How has the end of April come so quickly? Whoa time, slow down a bit! Don’t know about you, but I am not in a hurry to get old…
One of a kind vs repeating design.
If you create jewelry, or probably pretty much anything, and sell it, this will come up – for sure. Yes, you are an artist and ideally want all of your works to be stunning one of a kinds aka OOAK, but the reality is that sooner or later someone will want to buy the same pair of earrings/bracelet/necklace you just sold to someone else. Are you going to tell them that you only make them once? Probably not if you like selling your wares. So, how do I handle this in my own shop?
Well, lets look at some of the benefits of repeating designs:
- allows you to calculate and plan for materials used
- eliminates need for photographing – take pics once of a specific design and just renew when sold
- can function as signature pieces for your business
- gives admirers of your jewelry an opportunity to purchase something they may have seen on someone else
- practice makes perfect – the more you create a certain design, the more you can tweak it
There are designs that really seem to resonate, like this pair of woven earrings I have carried in my shop for quite a while. I don’t see them “going away” any time soon. They are fun, unique and classic. I love making them and my customers like buying them.
Then there are those pieces that are created specifically with a certain type of customer in mind. They will likely include techniques that are a little more involved and challenging or time consuming and will often feature unique elements that would be difficult to duplicate consistently.
Benefits of one of a kind designs include:
- opportunities to grow creatively by challenging design skills
- motivation to learn new skills and use different materials
- showcases artistic vision
- adds to artistic credibility
Since the design and creation of one of a kind pieces hones in on a potentially very limited market, for the time being, I have focused on a third category, which happens to be a hybrid of the two.
It includes designs that can be duplicated fairly easily and consistently. But it also gives my customer the option to customize it to their very specific tastes and preferences. Like the bead, but not the metal? No problem. Like the metal, but not the texture and/or patina? Let’s change that! Like the design with or without the beads? Your wish is my command:)
These earrings would be good examples of what I am talking about.
So it is the third, the hybrid option, I see my customers prefer the most. And I have to say I like that as well. It makes me feel good knowing that the recipient loves the design and either gets to have a hand in customizing or that I am able to give the same design a completely different look just by varying my components, metals, beads, texture and patina. It’s a win-win.
Which do you prefer? Do you try to create designs that re-invent the wheel each and every time or do you prefer to stick to more or less standardized creations that can be duplicated over and over?
Be sure to check out my fellow jewelry creators posts: