it is just that—a rebirth, back to using my hands, back to devoting my energies and thoughts to the creation of beautiful things. This change came after a ten year sidetrack which began in the seventh grade when Sputnik was launched, took me to Princeton where I was supposed to major in mathematics (but wound up in philosophy) and ended over Thanksgiving dinner in 1967 at a prep school where I was teaching math and feeling useless and misdirected.  

I see Renaissance silver shop as a long term, transitional phase. It's the road I've chosen to getting into the country, painting, making very special silver pieces and following all my other interests . . . surrounded by sunlight and space.  

This is a long road because I want to be fully prepared for the end of it. I believe in slow organic growth and in following the natural order. There is something destructive and dis-harmonious about the shock of getting anywhere too fast, whether the vehicle be jet plane, acid, or a too-abrupt change in life style.  

This is what I believe. And the reason I put it all down before getting into the meat of the article is to allow you to so the attitudes behind what I write, attitudes which clearly are not best suited to the establishment of a permanent, profitable business.  

You can see now why I had misgivings about writing this article. But it must be written, because the story of Renaissance is yet another story which can show you the two things which I believe this beautiful magazine is all about. You CAN do it, and it's WORTH IT I hope also to show you HOW. 

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