Do you have a loose stone that you'd like to wear? Or an idea that you'd like to make in metal? Custom jewelry is an incredible way to co-create something special and completely personal.
I hear a lot of the same questions about customs and realized that a lot of people don't know what to expect when they want to get something custom made!
Don't be intimidated! Below are 8 tips and tricks to communicating your idea to the designer and what to expect when you get custom jewelry made.
CHOOSE YOUR ARTIST WISELY
Pick a jewelry designer who's existing work you already love and who's style looks similar to what you are looking for. It doesn't need to be exact, but you'll get a better result if what you're looking for is close to the aesthetic they normally work with. You want to work with someone who has an eye you trust and who's style and skillset fits what you are looking to create.
BRING YOUR IDEAS
Just like getting a haircut or a tattoo, come with photos of examples of what you are looking for! Your artist can help too, but they need a starting point. The more specific you are at this stage, the closer they will get to nailing your idea and creating the perfect piece for you. Pinterest and instagram are great places to start, as well as the designers own work. It's also helpful to come with a rough idea of how much you want to spend, which leads us to...
ASK FOR A QUOTE
The designer will usually quote an estimate price range instead of an exact price. Sometimes unforeseen issues come up and a piece takes a lot longer than expected because it's not something a designer usually makes. Custom jewelry rarely gets quoted an exact price. A range covers this so you aren't surprised by an additional cost. Generally speaking, custom jewelry is typically more expensive than a designer's everyday collection, and is not refundable.
KNOW YOUR TIMELINE
Another thing to find out before you start is how long a custom piece will take and the designer's timeline. Customs on average take between 2 - 4 months (or possibly longer) depending on the artist. If you want a custom piece for an event or holiday, start your custom as early as you can and don't be surprised if an artist can't start any custom projects in the second half of the year as holidays approach.
PAY YOUR DEPOSIT
Most jewelry designers will take a 50% deposit (usually non-refundable) that covers their time sketching, prototyping, sourcing materials, and labor. This is paid before any work is done. An artist may also have you sign a contract at this point with their terms for custom work.
NAIL IT DOWN
At this point you're designer will usually draw up some sketches of what your piece will look like and give you a chance to make a couple edits. It is a LOT easier (and cheaper) to change a drawing than it is a piece of metal. Now is the time to make any changes or fine tune what you want it to look like. Once you've signed off on the final draft, the artist will get to work!
EXPECT TO BE IN TOUCH
Your designer will be in communication with you as they are creating your piece. If you work with me, at this point I'll be excitedly sending you process shots and updates as your jewelry is being made!
Once the final piece is complete your artist will send you one last photo and the invoice for the rest of the job. Once the invoice is paid then they will ship off your piece to you for you to love and cherish forever!
My books for custom open in January 2022! If you are interested in creating a beautiful custom piece together, and would like to get on my contact list for January please drop me a line here!