I keep reading in the trade press that ‘traditional’ jewelry stores
should get on the custom design bandwagon because case sales are
almost dead. Then I look around and see some of these bandwagoneers
are doing what might be more properly called menu picking, yet they
bill it as custom design. You know,"'pick a stone, pick a mounting,
tada! your custom design is ready in 2 days".
There are more and more of these all the time. Pretty soon the
public might accept that ‘custom design’ is like a Chinese menu, one
from column A, one from column B, with 2 you get egg roll.
So I think it behooves those of us who do truly custom work to start
sounding off about the differences. The features and benefits. Lest
we get swallowed in a sea of mediocrity.
Like one thing I take issue with(and this is just me)… an original
line is not custom, even if they’ll put a sapphire where a ruby is
now. To me, custom is from the ground up, taking all the customer’s
and designer’s concerns, ideas etc into consideration. The customer
doesn’t design it, they just set the parameters, the
designer/goldsmith does the hard part. Which is to make it
Of course it’d be good to phrase the message in a non dissing way.
Overt knocking can be unseemly and maybe counterproductive.
So, my fellow customizers, what do you say to folks about why your
custom work is worth paying for? How do you define your custom