Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Working with Designers


 Exclusively available through Mark Gregory & Company
The other day I wrote about how exciting it is to get new pieces for my store. How much I love opening the packages and seeing the new jewelry for the first time. It really is exciting, but sometimes it’s because I got a little input in the final design. I received my first exclusive design for Mark Gregory & Company!

About a month ago I received some pictures for new basic designs for earrings from one of my designers. They were beautiful, as usual, but I thought they could use a little tweaking. I noticed the lower portion of the earring had three similar cut gemstones, but in different colors. What caught my eye was the beauty of the one garnet in this earring. It had a wonderful color and the top stone, being a citrine, looked really nice against the garnet. I asked the designer if it was possible to make the entire lower portion in garnet with the top in citrine. He seemed a little unsure, these are his designs I am trying to change, but eventually he relented and placed my order.

These earrings arrived in my shipment. I’m very happy with the way they turned out, but more importantly, I had a little something to do with the finished product. This ability to work with designers to have some say in how the jewelry is designed is important. Many jewelers purchase finished jewelry from a manufacturer. There are fewer and fewer bench jewelers in jewelry stores that can alter or size pieces nowadays. This basically means that jewelry is purchased “as is” and any sizing is done by an outside source.

The ability to slightly change a design to suit a customer would usually require a great deal of time on the jeweler’s part and a lot of money on the customer’s part. Many mall jewelry stores purchase finished jewelry in bulk and while there might be some variation to the design, you have to like what you see. Working with small design houses allows me to work directly with the designer to make changes to the basic piece. Different types of gemstones can be set or various metals maybe chosen. It is up to the customer to make an adaptation they find pleasing or if they desire. It is possible to love a piece of jewelry just the way it is, without changes.

The wonderful thing about the design houses I work with is their ability to customize. They can take a basic idea and adapt it to fit my needs or more importantly, the needs of my customers. It is refreshing to see a group of people who are willing to work with the retailer and their customers. Custom designs are not only for the very rich or well to do. Custom designs can be for anyone.
 Gabrielle Bruni Creations Citrine & Chocolate Diamond Cocktail Ring

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