When a Customer Criticizes Your Handmade Jewelry

by Rena Klingenberg. © 2003-Present Rena Klingenberg. All Rights Reserved.

When a Customer Criticizes Your Handmade Jewelry, by Rena Klingenberg, Jewelry Making Journal

Most jewelry customers are supportive of what we do (and sometimes they purchase our jewelry too)! 🙂

Of course, not everyone will like the jewelry we make, and that’s to be expected.

But even when the jewelry isn’t to their taste, most people are tactful about it.

However, there are some shoppers who are less tactful – and may even bluntly criticize your jewelry.

Why Do People Criticize?

  • Some people who criticize aren’t intending to be mean.
    They simply blurt out exactly what they’re thinking – even if it’s “That is one ugly necklace!”
    They have no idea that their outspoken opinions can cause hurt feelings.
  • Some people are insecure or jealous.
    They’re always comparing themselves to other people, and finding themselves lacking.
    So they try to feel better by cutting down the things other people make and do.
  • Some people are having a bad day.
    Their own problems may be casting a dark cloud over what they see – and what they say.
  • Some people are genuinely trying to help.
    They often give their candid advice and opinions to people, regardless of whether anyone asked for them.
  • They may be right.Although it’s not fun to receive criticism, the customer may have a good point about something you can improve.

Responding to Negative Criticism
About Your Jewelry

If the remark was spoken to someone else and you overheard it, there’s no need to reply.

If it was spoken to you, smile and thank the person kindly for their honest feedback.

That helps in four ways:

  • It makes you feel better because you’ve channeled some positive energy to chase out any bad feelings that were caused by the criticism.
  • If the person meant no harm but is simply plain-spoken, you haven’t replied in a way that would damage your customer relationship with them (or with any bystanders).
  • If the customer has a good point about something you can improve, they deserve your appreciation – even if it wasn’t fun to receive the criticism.
  • If the person was intentionally mean and hurtful, they’re often surprised and embarrassed at your polite response to their rude comment – and they sometimes backpedal, coming back with a nicer remark or even apologizing.

Stay polite and professional in the face of criticism about your jewelry.

Consider the Criticism Objectively

The customer’s remark may or may not be valid.

But be sure to examine it to see if it can actually help you improve your jewelry or your business in some way.

For example, what if a woman walked into your booth announced scornfully, “Heck, my kids could make this jewelry!”

Although her words were rude, you might look at your pieces objectively and consider whether you should start creating more complex or unique designs.

Turn a Negative into a Positive

When someone makes a negative remark about something we’ve created, it can be very hard not to take it to heart and feel crushed.

But instead of just feeling bad about it, you can channel your feelings about the criticism into creativity.

Pour that energy into creating some new jewelry pieces.

Strong emotions can result in amazing artistry.

And the act of creating is powerful therapy for negative feelings.

Recovering from Criticism

Don’t take criticism personally – and don’t let it keep you from doing what you love.

Take whatever lesson there may be in it, make improvements or channel it into something better, and move on.

And never stop creating your art and sharing it with the world!

Have you had a customer criticize your jewelry – and if so, what did you do?


Keep a list of all the lovely compliments you’ve heard and read about you and your jewelry.

Read your “compliments list” to yourself whenever someone is rude about you or your work.

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