I have been having fun making bracelets (not cuffs) recently, and
they are proving to be real eye-catchers at my booth, and some have
gone to new homes. However, sales have not been as great as they
apparently could have been because they seem to be either too big or
too small - often the same piece is too big for one person, and too
small for another! I have been sizing them at what I believe to be
the industry standard of 7?" to 8". I appreciate that peoples have
different sized wrists and that some ladies like to wear their
bracelets tighter or looser than others, but now I'm stumped as to
what to do. Several of my designs could have walked easily off my
booth if only I had the sizing right. Do I have to make three of any
given design - small, medium and large? Not very easy actually as
they are all embellished by oddly shaped scraps and off-cuts from
other designs - but don't tell my clients that! - and are therefore
one-of-a-kind pieces, though similar is probably possible.
Happens all the time. I try to make clasps with jump rings that can
be added or removed but the designs do not always work with that
scheme. I do offer to "make you one almost the same," but that has
not been terribly popular.
I have been making as selling cuffs and bangles for many years
Unfortunately, the answer to your question is yes, you do have to
carry a variety of sizes for each design of your cuffs and bangles.
While 6 - 7" (this metal length and does not include the 1" opening)
is typical for a cuff, I have sold many outside of this size range as
It is very difficult to stock a complete range of sizes,
particularly if you have a large number of designs that you like to
keep in stock.
My solution to this problem is to offer custom fit cuffs and bangles
for those folks who just can't seem to find the right size amongst
the products that I keep in stock.
I have found that the people that I have custom fit are far more
likely to become repeat customers as they appreciate the service that
I routinely make each cuff in 3 sizes and occasionally an extra
large (men's) size. My copper and silver cuffs are each one unique,
so I don't try to make identical pieces. Rather, I strive for several
designs in each size. So far, that approach has given customers
choice and I have a hard time keeping the cuffs in stock. Stress to
your clients that hand-fashoned jewelry features one-of-a-kind work,
and that their purchase is the only one of that design.
Judy in Kansas, where little storms keep the humidity high and the
All you have to do to answer your question yourself is to run a
scenario as follows.
You plan to have a shoe shop. With lots of new and interesting
designs, you open up and get lots of customers in to look around.
Sales are slow. you ask why? from a friend. They say, have you
studied the market for shoes, you say not specially as youve been
concentrating on the design and making So your friend asks you, have
you asked your shoe maker the first question he needs to tell you?
How many very small, small, medium and large sizes do I need to have
on the shelf of each design if im to MEET every customers FOOT size ?
who walks into my shop? Or to put it simpler the Cinderella question?
The same answer applies to everything that people wear.
Get it? So to give you some idea on how it really works! both
artistically, technically and financially, Here goes, I chose to
explore and interpret the ethos of the whole time scale, in metals,
from the copper age right through to the space age in the art form of
the bracelet. So I had some 8 historical periods to cover 8 metals.
Eg copper age, copper, space age, titanium. Then I had a size range
for childrens, ladies and mens sizes. Stock then ran into at least 3
of each design and size. Total stock was always in exccess of 200.
Thats without rings and pendants to match, total of nearly 500 all
Never missed a sale!! Never more that 2 of each design on show tho,
when i a customer was interested, I look at their finger hand arm
etc size, go to the stock box under the counter and help them put it
on. Very rarely got that wrong.
That way, I have the resources to fund all the new ideas I have.
Works very well.
I don't know if this would work with your bracelet designs, but one
possibility is changing the round bracelet to an oval shape (could
be done on the spot) to accommodate a customer with a larger hand.
I make mainly cuffs, but in the past have made linked bracelets. 7
1/4" seems to be a standard, but I would always have a set of sizing
links in a style that would go with the link bracelet. By removing
and adding sizing links, I could change the size at a show and make
a sale. Just a thought. Rob
I take my tool box with me. I make my bracelets small and offer to
add an extension chain to make larger.
Janet, you have opemed a can of worms, very hard to control,
bracelets sizing. A lot of jewelers will not make them because they
are even harder tosize then rings. If you would consider the ring
sizing, numeric and even comes on the ring mandrel with the numbers
on there. There are no such numbers or mandrels numeric for
bracelets. If you consider women sizes at 6,7,8inches. But that is
just lenght of the material. And as you know a medium bracelet could
be very comfortable on a medium size wrist or a small wrist or a
large wrist, reason for this is because wrists are rounded
rectangles, not ovals or rounds in cross section, and that rectangle
can be close to a circle or totally flat regtangle, on a medium sized
person and to fit all medium size bracelet may fit them but will not
be comfortable, I do make bracelets, cuffs, but expect some tailoring
after its been purchased. Or design them so they can try it on, and
order their size. You can use a camera to help you remember the shape
of the customers wrist andmeasurement. like a tailor. The industry
has done the 3 sizes for ease of sales and marketing, I end up making
my bracelets starting 6 inches and going up 1/8 inch up at a time, up
to nine inches. Similar in notion to ring sizing. You might want to
take a good look at your own wrist and have a few freinds wrists to
compare. hopefully this helps Hratch
I do two types of bracelets. I do a cuff bracelet and I do linked
bracelets. I have had witness to an experience where I will never
make a bangle bracelet for safety reasons.
My link bracelets can easily be added to in increments of 1/2" an
additional inch. I like to use clasps from antique Chatelaines which
I find more positive a catch than a Ring and Bar.
My cuffs are sized in increments of 1/4" using a process my Dad
started. I can't say for certain that the method is unique to use but
I have never seen it outside of one the family shops.
Can you show us an image with this method...
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