What is Custom Design?
In our many years of experience, we have found that custom designed jewelry begins, not only as a dream or an idea, but as a true labor of love. It’s a unique passion shared between our client and our in-house designer, Carli, as they work together. It’s exciting to watch as first thoughts, often abstract, become more defined and emerge on the computer screen as Carli listens, suggests, and applies her skills to our custom design software. And that’s just the beginning; the end result is always amazing!
How Does the Custom Design Process Begin? There are two common starting places:
- You have inherited a piece of jewelry that is not your style or have something you no longer wear or love. In this case, you may be able to alter the existing piece.
- You have a dream, idea, or photo of a piece of jewelry you would love to own or give to someone. Our jewelers and designer will help you create a piece of fine jewelry from start to breathtaking finish.
What our jewelers and designer will want to know:
1. What’s your timeline?
If you want a custom piece for a holiday gift or any special occasion, be sure to factor the timing into the equation. Most custom pieces will take between six and eight weeks, depending on the complexity of the design. If you are making minor changes, such as changing a gemstone, the timeframe can be much less.
2. What’s your inspiration?
It can be a color scheme, a specific gemstone or metal, something vintage, a photo from a magazine, some pictures on Pinterest, a painting, sculpture, or landscape. Be sure to share your photos or references with Carli when you have your initial meeting.
3. What’s your lifestyle?
Do you spend your time rock climbing or climbing the corporate ladder? Metals and gemstones perform differently. If you’re outdoorsy, opt for sturdier materials that hold up to abuse. Sweat, chlorine, and hard surfaces can take their toll on your jewelry. Consider more than your general lifestyle, and also think about how often you will be wearing your new piece. Is it for special occasions or for part of your everyday jewelry wardrobe?
4. What’s your fashion style?
Are you sporty and casual or more formal and dressy? Do you love vintage styles or edgy trends? Is your wardrobe more classic and timeless or bohemian? The jewelry you wear (whether everyday of for a special occasion) should reflect and reinforce your unique style.
5. What influences do you want reflected in your creation?
Are you celebrating a milestone, event, or memory? If your piece is commemorative or a gift, it can incorporate elements that are meaningful and personal. You might use gemstones from a jewelry piece you inherited or incorporate a style worn by someone special to you.
6. What’s your budget?
Creating something custom can be as affordable as a piece you might find in our showcases. Prices will vary based on the specific gemstones, metals, and complexity of the design. Be sure to set a budget upfront. There are always ways to make changes that can affect cost. For example, you may decide to use 14K gold instead of 18K or platinum. Most designs can be modified to fit any budget. You will typically have some flexibility, and we will guide you through all the important decisions. We will always provide you with the final cost of your piece for your approval before beginning to make it.
There are 3 ways you can approach the design process:
You can drive the bus. In other words, you can be in complete control of what you want to do. You may know exactly what you want and simply want our bench jeweler to execute your desires.
You can be a passenger. You will be sitting alongside us. We will be collaborating together to create something you will cherish for a lifetime!
You can sit in the back seat. If this option is your preference, you will simply be explaining the questions above, giving our designer free reign to design your piece on their own.
Truth be told, most jewelers and designers prefer collaboration. Their passion for a custom project is ignited by watching a new design emerge as you interact and share your vision. It is the best way to ensure your ideas and expectations are completely met. And, our custom clients always comment that it’s really fun and exciting to experience!
Interested? Simply give us a call at 724-591-5776 or set an appointment here. It always starts with conversation. If you prefer, we can meet with you virtually rather than in our store.