What Makes A Good Beaded Jewelry Design?

Uniqueness, design, functionality, and quality is what will make your beaded jewelry design stand out from the rest, but it must also appeal to the customer or it won't sell. The successful jewelry design is one that fits into the overall market, yet is distinctive enough to influence buyers, leading them in the decision to purchase it. Let's take look at each of these product characteristics separately:

Uniqueness & Innovation

An essential part of a successful marketing campaign is an innovative product. The initial step in promoting a product is to ask "What makes mine unique from anything else in the market?". In assessing this, a jewelry designer should consider how the beaded jewelry design is made, how it works, and how it looks. As well as the price of similar designs and the marketing approaches of successful competitors should also be noted.

Uniqueness can also contribute to your sales. The more unusual the beaded jewelry design, the more likely it is to grab the attention of the customer. This does not guarantee sales, but if your handmade bead jewelry has great appeal as well as being unusual it should sell. There is always a mind that can bring new approaches to the market place and those new approaches are what buyers are looking for.

Unique Necklaces by Marzia G.


There are two arguments designing jewelry. The first is "making what you love" and the second is to look at "the tastes of others." Or you can design the jewelry you love to make taking in consideration the tastes of others. Here we will discuss them both.

Making What You Love

Dr. David Weiman in his book 5 Keys to Selling Handcrafted Jewelry tells why you should make what you love.

Look at The Tastes of Others

Sometimes jewelry designers have to set their ego aside, and take a sensitive look at the tastes of others. Design for its own sake will not succeed unless it also coincides with what the public wants and is willing to pay for, yet you must also consider that a totally practical item with no design originality will have to compete with the mass-production world of cheap and easy to acquire products.

No matter how good a jewelry designer you are, your ultimate success will depend on your design's sensitivity to your customer's tastes. You must try to adapt a popular design to your needs or modify your designs to popular tastes. Tastes and fashions change constantly, therefore in order to make products that sell you must be in tune with the times and trends of the marketplace.

Keep your eyes open in the marketplace and see what popular items are selling. You may see a design or item that is crafted in one medium, and you could modify that product using different materials and making it with your own jewelry techniques. For example you may see something that is selling successfully made with a free form peyote stitch using thread, you could use the same design idea making your free form peyote stitch using wire instead of thread.

The following points may have some bearing on how you choose to design your products:

  • Traditional Designs
    If your are considering a traditional design, then it is imperative that you learn the parameter of the design's integrity. When making an early American vase, you don't want it to look Greek to knowledgeable buyers. "Design Integrity" means that the product is correct for its tradition or time and that it is made from appropriate materials. Purists believe it should be made with the hand tools of the period as well, but this is far from necessary when mass sales are the ultimate aim.
  • Fads
    The distinction between a current design and one that is merely faddish is difficult to make. North Americans are faddists, and no sooner does a design catch on than it is over. There are two ways jewelry designers typically view the fad items. Some take advantage of fads for quick profits. The jewelry designer can quickly produce a new design to get in on the peak of a fad, whereas a large-scale manufacturer is hampered by necessary time for retooling and scheduling. The jewelry designer who keeps a small inventory of the transitory fashion items can thus profit. Many other jewelry designers however, feel that fads are too dangerous to jump into. A handcraft item, especially an expensive one, can remain on display for weeks, or even months, before it is sold. That's long enough for the fad to fizzle.

    Plus once manufactures do get in on the fad and start producing handcrafted looking items at much lower costs, then the market is saturated with the items and they could be found in any discount or department store, and they lose their originality and design of being "handcrafted." And therefore because you see them everywhere they are no longer unique.

  • Personalized Items
    To make a beaded jewelry design really unique and special to someone is to have it personalized. You can boost your sales by including metal discs for engraving or alphabet beads, word beads, charms and other personalizations on your pieces. Because the jewelry designer works in smaller quantities, this extra touch is possible plus it gives the article a more original appeal to it.

    Personalized items are very popular at Christmas, Mothers Day, Birthdays, Christenings, etc, because giving a gift with the recipients name on it, makes that gift a more personal one.

Is Your Beaded Jewelry Design Functional?

Many artistic and handcrafted items are meant to be merely decorative; others are intended to be functional as well. In fact, if the piece you design is useful as well as decorative, it may have a better chance of selling.

You could design a beautiful and unique piece of wearable art but if it is too heavy, too long, not long enough, too clunky, too chunky, too fragile, parts that easily catches on things or threads from the clothes or the wearer, extremely difficult to get on or off, or can fall off the wearer to easily then it is not really considered functional.

The Importance of Quality

Quality should be the basis of your reputation. Some customers will give your beaded jewelry design a quick inspection before they buy it; many others will inspect it carefully. The first thing that will attract them will be the design. If that appeals to them, they will go on to inspect the materials and workmanship. (See "Related Articles" for more detailed information on the Importance of Quality.)

Related Articles:

The Importance of Quality
Discover why quality is so important to a good beaded jewelry design.

Why Your Jewelry Designs Must Have Customer Appeal
Do your jewelry designs have great customer appeal?

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