I recently dropped off a super fun and bright custom piece with a customer in California, and can't stop thinking about how stunning it is! No, I normally do not make cross-country personal deliveries, but this one was created for a dear friend and colleague, and I happened to already be traveling to see her for a business trip anyway, so it worked out.
Because I am often asked about the process behind the making of statement necklaces and the jewelry we sell, I wanted to take you on a little tour of what the process looked like for this particular piece. If you are considering working on a custom piece with us, this will give you a small glimpse of what to expect.
We briefly discussed the materials she might want, but mainly focused on color. The piece that we were designing around was the beaded circle element shown below. Though it isn't vintage, it held special meaning and represented a particular style that she has branded for herself and her business called Hacienda Chic. The beaded circle is actually a piece she picked up several years ago in Africa on a trip that was focused on finding ways to design and build sustainable housing in different communities there.
Today I'd like to share what the process is for making a custom piece:
1. First, my customer shares the piece with which they want to design a custom jewelry piece around. We discuss how they sourced it, and why it's meaningful to them. My jewelry line is all about making meaningful connections with the past through our jewelry. We talk through styles that the client wears, as far as what colors are in their wardrobe and the style and length they generally prefer. I love to hear if the client has anything specific in mind, but I typically prefer not to see any of their inspiration photos, simply because it clouds my vision when trying to design a necklace!
2. Once I have the conversation with my client to get a feel for what they want, then it's time to get started! I do ask for a $100 deposit to start the process, with the rest of the payment due upon completion.
3. Next up is the design process! As I begin to think through the beads that I already have on hand, I may also go and purchase a few more options that would coordinate well with the client's piece. This portion of the design work is highly therapeutic and creative to me. I love letting my imagination run with possibilities!
4. After I've laid out two or three options that include the custom piece, I will take photos and price the various options. I send these ideas over to my client and we talk through any questions or thoughts they may have. I have to admit, sharing this work for someone who is designing a custom piece can be a little nerve wracking, because ultimately I want my client to be happy. But I have had wonderful experiences with my clients and designing custom pieces is such a fun part of this job.
5. Once the client decides on a piece, I will finish it up and either make a local delivery or ship it off once payment is complete. Pricing for these pieces generally runs along the lines of my other pieces, and it really depends on the beads that I use to complete the new design that will determine the price, in addition to the cost of my time.