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August 27, 2020
I could never commission a custom piece of jewelry, designed just for me! Who do I think I am, royalty?
Have you ever seen a piece of jewelry and loved everything about it except for one little thing… like the stone, the size or one tiny little detail? Or maybe you’ve seen a ring, but wished it was a necklace, or a bracelet and wished it was a ring? Any of this sound like you?
Are you thinking a custom order sounds way mysterious and out of your league? Well, I’m gonna de-mystify the process for you and maybe nudge you off the proverbial fence. Not in a violent sort of way, but more of a “yes you CAN do this” sort of way. Cool?
Typically, the process begins when someone contacts me via email, or comments on a Facebook or Instagram post, with a request, or a question. To best understand their idea, I advise them to fill out the custom inquiry form on my website. This helps me get down to the nitty-gritty of what they’re really looking for.
Most often, someone’s seen a piece on Instagram or Facebook, which inspires their idea. It’s the perfect jumping off point for a conversation about customizing one of my existing designs or swapping out one stone for another. We communicate primarily through email, which allows me to refer back to our conversations, to make certain I’ve got all of the details just right.
Once we’re sufficiently on the same page, I provide an estimate, and collect 50% up front, to get the project rolling. The remaining balance is due when the piece is ready to ship.
Next, I get busy building the wax “sketches”. Unless I’m creating a design I’ve never done before, I rarely do pen-on-paper sketches. I’m super comfy working in wax, and can communicate the concept in 3D, much more clearly than on paper. I send work-in-progress photos along the way, to be sure I’m on the right track. My customers LOVE seeing behind-the-scenes pics of their very own piece, and I love sharing my process.
When we’re both satisfied with the design in wax, I send the finished piece off to be cast in sterling silver. After casting, the piece is sent back to me for all of the final finishing, including grinding, sanding, cleaning and setting the stone. Most custom orders take about 3-4 weeks from start to finish, unless there’s a hard-to-find stone, or other materials are delayed.
I often get asked if I enjoy custom work, and my answer is “YES”, in all caps! Why? Because it allows me to work one-on-one with my customers, and to collaborate on a piece that is very close to their heart. As an artist and jewelry designer, this gives me all the feels. It seems that my customers agree because over the last few months I’ve been averaging about 6-10 custom pieces per month. Happy customers inspire me to keep imagining, designing and creating. And this means everything to me.
However, all must good things must come to an end and we will be taking a break from customs starting mid-September. So if you've had your mind on something, don't hesitate to contact me today!
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