Creating bespoke or made-to-order items is often my favourite part of my work. I really enjoy working with a customer to create a unique piece of jewelry that works perfectly for them. Over the years I have worked with husbands wanting to create the perfect pair of earrings or charm bracelet for their wives, which is lovely because I see how well one half of the couple knows the other; how they notice all the little things, and know just what would make a perfect give, which is very beautiful. I have worked with customers to create pieces for friends’ birthdays, using birthstones and charms relating to hobbies and interests. I have made jewelry for weddings, and also memorial pieces. It’s often quite intense work, but so meaningful to tell someone’s story through jewelry. I truly love doing it.
Quite often however I speak to people who say they would love to order a bespoke piece from me but just don’t know where to start! So I decided to write a post in case that someone is you, to give you some pointers and help you get started.
To be honest, there are any number of ways to approach a bespoke creation. Possibly you may have seen something on my Instagram or in my shop and thought that you love the style but would change the stones used, or the theme of the charms. That’s an easy place to start, and if that’s you I recommend just sending me a message with the item’s link in and tell me what you would change, and we’ll go from there!
Other times you have maybe a specific person or event in mind, but are not sure beyond that quite what you want. That’s fine too! You probably know roughly what kind of piece you want - earrings or a necklace, or what have you. So then the easiest thing is to get in touch and tell me just that - you’d like a bracelet for a friend. From there I will ask a string of questions about you and them, your friendship, their birth month, their interests, where they live in the world. This information will help us together to come up with a design that suits them down to the ground.
Once we are close to a design I can start mocking up the finished item, by arranging the components in approximately the correct layout. I then photograph two or three variants and send these to you. Once you are happy with the final design I create a listing on Etsy so that you can pay and I finish creating the piece so it’s ready to send.
There are a couple of small points worth noting about ordering bespoke jewelry. Firstly it does cost more than a ready-made design. Depending on the piece you can expect to pay between 10 and 30% more for a bespoke piece. This additional cost is to cover the additional time I spend going back and forth with you, taking care to ensure the design is everything you hoped it would be, and also sometimes needs to take into account the fact that I may need to order in materials especially. Secondly, I will sometimes ask for a security deposit before starting work on a bespoke piece. This will never be more than 20% of the end price, and is there to secure the bespoke design slot during busy periods, and again to cover my costs if I need to order in specific or unusual materials. Finally, bespoke items are non-returnable. However I will only send them out to you once you have seen multiple photographs and are completely happy.