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Making Custom Jewellery

Making Custom Jewellery

If you have a flair for making jewellery, then why don’t you consider making something that stands out on your customers by making something of their choosing. It is always satisfying to be paid for just being you. Someone taught me that some time ago, and therefore it has become my habit to find things whereby I can be paid for just being me.

It’s like finding a good hairdresser – you keep going back for more. And if you are able to satisfy your jewellery customers with jewellery that only they have, then guess what, they will certainly come back for more when they have special events they want to attend and want to match their evening wear or daywear with the jewellery that only you can produce.

Plus there is the added bonus of them asking you to make them gifts for their friends, who inevitably will probably in the end come to you as another client in the not too distant future. And so the snowball keeps getting bigger as it rolls around and around.

Making custom jewellery is not going to be something too hard to tackle. You are already making jewellery so why not try a few pieces that just look a little different . And with your artistic eye, you probably already know someone who would be happy to be your guinea pig model because you already know their personality and therefore it wouldn’t be difficult to conjure up something just for them and for no one else. Then you only have to display it on them, and if you have done your work correctly, they will just adore it and you and then there is no going back from there.

The whole essence of it all is to think “unique’ when you are designing in your head the next piece you wish to work on. You would begin with a certain colour scheme I would imagine, and then you would decide whether an earring would suit as a post or a drop. It is always fun to have a matching set, therefore you would then go on to make something unique in a choker, or a necklace or something with a longer chain – and the bracelet is already worked out from the length of chain you have chosen, and then with these three pieces why not try for an anklet to set the entire matching set off. It’s only a matter of the length of chain after all. An earring would match a brooch in its setting – I tell you, the sky is the limit and I have only thought of these things as I sat quietly and wrote about them in these few seconds. Imaging sitting there with pencil and paper and sketching stuff – wow!

Nowhere else in the world is there anything that is the same because all of these ideas have come out of your head just now.

The only difficulty I can see now is to match your idea with the image in a customers mind. And that shouldn’t be too hard because your initial interview will be extensive as this will be the most important part of the entire design and work involved. Getting that image they have out of their heads into your head.

Do not make the mistake of doing it while they are watching either, because if they are smart like you, then they will soon seize the opportunity to learn how to do it themselves and then you will have lost a customer plus added to your competition list. You don’t want that. Always make it seem a difficult task to complete even when you are laughing inside yourself as to just how easy it is FOR YOU.

Talk to them about what they want for a very long time. Make this part of your costing factor – that first interview. You need to know their likes, their dislikes, their preference for colours, their personality, what they hope to match it with in their wardrobe. These are all essential pieces of information you need to find out when gathering the data you need to make custom jewellery.

If it is to be a gift for someone, then still take the time to ask the customer what they know about their friend to whom they are giving the gift, or you could be extra sneaky and arrange a chance meeting with them personally so you can steer the ensuing conversation to what you need to make the gift.

It all comes down to communication and the more communication that takes place then the better.

Some customers might even have a piece they would like you to dissemble and use parts out of the old and put into the new. You might even be asked to just pretty something up that is seeming old hat to them right now. Do you have the skill to do this? You don’t want to ruin their perfectly good if not favourite piece by not being sure of the skill needed to carry out this extra work. Finding out about the history of the piece helps especially if it holds a special meaning in their heart to them.

I watched a video today about someone displaying their grandmothers jewellery and she was so reverent about picking up each item and she whispered about every piece – it was an amazing video – and you could feel her love for the grandmother who had passed away many years ago and yet she could still show you and make you feel her love for this favourite woman in her life. You will see the video feature on one of my blogs if you wish to see it yourself.

Naturally, any pieces you need to assemble the final item, you will easily be able to get wholesale somewhere. Be sure of their quality, always having in mind that uniqueness and therefore deserving of extra care and attention to what you select to make that final item. Maybe an imported piece might be suitable for this occasion.

After the interview, you must not discuss price until you have done some research of your own as to sources, what their charges are going to be and don’t forget to take into account shipping costs and time. If you are not careful with this part of your research then it will be easy to lose money and you are not doing custom made jewellery to lose money. You are actually adding it to your usual work therefore there will be a certain premium that you should feel good about charging on top of the basic costs as well as the addition of your profit margin.

This is a special one off. Therefore it needs to be treated as such even in your pricing. There are no friends in business. If there are, then do not go into business. Let them buy something from a shop that is already made.

And if you have done your homework right, then you can make enquiries at jewellery stores yourself and ask them what kind of prices would they charge for a so on and so forth item. Their answer might surprise you.

Once you have got your quote ready, then show them how you are able to reduce the price to a special price by deducting 15% or even the entire 30%. They are not to know that you have already added those percentages to your price anyway and taking them off is not going to make you suffer from a loss of profit. This is what the shops do, so follow suit.

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Debbie Nicholson