Beaded Jewelry Designs:
The Importance of Quality
Quality should be the basis of your reputation for your
beaded jewelry designs!
Quality is the fineness and merit of excellence
possessed by a thing that helps to distinguish its
special characteristic and attribute that makes
it stand out from the rest.
No one can tell you specifically what you should make, but a few general comments on what to look for in a beaded jewelry design might help. Good design, materials, and workmanship are essential. As a jewelry designer you stand on you own merits — the quality of your work represents you.
Quality should be the basis of your reputation. Some customers will give your product 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.
Some customers understand the techniques involved in your beaded jewelry design and will appreciate your skill. The majority, however, will only be conscious of your workmanship if its is either strikingly good or bad. Untrimmed ends, spots of glue, crooked lines, and smudges of dirt are some evidences of sloppy workmanship which the ordinary customer will notice. Unless the price is extremely low to compensate for this lack of quality the item will not sell and your reputation will be of inferior workmanship.
Distinct quality may go unnoticed to the average buyer as they simply do not have the knowledge of your skill to know that you've taken those extra little pains to reach perfection. But you can use this distinct quality as a selling point to prove that your beaded jewelry design is one of high craftsmanship.
If you as a jewelry designer do shoddy work, this represents you. People who buy your beaded jewelry design will not be back if they have been disappointed by poor workmanship.
On the other hand, having found work of good quality, they will be back for more and perhaps will think of you when they need a gift or special item. This repeat business is a big boost psychologically as well as financially, because you have the satisfaction of knowing that the customer was truly pleased with your work. Most jewelry designers get the majority of their business from repeat customers.
Materials often fall under the category of general quality, and again the average customer will not notice them, unless the materials themselves are of poor quality or displeasing to the eye. But you could also increase sales by using higher quality materials in your jewelry pieces.
Even if you have taken those extra little pains to reach perfection and your beaded jewelry design is considered to be one of high craftsmanship, if there is a flaw in the materials you used or the materials are out of date, this will reflect on the quality of your bead jewelry design.
Buying quality materials of course will cost you more in the production of your work, and you may have to charge a little extra in your final selling price, but at least you know that it will sell.
Here is an example of one lady who didn't consider the materials she used as an important factor in her products:
Susan, a highly skilled weaver, loved to create bead woven necklaces using fibers and beads. She would purchase the material she used from the sales bins in local wool shops, and cheap plastic beads from the craft section at the local department store. Susan put a lot of time and work into her products, and was proud of the fact that she could produce her woven necklaces fairly cheap because of the great "sales" she got on her fibers and beads. Her necklaces were well designed and unique, but after exhibiting in a few local craft fairs she couldn't understand why they wouldn't sell. Susan decided that she better do a little market research and found that the colours and quality of the fibers and beads were out dated and just didn't go with any of her customers clothing styles, and made her necklaces look "cheap". Susan now produces her woven necklaces using the same designs and techniques but now with quality, unique and up-to-date fibers and beads, and she now has a a hard time keeping up with orders. She has to charge a little more for her items but now they are worth it.
You can also make the materials you use a strong selling point in themselves. For example jewelry designers in British Columbia have taken to making handmade bead jewelry and other craft items out of jade. Jade is a major part of the regional economy, and the vast majority of local people and tourists alike see jade as the distinctive aspect of the British Columbia area.
There are jewelry designers in Alberta who make beads out of dried buffalo droppings. Find a material which characterizes your part of your local area terrain, industry, or historical traditions, and you have a built in market for your beaded jewelry design.
Even though you can sell your beaded jewelry design by emphasizing the materials, workmanship, or personal interests, each of these factors alone creates sales limits. Seashell jewelry for example, loses appeal in Kansas, unless it was bought in Nova Scotia, and brought back as a souvenir.
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