Daniel, Surely you can come up with a better scenario than that ! I
always put twenty inch chains on my pendants because it is more
flattering to the customer to suggest, after she has tried on the
chain, that it may be too long for her slender figure and that I can
knock off xx dollars for a shorter chain. If the customer is a bit
stout, the twenty inch chain is going to avoid the embarrassment of
having to go to a bigger size. It is a win win situation. I would
certainly never run to a catalog to calculate the cost per inch of a
particular chain. It doesn’t take much experience to have a pretty
good head for chain costs and you don’t lose momentum with the sale.
We have gone to Parisian wheat chains exclusively because it is our
experience that they are the most elegant, supple and durable of all
the chains currently in production and, of course, the ladies love
them. Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.
Daniel, Surely you can come up with a better scenario than that ! I
...how are you keeping your chains from being tangled up when you break-down?
Cheap & easy: get some styrofoam, or cork board. Get some sewing
pins with coloured plastic heads (easier to handle & see than plain
silver heads). Push in a line of pins fairly close to one edge, stand
the foam on end, and hang your chains from the pins. Then use
additional pins on the bottom ends–or wherever needed to secure
details, pendants, etc. Basically you just want to create nice taught
lines with your chains so they can’t do that knotty thing they love to
do. You can stack several in a box for transportation; the pins will
keep the layers nicely separated. (I don’t push the pins all the way
in; I leave them up a bit, and at an outward angle. Some need to be
removed for removing the piece, but I never remove the initial 'top’
ones. The foam stays in tact longer this way.)
...start displaying my pendants with chains...
Here’a a point which I know somebody made in a recent addition to
this thread, but which I think is worth highlighting: 'visualisation’
is something which many people find difficult. In fact, it’s
something which many people don’t do–and they they don’t even realise
they’re not doing so. It’s so easy for craftspeople and artists to
forget this, since it’s second nature to us. Displaying a pendant
with something that simulates its look ‘in action’ can really help to
trigger a potential customer’s attraction to a piece. The next step
is trying on, of course; nothing beats that. Showing the piece on
yourself can be helpful too–especially in the case of, say, a man
trying to buy a present for his sister/wife/girlfriend [forgive my
gendertyping]. Even someone who CAN visualise often can’t visualise
jewellery if they haven’t a ‘feel’ for it. A related point: A tidy
and artistic display is wonderful for all sorts of obvious
reasons–but if it’s too elaborate, or pinned-in-place-perfect, you
may lose some sales because of customers too timid to ask you to
disrupt your masterpiece. And at a busy show, you don’t want to be
forever intertwining/untwining/intertwining your chains from around
those lovely culry willow branches…
...If you have a small quantity of pendants, I'm thinking you are displaying them with chains so as to make your inventory look larger...
When I read that, it occured to me that in a situation like a busy
show, with masses of people and stimulae [“ooo–shiny!”], unless I
have the luxury of working systematically through from end to end I
will always scope the scene and end up honing in on patches that look
’cleaner’; more ‘spare.’ A very spare display will catch my eye
because it often indicates items more scarce/unique. And in all the
clutter it can actually draw someone because they subconsciously
notice a different orderliness in the the general pattern. It goes
without saying that display quality is paramount here so your small
inventory looks intentionally so–nobody wants to feel theyv’e arrived
at the carcass after the vultures have flapped off. (Ewww. Sorry.)
I sell direct at shows, art fairs, whatever you want to call them. I
price the pendant and chain as a unit; in some cases the chain cannot
be separated from the pendant. But if it can be I always decide on
the price of the chain by itself. Sometimes a customer already has an
appropriate chain that they would like to use and it fits. Mostly I
try to come up with a combination that the customer finds so
attractive that the question doesn’t come up KPK
I hang by pendants from various lengths of the same diameter snake
chain and will switch chains for one of the length by buyer wishes.
On a few of my highest priced items I use expensive heavy or multiple
chains, which are priced with the piece. If the customer wants no
chain, I deduct my cost for the chain, no more.
I used to use a lot of different chains, but over the years went to
this arrangement, which seems to be a balance between too many
alternatives and no choice at all.
White Fox Workshop
Ah Ron if only I could make all my customers like only one chain like
all of yours must. However we work in the Republic of Cambridge,
Massachusetts, where the Revolution started, and in our community the
customers like to look, think and be different. (That’s why the
Revolution was fought, remember?) Quite frankly I support them in
this concept and don’t try to limit their choices. When you offer
over a dozen different styles of chains to go with your pendants it is
not so easy to keep all those prices in your head in 4-6 different
lengths. Besides, I am not selling them chains because I want to sell
them chains (except for our handmade styles), I am selling them
chains to go with our wonderful pendants. Some of my pendants look
better with one style than another. Some of my customers look better
in one style than another. Just as I wouldn’t advise a customer to
put on a pendant of mine that they didn’t look good in, I wouldn’t
advise them to wear a chain they didn’t look good in. I am really
happy for you that all of your pendants and all of your customers look
good with only one chain, but I must say it has to be really boring
selling the same thing to people who all look the same. Daniel R.
Spirer, GG Spirer Somes Jewelers 1794 Massachusetts Ave. Cambridge, MA
02140 @spirersomes http://www.spirersomes.com
Now here’s a concept.
I usually hand make my chains in 18ct. The pendant and chain are one
object as far as I’m concerned and sell as one object - carefully
thought out and with an aesthetic decision made by me.
I argue hard with customers that my decisions are not to be discarded
lightly and I often refuse to remake a chain.
Try having more faith in your own decisions? You are the artist and
you do know more than the average client!
Dear Daniel, My customers taste is probably every bit as varied as
your are…I merely said that we prefer to sell our pendants with
the finest quality chains available. If they have aesthetic
objections to Parisian wheat chains (they seldom do) we take them to
a catalog and get them what they want.We will not, however, sell them
something that we feel will not give them good service and
value…we are quirky that way. Our perception is that we owe it to
the customer to guide him in his purchases and we owe it to ourselves
to avoid selling some of the crap that consistently comes back for
repairs. ( We stand behind everything that we sell ) Ron at Mlls Gem,
Los Osos, CA.