My jewelry company works with a lot of small design houses throughout the United States and other countries. One of the reasons behind this decision is the quality of the jewelry and the individuality of the pieces. Large design houses either have exclusive agreements with a select group of vendors or they handle their own sales through individually owned “boutiques.” Large design and manufacturing businesses supply quantity jewelry to chain retailers and offer no customization or variation from design. Small design houses feature unique jewelry designs, options for customization or personalization and high standards.
Small design houses present their jewelry at various gem and jewelry shows and hope to find a buyer who will come back again and again. The representatives usually wear more than one hat and they are always happy to talk jewelry with you, not just sales. Sometimes you find that the sales representative is really the designer or owner and possibly both. It’s wonderful to discuss the design of a particular piece with the person who designed and made the jewelry. The designer can give insight into their work and a perspective that many would overlook. It’s fascinating.
Although I’ve only worked with some of these designers for a short period of time I have found all of them both informative and helpful. If a customer wants a particular piece made with a different stone, or different metal, the designer is more than happy to comply. I’ve spoken with designers to have the design reduced in size, chain length shortened or lengthened and rings made larger and smaller. They never seem to be stumped and no request is too outrageous. This is what I love about working with small design houses.
Case in point, Ed Benzaquen makes fabulous large gemstone earrings that we feature on our website. The gemstones are bright and have great sparkle and shine and his prices can’t be beat. The rock crystal earrings at 30 carats are quite stunning. When I was ordering inventory, Ed mentioned he had a new bracelet. He sent a picture and I am seriously considering adding this to our line. Now some people would say, “One bracelet?” Well this is the thing; these designers make unique jewelry, not mass produced pieces. They work on each piece and make it just the way they want it. Ed has taken his penchant for large gemstones and made a bracelet that highlights this element.
The small design houses I work with are designers, gemologist, manufacturers and quality control all wrapped up into one. So far it has been a joy to work with them and they never get upset when I ask if they can make a change to their designs. They are passionate about their work and I think this passion translates into a superior product that is both unique and well crafted. They are truly artists who turn jewelry into art.