I'm learning through feedback from my friends and clients that it is common for a jewelry designer like myself to shun repair work. Many feel this kind of work is too much "simple mechanics" (as one boss described it) and not enough creative "stretching", sometimes it's simply a matter of not having studio time left over after designing to also execute repairs.
I guess if the call for my designs pushes me into a corner where I have to decide whether to go with strictly one or the other I would go with designing but, at the moment, that isn't the case. In fact, I'm quite happy to take in repair work.
I actually feel I DO get to stretch my creative skills by doing repairs in some cases. The reason for that is I have built a reputation for having the ability to skillfully execute the types of repairs which are commonly refused by other jewelers, either due to the idea that it "isn't worth their time" or unwillingness to take that much of a risk on the abilities of their bench jewelers. I only know this is true from years of hearing so from clients. It's kind of nice to hear, actually.
Also, due to a lack of heavy overhead costs I am able to price my repairs reasonably compared to larger stores with high running costs. With me you are dealing with the owner, manager and hired help all in one!