Custom Handmade Jewelry - Tips for Attracting People to Order One of Your Uniquely Designed Pieces.

Everyone knows that selling the production pieces is at the core of every jewelry business. However, there is something to be said about making costume handmade jewelry.

Custom handmade jewelry orders can bring you higher income per piece and definitely give you more pleasure. Having said this, it is important that you create some specific guidelines and that you communicate them clearly to your customers.

Policies for Selling Custom Handmade Jewelry.

The following are just some things to consider when setting your policies for selling custom handmade jewelry:

  • Start by considering your own design identity and how to sustain it.

  • Let the costumer know that you will work with them to create a unique piece that will represent them and their style.

  • Clarify that you maintain the right to integrate you unique style into the piece (remember, they came to you because they like your work).

I never compromise my style and prefer to turn away orders when the customer wants something that I am not willing to make. I always maintain my artistic integrity. I always tell my costumers than I will not copy someone else’s work or follow their design as I work only with my own original designs

Part of my responsibility as a jewelry artist is to guide the client through the design process. I offer information about the stones and metals that work best to achieve the final custom handmade jewelry. I give them some basic about design elements and principles. This helps them understand how important it is to make a comfortable item that they can wear with ease. I want my clients to have a custom handmade jewelry that will become an heirloom that they can be proud to give to the next generation.

Decide on how you want to work with your clientele. I prefer to meet with my customers and sketch a simple design together. I interview them and get to know them before we start the process. It is important to know about who they are, this are some basic questions I ask:

  • What is your everyday life like?

  • How do you prefer to dress both on a daily basis and for special occasions?

  • Are there any colors you use more often? – Bringing some color swatches
  • Do you want this piece to capture a specific memory or moment in time?
  • Start with these questions and you will see that the conversation begins to flow. It is crucial you learn more about your customers. The stronger the relationship you build with them the higher level of satisfaction.

    Once you complete some basic sketches and you know you are on the right track, take the time to finish a more professional looking sketch. Learning how to use some of the computerized jewelry design programs is helpful at this stage.

    Bring or send a photograph the gemstones to your client. This also helps with solidifying the design agreement. When the customer approves the design and selects the gemstone, then you can begin to price the piece.

    Let the client know that your work is hand fabricated, so there will be minor variations. Remind them that handmade jewelry can be identical.

    Tips To Price Custom Jewelry Orders

    Tell the client that once the custom handmade jewelry design has been approved you will get back to them with the actual cost of fabricating the piece. This is n important step in pricing your work correctly. The client may want a rough estimate, stay firm and tell them you will give them the correct quote within a week. Be professional and get back to them within the specified time.

    When pricing custom handmade jewelry take into account the extra amount of time you spend with the customer and add it to your final quote. Keep track of the cost of any gemstone and materials that you will be using to complete the order. Don’t forget to include the cost of shipping, particularly when you may be ordering specific part to complete the order. Always calculate the extra time that may take to complete a piece that requires some extra work because of the complexity of the design. Don’t be shy to charge for you work, people know that a custom handmade jewelry piece tends to be more expensive and they are prepared to pay for it.

    Preparing a Custom Jewelry Work Agreement

    A well defined contract agreement will save you many headaches and problems when selling your jewelry. This contract has to be well written and drafted clearly.

    Include the following information:

    • You name, company name and information

    • Client’s name and date when the order was placed

    • Detail information of the jewelry piece you will be completing

    • I also attach a copy of the final sketch and a photograph of the stone that will be used

    • The contract should also include the amount of materials and their cost

    • Include your hourly rate and an estimated amount of time it will take you complete the work

    • The specific delivery date

    • Be realistic when setting the completion date. Take into consideration how long it will take for you supplies to arrive, as well as the actual shipping time to send the piece. As you know the unexpected can always happen. If there is an unforeseeable delay, let you client know. Keeping you costumer informed is not only good practice; it is also ethical and will help you keep your professional integrity.

    Your Handmade Jewelry Policies

    I highly recommend getting a 50% non-refundable deposit up-front. Make it clear that no work will begin on the piece before the deposit clears. This will protect you in case there is a cancellation. Always wait to purchase any jewelry making supplies until you have received the down payment.

    Include statement about alterations how they are handle and how much you charge for them – clarify what you consider alterations, for example resizing a ring that winds up not fitting the intended wearer should be covered under your original price quote. I recommend including a statement that once the final sketch is approved you do not re-design or modify the piece.

    Return Policies for your Custome Handmade Jewelry

    Always include a return policy in the contract; Custom work that is created as a special order is not returnable. My guarantee is that the piece will match the final design you approved including the dimensions, type of stone(s) and metals (gold or silver). Note that all handmade jewelry will differ slightly due to the nature of the craft and may include minor variations in the overall size of the piece(s) and/or minor At the bottom of the contract, include an area for both you and the costumer sign and When this custom jewelry work agreement is ready, present it to your customer. Once you both agree to it, both of you should sign it. This shows that both parties agree to the project, the quote, and the terms. Let your customers know that this agreement protects them as well as you, especially since they will pay you for at least part of the job up front.

    Give your customer a copy of the agreement, and keep one for yourself.

    Deliver the Finished Custom Handmade Jewelry

    When you complete the custom handmade jewerly project, call your client and discuss how you are going to deliver the work. When a client wants the jewelry shipped, suggest to them that they should purchase shipping insurance to protect their investment. Remind them that you will ship or hand- deliver the piece once payment has been sent and you have received it. I always package the all my jewelry in a unique package that compliments my work. Once the shipment happens, call or e-mail you costumer and let them know that it is on the way and how long will it take to arrive.

    I always follow up with a personal note thanking them for ordering one of my custom handmade jewerly pieces.

    In the note I ask if they would mind sending me a picture of them wearing the custom handmade jewelry piece. If they agree to give you a picture, ask if they mind you publishing the photo in your website. This is always helpful to promote and markets your custom handmade jewerly and other design work.

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