As a customer jewellery designer, independent maker, and a business person you have to wear many hats. And juggling them can take up a lot of time and effort to make sure you’re giving your jewellery business every possible opportunity for success. One area of your business that you certainly won’t want to scrimp on is your custom jewellery design process. However that may look for you personally, it’s important to make sure you take the time to avoid common pitfalls that other small jewellery business owners make on a regular basis.
So, here’s our top 8 most common pitfalls we think you should avoid, to help you create custom made jewellery that really speaks to your customers.
Common pitfalls to avoid when designing your own jewellery
- Not listening to your existing customer base – What are your customers asking for on your social media accounts? What are your most popular pieces historically and are you creating more custom jewellery designs or more pieces with a similar look and feel? There’s no point engaging with customers in this way and then ignoring their opinions! Use your social media accounts to ask questions of your customer base. Add polls to your accounts to ask them which custom jewellery designs they prefer. The more closely you listen to your customers, the more they should buy from your custom collection.
- Letting your artistic side run riot – As creative makers, a large part of the joy of owning your own jewellery business is being creative! But when your creative side overtakes that of your customers’ wants and needs, you run the risk of losing out on a sale. Remember that your custom made jewellery pieces should reflect exactly what the customer would wear, not what you would wear.
- No custom pricing template – It’s important to remember that custom jewellery design for your customers may mean more time spent personalising and tweaking the design to fit the customer’s brief, so it’s important to factor this into your costs. That way, you’re accounting for that additional labour time in your custom jewellery prices.
Want to learn more about pricing your designs properly? Read our helpful article on how to price your jewellery.
- Forgetting that custom should equate to luxury – It’s worth remembering that a custom jewellery piece is a special one-off that won’t be replicated elsewhere. With that in mind, don’t forget to upgrade your findings to reflect the quality of the design you’ve been working on. A custom piece with cheaper, lower quality findings will only spoil that luxurious feel that you need to create with custom jewellery design.
- Not advertising this new string to your bow – Now you’re creating personalised jewellery pieces for your customers, how are you getting the message out there? Have you updated your web site? And are you advertising this on your social media accounts? Make sure you take the time to push this new aspect of your business wherever possible. This could be a lucrative aspect of your work that gives you more momentum (and more revenue!)
Need help when it comes to marketing on social media? Read our post on how to sell your jewellery online with social media.
- Stretching yourself too far – Remember that your core business may not be custom jewellery design. So, you may want to put a cap on the amount of custom work you can take on each quarter or each year. That way you’re not putting undue pressure on yourself, putting all your eggs in this one basket, and neglecting the core collections of your jewellery business that have previously performed well for you.
- Not communicating with your client – The perks of buying a custom designed piece of jewellery is that element of personalisation that you can’t get elsewhere. So, keep lines of communication open with your client so that you know exactly what their expectations are. When you design your own jewellery line, of course, you’ll want to have full control over the entire manufacturing process. But remember the more you can accommodate your customers’ requests, the more likely it is that they will recommend your personalised jewellery service to other potential customers.
- An open-ended repertoire – If you claim that you can produce an open-ended repertoire of custom designs you may not meet the unrealistic expectations of your customers. So, think about what is plausible, cost-effective and within your reach as a maker and as a business manager. If the custom design element of your business is completely open ended, then you run the risk of biting more off than you can chew.
As an accomplished designer and business person you already know how to design your own jewellery. But when it comes to producing a custom jewellery design service, there are a few more elements of the process you’ll need to manage to make this part of your business a success. We hope the common pitfalls to avoid above will help you build up your custom service to a well-recognised element of your business, and keep those new customers rolling in!
Looking for more jewellery business advice? Take a look at the article available on our business advice hub.