by Amber Nash.
I have a lot of customers requesting custom jewelry. Handmade jewelry can be a tough business to get into – so how can you separate yourself from the competition?
Consider adding custom jewelry orders to your shop, and the doors could open for a potential drive in sales.
But before you get too excited, make sure you have a plan in place so the new piece of your business is a success and does not turn into a flop. You do not want to create any extra headaches.
3 Things to Keep in Mind
About Custom Jewelry Orders:
How are you going to determine pricing for your custom pieces?
Many people lose money on custom orders simply because they underestimate how much time and effort would go into pricing their work.
I would determine how much you are going to charge per bead, and a flat rate. The flat rate is going to be the tricky part, but make sure it reflects time spent.
Many people will determine their flat rate depending on the amount of beads and the difficulty of the project. Most of us have been doing this work for quite sometime and can judge how long a piece is going to take.
Don’t forget to pay yourself for time, labor, and profit!
2. Off-line, Online, or Both?
I know many jewelry artists who prefer only doing custom orders for customers who can see the beads, and often times these are customers they meet at jewelry parties.
Many artists I know fear making custom orders because they do not know how to experiment with showing them the possibilities of creations they can make with their beads.
Find a system that works for you.
If you want to offer the custom portion online, I would take pictures of all your beads and make a page dedicated on your site for all the different beads you have currently in your order.
3. Set Realistic Time-Frames
One of the most important aspects of custom jewelry orders is making sure you are setting realistic expectation dates for your customers.
It is better overestimate then underestimate, and keep your customers in the loop. If it does turn out it will take longer then expected give your customer that update before the deadline, not the night of them expecting it to be delivered.
Working with custom jewelry orders can be so much fun, and can separate you from the competition – but it also can be a failure if you don’t plan it right.
So think things through, and remember to have fun! Drive in those additional sales you may not of had if you didn’t offer custom jewelry.
Also see Rena’s tips for Making Custom Jewelry Orders Profitable.
Author Amber Nash of Natural Amber says, “Most of my work is inspired from being oudoors with my family. Long hikes in the woods, and walking along the beach give me inspiration to make several different pieces on my return home to my jewelry studio. There is nothing more natural than wearing stone and shell. Nothing more rewarding than enjoying every piece you work on, and making someone something special that fits their personality.”