formulas we discussed in the past. There is so much pretty
jewelry available at low prices that people can no longer
distinguish between the mass produced stuff and the artist produced
stuff.(Or maybe they don't care). So what do we do? Any answers?
Usually, if the price is low on a mass produced article, the
manufacturing and distribution chain has cut a corner or two
somewhere. Here are some ways they compromise quality:
Inferior grades of stones Off-color white gold covered up with
Rhodium plating Sloppy setting work (stones fall out in the
ultrasonic) Castings hollowed out till they’re really thin and flimsy
10K, or underkarated gold Badly matched stones Synthetics passed off
as genuine gemstones (you gonna get out the polariscope and check all
those tiny amethysts?) Cast-in-place settings, sometimes involving
stones that wouldn’t qualify as abrasive grade material and couldn’t
be set any other way Bad finish and assembly, appearing as mold
flashings, pits, cracks, dull areas, loose stones, ad nauseum.
But most significantly, from the artists point of view, the most
valid criticism of these things is in the overall general quality of
workmanship and design. Formulaic design, with little regard to
durability. Stolen designs, possible contraband materials, certainly
no regard for whether or not they’re using “conflict” diamonds.
Here, in my opinion, is your very best argument for a customer
choosing your work above the marketed crap:
“I take the utmost care in the selection of materials, the execution
of design, and I manufacture to specifications that meet my own,
personal criteria of the best I can accomplish. In short, I take
great pride in my work and place the utmost value on the relationship
I have with my customers and my position in the community.
Therefore, I stand behind my work completely.” Ask them if they think
they could get their money back from the other guys if they were
dissatisfied. Have they tried? Sometimes they have and they won’t
tell you. You can use whatever means at your disposal to get this
message across to your market, but you must finally fall back on your
faith that when you do your best, it will ultimately be appreciated.
Added note: this in no way implies that you will become rich doing
so! You’ll need to learn to appreciate more than just financial
rewards. Here is one of my favorite “Davism’s” for doing business, in
fact, it’s become my mantra:
Don’t compete down!
David L. Huffman (one man’s soapbox is another man’s sales pitch)