Kim, This idea may help you. After consulting and discussion with the
client, I make the pice to a certain stage. For example, in the case
of a ring, I make up the band and setting. I then get the client to
come in and have a look at the piece. If he/she is happy with the
piece at this stage, I normally carry on untill it is ready to be
set. I then get them to come in again and okay the piece. I find that
by doing this, it avoids any conflict and the client feels very
special. You are protected because the client has been consulted and
have given their okay thru the different stages of fabrication. You
will find that in a lot of cases they are prepared to pay more for
this kind of personal service.



Hello! This is one I just could’nt keep quiet on. I’ve been extremely
fortunate in my dealings, but we’ve all had those little incidents
which make us wiser… I’ve been a custom gold/silver smith for 12
years- most of what I do is custom; mostly fabricated, one of a kind
work. I try to be very precise in my sketches (hand-drawn), to scale,
giving the customer a number of variations to choose from- half the
time they go back to the first one, but they’re much surer when
they’ve chosen it out of a line-up! I give them an estimate with a
plus or minus, and tell them that I like 25%,based on a standard due
date of 6-8 weeks. If for some reason it’s not convenient for them to
leave a deposit, I write up an order jacket (I use the Star struck job
jackets), have them fill in their name, address& #, and tell them they
can drop the deposit by or mail it- but I emphasize that I won’t
start the piece without it, and if they wait too long they may lose
their spot on the calender. --I couldn’t do that call them at every
stage thing. Most customers seem to be happier thinking that it’s
going to take you weeks or at least many days to do the jewelry that’s
so important to them- they don’t want to know that you’re starting
now because it’s due tomorrow! (Or today). Stephanie