“Commissions are too expensive”, or “I don’t even know where to begin.” That’s what you’re thinking, right? Let me ask, what’s the price you’re willing to pay for something made just for you, that speaks to your soul. The piece that NO one else has, that makes you feel sexy, amazing and beautiful? Can you put a price tag on that thing?
When I first started my business, I made what I wanted to make, and that was it. Buy it if you like it, or not. By month three, I had my first custom jewelry inquiry, and I panicked, just a little. Would I be able to make this piece? Would it turn out exactly like she wanted? How would I price it? What if she hated it and told everyone she knew NOT to buy from me? So. Many. Doubts.
Today, 4-years after that very first commissioned piece, custom orders make up half of my business. I’ve learned that my customers LOVE custom pieces!
And I love them too…
- I love that it’s a collaboration and a team effort. I mostly work alone, so it’s fun to put our creative minds together.
- I love that I get to know a little more about you, you get to know a little more about me, and a friendship blossoms.
- I love that it’s about building a connection with my customers. My business has always been about more than just selling badass jewelry to badass women and biker chicks. It’s about genuine relationships.
- I love that you trust me to make your vision come to life.
- And from everything you tell me, you love your custom pieces too!
IF you’ve ever wondered about the process, it’s really pretty simple.
Although each project is vastly different from the next, the steps are pretty similar. Take a look at a few recent custom orders:
Debi Duggar, author of Riding Soul-O, commented on one of my Instagram posts to ask whether I did custom work. We chatted via PM, and she told me what she had in mind. I encouraged her take a look at some of the pieces on my website so I could get an idea of her tastes (i.e. style of bracelet, size of earrings, etc.). This helped me to narrow down the options and move on to sketches.
Typically, I show multiple designs for each custom piece, because who doesn’t like choices, right? Debi provided great feedback, I did one more round of sketches, and moved on to making the final pieces. Easy peasy, right?
Variation on a Design
My dear friend Kimmy saw a “work-in-progress” photo of a Mother’s Day necklace, and asked whether I could make earrings in a similar style. Ummm…yes of course! I absolutely LOVE that she could visualize the variation on a design. She commissioned me to make two pairs of mother’s earrings for her daughters, with the birthstones of their kids. Amazing things can happen when you have an idea and just ask! Below is the original piece, and the resulting customs.
"I like this design, but can you…"
Yes. Whatever it is, the answer is probably yes.
Amanda wanted to gift her friend something special to celebrate completing her Master’s degree. She loved the Wind Sister Leather Cuff, but wanted to add some lime green, her friend’s favorite color. She asked whether I could incorporate the color into the bracelet. I love to problem-solve, so of course the answer was YES! I showed Amanda a quick snapshot of what I had in mind, and she loved it! The resulting bracelet…
Another popular piece, the Biker Chick Sterling Silver stamped necklace (also Wind Sister and Just Ride), was originally made only with purple quartz. But an inquiry came in “I love the necklace, but I don’t really love purple. Can you make this with another color stone?” Yep I sure can! One thing I love to do is shop for stones! Sometimes I find multiple stones that could work, and when I receive them, I’ll give you a choice.
Kelly loved the Oval Hoop Earrings, on my website but the green Korean jade stone was not her jam. She asked whether I could make them with a rose quartz or aquamarine stone instead. Yes… of course! So off I went to “shop” for stones.
I located several stone options for Kelly to choose from. Then I offered her a variation on the original design; two stones instead of one. She selected aquamarine, and just one stone, wanting something a bit dainty. Kelly also wanted a variation on a pair of earrings she had already purchased from me. A smaller floating hoop. Below are the final pieces. Great collab!
Why go custom?
The thing about custom orders is that you get exactly what you want. Who doesn’t love having something special, made just for them, and maybe a little exclusive? If you prefer something trendy, that everyone has, custom is not for you. But, if the idea of something made just for you, resonates with you, then custom is the way to go.