Why Buy Handmade…         Article #3

Hey Fabulous Diva’s!

    This is a subject that is near and dear to my heart.  With me being a handmade jewelry designer and creator, it is a conversation that is Always on the table or floating around when it comes to purchasing my uniquely exquisite, elegant and funky designs.  So, this month I WANT you to take a trip with me from how I choose the materials and decide what is going to go into a creation that finds its way to you in hopes of spreading a little education about the cost of something that is not massed produced but is made with love and care.

     First, I attend at least 4 bead shows a year.  The International Gem & Jewelry Show, twice a year and the Gem Show, twice a year.  These shows bring vendors that come from all over the country to an area for 3 days of bead browsing and if you are anything like me, touching and buying.  I am very tactile.  I need to see, touch and feel the beads and components that I use to create a piece of jewelry.  I find that the beads speak to me and most times I know what the beads are going to be transformed into before they get home.  Like, a pair of earrings, a bracelet or a gorgeous necklace.  There is nothing like picking up a strand of beads and they tell you what they want to become.  Now I know it sounds strange, but that is what happens to me when I am on the hunt for new materials; there is this pull that brings me to the strand and then when I pick them up it speaks out to me what it will become. The strand can even tell me if I need to buy more than one strand because it wishes to be a set (bracelet, earrings & necklace).  There are times that I have no clue what a strand of beads will become, but I know I cannot leave without them!  There have been times that I know whom ever is watching me is wondering just what is going through my mind, because I caress the beads, I speak to the beads and I smile at the beads. If I pick them up more than likely I will be putting them in the basket!  My process is somewhat slow, but it guarantees that I pick some of the most beautiful beads for my designs.  I incorporate Swarovski Crystals for bling in most designs, so I need to make sure that the beads are worthy.

     Second, I go home and inventory the materials I have purchased.  This is a crucial process because if I don’t catalog my beads then there is no way to know how much it costs to put a piece together and what is the component; pearl, jadeite, quartz, etc…  Everything is labeled and put into a spreadsheet so that I can keep track of what I use and what company I purchased them from.  I may not want the same beads, but I will want the same quality, so I try to keep track of the vendor as well.

  Third, I am a horrible sketcher, but I try to do rough sketches of the ideas that I have.  Most times my designs assemble themselves in my head when they appear to me.  I see them and the components that are needed and how I need to construct it to get the look I desire.  Once I have written this down, I need to go through my stash of beads and find the ones that will complement the design.  This includes considering the color combination right down to the clasp that I plan to use.  I find that the clasp of a bracelet or necklace is highly import to the look of the piece.  Some of my necklaces can be worn with the clasp as part of the visible design by wearing it in the front so that it is seen.  And when have you ever worn a bracelet that stays put on your wrist?  So, if it has a beautiful clasp just like the beads it is supporting it makes for a more cohesive look and you don’t worry about having to re-adjust the bracelet.

   Last, since the designs I create are ALL handmade, yes, this does mean that I assemble the components by hand.  There is no machinery that puts them together.  It takes more time and it lends to better quality when your piece is handcrafted.  The old saying is true, “Time is money”.  Think of it this way, when you clock in at work, your expectation is that you are being paid for the work that you produce.  Me too!  I put a fair amount of time in to choosing the components and creating the handcrafted pieces that you admire and purchase.  This translates into time spent working at my job.  

    Just to reiterate, the components are picked with care and attention to quality.  It is a slower process than mass production and you are supporting someone who has taken the time and care to create a beautiful piece that Only you will have!  Exclusivity is a wonderful thing!

   I appreciate you and your ability to support me and other handcrafted designers, it shows you like quality, individuality and uniqueness.

    Well, ta-ta for now and remember to be Fabulously Funky!



Popular Posts